Wager on Scratch Cards JudiciouslyBy: Shirley Spicer, Tuesday December 1st 2009
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Most online casinos offer a few scratch card games that are located in the Specialty Games category. In the past only the curious players would try out scratch cards because the simplicity of the game rendered it uninteresting. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because scratch cards do not offer attractive average payout percentages. However of late online casino software casino providers have improved the interest factor considerably and therefore it has become necessary to caution new players not to go overboard wagering on scratch cards.
Scratch cards are based on symbols. Initially the symbols were the multipliers themselves. Six from the available multipliers were randomly chosen with repetition and concealed on the scratch card. The player clicked on the scratch card to reveal the multipliers and if three of them matched then the player’s payout was his wager multiplied by the multiplier. It is not difficult to appreciate why this game would not interest the online casino player.
However as online gaming software providers built in innovations in their slot games they realized that they had the technology to make the scratch cards more interesting as well. Many of the features found in contemporary online slots are finding their way into scratch cards. Scratch cards today are created to themes with the symbols and backgrounds complementing the theme. This is best illustrated through a scratch card from Cryptologic called High Fashion. The game has nine symbols that represent desirable purchases starting from ice creams and lipsticks and moving up to designer dresses, diamond rings and sports cars. The symbols are concealed in colorful shopping bags and displayed in the window of a shop. A girl shopping for these items looks on with the entire market street in the background. A pay table reveals the multipliers. As the player clicks on the bags to reveal the contents the girl responds with suitable animation and text messages, showing delight if a match of three is made and disappointment if there is no payout. Hence scratch cards have become an audiovisual experience.
The gaming features have also shown a marked improvement. The scratch card High Fashion has an auto scratch feature that automatically displays the symbols one by one without having to click each symbol individually. As in online slots an auto play feature is also incorporated in contemporary scratch cards. In High Fashion the auto play can be set to 99 games. Players can also choose from a range of coin sizes so that the game becomes attractive to both low rollers and high rollers.
The innovations in scratch cards have made them more interesting and casino players would be more tempted to wager on them. However making scratch cards a staple gambling game is not advisable because of the unfavorable average payout percentage. Ideally, scratch cards should be used as filler games. While the online slot is on auto play or the player is waiting for the roulette wheel to come to a stop a quick game of scratch cards can be indulged in. Sometimes players may wager on scratch cards for a continuous period just to unwind from the fatigue of playing blackjack or video poker. It would be advisable for players to select from the lower end of the coin size range and not wager for more than a dozen games at a time. That way they can enjoy the advantages of scratch cards without falling into the disadvantages.
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