What are Scratch Cards?
Scratch cards, also known as scratch offs, scratchers, scratchies and instant lotteries among other thing have been a popular form of gambling since the late 1980's. Scratch cards are thin paper-based cards which come with hidden information which is revealed by scratching the card. The area which needs to be scratched off is often bordered with an obvious pattern which needs to be scraped off. The winning information of scratch cards are hidden beneath this covering and cannot be seen through before-hand.
The entire area does not always need to be scratched off, with some cards requiring the player to select specific places. This ensures variety with scratch cards and lets them have more player interaction. This also means that if the wrong area of the card is scratched a player can cause themselves to lose. The physical forms of these cards also come with a strip which voids the card if removed.
Latex is the commonly used covering for these cards as it has the right mix of softness and reliability.
These cards originally used unsafe coverings. The use of these environmentally hazardous solvents have since been abandoned.
Popularity for these games has only gone up, owning to their convenience and inexpensive nature.
An example of a scratch card.
Important Scratch Card Information
Scientist John Koza and retails promotions specialist Daniel Bower came up with the concept of these games in the 1970's. These ideas weren't adapted into the cards we know today until a decade later.
The coverings of these coins is usually scratched off with a coin or fingernail though online systems use a system of clicking and dragging the mouse cursor.
Some of these games also come with second chance draws where the player can bring their card in to be scanned for a chance at another prize.
Where do the Scratch Cards come from?
The first patent for these instant lottery games was issued in 1987 to Astro-Med Inc. There are currently two main manufacturers of these games, Scientific Games Corporation and Polland Banknote.
The technology used for the current latex covering was created by specialist Jerome Greenfield in the 1980's.
Different forms of Scratch Cards
The most popular forms of these cards reflect their names. By scratching off the total covering of a game the player must usually match three symbols or simply reveal a single winning symbol.
More complicated version of the cards includes adaptions of other popular games such as blackjack or even crosswords. The constantly growing popularity of these games ensures a consistently growing selection.
Online versions of these games commonly use Macromedia Flash or Java in order to simulate how these cards operate. These come with the types of convenience and bonuses that are often central to online gambling systems. They are fast, responsive and don't require a visit to an exterior location in order to verify winning. Not having to worry about accidentally scratching off the void sticker is another bonus.