90-ball bingo is the British variant of this five-century-old game. Introduced in the country during the 1960s, it is now recognized as the original or classic version. Since then, bingo has become most popular in the UK.
Even with the creation of other versions, such as its American counterpart, the 75-ball, and newer ones like the 80-ball and 40-ball games, British bingo remains a crowd favorite in the UK and former colonies.
Let's learn more about how to play 90 ball bingo, the best bingo sites with the 90-ball variant, and some top tips!
How To Play 90-Ball Bingo
Bingo is straightforward and mostly a game of chance though you may want to understand the probabilities involved in bingo games. However, to make the most of the experience and potentially win, you should be aware of all the elements and the rules of the game. This section will help you understand how does 90-ball bingo works.
A random number comes out of a machine, and a caller announces each one. Players will then have to go through their cards and use a dauber to mark every number. The first player who can cover any winning pattern, including four corners, a line, two lines, or a full house, can shout bingo and win the game.
90-ball bingo, like other types of bingo, is very easy, which is also one of the reasons it's popular. It follows the general mechanics of bingo.
Number of Balls
British bingo utilizes 90 balls, hence the name 90-ball bingo. Each ball has a corresponding number from 1 to 90.
Some bingo halls in the UK still use the traditional machines with blowers or spinners, which help randomize the balls as they come out. However, with the development of high technology, electronic number generators now make the process faster and automatic.
Cards, Tickets & Strips
A ticket or card for 90-ball bingo has a 9x3 grid. Each of the three rows has four blank spots and five digits, giving each card a total of 12 blank spaces and 15 digits to cover. Furthermore, every column also has a designated set of numbers:
- The first column has 1 to 10
- The second column has 11 to 20
- The third column has 21 to 30
- The fourth column has 31 to 40
- The fifth column has 41 to 50
- The sixth column has 51 to 60
- The seventh column has 61 to 70
- The eigth column has 71 to 80
- The ninth column has 81 to 90
90-ball bingo tickets are often sold in strips of six cards, which means each strip has six 9x3 grids. It then contains all 90 numbers scattered on random spaces throughout the cards, which provides players a better chance of winning.
90-Ball Bingo Winning Patterns
There are three winning patterns in 90-ball bingo. Although some games also accept the four-corner pattern, here are the three main ones:
One Line Pattern
One line pattern, more commonly known as "line," covers all five digits in one row. It can be on any row and any ticket. It is common for winners to shout "line!" instead of "bingo!" in the UK.
Two Lines Pattern
On the other hand, a two-line pattern requires marking off any two rows in a single ticket.
Once the one-line winner is declared, the game continues, and the players proceed to daub the same tickets until one of them gets a two-line win.
Full House Pattern
The last winning pattern for 90-ball bingo is the full house or coverall. All 15 numbers in one ticket must be marked off. Bigger prizes and jackpots are often given to full-house winners.
90-Ball Bingo Jackpots
There are three types of jackpots in 90-ball bingo:
A fixed jackpot has an already preset amount determined by the organizers. It is set as a standard regardless of the number of players and the ticket prices. This is unlike other types, in which jackpots can fluctuate depending on those factors. In 90-ball bingo, a fixed jackpot is at stake for every full-house win. However, one of its downsides is that if multiple players win the game, they must split the money equally.
On the other hand, a progressive jackpot is a more favorable type of prize money as it can increase the pot money over time. Large payouts can be made through progressive jackpots. It starts with a seed amount or starting value that depends on the number of players and the prices of tickets. It will increase every day as new players sign up and buy tickets until someone finally wins.
Players must cover the given pattern less than the set ball limit to win escalator jackpots. Fortunately, this ball limit can increase every day if no one claims a win each time. This means the longer it remains unclaimed, the easier it is for players to win. Escalator jackpots make games more exciting and entice players to play regularly. However, this type of jackpot doesn't often happen.
90-Ball Bingo Sites (UK)
Online bingo websites are a great option for players who want to play but don't want to travel to a physical hall or club. 90-ball bingo in online sites is played similarly to offline games, making them easy to understand even for older players.
Here is a list of legitimate 90-ball bingo online sites. If you're considering playing British bingo online, it is best to read through all these and do further research, so you know which website is the best one for you.
Bet365 is one of the largest bingo websites that offer 90-ball bingo games. They have already gained popularity and a positive reputation from their millions of players worldwide. Their website also operates through Playtech's bingo platform, which ensures a wide variety of games and jackpots.
Players can enjoy more than 20 bingo rooms not only for 90-ball bingo but also other versions like 75-ball and 80-ball. Online slot games are also available. Bet365 offers various promotions every month for players to use, including cashback promos and new player rewards. First-timers who are just trying to test the waters can try out their Free Bingo games and play risk-free.
Paddy Power Bingo
Paddy Power is another reputable bingo website recognized for its reliability. It also uses the Playtech bingo platform, which delivers several bingo games, including 90-ball bingo. In total, it offers six bingo variants and 18 bingo rooms.
They are best known for their great deals and sign-up promotions. New players can enjoy 25 free spins, a £15 bonus for slots, and a £10 bonus for bingo, by depositing as low as £5. This offer is significantly less than other websites, often starting at £10.
MrQ has a total of five bingo rooms, and three of those are 90-ball bingo - Popcorn, Piece of Cake, and Everyone's A Winner. These games are run by software developed by the owner, Lindar Media Limited, which also designed a user-friendly website.
MrQ takes pride in the unique experience they provide to their customers. They also offer no wagering fees and free bingo rooms for players to enjoy. They have bingo promotions that grant 20 free spins upon the player's £10 deposit.
Another popular bingo website in the UK is Tombola. Operating since 2005, this bingo-exclusive betting website has built its reputation from the ground up with its own software. They offer 90-ball bingo games and 14 other variants across 21 bingo rooms. Their tickets cost as low as 1p, which means anyone can play regardless of their budget.
Tombola's welcome offer is not the most affordable; however, it still attracts new players because of the large benefits. New members can deposit £10 and take advantage of the £25 bonus with no wagering requirements. Similarly, those who deposit £25 can enjoy up to a £50 bonus. Tombola offers fixed jackpots at £20,000 as well as progressive jackpots. They also have a daily free game for their members with a weekly jackpot of £40,000.
The Sun Bingo
The Sun Bingo is another bingo site operated by Playtech's bingo software. This provides players access to several bingo games, including six bingo versions, including British bingo, across 20 bingo rooms. Aside from bingo, they also offer slots and live dealer games.
Once a new member signs up on The Sun Bingo's website, they can play for free in the Learner Room for a week. This will give them the chance to win up to £1,500 prizes. There's also the Cabaret Room with 90 daily free games. They can also take advantage of the welcome offer where their £10 deposit can grant them a whopping £50 bonus and 50 free spins.
If you have found a bingo website not on this list, you must first verify its legitimacy. It ensures that you are about to bet your money on a reliable and secured online bingo site. Keep away from suspicious websites to avoid hackers and scams.
British 90-Ball Bingo vs American 75-Ball Bingo
Both British and American bingo follow the general rules and mechanics of classic bingo games. A caller announces a number, players mark off their cards, and the first who completes the winning pattern wins the prize. However, there are major elements where the two significantly differ.
Number of balls
This one is pretty obvious. British bingo plays with balls 1 to 90, while the American version plays with only 1 to 75.
90-ball bingo's card is a 9x3 grid with 27 spaces - 15 numbers and 12 blank spaces. Each of the nine columns has designated number sets: 1 to 10 for the first column, 11 to 20 for the second column, 21 to 30 for the third, and so on, with 80 to 90 for the ninth column.
For 75-ball, the card has a 5x5 grid with 24 numbers and a free space in the middle, which is already considered marked. On top of the card are the letters B, I, N, G, and O, which correspond to each column and a specific number set. Column B has numbers between 1 and 15, I has 16 to 30, and so on until the O column, which has 61 to 75.
When it comes to winning patterns, British and American bingo have similarities. Both versions accept line wins and full house or coverall. However, line wins with 90-ball are only horizontal, whereas 75-ball, diagonal and vertical lines are also accepted. American bingo also has other winning patterns: outside frame, inside frame, "X" shape, "L" shape, plus sign, and more.
Aside from the balls and cards, there are other pieces of equipment and tools used by bingo clubs.
- Bingo blower - the machine that contains, randomizes, and dispenses all the balls
- Bingo flashboard - it displays all the digits called, the patterns, and the total number of digits already called
- Dauber - a round marker players can use to mark their cards
- Verification system - a electronic system that automatically scans and verifies the winning card
- Electronic bingo machine - a machine that allows players to play virtually even on site in a bingo hall or casino
British Bingo: FAQ
Answers to common questions about 90-ball bingo.
What is British-style bingo?
90-ball bingo is a popular game version mostly played in the UK. It involves balls 1 to 90 and uses a 9x3 card with 15 digits. To win in British bingo, a player must successfully cover either one row (line), two rows (two-line), or all 15 numbers (full-house).
What's different between American and British bingos?
American bingo has 75 balls, while British bingo has 90 balls. They also use two different cards formats where 75-ball bingo play with a 5x5 card and 90-ball has a 9x3 card. Although both versions accept line wins and coverall, American bingo has more winning patterns.
How many numbers are in UK bingo?
UK bingo plays with 90 balls numbered from 1 to 90. Each ticket has 15 numbers on a 9x3 grid, and each column corresponds to a number set. The first column has 1 to 10, the second has 11 to 20, up until the ninth column with 80 to 90.
How many numbers get called in 90-ball bingo?
In 90-ball bingo, there is no specific number of balls that get called as it differs each game. It depends on how many balls it takes until a player announces a win. However, on average, one game of 90-ball bingo lasts for about 10 minutes.
What is the payout structure for British bingo?
British bingo has multiple payout structures, which may depend on the game and the organizers' policies. Oftentimes, payouts rely on the number of players and the prices of tickets sold. Progressive jackpots grant the largest prize payouts as they increase every game on top of the seed amount.
Where can you play 90-ball bingo for free?
Several online bingo sites, like Bet365 and MrQ, offer free 90-ball bingo games for new players to try. They also often have promos and deals players can take advantage of to start playing bingo with no risks. You just have to ensure that you're playing with a legitimate bingo website.
Is UK bingo easy to win?
UK bingo is straightforward to win. For every game, players get at least three chances to win as it has three winning patterns: one-line, two-line, and coverall or full house. To maximize your chance, it is best to purchase as many cards as possible.
90-ball bingo remains a classic version of the game anyone will surely enjoy. Not only will it keep you entertained, whether you play it online or offline, it will also give you a chance to take home large payouts.