People have been playing bingo in various forms since the 18th century. Those who enjoyed the pastime back then had no idea that one day we could all buy tickets and play online against players from all over the world. Online bingo is big business these days, and with online casinos and betting sites adding bingo to their roster of games that trend does not look likely to change any time soon. So should you dive right in with both feet? Perhaps not, because even if you consider yourself a bingo veteran who has frequented halls up and down the land, there are a few crucial differences when purchasing tickets online that you should know. For absolute beginners to online bingo—maybe you are a casino enthusiast keen to get into the game—here is a quick guide to the two main types available.
Learning the ropes: 75-ball bingo
As the name suggests, this bingo game is played with 75 balls numbered, you guessed it, 1-75. Players can purchase one ticket or a strip of six, usually known as a card. The more tickets you have, the more chance you have of winning. Each ticket features 25 squares in a 5×5 formation, and while the centre square is typically a free space the other 24 feature numbers listed in columns. Remember, you can choose your tickets to ensure you get a nice range of numbers. To win you must daub off the numbers in the pre-ordained pattern: this could be a straight line, the corners or a ‘coverall’, e.g. a full house. If you are the first player to do so you will win a prize, and if you do so within a specified number of turns you will land the jackpot!
Learning the ropes: 90-ball bingo
This is the most popular form of bingo in the UK, and that is perhaps because of its simplicity. Here there are three stages to the game: one line, two lines and full house, and quite simply you have to be the first to complete each in order to win the relevant prize. Tickets feature three rows and nine columns, with 15 numbers printed on the 27 available squares, and as ever players can select their own tickets prior to purchase. So that’s the very basics of purchasing online bingo tickets covered, now we need to consider how to make the very most of our money. Here are four tips to help you maximise your tickets:
1. In it to win it
Imagine a game of online bingo where you and all of your competitors have purchased one card. That gives you all, theoretically, a level chance of winning. So what would happen if you had purchased two cards, or maybe even three? Of course, your chances of winning increase exponentially compared to your fellow players. The moral of the story is that with each set of tickets you buy, your chances of winning increase. That’s the theory anyway, although bingo remains a game of chance and so luck is very much a part of the puzzle.
2. Money matters
You will notice that the price of bingo tickets varies from game to game…why is that? The idea is that by offering a range of ‘buy in’ amounts, bingo sites can create a number of different games. Remember, the prize pool is dictated by the amount of entry money raised. This is why games with a higher ticket price also tend to deliver the best jackpots too. Likewise, those games where the ticket price is lower will also serve up smaller prizes for daubing off your lines and rows….it’s a balancing act as to what you want to achieve with your bingo.
3. Crowded house
Bingo is all about dabbing away a line or full house of numbers quicker than your opponents. If there are ten of you playing a round of bingo then you have a 1/10 (10%) chance of winning based upon the proviso that all players have the same number of tickets. If you play a game that features 100 players then your chances of winning reduce to 1/100 (1%). So clearly, picking the right balance between an overcrowded room and one where tumbleweed can be seen rolling across the floor is essential. Work out where you sit on the prize money vs number of players spectrum, and then play your bingo accordingly.
4. Be choosy
When you decide how many tickets you want to purchase, you will notice that you can actually choose which strips you buy. Is this a bit of quirky fun? Oh no: this is central to enhancing your chances of winning. Ideally you want a lovely spread of numbers between 1-75 or 1-90 (depending on the bingo variant you are playing) as, theoretically at least, this will give you the best chance of success. Each number has an equal chance of being drawn, but how often do you think the first eight numbers drawn will be 1-8? Very, very rarely, that’s how. So make sure your tickets have a nice even spread.