Bingo is one of those games that virtually everyone knows about and has played - and if you haven't, you've been living under a rock. Especially in the UK, this game is a hugely popular pastime that started with hordes of people cramming into town halls on a weekend, all for a little bit of high spirited fun and games. In the online gaming world, bingo is seen as a more gentle game option, but everything can still get a little heated when it comes down to those last few numbers and all-important lines.
If you’re still in the dark, each player gets a card with numbers on it. Numbered balls are then drawn from a bowl, the number is announced and everyone checks to see if they have that number on their card. If it is, the number gets crossed off, and the next ball is called. The aim is to be the first player to cross off all of their numbers and shout out “bingo”. Depending on the rules, this doesn’t have to be all the numbers, but could instead be a single line or pattern.
Although many people enjoy the ambience of the physical bingo hall, online bingo is seeing a surge in popularity. This is because it makes things a lot easier when it comes to checking the numbers – plus it’s just that much more accessible. Unlike in a bingo hall, online bingo games simply fill in matching numbers automatically, so players don’t need to be paying attention. Even better, if players have a specific bingo game they are participating in and have already bought their bingo ticket, they don’t even need to be logged in!
It should be noted that if players still wish to cross off their numbers manually, there are numerous sites that allow this option too. However, it’s not just the automatic number checking in online bingo that makes things easier than real-life bingo. All the setups are easier, too, such as navigating the site, buying a ticket and settling in for the game. Of course, there are the issues of finding the right site to play at in the first place, which game to choose and then to input all your details.
Finding the perfect site
As there are hundreds of online bingo sites, it can be a little daunting knowing which one to pick. There are a few things to do that can help you whittle down the choice. Firstly, get to know both the software and the network that the bingo game runs on. With bigger rooms, there is more variance in the bingo play – more players, fewer big wins. Secondly, it’s a good idea to check out what bonus offers there are before signing up since bonuses can help propel you to a winning start.
Choosing the right bingo game
Once you’ve picked the right site, it’s time to decide on the actual game you’re going to play. Bingo sites have lobbies where you can see all the different games available. You may think that all bingo games are the same, but you’d be wrong. There are two main types – the 75 ball and 90 ball, although there are a number of other kinds as well. Choosing which number of balls you’d like to play is a good start. Then it’s a case of whittling down the games within the rooms on the bingo site.
In the bingo lobby, you can check out the ticket price, when the next game begins, how many players are already in the game and more. It’s always a good idea to see what the jackpot is and sometimes who the chat host is – chatting is very important in bingo, but we’ll get to that later. Whilst the jackpot is unaffected by how many players are in a game on occasion, there are additional prizes, so make sure you check for those too. After all, you do want the best shot at winning.
Buying a ticket
Once you’ve chosen the room, it’s time to buy your ticket. The minimum ticket number is one, and often there is a maximum, but you can buy any number in between. Sometimes, playing with only a few tickets can make the game rather slow and boring. However, if you do buy a lot of tickets for a single game, you run the risk of blowing through all your money very fast. Multi-stake bingo is, therefore, the best option for players with limited budgets and smaller numbers of tickets in their hand.
Players with larger budgets can buy more tickets in any of the games they sit in. Once you’ve decided how many tickets to purchase, it’s usually a simple process of clicking on the tickets and changing the number to how many you’d like to buy. Often you can buy bingo tickets in strips or sets, which can make things a lot easier. Sets of six tickets, for example, will tend to include all of the bingo numbers at least once on one of the tickets.
Now we get to the chatty bit. As mentioned, bingo was a very social event even before it went online. This hasn’t changed in the online world; it’s possibly even more sociable there. Online players come from a diverse range of backgrounds and chatting enables them to meet new people, especially with the auto-daub function checking off the numbers for each player. This means there’s ample time to have a chat and not miss out on important moments in the game.
On some bingo sites, the network runs across sites so you won’t just meet players from the site you’ve signed up to, but from linked sites as well. This gives it a true community feel. As you get to know people, this might influence the game and time of day that you play – it will provide you with a time to meet up with people and, essentially, hang out. Often it can be somewhat intimidating to join – everyone uses shorthand and bingo slang – but you’ll soon get into it!
Play the game
The best part about online bingo is that once the game starts, there is little or nothing for you to do. The programme will automatically figure out which is the best card once all of the numbers have been called. Any payouts will be automatically credited to your bingo account as soon as the game has been fully completed. At this point, you can choose to withdraw any winnings or leave them in your pot to use for buying more tickets to start the entire process again.
Depending on whether you made use of a bonus to buy your tickets, some of your winnings might be subject to wagering requirements. This means that you will have to play through any bonus winnings a specified number of times before those winnings can actually be withdrawn. Happily, on bingo sites, the wagering requirements are not as huge as on other casino sites and are generally quite achievable. However, you will need to pay attention to these requirements or conditions so as not to violate any rules and lose all your winnings.
Bingo is an easy and peaceful way to have some fun online. Like its bingo hall counterpart, online bingo retains the sense of community that made the game so popular in the past. Once the complex process of finding a place to play at is over, nothing could be easier when it comes to taking part. You’re best off simply locating a nice room, getting on the chat, making some friends and seeing where those balls end up taking you. You can give it a go right now.