How to Play and Win at Online Instant Wins

Since they first appeared in the 1950s to 60s, then subsequently came online in the early 1990s, instant wins have been giving us that quick hit of big win potential in a variety of formats. The original instant win game was simply a scratch-to-reveal card that entitled you to rewards at your local petrol/gas station, but the appealing nature of this game led to the development of many others. As a result, the instant win games you have available to you today range from very similar scratch card style games to carnival-style mini-games and even the relatively new mashup of slots and bingo called Slingo. Not only that, thanks to the magic of the internet and the abundance of online casinos, you can enjoy instant win games from wherever you happen to be!

But how do you actually play these instant win games? And more importantly, how do you win? Here we'll take you through the gameplay of three groups of instant wins, covering what these games look like, what the rules are and how you actually win. We'll then look at some potential strategies for enhancing your chances of winning.

How to Play Instant Wins

As mentioned above, since there are a number of different types of instant wins, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to playing them. Each different instant win has its own rules that you must follow in order to play. Having said that, playing these games is usually a pretty straightforward affair, even if you've never done so before. The rules tend to be very simple and are often available to view within the game itself if you're ever in any doubt. Bear in mind that these games are designed to be quick and easy, so you won't find any complicated mechanics to get your head around, which is a relief!

Next, we'll take you through how to play each of the instant win style games of scratch games, carnival-style mini-games and Slingo, all of which are very popular thanks to their simplicity and big win potential in many cases.

How to Play Instant Wins

How to Play Scratch Games

Scratch games are often found in a collection of their own at the top online casinos, but if not, they're usually pretty easy to find simply by searching for the term 'scratch'. As the name suggests, online scratch games are much like the ones found at your local shop in that you scratch off panels to reveal prizes or symbols that you must match to win a prize.

Though scratch games come in various themes, they all follow the same basic set of rules and have a similar layout. When you first open a scratch game, you'll notice that there are three different sections: a scratch panel, a paytable and a bet adjustment section.

A typical scratch game is played as follows:

  1. Choose your bet amount;
  2. 'Scratch off' the panels, either by clicking them individually or by using the auto scratch button;
  3. If any of the symbols revealed are listed in the paytable, you win the corresponding amount, which is then added to your balance immediately.

Scratch games based on existing slot games, such as Irish Eyes and Medusa, can often be found, but many are original creations too.

How to Play Carnival Style Mini-Games

Think of carnival-style mini-games and you may end up with visions of coconut shies, hook-a-ducks, shooting galleries and other popular fairground stall attractions. That's actually a pretty good description of the online casino games in this category! Online carnival-style mini-games are the titles you tend to find scattered throughout an online casino's games collection, or located in the Other Games category as they don't really fit anywhere else. However, don't discard these little beauties as they come in endless varieties and offer surprising win potential in many cases!

How these games are played very much depends on what kind of game it is. For example, in Medieval Money: Dragon's Loot, you catapult rocks at a castle to find gems by lining up the catapult and hitting the Fire button. Finding a set number of gems wins you a prize while finding the dragon unlocks a bonus round.

In Ghostbusters: Spectral Search, on the other hand, you choose two out of six locations at which to search for ghosts, with each location presented as a 3x3 grid from which you can blast five out of the nine squares with your proton pack gun. Capturing the right number of ghosts results in prizes, with a single green ghost Slimer revealing an instant win prize.

The variety that these games come in is just about endless, making them super-interesting to explore!

How to Play Slingo

If you've never heard of Slingo, prepare yourself for something very different! Slingo is a tantalising combination of bingo and slots in which each spin of the single row of reels marks corresponding numbers off the accompanying bingo style card. Just like in bingo, wins come from marking off lines of numbers horizontally, vertically and even diagonally in many cases, and just like in slots, spinning in special symbols unlocks bonus features.

In the classic game of Slingo, you'll see a 5x5 grid of numbers in the centre, a single row of five reels underneath, and a paytable on the left. You start by choosing your bet amount under the paytable before hitting the Start Game button. You'll then have 11 spins to match as many lines as you can for a cash prize. If you land a joker symbol at any point, you can choose any number in the column in which it appears. At the end of your 11 spins you often get the option to buy additional spins at a set price for a shot at potentially winning even more!

There are now many different Slingo games, each with its own theme and slight variation of the rules, but they all revolve around the same basic concept as described above.

How to Win Instant Wins

How to Win Instant Wins

Playing these instant win games is a lot of fun, but how do you actually go about winning? As the name 'instant win' suggests, you can find yourself winning very quickly with these games. However, since there are a number of different types of instant wins, each with its own theme, mechanics and rules, it's impossible to give you a description of how to win that covers them all. Instead, we can take a closer look at each of the instant wins games in turn so you can get a better idea of how wins can be triggered and how they're paid.

How to Win at Scratch Games

Just like with the scratch cards that are available at your local shop or lottery outlet, online scratch games can turn out to be winners in a very short space of time, but how are wins determined and what do you get back if you are lucky enough to win?

Let's use the popular Merlin's Millions scratch game as an example. When you open the game you'll see the scratch panel on the left, the bet amount slider and the play button on the right, and between these two sections, you'll find the paytable. In this game, adjusting your bet amount makes no difference to the values on the paytable as these are given as a multiplier of your bet.

Once you've chosen your bet amount and hit the play button, you can either click each of the scratch panel squares in turn or hit the magic wand button (same as the play button) to automatically reveal all squares. The symbols under those scratch panel squares determine whether you win or not and if so, how much you get. Finding three red crystal staffs results in the minimum payout of 1x your bet amount while revealing three Merlin symbols gives the maximum payout of 1,000x your bet amount!

Different scratch games pay out different amounts but they all operate in roughly the same way.

How to Win at Carnival Style Mini-Games

Carnival-style mini-games come in many varieties, some of which resemble fairground stall games as mentioned above, while others are more like video games. How these games payout depends on the game itself, so let's take a look at Colour Cubes as an example.

In Colour Cubes, you'll see a 7x7 grid of different coloured cubes, along with bombs and stars. After choosing your ticket price, you'll have nine turns to get as many cubes of the same colour as you can. Each time you hit the Go button, a vertical line and a horizontal line intersect and move over the grid, landing on a random cube, with all adjacent cubes of the same colour being removed and adding to your totals. Get a bomb and all adjacent cubes are collected. Get a star symbol and you win an instant prize.

Winning in this game is determined by the number of cubes of one colour that you manage to get, with six red cubes paying out the minimum of 1x your bet, while finding 11 purple cubes results in the maximum win of 10,000x your bet amount!

Many carnival-style mini-games follow a similar format, while others are as simple as picking from a variety of options to win. The best way to learn about these games is to start playing them!

How to Win at Slingo

Winning at Slingo games is simply a case of spinning in the right numbers to make as many horizontal, vertical and sometimes even diagonal lines as you can within the spins you're given. But there's a little more to it than that!

Wins can be helped along by spinning in other symbols too, like the joker symbols, which allow you to mark off any number in the column in which the joker appears, or the free spin symbols, that give you additional free spins at the end of the round.

What you win depends on how many lines you managed to get, with the paytable displaying the payouts as a multiplier of your bet amount. In the classic game of Slingo, one line pays out 0.1x your bet, while 10 lines pay out 100x your bet. Get a full house and you'll win 500x your bet!

Remember too that you can buy extra spins after you've used your 11 spins, giving you a shot at another few line payouts!

Instant Wins Strategies

Is there any way you can boost your chances of winning playing these instant wins? For the most part, no, since player involvement tends to be minimal and has no bearing on the results. Having said that, there are a few tips you can follow that will ensure you get the most out of your money playing these games. Let's check them out.

Scratch Games Strategies

Since there's no strategy to playing scratch games other than choosing your bet and revealing the panels, the best thing you can do here is to keep a close eye on your activity to make sure you're not spending more than you want to.

Carnival Style Mini-Games Strategies

With carnival-style mini-games, while it's true that there's no element of skill, it is smart to check out the rules of how to play properly before you get started. Once again, be sure to keep an eye on your activity.

Slingo Strategies

When it comes to Slingo games, there are a couple of points during the game where you decide what the action will be: jokers and additional spins. With jokers, you get to choose which number from the relevant column you want to mark off. In this case, it's wise to choose a number that is already on its way to making up a line. Regarding additional spins, be careful as the cost of these can rise steeply depending on how many numbers are left on the grid and there's no guarantee that spin will result in a win.

Do You Want to Play Instant Wins

Do You Want to Play Instant Wins?

Instant wins are a lot of fun and with so many varieties out there, the best way to learn is to simply start exploring! Ready? Just open an account at one of our carefully reviewed online casinos, make your first deposit and start playing instant wins!

How do I buy online scratch cards?

Online scratch cards can be obtained in two different ways. Some casinos will let you simply place a bet and play the scratch card - letting you buy them for whatever price you like! Some will let you buy them for a standard price, which will then credit one scratch card to your online account.

Can I play slingo for free and for real money?

Yes, slingo can be played for free in demo mode on many online casinos. Slingo can also be played with real money at all the online casinos we recommend that have it listed. Slingo adds an exciting reel feature to your traditional bingo card, so it's well worth trying out!

How do instant win online games work?

Instant win online games are generated when you play them - so in the case of a scratch card for instance, the result is generated with an RNG to make it fair. Slingo uses a slot reel which spins to give you potential big wins on top of your normal bingo card. Carnival games online also operate with an RNG to provide fair and easy winning to all players.