Online Bingo – The Ultimate Guide

Online Bingo has become one of the most popular online activities and is gaining players all the time. The estimated number of players in the UK currently is around four million. The reason for it’s popularity is likely down to its fast-paced nature and social heart.

Online bingo can take different themes and variations so there is something that appeals to everyone. It also helps that no matter the brand, theme of the game or the country in which it is launched and developed, the goal and rules remain consistent.

The standardised nature of all bingo games, whether playing in physical bingo halls or online, essentially revolves around achieving a set pattern of numbers on your card using the numbers produced by the caller.

The first to achieve the pre-determined pattern on their Bingo card is the winner, usually resulting in a cash prize. The simple instructions are what makes playing this game a fun and adrenaline-filled experience and why more and more people are taking it up.

Getting Started with Online Bingo

  • Step 1: Individuals wanting to play bingo purchase a bingo card with randomly assorted numbers arranged in a grid format.
  • Step 2: The player will then cross off any number called that appears on their card, aiming to cross off the pattern indicated by the caller before the game. This pattern varies depending on the region in which you are playing and the variation of the game being used.
  • Step 3: The player who is first to match all required numbers is the winner.

Does The Format Vary Between Online Bingo Games?

The only real variation between online bingo games, besides aesthetics etc., is the number of balls used in the game; the three most popular are 90, 75 and 80 ball bingo.

The actual games do not vary too much, but each provides different win opportunities, with varying odds and different styles of bingo cards, there are also some differences in the winning patterns required to win, with some using corners and other letters.

90 ball bingo is the most commonly known type of Bingo and is synonymous with Bingo Halls. These games tend to have the traditional calls of either ‘Full House’ or ‘Line’ bingo.

75 ball bingo is one which is only really played in North America. The game has the concept as 90 ball bingo but with fewer numbers and different ‘calls’ to a traditional line or house. 80 ball bingo is known as keno and is a US version of the game using number 1- 80.

What are the Different Types of Online Bingo Games?

  • Just For Fun – Some online bin go games don’t cost anything and are just for fun with no prizes.
  • Entry Fee – Other games can cost up to £10 to play but can result in huge cash prize winnings.
  • Guaranteed Prize Pots – The first player to achieve a line or a house (variable on the game) gets a fixed cash prize.
  • Progressive Jackpots – A progressive jackpot is where the winner gets a variable cash amount based on a percentage of player buy-ins. In linked games the cash prize can reach huge amounts.
  • Themes – You can pretty much find an online bingo game in any theme you want these days; film or TV series or quiz shows such as The Weakest Link.
  • Side Games – Some online bingo themes have other games including slots or casino games which you can play in-between bingo rounds.

Are There Any Safety Concerns Around Online Bingo?

Some people may have concerns around the safety of playing bingo and other gambling games online. However, as long as you are sure to use a licenced online bingo site then you have nothing to worry about.

All the best bingo halls employ strict security measures when launching an online bingo site. These include the highest quality security features such as encrypting all financial transactions to ensure all cash transactions (cash deposits and withdrawals) are done safely.

In addition to financial security, moderators are typically in place in almost all bingo halls to prevent trolling and the like.

Is Online Bingo Legal and Regulated?

Online bingo was an early adopted of online gambling and thus received plenty of attention from a legal perspective.

It is a heavily regulated industry in the UK so there is no doubt that online bingo operators are working within their legal rights. Check out our post on online bingo and Brexit to see what possible changes could happen.

The huge popularity and age of online bingo means it absolutely has to be legal and heavily regulated. Other online games that are newer and somewhat in their infancy may be less regulated.

Can I Talk To Other Players During Online Bingo?

Online bingo Chat Rooms are taking off in a major way. The interactive nature of online bingo is attracting more and more people to the game and most online bingo games are now featuring a Chat Room, or chat function.

Younger people are now joining the game as the enjoy the social element of the chat as they can talk to new people from all over the world.

This is a major contrast to the expected behaviour in traditional bingo halls where playing in silence and in silos is the norm.

What Do Chatroom Moderators Do?

The behaviour of Chatroom Moderators vary from game to game; in some games they simply sit in the background monitoring the behaviour and on others they will try and generate interaction between players and keep things lively.

In other games, they will also do the calling or lead the game so can really wear many hats.

Does Bingo Software Make A Difference?

In short, yes. The bingo software on which your chosen online bingo game is built determines how and where you are able to play your game, as well as what functionality you require such as Chat Rooms. There are key advantages with each software provider and it all depends on what you want out of your gaming experience.

For example, some software will require a download while others simply load in the browser, the latter is obviously the preferred option of most players as it requires minimal effort simply click and play.

On the other hand, if you are more of a ‘play on the go’ type user then you will want a software that is mobile compatible for your Ipad or mobile device.

In addition, the functionality varies with each software platform. It’s important to determine what features enhance your gambling experience as some will have Chat Rooms for those that like to talk with other gamers, others will have different deposit and withdrawal methods.

A lot of players prefer to use Apple Pay or PayPal so they don’t have to have their card to hand every time they want to deposit, so in this instance ensuring these payment methods are available on the chosen software would be a key piece of homework to do in advance.

Do You Need A Strategy for Online Bingo?

There are no clear out and out strategies for bingo, be that online or on premise. There are three ‘strategies’ that will help enhance your experience; thus making everyone a winner!

The first two are strategies discussed here are more to do with managing yourself, the third could be viewed as a strategy to enhance our winnings although, obviously where luck is involved there are no guarantees.

The first ‘strategy’ is known as ‘bankroll management’, this is essentially a term used to refer to the player knowing their limits and keep an eye on how much you are spending. Whilst on first thought you may think this is common sense it’s easy to get carried away and ‘chase’ your money.

If this is something you think you would find particularly useful you may want to consider looking for a timed game or at least a theme with a timer or a clock on the screen.

The second strategy is focus. Where bingo halls require complete silence and concentration, obviously when playing online bingo in the comfort of your own home you can do what you want. However, it is still recommended to apply the same attention to detail in order to capitalise on big jackpot opportunities, special customer bonuses and reward schemes.

The final, and perhaps the most strategic of the three options is playing the numbers. This is where you focus on the odds, i.e. the size of the jackpot versus the number of players determines whether you bet big.

In a game with ten players and a half a million pound cash prize you may consider spending more than if you were playing across a network of thousands of people with a similar, or even smaller cash prize.

Online Bingo Games

The advantage of bingo being one of the first to launch online means the variety available to players is vast. Whether you’re into classic musicals such as Dirty Dancing, Grease or Mamma Mia, or game shows such as Deal or No Deal and The Weakest Link, there is a theme out there for everyone.

These themes can take one three formats and there will usually be one overriding format depending on the country.

75 Ball Bingo

One of the two most popular versions of the game is 75 ball bingo. You will typically find this variation across the states and Canada. The key differentiator is that this game is played on a grid of 5 x 5 with the centre space left free.

As implied in the name, a random selection of numbers are called between 1 and 75 until a winning pattern emerges. Where in the UK we typically call a line or full house, in 75 ball bingo the typical patterns called are vertical, diagonal, diamond, horizontal or coverall (house). Patterns forming certain letters can also be classed as winning, typically E and F.

The attraction with this variation is the speed at which it is played and the patterns that are constantly changing, keeping players on their toes.

80 Ball Bingo

Native to the online game is 80 ball bingo, developed specifically for online bingo. Whereas 75 and 90 ball bingo are adaptations of games played in a traditional setting. The key difference between all three is the design and layout of the bingo card.

A 4 x 4 grid is used in the ball game, and is also known as the shutter card. Each column has a unique colour, red yellow, blue and silver. Winning patterns are similar to those discussed in 75 ball bingo, however the unique design also presents other winning patterns such as corners.

The 80 ball bingo experience presents better odds than 75 ball bingo due to the increased amount of numbers available, smaller card to fill and unique patterns now included in the winning formula.

90 Ball Bingo

The European and Australian online bingo market has widely adopted 90 ball bingo as it’s preferred variation of the game, offering three different ways to win in each game.

This version uses the 5 x 5 card as per 75 ball bingo. Strips are usually sold in batches of six containing a random number in each square between 1 and 90. The numbers are only repeated once each. Players stamp, or cross off, their number as it is called if it appears on their card.

The attraction to 90 ball bingo players is that it’s cheap to play; as there are so many cards and so many numbers, they tend to be sold for pennies. In each game, there are three separate winning patters, each comes into play when the one before it has been achieved.

The patters are a single line, two lines and a full house. So two lines can only be called after a single line etc. A set amount is awarded for each instance of a win and increases with each occurrence. The full house receives the biggest amount.

Social Bingo

Bingo is a social game at it’s heart and playing online is no different. In traditional Bingo, players would meet and few a drink and a chat, getting to know new players and play against each other in the game; Online Bingo can be just as social.

The world’s leading online bingo software platforms have incorporated Chat Rooms within online bingo sites to replicate the community aspect found in traditional bingo halls.

Each site has a minimum of four chat rooms, each with their own culture and chat master/ moderator. The chat master will provide chances to win prizes outside of the games with theme based trivia and pop quiz’s.

As well as bringing the social interaction back to bingo, chat rooms also provide a forum to pass the time between games or when waiting for numbers to be called.

James has almost a decade of experience in the iGaming Industry. Winning several awards including "UK Casino Affiliate of the Year" he uses his experience to research the UK market to source the best bingo welcome bonuses, highest casino slots real money payouts and free spins sign up offers.