The basic principle of online bingo is very similar to the games played in a land based bingo hall, except that instead of a person picking numbers out of a bingo machine and calling them, a computer does it. The other main difference is that you don’t need to mark off your cards yourself (although some sites will let you if you want) and the system will ‘auto dab’ your tickets and claim any wins.
Obviously this removes the skill element from bingo – which is great if you occasionally miss numbers. On the flip side it removes any edge you might have gained by being an expert bingo dauber.
How To Play Online Bingo
To play online bingo you first need to pick a bingo site, register and then make a real money deposit. If you want to try the games out without risking any of your own money, then you can do so by signing up at a site with a no deposit bonus.
Next, you need to pick your game. Online bingo sites have a variety of different rooms and each room will be running different games. So for example, one room may be running a 10p 75 ball bingo game whilst another may be running a 2p 80 ball bingo game. Choosing a room is simply a case of deciding what game (and stakes) you want to play at. Game choices include:
- 90 Ball Bingo – 15 numbers over 3 rows (5 per row). Prizes for 1 line, 2 lines and a full house.
- 80 Ball Bingo – 16 numbers arranged in a square. There are various prize formats played in 80 ball bingo, usually based on lines.
- 75 Ball Bingo – 24 numbers laid out in a square with a star in the middle (free square). Prizes are awarded for completing lines or making set patterns on your ticket, depending on the game.
Each of the above games use a different number of balls and comes with a different style of bingo card. Most rooms will offer only one type of bingo, but there are a couple of rooms which run ‘mixed games’ that alternate between the variations.
Once you’ve selected a room, you need to buy tickets. How many is up to you – you can buy as many or as little as you like, so long as it’s within the limits of the room. Most rooms have a minimum of just 1 ticket although the maximum varies depending on the game (between 12 and 48 usually).
With your tickets bought all that is left is to sit back and wait for the game to start. Most bingo rooms also have chat windows where you can converse with the other players before and during the game, and play games with the chat moderator to win bingo bonuses.
Once the game has started, the bingo balls will be selected using something called a random number generator (RNG). This is the digital equivalent of picking a number out of a hat or, more appropriately, a bingo ball from a bingo machine.
If you bingo ticket contains that number, it will automatically be marked off for you and the bingo software will tell you how many numbers you have left before you win a prize (eg: 3 to go – which is written as 3TG).
The bingo software will continue to generate numbers until one of the players wins the current prize. So for 90 ball bingo this would be completing one full line. The winner will be announced to the rest of the players and the bingo winnings will be added to their bingo account (usually accompanied by lots of WTG’s from the chat room – which means ‘way to go’).
More numbers will then be drawn until the next prize is won, and so on until the main prize is won – usually by completing a whole bingo ticket. If two or more bingo players win a prize at the same time (ie: they use the same number to complete their line etc..) then the prize is shared between the players.
Some games also have special jackpots that pay out if you manage to complete you bingo card in under a certain number of balls – these jackpots are in addition to the regular prize for the game and can reach some pretty big numbers. It isn’t unusual to see a progressive jackpot for £25,000 or higher. Needless to say, these jackpots are going to be hard to win.
So that’s it. You can then leave and go and take the dog for a walk or buy some bingo tickets for the next game.
If you’re looking for a place to play bingo, we highly recommend Gala Bingo – which is run by the same people as the high street bingo chain with the same name. Or, have a browse of our bingo bonuses and see what takes your fancy.