What is Bingo?
It seems hard to imagine a world without bingo, but the game as we know it today is still a relatively recent invention, only coming into its own in the 20th century. In short, bingo is a game of chance where players buy one or more preprinted cards with a selection of numbered squares. Should these numbers, different every time and never the same as another card in any particular game, be drawn and announced by the bingo caller, the player can then mark these off on their card. Generally speaking, the first player to mark off a complete row or another pattern of numbered squares that delivers a payout or prize wins the game. It’s customary to shout ‘bingo’ should you land a full line.
It might have previously had a reputation as being the reserve of the older generation, but bingo has become a much more cosmopolitan pastime in recent years. In any context, whether online or in a real life bingo hall, community and interaction with fellow players is a major draw. What’s more, there’s very little financial risk involved in bingo unless a player is buying cards to an extremely high level. This makes it an ideal first-step for newbies looking to enjoy a point on a game without sacrificing huge sums of money on an unsure wager. What’s more, there’s plenty of places to try your luck nowadays online.
A Bit of Bingo Background
Bingo is beloved by millions upon millions of people across the globe. Since the internet has redefined the gambling industry, it’s become even more popular with a much wider demographic and is now big business. However, ask any self-proclaimed bingo fan how their much-loved game game to be and you’ll likely draw a blank. Like anything with prestige that’s popular, there’s countless claims on its invention, but the common consensus is that it was likely invented in its earliest form in Italy during the 1500s, most likely as a spin-off from the previously established Italian lottery.
These original forms of the game were exclusive affairs however, bearing very little similarities to the game we know today. Things start to become more familiar by about the 1800s however, with Germany probably being the first nation to start using identifiable aspects of modern-day bingo. Bingo gained steam in the USA during the late 1800s onwards, becoming a favourite fixture of carnivals and travelling shows. It was only in the late 1920s however, that the game was reshaped with many of its modern-day furnishings and iconic features, including adopting its actual name. By the 1940s, the game had been toured across the nation and become a popular pastime for those after an accessible game with low-risk investment and the potential for premium wins.
The game rose to popularity in the UK almost simultaneously with the United States, with some exchange of ideas and influences. However, the quintessential British bingo hall is a distinctly unique experience, while virtual bingo and autonomous play in casinos was the norm in many American states during the latter half of the 20th century. The rise of the internet and advent of online bingo levelled the playing field somewhat, establishing a new environment for players to come together and enjoy a flutter on the bingo balls.
How Does Bingo Work Exactly?
If you’ve been a favourite at the bingo hall for years and are now finally moving over to the online world to get try your luck, there’s no reason to be fazed by the change. Bingo is one of the best represented games online, with many variations to explore and countless themed websites with a real sense of community. Ultimately, there’s very little to get acquainted with when you make your first steps into the world of online bingo, with much of the mechanics working just as it does in the bingo hall.
Once you’ve decided on where you’d like to play, registered for an account and ensured you’ve adequate funds in your account to start playing, it’s time to pick a bingo room to play in. Most reputable operators have a healthy range of bingo rooms or lobbies to choose from, with many 24/7 games available offering small to medium-sized prizes, with the addition of scheduled bingo events that offer much more lucrative prizes and serious jackpot potential. If you’re looking to chase a meaty mega-win, make sure you take some time to see what the schedules are looking like at your preferred bingo operators and pencil in the dates and times in your diary.
The community spirit of the bingo hall is very much alive in the online world. More often than not, you’ll find bingo games complemented by chat windows with all active players able to communicate with each other as the game rolls on. If you’re playing a sequence of games within the same lobby window, this is a great place to meet and greet other regulars and learn some insights from veteran bingo players.
Some bingo operators offer a huge amount of choice when it comes to variations on the classic draw game, but as a general rule, you can expect any half-decent provider to accommodate the classics like 90-ball bingo, 80-ball bingo and of course, 75-ball bingo. As a rule of thumb, the higher the ball count in a game, the cheaper a ticket is. Basic returns will be similar between providers, but individual operators can offer perks and special prizes specific to them.
There’s no bingo caller as you’d expect in a live bingo hall, with the computer doing all the work of the draw. You can choose to mark your numbers as they appear on screen, or have them marked automatically for you as they roll out of the virtual machine. If you’re getting to grips with a new website and interface, you might want to opt for the automatic option. Likewise if you’re starting to chat with fellow players and don’t have time to give the game screen your complete attention. Should you match a full line of numbers or achieve another payline, you can expect a clear acknowledgement of that onscreen with info on your exact prize payout. Winnings are almost always added to your account within moments, although you can of course expect withdrawal of funds to your payment method of choice to take longer.
Online Bingo Game Variations
Bored of bog standard bingo? If you’re starting to feel the whole thing is a little autonomous, but don’t have the heart to ditch the virtual bingo hall completely, consider one of several exciting alternatives. As previously mentioned, at most bingo websites, you can expect to find a good selection of 75, 80 and 90 ball bingo games as a standard. If you’re looking for something even more exotic however, you may have to cast your net a little wider.
Slingo is definitely worth considering if you want a little more action from your bingo playing, however bear in mind it’s a rather loose interpretation of bingo, with more differences than similarities. Essentially, it combines elements of both bingo and online slots. In a typical game of slingo, a player will be awarded 20 turns where they can spin the numbers visible on their virtual bingo card. Each time they spin, a selection of numbers (usually five) appears, with matches being struck off the bingo card as they hit. There’s a high level of randomness at work here, with unexpected symbols appearing as in online slots, giving players free spins and allowances, or serving them with detrimental actions that can slash progress and payout potential.
Differences from Bingo?
Grab the average punter, lets play keno online followed by a game of bingo and they’d still then have a tough time explaining to you how the two games truly differ. It’s no surprise. On the surface, these two draw games seem very similar, but those similarities are ultimately superficial. At their core, these two classic games are two very different entities. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the main areas that these two gambling games differ.
When it comes to picking numbers and deciding on your wagers, the two games are drastically different. In bingo, players don’t have the option to pick individual numbers to play with. Instead, they purchase bingo cards that come pre-printed, either physically in a live bingo hall or casino, or digitally online. These cards are sold at a specific price, meaning the wager itself is fixed and can’t be adjusted by altering coin sizes and your total betting sum. There’s no real flexibility when it comes to picking out your numbers here. In fact, the only real choice you have that can affect your outcome of winning in any given game is to purchase more cards for use with that game.
Lets play keno online and you’ll start to see how it and bingo veer down two very different paths. In this incredibly popular game, players can pick the numbers they wish to play with, forming their own numbers card. Players can decide which specific numbers, as long as they are within a certain range, to play on any given game, decide to use the same number combinations multiple times across multiple games, not to mention adjust the individual wager amounts for any given game. Unlike bingo, the prospective payout can be massively adjusted by making these decisions.
Out of the two games, bingo is generally more autonomous. Because number picks are predetermined, it’s harder to enter into the spirit of the game as you’ve had less choice in a potential cluster of lucky numbers. It’s simply a case of waiting on the bingo caller to read out drawn numbers, or watch as they roll out on screen if you’re playing online. Although bingo games can offer various smaller prizes for certain line combinations matched, there’s usually only one big winner per game; the one who matches a full line of numbers.
Lets play keno online for a game or two and you’ll again notice some key differences when it comes to betting and outcomes. Generally speaking, you can opt for up to 15 numbers to add to your card, with 20 drawn in an average game. Because of the vast amount of potential outcomes and variables involved, it’s highly possible that there will be more than one winner per game, although it’s very, very unlikely you’ll see a single player achieve a perfect set of hits on a 15-number card. Unlike bingo, you also have the option to make variant bets on occasion, such as opting for way bets where you can wager on the likelihood of sets of numbers coming up trumps for you.
As wagering flexibility varies between the two games, and betting is wildly different, it should come as no surprise that each game has a different landscape when it comes to payout. If you’ve gone the ‘lets play keno online’ route, you’ve a multitude of payout amounts and prizes to look forward to, whereas bingo payouts are generally limited to a ‘Full House’ jackpot and sometimes, several smaller secondary prizes.
Online Bingo Tips and Advice
Even if you’ve spent years marking cards in real life bingo halls, adapting to the online version can take some getting used to. Make sure you’re always operating within the rules of the site, or else sacrifice your chance of claiming any prizes you’ve accrued. Whether it’s remaining polite and courteous when interacting in chat, or ensuring you’re not using any kind of erroneous software to enhance your winning chances, remaining above board at all times is crucial in ensuring you have a good time and can reap some great profit.
As online bingo is relatively low-risk with a considerably low investment financially, a lot of players tend to register at multiple sites. This is good practice anyway so you’ve got an eye on the competition, but it also puts you in a great position when it comes to claiming bonuses and promotions. Bingo operators value customer loyalty and will try and outdo or match their competitors with similar offers, so you’re almost always assured of some kind of bonus, at least on a weekly basis. Keep your eyes peeled for bonus picks when you sign up and pocket new member benefits, and ensure you cast an eye to the promotions page of any given website at least once a week to see what lies ahead for that particular operator. Not all bonuses are automatic. In fact, many require you to make the effort of entering codes or actively triggering the bonus in order to enjoy them.
If you’re a regular player of online bingo on one or more sites, it makes sense to establish a regular withdrawal schedule so you can keep an eye on what your winnings are. You can of course monitor this via your player accounts, but if you’re overseeing multiple ones at various online destinations, things can get confusing. By keeping your withdrawals consistent across operators, you can more easily see what your actual winnings and losses are, not to mention keep track of any late payments from operators.