Bingo is an engaging game with a slow-burning excitement that builds up throughout the session. For casino patrons and average folks, the concept of online bingo seems complicated and intimidating to try.
In this article, we show you how to play online bingo to help you find an alternative to slots and table games.
Online Bingo Basics
There is only one thing you need to know on how to play bingo online, and that's how to fill out the numbers on your ticket or card. During each bingo game, a host will call out a number every five minutes and you need to market them if they appear in your tickets. Your goal in bingo is to be the first player to fill out the numbers and form a pattern, line, or cover the entire ticket and shout bingo.
Those who play the National Lottery or Keno are likely familiar with this game mechanic since all three games rely on numbers. What makes bingo fundamentally different from the two games is its competitive and active nature.
In lotteries and keno, the game is mostly passive where you just need the right combination of numbers in any order to win the jackpot or other cash prizes. On the flip side, you need to be actively listening in online bingo.
Even if you have a ticket that has all the called numbers, you can still lose if you miss a number and someone else shouts bingo before you.
Fortunately, certain online bingo rooms have convenient features that make sure you do not miss any number.
Types of Online Bingo Games
There are several ways you can play real money online bingo. Below are the ones to expect from popular online bingo sites.
90-Ball Bingo is also known as UK Bingo since it is a popular variant within the region. Cards or tickets for this game consists of a 9x3 grid of numbers. Each column has 10 possible numbers:
- 1st column: 01 to 09
- 2nd column: 10 to 19
- 3rd column: 20 to 29
- 4th column: 30 to 39
- 5th column: 40 to 49
- 6th column: 50 to 59
- 7th column: 60 to 69
- 8th column: 70 to 79
- 9th column: 80 to 90
Three rows of your ticket usually have five numbers and are scattered across the nine columns. Overall, you have 15 numbers for each ticket.
In regards to how to play online bingo with a 90-ball ticket, you win when you match all numbers in a row to form a line. Unlike other bingo variants, the game continues until you or other players formed a line within the remaining rows. Yes, a player can win more than one of the payouts or prizes when they form two or three lines on their ticket.
To help an average player know how to play online bingo that uses 80 balls, they just need to know about 90-ball and 75-ball bingo. 80-ball bingo's tickets consist of a 4x4 grid that has sixteen numbers to fill. Each of the four columns is color-coded and have their own set of numbers:
- 1st column: Red 1 to 20
- 2nd column: Yellow 21 to 40
- 3rd column: Blue 41 to 60
- 4th column: White 61 to 80
Much like 75-ball bingo, all numbers called in 80-ball bingo will include their respective colors such as red 16, or blue 51. With the colors, players can easily find the numbers on their cards to mark them themselves.
Winning this variant depends on the online bingo rules of the site. There are sessions that have only one winner when they form a specific pattern on their ticket. Other 80-ball bingo follows 90-ball bingo's format where players can win more than one prize or payout by forming one to four lines on their ticket.
US players are likely to be familiar with 75-ball bingo since this is the most played version within the country. This version uses a ticket with a 5x5 grid with a free space in the middle. Each of the five columns has a corresponding letter and number:
- 1st column: B 1 to 15
- 2nd column: I 16 to 30
- 3rd column: N 31 to 45
- 4th column: G 46 to 60
- 5th column: O 61 to 75
When a number is called, the host or caller includes letters such as I 22 and O 68. Associating the letters with the column's number makes it easy for players to scan their tickets.
There is always one winner in 75-ball bingo. On the other hand, each session has numerous ways to determine who gets the prize or payout. A session may involve forming a pattern by matching specific squares on your ticket or creating several lines.
One of the straightforward online bingo for money is the 30-ball variant. Tickets for this bingo game have a 3x3 grid without any letters or colors associated with them. Three columns will contain the following numbers:
- 1st column: 1-10
- 2nd column: 11-20
- 3rd column: 21-30
To win a 30-ball bingo, you just need to be the first one to get a coverall. Coverall is a bingo term for having every number on your ticket marked and called. While this goal may seem daunting for any bingo variant that has 75 balls or more, getting a coverall in 30-ball bingo is quite easy since there are fewer numbers to fill on your ticket.
30-ball bingo is also a hit among UK residences due to how fast a game session can take. One game can end in a matter of minutes and should not take more than an hour.
In addition, the prizes for 30-ball bingo can be as high as your average 90-ball and 75-ball bingo, allowing for a faster and rewarding session.
While Slingo is a curveball on how to play online bingo, we still added this due to its interesting game mechanic that combines bingo and slots. In a typical Slingo game, you have a bingo ticket and a slot reel where the numbers are called.
In each session, you get a set number of spins for the slot section. Slingo games with small reels tend to give you 10 spins while those with larger reels will give you only 5 spins. You mark the numbers on the ticket side of the game when the corresponding number appears on the slot reels. You can buy additional spins to get more numbers, but the costs increase when you are close to getting every square marked on your ticket.
Much like slots, there are wild symbols within the reels that let you cross out a number within a specific column. Other special symbols include a super wild symbol that lets you pick any number as well as a scatter symbol that rewards you with cash payouts when you match three or more of them.
Guide for Choosing a Trusted Online Bingo Site
While it is fun to know how to play online bingo, it pays to know which website is the safest to visit. Numerous rogue online bingo sites are looking to steal your personal information and money. To help you find a legitimate online bingo for money, below are several key factors to consider.
Every gambling site, including ones that offer online bingo, requires a license from their respective jurisdiction before they can operate. Licensing offices check on various aspects of the website to ensure its patrons have proper protection. These aspects include:
- Operators financial condition
- Use of licensed bingo software
- Bingo software tested by game auditors
- Have a problem gambling measure in place
- Have a competent customer support department
Legitimate online bingo sites have their license displayed on the home page of their website at the bottom. Clicking on the license will take you to their respective regulation office website to show you additional information on the operator.
It is important to point out that each jurisdiction has a varying degree of rules for online bingo sites. Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) offices tend to be strict when it comes to transparent and fair games. On the other hand, Curacao eGaming offices are only concerned with the operator's financial condition and AML measures. You are likely to get a fair online bingo session with MGA and UKGC licensed websites.
When it comes to playing online bingo for money, you want to pick one with a wide range of payment options. You will want to see credit card and e-payment services among the various deposit and withdrawal options in an online bingo site because of security.
One of these security measures is fraud protection among credit cards such as Visa's zero liability policy. If the online bingo site happens to be a front for a phishing scam and you gave them your credit card information, the card company can take back your cash and secure your account. E-payment services such as PayPal also offer the same security to their users.
This is not to say that you should only use credit cards or e-wallet for online bingo sites. These two payment options are simply a sign of a legitimate website. As long as the site offers a secured payment option, you can use other methods such as cryptocurrencies or bank wire transfers with peace of mind.
Any information you send to an online bingo site, such as your home address, contact numbers, and credit card information, should always be hidden from hackers. To make sure your information is secured, look at the URL of the bingo site to find the HTTPS on its address.
Sites that have the HTTPS within their URL have a secure sockets layer (SSL) protocol that encrypts every information you send to the online bingo page. Anyone peering into the network will find it impossible to read your private data due to the encryption.
Established online bingo sites also have additional means to protect your information. One example is Bingo.org where all information within the site is stored as an encrypted hash to make them unreadable to hackers. This bingo site also works with banks and payment companies to work on security protocols that further secure your data.
Every legitimate online bingo site has a customer support team. This is not just a marketing aspect to keep existing customers feel secure within the gambling site. Operators that have a UKGC license are required to have a way for their customers to send in their complaints and concerns.
Rogue sites are less likely to have customer service who answers your questions or addresses any problems you have on their website whereas trusted bingo sites will have these readily available. On rare occasions, they may have a live chat or phone number on their site to trick their victims into thinking they are a legitimate website. You can easily check the authenticity of their support line by contacting it. If the agent can answer your questions, you are likely on a legitimate online bingo site.
Tips When Playing Online Bingo
These tips will help maximize your chances of winning at online bingo:
Nearly every online bingo room has the auto-play or auto mark setting, which will mark the current numbers on all of your cards. This setting is a must for any player to avoid missing out on any number during a game.
Buy the Maximum Card Allowed
To increase your chances of winning an online bingo session, it pays to have all the tickets or cards you can buy. Having numerous cards active in one game can help you catch most of the called numbers to form the required pattern or mark all the squares on your ticket before other players.
Take Note of Player Numbers
Player numbers affect your odds of winning as well as the prize or payout of a game. When there are a few players in a game, you are likely to win a session. On the other hand, higher player numbers would mean higher cash payouts due to the number of tickets sold.
How to Play Online Bingo: FAQ
We've collected and answered the most common questions about online bingo:
How are numbers called during an online bingo session?
Every online bingo session utilizes a pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) to determine which numbers to pick in each game. This algorithm system ensures all results are unpredictable to give all players a fair chance at winning.
What makes 75-ball bingo different from 90-ball bingo?
What makes 75-ball and 90-ball bingo different is the ways you can win in the game. In 75-ball bingo, players need to form a pattern from the numbers called to win. On the other hand, players just need to form a line or complete all numbers in a row. In addition, players can win multiple times or there are multiple winners during a 90-ball bingo game.
Are there live online bingo games?
There are several live dealer bingo games available on different gambling sites. Evolution Gaming's Mega Ball is one example of a live online bingo game where actual hosts call out the number through a live stream video.
What kind of security should an online bingo site have?
Online bingo sites must have an SSL protocol to encrypt any information you send to them. You can see if they have this protective measure when their URL has HTTPS on the address bar.
Is cryptocurrency safe to use in online bingo sites?
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin offer a layer of privacy if you do not want to provide your credit card or personal information.
Why should I check if an online bingo site has a gaming license?
Every legitimate online bingo site is required to have a license from its respective jurisdiction. Licenses help you stay clear from rogue websites that are only looking to steal your personal information and money.
Is playing online bingo worth it?
Online bingo provides a chance for large payouts in exchange for a small stake. In addition, you get to socialize with other players in each game through the chat window.
It is easy to know how to play bingo online when you are familiar with the many variants available. Make sure to look for the numerous aspects of a legitimate online bingo site, helping you stay away from phishing sites.