The game of Bingo has you match the randomly drawn numbers with spaces on your cards to complete patterns and win prizes. People have been blotting cards and shouting “BINGO!” in halls for decades, and today you can even play from home on the internet.
Our complete guide to bingo explains the rules, how to play, and which online variations have the best odds. We’ll also recommend some top casino sites where you can play online.
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Once you learn the basic rules of bingo, you can easily play any variation of the game. It started as a basic carnival game called beano in the 1920s and has since spread into bingo halls and casinos nationwide, and is now even online.
The main objective in all versions of bingo is to complete a winning pattern on one of your cards. You do this by matching up spaces on the cards to balls drawn by the caller.
In brick-and-mortar bingo halls, you keep track of your progress by marking off spaces with a blotter as numbers get called out. To win the round, you need to be the first person to complete the pattern and shout “BINGO!” Finally, an official will check your card for accuracy before declaring you the winner of the round.
When you play casino bingo online, a random number generator automatically draws the balls and marks off all your cards. To win, you need to hit patterns on the paytable in a certain number of balls drawn. Your prizes get paid out to your bankroll at the end of each round.
Bingo Cards Explained
The standard bingo card is a 5×5 grid of 25 spaces. Each column is under one of the letters in the name of the game, B – I – N – G and O.
Most 5×5 cards have the center space marked as free. In bingo halls, all drawable numbers in a round have a corresponding letter, making it easier to find the squares and blot them. Some examples include B7, N33, and G56.
Many online bingo variations use cards with different layouts. The 3×5 configuration is quite common, but you may even see a 3×3 or 4×4 game. These digital versions don’t always have the columns under letters at the top since the game automatically marks all your spaces.
There are various competitions at land-based casinos and bingo halls that offer the most avid players a chance at even bigger prizes than regular games. These casino tournaments are based on points players accrue over a series of games or rounds. Some last for days.
They usually involve entry fees, but there are a few freerolls that have no fees, though the prizes are smaller.
How to Play Bingo
Bingo is a fun and exciting game that anyone can pick up with a bit of know-how. You can play multiple cards simultaneously in many halls and online games, so the most challenging part is keeping track of all the action. Follow these steps, and you’ll be playing like a pro in no time.
Playing Bingo At Online Casinos
Online bingo is the same classic game that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. Automatic draws make it easy to play up to 100 cards at a time. A paytable denotes the winning patterns.
Visit the Online CasinoChoose a casino site that has online bingo games.
Fund Your AccountGo to the cashier page and make a deposit so you can play.
Get Your Cards ReadyPlayers choose a wager per card and the number of cards to play per game. Online casino software lets you wager on anywhere from 1 to 100 cards at once.
Play the RoundThe game calls the numbers and marks the cards automatically.
Get a BINGO and Win!Each card with a winning combination earns a prize based on the paytable and wager. When playing online, many of your cards could be winners at the end of the round!
Playing Bingo at a Bingo Hall
At bingo halls, players sit at rows of tables and chairs with a centrally located caller. Each round has a unique target winning pattern. The players compete against one another to get the first bingo and win.
Visit Your Favorite Bingo HallSearch for a bingo hall in your area.
Purchase Your Bingo CardsPurchase your cards and find a seat in the hall. Many players lay out their cards to prepare for the game and get out their good luck charms and blotters.
Listen to the Caller and Blot Your CardsAt the start of the round, the caller will declare the winning combination needed to call bingo. The caller then starts drawing numbered balls and calling them out. Players blot cards manually with colorful ink to mark the called spaces they match on their cards throughout the round.
Get a BINGO and Win!The first person to get the target pattern calls out “BINGO!” and the caller stops the draw. An official then validates the win by checking the draw vs. the blotted card.
Bingo Patterns To Look Out For
Depending on the type of bingo you’re playing, there are different bingo patterns you need to make to win. From a single line in any direction to the letter Z, bingo patterns can go from easy to complex.
Some cards will have the bingo winning combinations predetermined before playing, but most will begin with a blank card. The spaces you need to mark off depend on the round or the game’s paytable.
Are you wondering what the common bingo winning patterns are? The OUSC team rounded up the most popular combinations in the infographics below. Look out for them in the next game round!
Download these bingo patterns to print them off and take them to the casino or hall.
Video Guide to Online Bingo
This short video explains the basics of online bingo and how it works. It’s just like playing in person, but you don’t have to mark your cards, and you’ll never miss a win. However, unlike a bingo hall, you get special features, bonus balls, and the opportunity to hit huge jackpots.
Popular Bingo Games
Bingo comes in all shapes and sizes. You’ll find varying styles, draw quantity, and the number of cards you can play simultaneously. Below we talk about some of the most popular versions of the game you can find in casinos and halls.
If you prefer to play online, check out our reader’s favorite virtual bingo games.
30 Ball Speed Bingo
The fast-paced draws of 30 ball bingo are perfect for no-nonsense players. It’s easy to mark off spots on a 3×3 card and get more games in during the same period of time.
75 Ball Pattern Bingo
Also sometimes called American Bingo, 75 ball games are popular in the USA and Canada. You usually rotate through patterns on a 5×5 card to create winning combos.
80 Ball Bingo
This 4×4 game has a color-coded card that adds a bit of flair. The smaller board allows for only a few winning patterns, but the callers get creative in this fun game variant.
90 Ball UK Bingo
90 ball bingo is the most popular version in the United Kingdom. You play with a 3×5 or 3×9 card and each round could have multiple winners as more people complete patterns.
Play Bingo Online for Free
Practice playing Go-Go Bingo from Wild Casino right here. Shuffle the number by tapping on any card, pick your bet, and start with 30 balls. The fewer balls it takes to hit a bingo, the bigger the payouts.
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Bingo Odds & Probabilities
It can be pretty tricky to calculate the odds or probabilities of a round of bingo. That’s because there are different-sized cards, and all winning patterns don’t require the same number of spaces to win. Some games even start with more or fewer balls in the hopper.
Is It Better to Play More Cards?
In a bingo hall, more cards mean a better chance to win. Every card holds an equal chance of winning, but every player may have a different amount of cards. To calculate your odds, you would divide your cards by the total cards in play.
Most online bingo games don’t pit you against other players. You’re merely trying to hit as many winning combinations as possible. Here, playing more cards online doesn’t increase your odds since each card is essentially its own game.
Number of Balls vs. Number of Calls
Every bingo game online has a set number of balls in the hopper. No matter the number of balls or the paytable, getting a bingo is tough early in the game, with your odds increasing with each call. That means everyone has a better chance of winning later in the round as the number of calls goes up.
This table shows the probability of hitting a single line bingo in a 75 ball game as the number of calls increases.
|# of Calls||10||15||20||25||30||35|
|# of Calls||40||45||50||55||60||65|
Bingo Hall Strategy
Bingo drawings are entirely random, so there is no specific strategy that guarantees a win. Your best bet is to use money management tactics. That means you play more cards over time and increase your chances of winning since you can enter more games.
Spread your money out over a lot of rounds. If you run out of cash early, then you can’t buy more cards for later rounds.
Pick a Good Seat
Pick a seat close to the caller and the board. This way, you can hear clearly and regularly check for missed balls.
Know the game inside and out. Learning bingo’s glossary of terms will help you feel confident when playing the rounds.
Who Invented Bingo? History of the Game
Hugh J. Ward standardized American Bingo in the early 1920s, but Edwin S. Lowe gets credit for popularizing the game in 1929.
They used beans to mark spaces at first. Most people assume the name “Bingo” evolved from the game’s original name, “Beano.”
The history of bingo spans back quite a few years. There was a similar game in Italy dating back to 1530. The French had a version with 27 squares that started in 1778.
New variations on original bingo are created every year, giving players something to look forward to when heading to the bingo hall.
Online Bingo Sites That Accept US Players
You can play online bingo at many of our recommended casino sites. We recommended the sites below for players in the USA. They all have valuable bonuses, extensive game libraries, and secure, reliable banking methods.
|RANK||ONLINE CASINO||BINGO GAMES||BONUS||START|
|1||Wild Casino||BINGO GAMES 4||BONUS 100% up to $5,000||Play Now|
|2||Las Atlantis||BINGO GAMES 0||BONUS 280% up to $14,000||Play Now|
|3||DuckyLuck||BINGO GAMES 7||BONUS 500% up to $7,500||Play Now|
|4||BetUS||BINGO GAMES 1||BONUS 150% up to $3,000||Play Now|
|5||SlotsLV||BINGO GAMES 7||BONUS 200% up to $1,000||Play Now|
Use This Bingo Guide to Start Playing
Visit the local bingo hall and join the action. The community tends to be a friendly bunch ready to accept new players and show you the ropes. After only a couple of rounds, you’ll have this easy and exciting game down pat.
You can also have hours of fun playing online bingo for real money. Manage your bankroll, and you might hit a full card payout or even a progressive jackpot!
Below are some common questions players ask us about online bingo. Visit our internet bingo FAQ page if you don’t see your answer here.
Can you really win money playing bingo online?
Yes, you can win money playing bingo online. Thousands of players trust the reliable payouts at the gambling sites on this page. Feel confident in creating an account and depositing funds.
What was the game bingo originally called?
In the 1920s, bingo was called beano since they used beans to mark off spaces. The name changed when someone misheard “BINGO!” instead of “BEANO!”
What is the best online bingo site?
The best online bingo site varies slightly from player to player. Visit any of the sites we recommend above for fantastic bonuses and reliable payouts. We suggest Wild Casino, which has several great bingo games under their red live casino when you’re logged in.
What is the best bingo game online?
The best bingo game comes down to personal preference. Go-Go Bingo at Wild Casino has an extra ball feature at the end of each round. You pay for an additional chance to match after seeing the draw.
How long does bingo last?
A standard bingo night in a hall has 10 – 15 rounds and lasts about three to four hours. They usually include an intermission or two so you can stretch your legs and get a bite to eat. Online bingo games are much quicker. With electronic blotting and draws, you can play around with 45 balls drawn and mark 50 cards in a matter of minutes.
How old do you have to be to play bingo?
Most bingo halls in the USA require that players are 18 years old to win cash prizes. The same goes for online casinos. You can always ask the officials at the bingo halls and double-check the gambling laws in your state.
Is bingo a form of gambling?
Many states consider bingo a lottery-style form of legal gambling like a raffle. Players engage in an exchange of cash for a chance to win cash and prizes, but there is no betting, and prizes are fixed.