In North America, bingo gained popularity at carnivals and fairs and it is still a staple at these venues. Over time, more people began to gather in bingo halls to play and the game was eventually adopted by casinos where it got even more popular due to the size of some of the progressive jackpots that could be won. Bingo remains wildly popular in Europe as well. There are an estimated 1.9 million regular bingo players in Britain alone and this number increases by about 50% every year during the Christmas season.
One of the things that makes bingo so popular is the fact that the game is based solely on luck. Winning at bingo does not involve any skill beyond being able to pay attention to the numbers being called. The rules and game play are both easy to understand and many bingo players like the friendly social element of the game. Also, the speed of the game can be rather laid back although it can become quite frantic for live-game players who have multiple bingo cards sitting in front of them.
How To Play
The first thing that players need to do is decide on is how many cards they want to play with. Each card features random numbers that typically range between 1 and 75 and are placed on a 5x5 grid with the center square being ‘free’. The caller announces the pattern that players must complete in order to win the game. The pattern could be four corners, a diagonal line, a horizontal line or a vertical line. There are many different possible patterns that even include covering the entire card.
Once the pattern has been announced, the game begins with the caller selecting a randomly numbered ball out of a tumbler. The caller then announces the number and players scan their cards to see if the called number corresponds with any of the numbers on their cards. If so, the player marks off the number and waits for the next one to be called. The cycle is repeated until a player completes the required pattern, announces “Bingo”, and the winning card has been verified.
The prize amount is normally tied directly to the price of each card and the number of participants. With that said, some bingo operators will offer guarantees that are paid out regardless of the number of players. Also, there are a lot of progressive jackpot bingo games that offer massive payouts.
Playing online bingo differs slightly from live games in that the numbers that are called are selected by a random number generator. Random number generators can be described as computer programs that use complicated algorithms to constantly produce different combinations of random numbers. Once the RNG is triggered, the number or combination of numbers that is generated at that very moment is called. Those who worry that the random number generators that are used by online bingo sites can be rigged or otherwise compromised can rest assured that they are thoroughly tested by the most reputable software auditors to ensure that they are fair. If the online bingo site that you are playing at features games that have been created by trusted software developers like Microgaming or Playtech and have been approved by leading software testers such as eCogra then you can be confident that those games are 100% fair.
Another difference is that those who play on an establishment have to manually mark their cards and players who play multiple cards often find themselves scrambling to mark squares before the next number is called. Sometimes, players are so hurried that they miss marking some of the numbers that have been called. Most online bingo games allow players to automatically have their squares marked which allows them to relax and not worry about overlooking a called number. You can literally play most online bingo games with your eyes closed. Bingo fanatics who prefer to use Bitcoin will also be happy to know that there are many Bitcoin casinos that offer bingo.
While attendance at traditional bingo halls has seen a significant decrease over the past several years, there is a growing number of people playing online bingo and one of reasons for this is the increased usage of mobile devices and the free mobile casino apps that most online bingo sites provide. A report that was published by the UK’s Gambling Commission stated that participation in bingo jumped 19% between 2016 and 2017 despite the drop in attendance at brick and mortar establishments. Almost all online casinos and bingo sites offer mobile platforms or downloadable apps that allow players to access their favorite bingo games at any time of day from anywhere a Wi-Fi signal is available.
Variations of Online Bingo
Just as there are several different variations of online poker, there are also several variations of online bingo and each version offers its own unique twist on the game. One thing that all types of bingo games have in common is that they are very easy to play.
75 Ball Online Bingo: This version of the game is described above and is the most popular form of the game in North America. A player’s card is made up of a 5x5 grid with each square containing a random number between 1 and 75. While some versions of this game require players to complete just a single pattern, many versions offer prizes for 1 line, 2 lines, 3 lines, 4 lines and 5 lines.
90 Ball Online Bingo: 90 Ball Bingo is the most popular version of online bingo in the United Kingdom. 90 Ball Bingo cards are comprised of 3 rows and 9 columns with each row containing five random numbers. The random number generator selects a number between 1 and 90 and players mark off the number on their card if it’s a match. The first player to cover one line wins a prize as does the first player to cover two lines and the first player to cover all of the numbers on their ticket.
80 Ball Bingo: This version of the game is a hybrid of 75 ball bingo and 90 ball bingo. It is played on a 4x4 card which has differently-colored rows. The first row contains four random numbers ranging from 1-20 while the second row contains four random ranging from 21-40. The third row has four random numbers between 41 and 60 and the fourth row contains four random numbers between 61 and 80. Winning patterns are similar to those needed in 75 ball bingo.
30 Ball Bingo: Those who like a fast pace will surely enjoy 30 ball bingo which is played using a 3x3 card. Unlike other variations of bingo that call for patterns, this version requires that the entire card be filled in order to be declared the winner.
Coverall Bingo: This game is almost identical to 75 ball bingo but the object in this version of the game is to cover all of the squares. A game of coverall bingo generally takes a lot longer to complete than other variations, but the jackpots tend to be a little larger which is a reason for its growing popularity.
Death Bingo: This variation of bingo isn’t as popular as some of the other versions, but it has its fans. The object of death bingo is essentially the opposite of all of the other variations. In death bingo, a player who gets a bingo is eliminated. The player who fills the most squares on a card without getting a bingo is the winner. Needless to say, a game of death bingo can take a while to finish.
Best Online Bingo Sites
Ladbrokes: Being one of the biggest and most trusted names in the world of online betting, it shouldn’t be a shock to learn that Ladbrokes has a huge selection of bingo games. From daily specials to huge monthly cash prizes, Ladbrokes has more than enough games to suit any budget. They even have a special offer just for bingo players. Those who deposit and spend a minimum of £10 on bingo games will receive a’ £40 Bingo Bonus. Those who participate in the Where’s Bob’s Bonus promotion can also snag themselves a few nifty bingo bonuses. In fact, there are well over a dozen bingo bonuses that Ladbrokes customers can easily take advantage of.
Slots.LV: If you are looking for a huge bonus that will keep you busy playing bingo for a long time to come then you should seriously consider signing up at Slots.LV. Make your first deposit and Slots.LV will match it by 200% up to $1,000. As if that wasn’t enough, Slots.LV will match your next eight deposits up to $500 each which makes this welcome bonus package worth up to $5,000. Slots.LV features more than enough exciting bingo titles to satisfy any bingo buff. Online bingo players will be particularly impressed with Slots.LV’s mobile platform.
Paddy Power: Paddy Power is one of the biggest online betting sites in the United Kingdom and they launched Paddy Power Bingo in 2006. Paddy Power Bingo takes great pride in offering an assortment of bingo games that can be played for a little as a single penny or as much as a pound. New games are always starting and there are loads of daily specials and monthly prizes to go along with bonus offers that are specially designed with Paddy Power Bingo players in mind. Paddy Power also hosts a bingo community where you can chat with others about anything to do with bingo.
32 Red: 32 Red Casino has been in business since 2003 and they have earned a very good reputation by offering so many games, excellent customer service, and excellent bonuses such as their £5 no deposit bonus which can be turned into £100 with a little luck. There is a fantastic selection of different bingo games and cards can be purchased for as little as £0.05 each. There is even a Friendship Lounge where bingo enthusiasts who like to socialize can gather and chat as they play. One of their most popular bingo rooms is Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway which features themed games that get underway every five minutes. Be sure to get the best out of your bingo dollar by taking advantage of the special bonuses such as the Deposit £20 Get £32 Free Welcome Bonus and the 25% match bonus that applies to every subsequent deposit.
Online Bingo Strategy and Tips
Despite bingo being a game of chance, many experienced players like to observe a few simple self-imposed rules. These savvy bingo players avoid smaller online bingo sites and just play at the larger ones that offer bigger prizes. They also tend to avoid playing at peak times such as on weekends and holidays because this is when the majority of other online bingo players are also playing. It is much easier to win a game of online bingo when you are playing against a smaller field of players.
It is recommended that online bingo players play multiple cards. Doing this increases your odds of winning and with the “auto daub” option widely available at online bingo sites, even novices can handle the maximum allowable number of cards without being overwhelmed. However, it is important to balance the number of cards that you play with and your budget. Speaking of budgets, one of the easiest ways to build your online bingo account balance is by taking advantage of bonuses and promotional offers. There are plenty of online bingo sites that will give players a few extras such as bonus money or free bingo cards when they make a deposit. There are even some sites that have no-deposit bonuses available which means that you can win real money playing online bingo without risking anything.
Perhaps the best pieces of advice would be to make sure that you play within your financial limits and be certain to play at reputable bingo sites. You can save yourself a lot of aggravation by reading some of the objective and unbiased reviews that are out there. What are you waiting for? You can sign up for an account, make a deposit, collect a bonus, and be playing bingo in a matter of minutes. Have fun!