Online Bingo Guide
Unless you are new to planet earth or have been hiding under a rock with your eyes closed and ears covered, you will have at some point come across the game of Bingo. The game has been a massively popular addition to the internet over the past twenty years or so, given its reputation for sociability and the chance to win serious money and bag some pretty jaw-dropping prizes. In this guide, we will talk about the rules and the variations of online bingo.
In order to win at Bingo, you match a series of numbers on a Bingo card with the balls which are drawn by a caller – or in terms of the online version – the ones which appear on screen from the random ball generator. When a winner has been hit by a player, they will yell "Bingo” in the hall (or in their living room/study, if playing online). Patterns are typically mixed, which adds variation to each game and keeps the feeling of randomness fresh.
The Origins of Bingo
Bingo is often associated with old age pensioners. When you think of the game, there is a chance that your grandmother’s smiley face pops into your mind. You may think she is old, but she is incredibly young compared to just how old the game’s origins are. The game we know as Bingo can be traced all the way back to 1530’s Italy, to a lottery by the name of "Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia” (which is still going to do this day.
In the late 1700s, France created their own version ("Le Lotto") with other countries such as the USA, Germany, and Britain adopting the basic principles of the game. In the US in 1929, Bingo hit Atlanta, Georgia, and was named “Beano” as a form of malapropism due to the American who accidentally heard a player yell “Beano” rather than Bingo.
The game exploded, finding its way into churches, nursing homes, and finally online. There are a massive number of online casinos and sites which support Bingo in one form or another or are explicitly designed to cater to the game itself. Billions are spent by players around the world, who are enamoured by the game’s charms. Although the game has exceptionally old roots, it remains massively popular and is even growing in popularity every year.
One of the main reasons why Bingo enjoys such popularity among people of all ages and backgrounds is that put simply, it is exceptionally easy to play. The rules are also very simple, meaning that you will not have to spend hours upon hours mastering every little detail in order to just be able to hang with everyone else. There is no real strategy involved, as the game is essentially based on absolute luck, so if you ever hear someone referring to themselves as a Bingo master or expert, you’ll know that they are full of it.
What’s even better for online bingo players is that things are even easier. There is no need to approach a member of staff to buy a book and a marker pen, and the whole act of crossing numbers off is not required, as this is done automatically for you. Although, if this is something you enjoy doing then there are Bingo games which allow you to cross things off if you wish to.
While you could more than possibly just rock onto an online Bingo site and get down to business without any instruction, learning easily as you go along, nevertheless, there are certain things which never hurt to know. The basics allow you to understand what to expect when you play your first Bingo game, or upon reflection, what actually happened when you were sat there, staring at the screen trying to get a grasp on things.
The first thing you will need to do in order to play Bingo online is to join a site. You can head to a specific site which caters to Bingo and Bingo alone or joins one of the top casinos which has Bingo games. This will require you to do some research on the limitations of what that casino will be offering players, so make sure you understand exactly what to expect beforehand. You will be far from stuck when it comes to choice, as there are thousands of sites online today offering Bingo games to players.
Once you have signed up and deposited, you must then enter a game. Sounds easy enough, but when we consider the number of games available on many sites, this can also take a little bit of time to do. There are numerous types of Bingo, with a wide range of variations and twists, but the chances are these will all be pretty much on the same lines, so do not worry too much.
Online Bingo Hints & Tips
When starting out, it is always a good idea to play low-stakes games to get to grips with the game itself, the feel of things, and give you some kind of confidence in then entering higher stake games. After a little while, you may find that you are happily playing for bigger stakes, which will, in turn, make for bigger prizes. There is typically no change to the game, regardless of the stake, although there may be slight little changes depending on what type of variant you are playing.
When you are happy with the game you have chosen to play, you can then buy your cards/tickets. To win, your numbers will need to be drawn out in order for you to bag a cash prize or other means of reward. The pattern you must hit in order to be considered a winner will be made available to you prior to the start of the game, depending on the exact rules of the game you’ve chosen to play.
You can opt you buy the cards yourself, or to have them chosen for you randomly, which is, once again, even easier. The number of cards you wish to buy – or if you want them selected on an automatic basis – will be entirely up to you. There may be rules which determine caps or limits, however, so check the rules of the game before you play in order to avoid any disappointment.
Your chances of winning do not change if you decide to have your cards picked at random rather than choosing them for yourself. One of the greatest things about Bingo is, of course, the fact that it is so truly easy to play. What you should keep in mind, though, is that the number of cards you have will determine your chances of winning. The more cards you have, the more chance you have of winning. This also increases the amount of money you spend, so think wisely.
Another understated tip is to really look into what kind of platform you require for your Bingo gaming experience. These days, many sites and casinos play to the social factor, encouraging chatrooms for players to speak in and rewarding those who play with some chatroom prizes and the like. If you like the sound of this, then aim for one of the big players.
You may find that – while Bingo is a sociable game – you can’t think of anything worse than a group of babblers interrupting your session with their vacuous chatter. In this case, opt for a Bingo site or casino which has the option to turn off chat, or better yet, allows you to be in complete control of how things are set up. This will stand you in pretty good stead going forward, and make yours an enjoyable experience.
Different types of Bingo
Online bingo comes in different variations. Let's see what are the most popular.
90 Ball Bingo
Perhaps the most popular of them all? There are effectively 90 balls in the drum to be drawn, and Bingo cards in this game have 3 lines and 9 horizontal columns. There are 15 numbers on each card. The first column has numbers 1 to 9, in the second, numbers 10 to 19, so on and so forth. So you can expect:
- Balls – 90
- Columns – 9
- Lines on Each Card – 3
- Balls to Hit – 15
80 Ball Bingo
80 ball bingo is not as prominent as its 90 ball cousin, but it is still popular among a decent number of players. Although it is more difficult to find on many Bingo sites online, there are reasons to consider playing it if you can find it. Primarily, as there are fewer balls, it is a quicker game.
Cards have 4 columns and 4 lines, which combines to 16 numbers in total per card. There are slight differences between 80 and 90 ball Bingo, so make sure you are aware of these prior to committing to play. You can always check the rules with the online casino or Bingo site beforehand.
You can expect:
- Balls – 80
- Columns – 4
- Rows of Each Card – 4
- Balls to Hit – 16
75 Ball Bingo
This type of Bingo is definitely more popular in North America, but it is definitely becoming a favourite of the many UK and European players too. While there are fewer balls, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there is less fun.
75 ball Bingo has 5 columns and 5 rows, so you can easily distinguish it from the preceding two games. Each of the columns is arranged under the name BINGO, so the first set is laid under the B, the 2nd under an I, the 3rd under a G, until you reach the last letter at the end. 75 ball Bingo is popular due to the way it is played. Players are required to complete a pattern which corresponds to a particular letter, a number or, like other more popular Bingo games, simply get a line.
If you are used to playing other types of Bingo, you made it a little odd at first to truly get the hang of this game. This is down to the appearance of the card, and format in which this variation is played. Like anything, once you get the hang of it you will see that there is absolutely nothing to worry about, and you will have got to grips with another game, which is mildly exciting.
What to expect:
- Balls – 75
- Columns – 5
- Rows of Each Card – 5
- Balls to Hit – Rules may vary from game to game
Popular in the USA and Canada.
30 Ball Bingo
If you are familiar with fast type Bingo games, then you have probably encountered 30 ball Bingo at some point. Many refer to 30 ball Bingo as Speed Bingo, Rapid Fire, or any other name with a connotation associated with pace. The reason being is that it is – absolutely and undoubtedly - the quickest Bingo game out there, especially online.
This is also popular with relatively green players, who find it fast, simple, and without any headaches. What’s great about this form of Bingo from the perspective of an online player is that is so convenient to play from your mobile device while on the move and does not require a great deal of attention.
The setup is very simple. A card comes with 3 columns and 3 numbers, with the objective fairly straightforward: land 9 numbers. When it comes to speed and quick-fire fun, 30 ball Bingo is among the fastest games you can play online, and is the king of Bingo for many players around the world.
Because 30 ball bingo is one of the latest types of bingos that were introduced to the market, not all online casinos or gaming platforms offer it. Nevertheless, it’s not a needle in a haystack.
The final goal of the game is to cross out 9 numbers on your card. Feel free to yell “Bingo” all you want. You are the winner after all!
What to Expect:
- Balls – 30
- Columns – 3
onEach Card – 3
- Balls to Hit – 9
What type of Bingo game is more suited to you will depend on a number of varying factors. The most important thing is to try them all, and then see what works for you!