Nostalgia is a funny thing; as the years go by, many of us find ourselves remembering with fondness more simple times. The truth, as we know, is that they weren't really simple at all, and you can't ever quite rekindle the exact mood of a time long gone. The good news is that even with universal shift to digital media, some elements of days long gone have made the transition into the virtual world. Just as one-armed bandit fruit machines have, over time, transformed into the incredible world of online casino slots (and, subsequently, into mobile slots), so other durable concepts have also evolved. You're bound to have encountered scratch cards at some point in your life, but it could be news to you that this form of entertainment is very much alive and well online. Take a closer look with Wildz at online scratch cards and the fun that they still provide around the world, with stunning prizes waiting to be won!
A whole lotto fun!
Printed scratch cards began in 1974 with a simple concept: players could use a coin or a fingernail to scrape off a layer of special coating to reveal the numbers beneath. These cards were printed according to an algorithm that ensured that only certain cards carried winning combinations. They were sold at a limited number of stores as a means of providing an alternative to the lottery, since customers liked the idea of obtaining their results instantly rather than having to wait for a draw.
The concept was based on bingo cards sold by grocery stores, and developed by John Koza, who had PhD in computer science. After Koza was fired from his job at the company that manufactured bingo cards, he hit on the idea of creating a scratch card system based on the same kind of algorithm. His first big investor was the Massachusetts Lottery, which enabled him to start mass producing the concept. The sales were spectacular, with the scratch cards outperforming the regular lottery ticket sales by three times in just one week.
It took time for the concept to gain international traction, having to work with regulators to ensure that everything was compliant when it came to managing the sale and distribution of the cards, but they've since picked up huge audiences around the world.
Faster to play, easier to claim
The birth of digital scratch cards was inevitable, although the launch was so low key that it's not even certain which company led the way. It took time for this format of the game to gain traction, however, it quickly built up momentum, since online scratch cards offered: more pricing options, quicker payouts, bigger prizes pools and the chance to play whenever and wherever players chose to do so.
With the rise in mobile usage, and the ability to access games via a smart phone or tablet, customers were no longer having to travel to a store or to play on a desktop PC. Some games offer astounding prizes of up to €500 000, with limited combinations available.
How to play online scratch cards
Online scratch cards aren't offered at every online casino, but the ones that do offer them have a wide selection available in their games lobby, in the same way that they have a selection of online slots games or live casino games. Players simply need to log in via their account at an online casino that offers the product, deposit money to use for their bankroll and try some out, should they choose to.
The cards appear as an online grid, you opt to buy one and then use the cursor to remove the top layer to reveal the numbers or symbols beneath. Some games allow you to scratch with an auto-scratch feature to reduce the mouse work. If winning combinations result then the game sends the rewards directly to your bankroll, which you can withdraw (according to each casino's withdrawal Ts&Cs, of course).
Some online scratch card games to try
The premier producer of online scratch cards is Hacksaw Gaming. While this company also produces great online slots titles, they are the undisputed leaders in providing scratch card content. Here are a few of their best games to watch out for:
SCRATCH! Platinum comes with a top prize of €500 000, and is the sister game to SCRATCH! Gold, SCRATCH! Silver, and SCRATCH! Bronze, with the top prizes decreasing according to the metal themes represented.
Sporty themes include Dream Car Speed, Dream Car Urban and Football Scratch.
There are some hilarious titles, too, that make the most of the scratch mechanic, such as Shave the Sheep, Shave the Beard, Cut the Grass and It's Bananas, all great fun to try out.
Hacksaw Gaming is also the developer behind some scratch cards that also have online slots offerings, like Chaos Crew Scratch and Scratch 'Em. There are loads of versions to try out and, who knows, you could be that lucky player who gets to walk away with the grand prize! Each game comes with an info panel so you know exactly what you're getting into, and at Wildz you can even try the games for free in Demo Mode.