Scratchies are one of the most popular gambling products in Australia today. Produced and sold by the state lotteries, these games offer an instant alternative to the standard lotteries that have weekly draws. All a player needs to do is buy a ticket, scratch off the acrylic film hiding the results, and they’ll instantly find out if they’ve won a prize–and just how big that prize may be.
Scratchies might not seem like the kind of game that would translate well to the online casino world. In reality, these scratch card games are almost as popular at Internet gambling sites as they are at your local convenience store. The same fast action and instant results that make these games a hit throughout Australia makes them a favourite at online casinos.
Online scratchies are virtual simulations of the scratch-off games you can play at countless vendors throughout Australia. The concept behind them is exactly the same: you purchase a card, and then scratch off the top layer in order to reveal the prize information below. In this case, you won’t use a coin to scratch off the cards. The scratching action will be simulated on your screen each time you want to play a scratchie.
Just as in the real world, Internet scratchies are popular, because they’re incredibly simple to play. When you visit an online casino, there may be a special area just for scratchies, but it’s more likely that you’ll see them under a heading of “specialty” or “other” games instead. From there, you’ll see a listing of the scratch-off games that are available at your casino site.
Once you’ve chosen a game that looks interesting to you, you’ll have a couple of options to work through. First, you can decide how much you’d like to play for on your next card. Although the limits vary by card, Microgaming scratchies can be played for anywhere from $0.50 to $100 per card. After deciding how much you want to play for, you can click the “new cards” button and you’ll be presented with a fresh new card to scratch.
There are two different ways to scratch the card. If you prefer to play a game that’s more authentic when compared to traditional scratchies, you can manually move your mouse over the card to reveal each spot and figure out if you’ve won a prize. If you’d prefer a faster solution, you can simply hit the “show cards” button to instantly reveal whether you’ve won or lost. This is akin to the autoplay feature on a poker machine.
Microgaming casinos offer a wide variety of different scratchies. While you can play all of these games in real money mode, keep in mind that they’re also available for play in practice modes as well. We recommend you take advantage of this by giving all of the offered scratchies a try and figuring out how to use the online interface and which ones you like best, before spending real money on them.
In any selection of games, a few tend to stand out from the crowd. Here are a few of the online scratchies we find most interesting:
Scratch Card: This is the most basic of all Microgaming scratchies, but it’s also one that you’ll find at every site using their software. Scratchcards may have different variations on the theme based, depending on which casino you’re playing at. Simply scratch any of the six squares on the card to see if you can match three of the same prize amount on the game’s six squares. If this happens, you win that prize, up to maximum of 50 times the price of the card.
Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey: Based on the 1991 film of the same name, this game also uses the “match three” style of play that requires you to match identical symbols. In Bill & Ted’s scratchies, you’ll see a three-by-three grid with nine spots. This game may be harder to win, but if you can hit the top prize, you win 2,500x the bet. You’ll be able to fund your own excellent adventure.
Dawn of the Bread: This humorous take on the zombie genre (specifically, the movie Dawn of the Dead) uses one of the odder themes of any online casino game we’ve ever seen. But if you can overlook that, you’ll be impressed by the massive prizes available here: up to 10,000x your initial investment if you can find three eyeballs.
In most ways, online scratchies work the same way as the scratchies you’ve seen that are produced by Tatts, NSW Lotteries, Intralot Australia, and other Aussie lottery companies. However, there are a couple of key differences between the two types of games that are worth noting.
For one, the way prizes are distributed are quite different. In most land-based scratchies games, the game has a set number of top prizes that exist. If all of the jackpot prizes have been won, that’s it: you’ll never again have a shot at winning that prize. That can be a big downside for less observant or knowledgeable players, who may continue to play a scratch card game even if it is literally impossible for them to win the top prize.
In an online scratchies game, you’ll never have a concern about running out of prizes. Each card is generated with a randomly determined result when it is purchased. That means any card can be a winner, regardless of the results of previous cards. The only trade-off here is that most online scratchies don’t usually offer the huge top prizes you’ll sometimes see in games produced by state lotteries. It’s a trade-off, but at least you have a real chance to win every single time you make a wager.
Also worth noting is that you’ll never have to worry about misprints or mistakes when playing online scratchies. If your ticket is a winner, you’ll know you’ve won beyond any doubt. That may not seem like a big deal, but considering that there have been lawsuits in Australia over scratch card prizes of as much as $100,000, avoiding any potential ambiguity about whether or not you’ve won a prize is a big advantage over traditional scratchies. In the case of online scratchies, they really are instant win games.