Here I’ll talk in more detail about how to play online bingo and will provide you with the knowledge necessary to play this fun, engaging game. If you think that bingo is a modern invention, think again. Beano,similar to today’s bingo, was invented as a game in the 1500s, which became globally popular in the 1950s. We are here to learn much more about the modern online bingo game, but before that, a brief history of bingo.
Brief History of Bingo
Bingo began in Italy in the 1500s, under the name Lotto. The game became immensely popular across Europe, and it later spread to the USA. Here, “Bingo” became the game’s official name that soon became fan-favorite in fairs and carnivals. The first official bingo card was patented in 1943, and the rest, as they say, is history. The 1960 and 1970s saw a broad expansion of bingo halls, especially in the UK, where bingo still enjoys massive popularity.
Before the widespread use of modern technology, bingo was played in brick-and-mortar halls where people went for fun and entertainment. Bingo halls were immensely popular for a long time, and in many countries there were TV-shows dedicated to bingo.
Technology changed many things, bingo included, and now we can play this fun game from the comforts of our homes, or anywhere for that matter. Bingo was not spared from the evolution of technology, and the 1990s brought the first online bingo platforms. By the end of the 20th century, online bingo sites were popping out everywhere.
As the Internet became more widespread, people slowly transitioned from playing in brick-and-mortar bingo halls to playing online bingo. While it is still possible to go out to an actual bingo hall and play a live game, experience has shown that almost 85% of bingo lovers choose one of the many online bingo sites for their favorite game.
Here is a brief summary of the history and development of bingo:
- 1500s – The first appearance of bingo-like game in Italy
- 1600s – The game known as “Lotto” spread across Europe
- 1800s – Lotto became the favorite game of the French and British aristocracy
- 1900s – The game came to the USA, where it was renamed “Bingo”
- 1943 – The first official bingo card was patented
- 1950s – Soldiers played a critical role in the spreading of bingo
- 1960s – The first laws regulating bingo
- 1970s – Dancehalls were slowly turned into bingo halls
- 1980s – TV-shows dedicated to bingo appeared in many countries
- 1990s – The first online bingo platforms emerged
- 2000s – Online bingo had some ups and downs
- 2010s – Online bingo is immensely popular in the countries where it is legal
Main Things To Check Before You Play Online Bingo
There are some vital things to note and prepare before you get a chance to play an online bingo game. Namely, first, you need to select the online bingo betting platform you’ll play on. Next, read the site’s terms and conditions and registration requirements.
Check the possible deposit and withdrawal options the site has in place. Please note that most UK online bingo sites don’t accept credit card payments, so make sure you have access to a PayPal or debit card or an alternative mode of payment.
I know that it is unfair, but people from most countries cannot access online bingo due to licensing and registration rules. When looking to play at an online bingo platform, you also need to check that there are no geo-restrictions to joining an online bingo site. Here is what you need to note before you go and play online bingo:
- Select an online bingo betting platform
- Check if it is legal to join from your country
- Check the registration requirements
- Read the Terms and Conditions
- Check the deposit methods and make sure you have the adequate one
- Register and create an account
Online Bingo Rules
Here is a collection of the bingo rules that govern all bingo games:
- The bingo game starts with the announcers call and the drawing of the first number
- The bingo games ends the moment a player crosses all the numbers on their ticket (or gets the winning pattern)
- If more than one player wins, the prize splits between the winners
- The winning patterns in particular bingo games are announced before the game starts
- Always play with as many tickets as you can keep track of
Read the following section for more info about each rule and learn some fun bingo tidbits along the way. Online bingo rules are not that different from bingo hall rules. Well, the rules are almost exactly the same; the manner of playing is what is different. The basic premise of bingo is simple: the players get tickets with numbers, crossing the numbers as the caller draws them. The first player who crosses all the numbers on their ticket is the winner.
Back in the day, when bingo was played only in bingo halls, the numbers were printed on small balls drawn from a drum/bag. Today, a computer generates the bingo numbers in the online bingo game, but the numbers are still called bingo balls.
The number of balls (numbers) in a bingo game depends on the bingo variety you opt to play. Among the most played are the 90-ball, 80-ball, 75-ball, 60-ball, 52-ball, 5-line bingo types, and even special bingo games that combine the rules from several different games.
However, the various online bingo platforms have many more special bingo types that provide immense fun. Another thing that was immensely popular in bingo halls was the funny bingo calls, which have remained popular until today. Here you will find a detailed overview of the popular bingo calls and nicknames.
Unlike the paper tickets in bingo halls, online bingo tickets are electronic versions of the same. There are several ways to win at online bingo: the one-line win, two-lines win, and full-house win. The first two bring lower prizes, while the full-house win brings the main reward. In special games, there are also prizes for the crossing of specific bingo patterns. In most cases, if more than one player gets a full-house with the same number, the prize is split between the winners.
The bingo game starts when the first number is announced, and you should keep track of your ticket and cross the drawn numbers. Online bingo sites have intelligent systems in place that keep track and cross the numbers for you. An autoplay option automatically crosses the numbers on your tickets, and best card sorting and highlighting alerts you if one of your tickets is close to winning. The bingo game goes on until someone crosses all the numbers on their ticket, wins the main prize, and the game stops.
How to Play Online Bingo – 6 easy steps
Here is a detailed rundown of playing online bingo:
Step 1: Choose a Website to Play At
Before you can play, you need to select the bingo betting platform you’ll be playing at. You can base your selection on many criteria like bingo varieties, welcome offers, free bingo rooms, or something else. It’s not easy to choose a site, especially when you have tons of sites out there.
We did great work (I think) in summarizing the top of the best online bingo sites. To see how I’ve created this list, read our selection criteria article and you’ll learn some tricks in recognizing a proper, legit online bingo betting platform.
Step 2: Check the License of the Website
Once you’ve narrowed your selection, the next step should be to check the website’s license. The license serves as proof that the website you’ve selected is a legitimate platform regulated by a lawful entity.
For example the top-rated UK bingo sites have dual licenses from the UK Gambling Commission and one more, usually the Gibraltar or the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. Below is a standard gaming license from the UK Gambling Commission.
The US-based online bingo platforms usually have licenses from the Curacao Gambling Commission, and the states where online bingo is legal. Of course, there are online bingo platforms from other countries that are licensed and regulated by local governing laws. Below is a screenshot from a licence issued by the Curacao Gaming Commission.
Step 3: Register With an Online Bingo Site
After defining your selection, it is time to register with your chosen online bingo platform. Almost all bingo sites have a step-by-step guide to help you through the registration. Important things to note are that you need to have a valid email address, create a username and a strong password, and fill in your personal info. Once this is complete, you can log into the platform and be one step closer to playing online bingo.
Step 4: Deposit Funds Into Your Account
After initial registration, all new players are eligible for a welcome offer. But to get it, you will need to deposit funds into your account. To do this, you need to be logged in and enter valid debit card info, PayPal, or any of the other accepted payment methods. After you make your deposit, you can take advantage of the welcome offer and start by playing one of the free bingo games.
Step 5: Choose a Game and Enter the Room
Online bingo platforms have a vast selection of bingo games. Many of the sites have more than 20 bingo rooms, which is quite the selection. After you register and deposit the funds into your account, you should browse all the available bingo rooms and see the upcoming games. Select the one that takes your fancy, and enter the room.
Here I need to note that most bingo games are scheduled and don’t limit the number of players. You don’t need to purchase tickets beforehand for these. But if you’d like to play at a live bingo game, these usually limit the number of players, and you should purchase tickets beforehand.
Step 6: Review the Number of Tickets Needed to Play
Once you select your preferred bingo room and enter it, the next thing is to purchase your bingo tickets. The price for the tickets varies per game, starting with as low as 1p. The different bingo rooms have different requirements, mainly in the number of tickets necessary to play. The usual number is between two and six tickets, with some bingo rooms necessitating up to 10 tickets. If you are uncertain, you can always ask the Chat Host, the person who runs the bingo room, keeps players informed, and keeps things friendly.
Can You Play Online Bingo For Free?
Yes, it is possible to play online bingo for free. In fact, it is easier than you think, as most reputable online bingo betting platforms have some sort of free bingo option. It is usually tied with the welcome offer, but some sites run regular promo deals like a free daily bingo game or something similar.
Here are some snapshots from some of the most notable online bingo platforms and their free bingo offers:
Of course, there are even sites that have a completely free online bingo option that you only need to register for and you can play. The prizes and rewards on these sites are much lower than those on paying sites. To learn about this sort of bingo, you should check out my detailed guide to free online bingo.
What to Note When Playing Online Bingo
Above I’ve outlined vital things related to playing online bingo. Still, here is some more advice on what you need to note when playing online bingo.
The Number of Players
Depending on the bingo platform, bingo games, and bingo rooms, some games don’t limit the number of players, while others limit the number of supported players in a game. Before entering a bingo room, note the terms and conditions and the supported number of players. You would not want to get excited, get your hopes up, and then be left at the door.
The Players’ Tickets
One of the basic rules of bingo is never to play more tickets than you can keep track of. If you are a beginner, start with a lower number of tickets and work your way up the number of tickets; this way, you can stay on top of everything and not forget to cross a drawn number. Of course, the number of bingo tickets you can play also depends on the bingo variety.
For example, in 90-ball bingo, there are strips of six tickets where all 90 numbers are represented (see image below), and you can opt to play with this strip, or choose a lower number of tickets.
However, to help with keeping track of all the numbers, the online bingo betting platforms have systems that keep track of the bingo tickets for you. If you opt to play with more bingo tickets than you can keep track of, you can engage the option for autoplay, where the system will automatically cross over the selected numbers.
Cards and Patterns
The different bingo varieties have different winning requirements. For example, in 90-ball bingo, the first to get one complete line crossed and two lines crossed gets a prize. Bingo is called when all the card numbers are crossed, and it is also called a full-house.
In 75-ball bingo, the ticket has five lines and five columns, with the numbers BINGO on the top of the columns. The ticket has 24 numbers and one blank place in the center. The “B” column has the numbers from 1-15, “I” has from 16-30, and so on, as you can see in the image below. The winning combination depends on the rules of the game and can be:
- Coverall – all the numbers are crossed on the card
- Line win – crossing over a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line
- Bingo pattern wins – specific patterns required for a win and are announced at the beginning of the game.
List of Online Bingo Strategies
Bingo is a game of chance, and there is no special strategy one can apply when playing this game. However, here is some advice on things you can do, which I guess can be considered a bingo strategy:
- To maximize the chances of winning, a player can buy more tickets. Still, here you need to note the price of the tickets, the ability to keep track of the tickets, and the moment when the bingo game goes from fun to addiction.
- If you are after a bigger prize, you should opt for 75-ball bingo. This bingo game has a single prize, which tends to be more significant.
- When looking to score big at online bingo, choose a game with a progressive jackpot. In this game, the more players play, the larger the jackpot gets. In some cases, the progressive bingo jackpots can reach millions.
- Look for games with fewer players, as the more people play, the lower the chances of winning are. However, if your primary goal is to have fun and converse with other bingo players, the fewer players option should be avoided.
- Play within your budget, and be prepared in case you lose your money. You can also engage in a side game that you like, like slots and roulette. Most online bingo platforms offer several varieties of games that can keep you entertained for hours.
- Play Chat Room games. The chat room games are played alongside the regular bingo game and usually offer smaller prizes or bonus deals. These are always fun and engaging and also help you meet and interact with new people.
Responsible Online Bingo Gambling
People can be drawn to online bingo for many reasons. However, as all online bingo betting platforms state, the bingo games are intended to be fun first and provide rewards next. That is why all licensed and respectable online bingo betting platforms have emphasized responsible gaming.
Many sites have implemented tools to help the players who are liable to get addicted to the game and spend more money than they can afford. The responsible gaming tools most often found in practice are:
- Self-limits – these put a limit to the amount of money one can deposit on a daily, weekly, or a monthly base
- Game Time Reminders – the reminders are set to remind the player how much time they’ve spent on the site. For example, the reminder can be set to ring every 30 minutes.
- Time Out – when you see that you are not playing for fun anymore, you can get a time out, and in most cases, this can be up to 40 days.
- Self Exclusion – this option lets you permanently close your account, and you cannot reopen it in the next six months to five years, depending on the platform.
Where to play bingo online for free?
Most online bingo betting platforms have some free bingo games for their players. You can find out more by browsing the offers and welcome bonuses these platforms have. If you are already a member of an online bingo platform, check out their seasonal promo deals for more info.
On another note, if you like to play bingo online for free and without prizes, you can do this by using one of the online bingo simulator apps and even playing a round or two with your friends over Zoom.
What are the best online bingo sites?
This is a subjective question, as there is no single definitive answer. Instead, it depends on the players, their preferred bingo games, the prizes and jackpots, and more. To judge for yourself the best online bingo sites, please check out our list of the best bingo sites in the UK.
Where can I play bingo online for money?
All online bingo platforms have the option to play online bingo for money. To play at one of these, you need to register, deposit at least the required minimum, and purchase the tickets to your preferred bingo room. Plus, these often run tempting promotions, giveaways, and free bonuses,
What are the odds of winning online bingo?
The odds of winning online bingo depend on the bingo variety you choose to play. Other factors are at play here. For example, the chances vary depending on the number of players and cards in a particular game. Also, your chances depend on the number of cards you play with. The chances increase the fewer players play a game and decrease the more players play the game.
For example, if 500 tickets play a bingo game, and you play with two tickets, per the statistical rules, you have a 2 in 500 chance of winning the game.
Which online bingo pays the most?
While bingo is primarily played for fun, we can’t forgo the prizes and jackpots offered here. Of course, we all like to play to win, and the prizes, rewards, and jackpots are enticing and tempting that we can’t help but compare one bingo platform to the next in terms of payouts.
Well, there are so many online bingo betting platforms that I can’t keep track of all the changing payouts and jackpots. From what I’ve seen lately, Cyber Bingo, Sun Bingo, 888 Ladies, Wink Bingo, Buzz Bingo, and several others have significant jackpot prizes that can change a person’s life.