Published on 26.07.2022

Written by

Kelvin JonesKelvin Jones
Published on 26.07.2022
Reading time 12 min

Play Scratch Cards Online

Do you have an itch to play simple lotto games and stand a chance to win money instantly? If the answer is yes, you have come to the right place - we have compiled a comprehensive list of the best South African online casinos with scratch cards for you!

Online scratch cards are fun lottery games with simple rules and a chance to win instant cash. They are often overlooked by beginners since casinos try to promote video slots most of the time. 

Finding trusted sites with a decent selection of instant win games is not easy. This is why we took all the trouble to create this list. You may pick any site on this page with your eyes closed – they are all fully tested for safety! 

How We Chose the Best Online Scratch Cards Casinos

Slots are the most popular online casino game out there by a huge margin. However, there is still a strong demand for online scratch cards among players. And you can find at least a handful of instant win games at most sites to cater to this demand. We have a well-oiled review system in place to weed out the scam sites and pick the best online scratch card casinos in South Africa for our precious readers. 

All the casinos on our pages have to pass through a rigorous review/vetting process. Our team of experts look for the following essential features during this process:

1. A Valid License – An online gambling license is a must-have feature. It separates legitimate casinos from scam sites. To gain a license from a trusted authority like the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission, online casino operators have to pay millions of Rands in fees. They also have to maintain adequate safety and anti-rigging measures in place. We never recommend an unlicensed online casino. 

2. Good Selection of Scratch Cards – The best online casinos on our list will have dozens of scratch cards and instant win games in dedicated sections of their game libraries. We pay special attention to the vendors – scratch cards have to be from trusted software providers. Non-brand games are seldom worth playing as they could be rigged against you. 

3. Payment in Rands – This one is a fairly obvious criterion since our main focus is on the South African market here. These days, most reputed casino operators recognize the potential of the ZAR gambling market. You will have no trouble finding sites that allow you to bet in your home currency. And the best part is – you don't have to pay exchange fees to convert your Rands into dollars or euros to play online. 

4. Fast and Assured Payouts – Scam sites and fraud casinos almost always delay or withhold payments unnecessarily. We always strike out such sites from our list. All recommended sites here come with a long track record of paying their customers on time. We look for casinos with the latest digital payment methods, including secure cryptocurrencies. 

5. Generous Bonuses and Promos – Last but not least, casino bonuses are also a major factor when picking the best site for scratch cards. Unlike roulette or blackjack, most casinos allow bonus play on instant win games. You can use no deposit bonuses, reloads, and welcome bonuses on your favourite scratch cards and win instant prizes.

How to Play Scratch Cards Online

 

If you are new to online casino gambling, here is a quick, step-by-step guide to playing online scratch cards in South Africa.

  1. Pick any recommended site from our list and click on the link provided to visit the website
  2. Start the registration process by clicking on the "Join Now" or "Sign Up" button
  3.  Enter your name, age, and other contact details in the registration form
  4. Provide your email ID, phone number, and a username/password for your casino account
  5. You can quickly find the deposit option in your account and add funds using your preferred banking method
  6. Now, head to the game library and look for a section  called either Instant Win/Scratch Card games
  7. If they don’t exist, look under the “Other Games” section. 
  8. Once you find the scratch cards, click or tap on any game icon to play with real money

How to Play Free Scratch Cards

Scratch cards are the simplest gambling games out there. However, you should be quite careful playing online since each round can pass in a matter of seconds. Most card games even allow you to place bets in bulk, using auto-play. 

If you are not careful, you could spend too much cash on these exciting games! This is why we always recommend that you play online scratch cards for free the first time. Whenever you spot a new scratch card, use free play to familiarize yourself with the game interface and the payout table.

Free play, also called “fun play” or “demo mode” is an option available at most online casinos. In this mode, you don’t use real money. Instead, you use fake coins or virtual money to play safely and without any risk of losing your bankroll! Follow these simple steps to play free scratch cards online: 

  • Pick any South African casino from our recommended list and visit the website
  • Do not sign up or register – it is not necessary!
  • Just visit the game library and pick any scratch card and click/tap on the icon
  • Free Play/Fun Play will be one of the options that appear on the game icon
  • Select it to play that scratch card game for free, as long as you want!

Best Scratch Card Games

To put it in simple words, the best scratch card games are those that promise the maximum return for your Rands. This is also called Return to Player or RTP and it is specified as a percentage. The closer this percentage is to 100, the better your odds of winning money with any online casino game. 

In the overall hierarchy of online casino games, scratch cards occupy the same space as video slots in terms of RTP. The best you can expect is something around or above 96% RTP. You can find the RTP information for each game at one of two sources: 

  • A few casinos publish the RTP information directly on their site
  • You can also search for the RTP of the game at the official site of the vendor

Since there are many scratch card games out there, with new ones launching each month, it would be impossible to mention all the top scratch card games with high RTP right here. Still, here is a shortlist of some of the best scratch card games from reputed vendors with high RTP: 

  • Lucky Numbers – 96.57%
  • Whack a jackpot – 96.30%
  • Wish Upon a Jackpot – 96.06%
  • Pig Wizard – 95.82%

Scratch Cards Online Rules

Scratch card games have fairly simple rules. The objective of the game is to get a winning ticket where the hidden symbols are in a particular sequence – usually three of a kind. The games each follow a unique theme, like circus, birds, candy, animals and so on. 

Many scratch card games also have multiple symbols that match the theme, just like in video slots. Instead of spinning reels, each bet gives you a card with a grid of 3x3 hidden symbols. Click or drag your mouse/fine across the grid to reveal the symbols. 

You can increase or decrease the size of your bet before each round. If you want faster action, you can also use auto-play. It allows you to buy the scratch cards in bulk and open them automatically. Before starting auto-play, you will have to specify the bet size and how many rounds you want to play.

The Best Scratch Cards Strategies

Unlike blackjack or poker, scratch cards are purely based on luck. There is no skill involved in these games – the outcome is fully randomized. So, if you hear anyone talk about guaranteed winning strategies for scratch cards, don’t believe in that stuff! 

However, some amount of strategizing and planning can be helpful when picking and playing scratch cards online. Here are the main things you can do to improve your odds of winning with scratch cards and other instant-win games at South African casinos: 

Pick High RTP Scratch Games

This is a good place to start. As already explained in a previous section, higher RTP means better odds for the player. Try to find games that have a minimum of 95% RTP when choosing a scratch card for best results. 

Play for Free

Even if you are a seasoned veteran of scratch cards, a practice run without cash bets is recommended when playing an unfamiliar scratch card. Modern instant win games often have elaborate graphics and buttons that don’t make sense at first glance. It also takes some time to familiarize yourself with the payout tables and symbols.

Read the Fine Print

Before placing your first cash bet in any gambling game online, always check the game rules. This can be a boring task with long walls of text. But you must read the rules and T&C from end to end before spending any money on scratch cards online. 

Play with Bonuses 

Casino bonuses can seriously augment your bankroll and give you more playing time. And the best bonuses also improve your odds of winning, with more shots at glory. Since you can play scratch cards with most casino bonuses, you should always try to claim a bonus from our recommended casinos. 

Choose the Bet Size Carefully

Do you want smaller but more frequent wins or larger and rarer wins? If you want to win more often, place smaller bets. But do keep in mind that the size of your prizes will also be small. With larger bets, you may have a shot at landing a bigger multiplier, but it might take some time and a few additional bets. 

Set Win/Loss Limits

Sound financial management is key to success in scratch cards or any form of online gaming. Before every session, decide how much cash you are willing to spend on the scratch card. Don't go chasing wins beyond this limit. Likewise, set a limit on winnings – decide that if you win X amount you will quit and withdraw it immediately!

Scratch Cards Online Odds & Payouts

As you know by now, scratch cards don’t have just one route to victory. There are many different combinations of symbols, each with higher or lower payout multipliers. The basic rule of thumb is this – you are more likely to get a 2x multiplier than a 100 or 500x multiplier. 

Talking about odds, the house always has a strong edge in scratch cards. In the online gaming industry, most vendors develop scratch card games with a stated RTP of between 86% and 97%. That roughly translates into a house edge of between 14% and 3%. 

What these numbers mean is this – for every R100 spent in-game over a long period, you stand a chance to win the RTP mentioned in the game. For reference, the average house edge in blackjack is 1.32 or even lower than that. 

To make some sense about payout odds for higher multipliers, here is a sample table showing odds at many popular scratch card games in the industry.

Payouts
Odds of Winning
2x50%
10x10%
100x1%
2000x0.5%
5000x
0.2%

Do remember that these odds are for basic reference purposes only, to give you a rough idea of how the odds and payouts work in practice. Each scratch card game will usually give you a payout table with the odds separately mentioned in-game. 

Real Money vs Free Online Scratch Cards

Both real money play and free play are viable options with online scratch cards. Each approach has some advantages and flaws and is not in direct competition – you need both for a fun and safe scratch card experience online. The following table will give you a good idea about the best features of each, as well as their individual weaknesses. 

Real Money Scratch

Free PlayScratch
You need to sign up at the casino to play
Any visitor can play without signup (not available at UK licensed casinos)
You have to “buy” the tickets with real money
You buy tickets with fake currency
There is a high risk of losing your money
100% risk-free approach for practice and training
There is a good chance to win real money
Zero chance of winning real money
Not the optimal option for beginners
An ideal game mode for beginners

Do keep in mind that casinos licensed in some jurisdictions like the UK are not allowed to provide free gaming services to all visitors. At these casinos, you have to register an account and provide ID details for age verification before getting a chance to play for fun. 

Luckily, many of the other top offshore South African casinos licensed by Malta and Curacao Gaming don’t have this restriction. If you want to play for free, avoid UK online casinos. 

Scratch Cards Online Bonuses

If you want to play scratch cards with online casino bonuses, you are in luck. Along with slots, scratch cards are the most bonus-friendly game category at online casinos. With all other games poker, roulette, and blackjack, software providers and casino operators are hesitant to provide bonus play. 

The reason is simple – they have higher player RTP which means lower house edge. Slots and scratch cards are relatively safer from a casino operator's perspective – with a max 97% or lower RTP. Due to this reason, you can use virtually all casino bonuses (except free spins) to play scratch cards! 

Here is a quick list of all these bonuses and why you should consider claiming them to play online scratch cards: 

  • No Deposit Bonus Chip – gives you free betting money on sign up, with the promise of a chance to win and withdraw real money. It is like free play, but with a chance to get some cash! 
  • Welcome Bonus – claim massive bonuses worth tens of thousands of rands and use all that cash to play endless rounds of scratch cards. With the best bonuses, you also get low wagering requirements that improve your chances of a payout. 
  • Reloads – these are recurring bonuses you can claim at an online casino by depositing funds often. They give some nice boosts of up to 300% on your deposit, with full playability on online scratch cards. 

Wagering requirements are a serious hassle when playing with casino bonuses. You cannot make a withdrawal without completing the bonus wagering. So, speed and efficiency are key when attempting to complete the wagering target. 

Scratch cards and slots are your best option for these at most online casinos. They both contribute 100% to the wagering requirements, making them both the ideal option if you want to shorten the waiting time between claiming a bonus and making a withdrawal request. 

Mobile Online Scratch Cards

There is no such thing as separate mobile online scratch cards. These days, if a casino game is available on PC, chances are that it is available on Android or iOS as well. In the early days of scratch cards online, they were made using Flash software back in 2010. 

But as time passed, Flash fell out of favour due to numerous security vulnerabilities. As of 2021, official support for Flash was removed all over the internet. These days, casino games including scratch cards are created using HTML5 – the universal standard for watching content online. 

All newly released online scratch cards are made in HTML5, making them fully playable and compatible with any modern browser with HTML5 support. And since this includes Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and other PC and mobile browsers, you should have no trouble playing scratch cards on your iPhone or Samsung/Xiaomi/Huawei device. 

How to Recognize Legit Online Scratch Cards

Unfortunately, among all the categories of online casino games, scratch cards are the most vulnerable to fraud. One obvious reason is their popularity – plenty of people still play online scratch, which increases the income-earning potential from fraud. 

More importantly, these games are relatively easy to make or counterfeit. Scratch cards and instant win games have a much simpler development process. The games don't require high-end animation or graphical flourish. Unlike a fake slot, which is quite easy to spot, a fake scratch card is quite hard to identify. 

As a result, you have to take special precautions when you play online scratch cards. Follow these simple steps to ensure that you have not been duped: 

  • Pick Your Casinos Carefully: The equation is pretty simple – if you stick with reputed and licensed casinos, you are less likely to get scammed. Rely on any one of the casinos on our list here at PCSA – all of them have been vetted extensively to ensure that you only get a safe and secure gaming experience. Legit casinos and legit casino games go hand in hand. And when it comes to rigging and unfair play, unlicensed casinos carry a high risk.
  • Double Check the Game Online: Before wagering anything on a scratch card, visit the official website of the software developer and compare the games. If there are any glaring errors or mistakes, avoid the game. Like with casinos, licensing and reputation mean a lot in the software business. Reputed brands can be relied on to deliver trusted and legit scratch card games. 
  • Avoid Unbranded Games: This is the most critical advice if you want to recognize a legit scratch card – it will always prominently show the developer branding, either on the casino website or within the game video. If a game looks suspiciously bland without any branding, it comes with a high risk.

FAQs about the Best Scratch Cards Online Casinos

The best online scratch card is generally the one with the higher RTP. Anything above 96% would be ideal. However, the majority of scratch cards have the player edge lowered to 86% or even lower. These games are still fun to play, but you could take more losses over time.

Online scratch cards, like other gambling games, use special software called an RNG, or random number generator. Using complex math equations, the RNGs output guaranteed random results in any game connected to it. The RNG in a scratch card will be programmed to mimic the odds of offline scratch card contests. Every time you press the play button, the RNG is dealing a fresh ticket to you with potential winning symbols!

Online scratch cards are legit and legal as long as you play at a safe and licensed online casino. As a south African player, you should stick with offshore casinos for maximum safety. You can find the latest updated list of the best South African online casinos right here!

Yes, you can play real money scratch games on mobile. These games are compatible with iPhones and Android devices. At a few of the larger casinos, they have apps for mobile gaming. But with the vast majority of sites, you can play the latest real money scratch cards online on your mobile browser.

The simplest way to win at online scratch cards is to play more often, either with bigger deposits or by claiming bonuses. If you want smaller wins, you can get them more often by reducing your bet size. For bigger wins, you should consider upping your bet size – however, remember that this comes at considerable risk of not winning.

The odds of winning at online scratch will vary drastically depending on the payout you are gunning for. With a smaller 2x multiplier, the odds of winning are at least 50%. At the very top, a massive 10000x payout would have a one in a million chance or higher. If there is a progressive jackpot or some similar feature the chances of winning that are slimmer still!

Kelvin Jones
Kelvin Jones

Senior Editor and Product Owner