There can’t be many things in life more quintessentially British than the bingo hall. Thousands of devotees turning up each week with their dabbers and bags of sweets in the hope of landing a full house and their pick of the prize board. Unfortunately, ‘real world’ bingo appears to be something of a dying art, with bingo halls the length and breadth of the UK sadly having to close down as economic conditions worsen. The good news for bingo aficionados is that the game is continuing to thrive online, with thousands of dabbers heading to the world wide web for their fix each and every day. More and more online casinos are offering bingo as part of their games library as well, and even specialist online bingo houses are appearing to help meet the ongoing demand. So ‘eyes down and look in’ as we explore what it takes to become an online bingo pro.
Make your bonuses count
When you sign up to an online bingo site, the chances are that the site will offer you a welcome bonus of some kind. This will typically be a percentage of your first deposit, so if the terms are 100% for example and you deposit £10 then you will be given an extra tenner in bonus funds. Great, you might think, free money! Well, it doesn’t quite work like that. In the vast majority of cases, you will have to satisfy what are known as ‘wagering requirements’ before you can get your hands on any winnings arising from your bonus. These dictate that you must ‘play through’ the bonus amount a certain number of times before you can withdraw any winnings. So, if the wagering requirements are 6x and your bonus is £10, you will need to have staked £60 in total before you can get your hands on the cash. So our tip is to not be seduced by the pound signs offered by casinos; instead, opt for a welcome bonus with lower play-through demands.
Play your cards right
When playing online bingo you will have two choices: you can either select your own gamecard or instead have one randomly generated for you. NEVER go for the automated option. Bingo is a game of random chance of course, and there is no knowing which numbers are going to be called. But mathematical probability dictates that the wider variety of numbers you have on your tickets, the more chance you have of winning. If you pick random cards then you could end up with all numbers below 20 or all even/odd numbers. Don’t take the risk: pick your own tickets and give yourself the greatest possible chance of winning.
So you’ve made a deposit into your shiny new online bingo account and taken a handsome bonus to boot….now what? The temptation is to sink your bounty into one of the big ticket games, where entry fees are higher but then so is the prize fund up for grabs. But remember that bingo is a game of random chance, and so your chances of making profit by playing 50 times, rather than once, are naturally a lot greater.
Know your game
When you’re a bingo beginner, you might think that bingo is a game where you mark off numbers on your card as the caller reads them out; true, to some extent. But there are different variants of bingo to consider. In the UK there are two main forms of the game – 75-Ball and 90-Ball – and while the premise remains the same in each the mechanics are slightly different. The 75-Ball version uses a 5×5 grid with a number of different patters available to secure a winning turn. Meanwhile, 90-Ball uses a 3×9 gameboard and there are only three ways in which you can win: one line, two line and full house. Give both a try but make sure you stick to one or the other when you have established a favourite.
Know thy enemy
There is definitely a perfect point between playing bingo games online that are too busy and those that are not busy enough. Each player that buys a ticket feeds into the jackpot prize, so to that extent it does make sense to join well-populated games. The more players there are, the bigger the prize. But then of course the more players you are competing against, statistically the less chance you have of winning. So finding the sweet spot is key; this will require playing a few games at first, but you will eventually get the hang of it.
Talk is cheap
As is the case with real world bingo halls, there is a fantastic social side to bingo that brings together a community of players to enjoy their favourite game while shooting the breeze about the hot topics of the day. But don’t forget that chatting can limit your attention span; which could in turn lead you to missing a number – who knows, that could be the difference between you landing a full house and not. So enjoy the live chat function outside of your games, but remember if you want to make a career of online bingo then you will need to apply your game face once the action has started.