Best Scratch Cards UK

How To Pick The Best Scratch Card In The UK

Note: *The following article is purely for fun. It is based on individual opinions and does not constitute advice. The drawing of lottery numbers is entirely random. Please always gamble responsibly. #Ad. Find out more on our How Our Site Works page.

Scratch cards are as synonymous as Lotto by the National Lottery in the UK - there are over 40,000 UK retailers selling over 30 different kinds of scratchcards (at the time of writing). Then, lotto bet-on-jackpot companies such as Lottoland and have online scratch cards and traditional bookmakers such as Betfred or Coral also have online scratch cards.

How do you pick the best scratch card in the UK? These are the variables:

  • 1000s of different scratch cards to choose from - it all depends on what theme you like
  • Jackpots vary from £100 to £2,000,000
  • Prices vary from 10p to £5
  • Wildly different odds for winning the jackpot or any prize
  • You can choose to play a physical card or online
  • You can choose to play with the National Lottery or regulated online bookmaker/bet-on-jackpot companies

Here are some key questions to ask yourself:

1) What’s the RTP (Return To Player)?

The RTP of most scratch cards is publicly available. The National Lottery has information sheets for each of their scratchcards on their site. Bookmakers often have information displayed next to where you play.

Scratchcard RTP screen

What exactly is RTP? Return to Player (RTP) is the total amount of money paid back to players. For example:

  • The National Lottery has 100 scratch cards in circulation
  • Each card costs £1
  • There is £70 of prizes available (e.g. £50 jackpot, 5 x £2 prizes and 10 x £1 prizes = £70 total)
  • The RTP is 70%

Is a higher RTP better? Yes... but with a caveat. A higher RTP means more money in the pool available to be won - or more theoretical returns to players for online scratchcards. I.e. More money to be shared by all players. However, a scratch card with lower RTP could have better odds of winning an individual prize - i.e. there’s less money in the pool to win (a lower jackpot), however, the chance of winning an individual prize is higher.

2) What are the Odds Of Winning?

There are two odds of winning for each scratch card:

  • Odds of winning the jackpot: E.g. 1 in 6,463,716 to win £2,000,000
  • Odds of winning any prize: E.g. 1 in 3.6 to win any prize

Confusingly, every scratchcard is different in the balance between winning the jackpot or winning any prize - some are tailored towards winning any prize (these usually boast about 1 in 3 win a prize or similar) and others are tailored towards winning the jackpot.

3) What are the Typical Ranges of RTP and why is RTP often better online?

For National lottery scratchcards - RTP values tend to range between 60-75%.

However for online scratchcards at companies like Betfred, you will see options like King Kong cash scratch with RTP at 86.5%.

It is worth remembering that the National lottery has many additional costs; printing, transportation, retail commissions - not to forget the important contribution to good causes.

4) Are The Top Prizes Remaining?

This is only applicable to National Lottery scratch cards. The scratch cards are printed out and there is a limited number of top prizes. The National Lottery publish remaining top prizes - if this is zero, then don’t play! You can’t win the top prize, which also means you are getting less value for money. Your money would be better spent on an alternative scratchcard.

5) Does it Donate to Good Causes?

An important point to note is that when you buy a scratchcard from the National Lottery (either in a shop or online) a percentage of your money goes to support good causes across the UK. If you purchase your scratch card from Lottoland, Betfred or similar this isn’t the case.

6) Are There Any Offers Available?

The National Lottery don’t ever have offers, however, online bookmakers and bet-on-jackpot providers do. Naturally, if you’re getting free scratchcards or a deposit bonus then this is making your scratchcards better value for money. See our scratchcards page for all offers.


In summary, you need to ask yourself these questions as you can normally find the answers to them:

  1. Do you want to make a contribution to good causes? If so, the National Lottery is the right choice for you.
  2. Are you happy with the RTP? Check the information and compare your options.
  3. Are you happy with the Jackpot/Biggest prize on offer? There's always a jackpot/stake to suit your needs.

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