Online bingo is the internet version of the popular game played throughout the world. Players match up the randomly drawn numbers with the spaces they have on their cards. Online Bingo sites provide a variety of games based on one of the world’s most popular community games. People around the globe have played the game in bingo halls over the years, but now players can play bingo online. This article describes what online bingo games are available to players. It also explains the best casinos that offer free online bingo and real money bingo, while providing recommendations for gamblers. Learn how bingo online is played, along with the rules, and any strategy that a player can use while playing.
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Bingo Online Success
As online casinos continue to revolutionize the gambling industry, games like bingo which were once thought to be unrealistic for internet adoption are now flourishing. You can find hundreds of online casinos operating from locations all over the globe, offering real money online bingo. The games are highly functional, allowing players to connect with networks of individuals from around the world, while competing in a friendly game of bingo online.
With adjustable stakes of all sizes, customizable features that simulate live bingo to perfection, and plenty of promotions from the venues, online bingo is becoming the latest extension of this age-old game to experience widespread success. If you’d like to learn more about the world of online bingo, see our online page for a rundown on reputable online casinos which spread the game, platforms serving customers in the US, software providers powering the best bingo tables, and how online play affects your odds.
How to Play Online Bingo
Bingo online is played using a card with a 3×3 or 5×5 grid printed on the front. Each square is filled in with a random number ranging from 1 to 75. Each of the five columns on the grid falls under the B I N G O letter heading, creating 25 combinations on every bingo card. In order to win, a player must:
- Fill in ALL of the numbered squares on the 3×3 Bingo Cards.
- Fill in ONE LINE (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) on the 4×4 and 5×5 Bingo Cards.
Learn the basic steps to get started playing online bingo at your favorite casino. Remember that there are different bingo games that have their own rules.
Steps to Playing Bingo Online
New players might not know the exact steps to start playing. The best sites make registration, depositing, and downloading software fast, easy, and intuitive. If you have trouble, here’s a step by step guide for playing online bingo.
Find Preferred Online Bingo Game
Once you’re at a casino, look for the online bingo games. These usually are in the Specialty Games section, but might be in their own category. The site provides a choice of games, including European/90-ball and American/75-ball bingo. Other options are likely offered, like 30-ball and 80-ball.
Buy Bingo Cards
Launch the game and buy your bingo cards. Once you have the type of game chosen, you’ll need to decide on more specific game options. Most websites offer single-card or multi-card games, usually between 1 and 100 cards at a time. Sites also have a wide range of bets, so a player can buy one card or more for 10-cents each; you can play 100 cards at a time. Low rollers and high rollers can play real money bingo online.
When the online bingo balls are shown, this is the equivalent of having the ball drawn in a brick-and-mortar location. As your numbers are drawn, you’ll see their spaces marked off. The casino software does the dabbing or blotting for you. You will never miss a drawn number.
Numbers are Drawn
Numbers are drawn until you either win or lose, depending on the terms of the game. In a game of Full House, you’ll wait until many balls are drawn. Many other games have a set number of balls drawn, including as little as 20 balls to as many as 55 balls. Some games might have drawings with even more balls.
Get a BINGO!
If you get a bingo, the site pays automatically. Once again, you don’t have to spot a bingo, like you would in a land-based game. If you don’t get a bingo, you can try again. Online bingo games are available at all times.
More to Bingo than Filling in Spaces
For much of the game’s time as part of the public consciousness, bingo has held a reputation as something enjoyed by senior citizens above all else. And while older folks do tend to hold their own in most bingo games around America, the bingo hall has become increasingly gentrified in recent years. Through the efforts of creative casino marketing, bingo has been re-branded as a way to combine drinking, nightlife, and the casino vibe with a sweepstakes element. Young people from the age of 18 and upwards can now be found taking their seat at these new themed bingo nights, drawn to the party atmosphere as much as the prizes up for grabs.
Learn to Play Bingo
Online Bingo Sites
Many great casinos offer real money bingo online. In the space below, we offer recommendations for players in the United States and for international players. When playing online bingo for real money, players should determine the best sites based on the bonuses provided to new players, the number of games offered, and the perks given to loyal players.
Slots.lv is a US-friendly online casino which features all four bingo variants from Rival Gaming. On the Slots LV site, 30-Ball, 80-Ball, American Bingo, and European Bingo are available under the Specialty Games page. Slots.lv offers a $5000 welcome bonus and an 8-level VIP rewards club called MySlots Rewards. Deposits methods include Visa, MasterCard, Amex, and Bitcoin.
Free Online Bingo
Most casino websites which feature online bingo for money also allow freeplay games. Free online bingo is a good way to practice the game when you don’t know the rules. It’s also a nice way to learn the site’s game menu. When you click on a bingo game, you’ll see a prompt asking if you want to play for free or play for real money.
Online Bingo Games
Most online bingo sites offer four major versions of the game: European, American, 80-ball, 30-ball, and High Five Bingo. Sites provide these variants because each version appeals to a different gaming demographic. The section below includes descriptions of each.
30-ball Bingo is the fastest and simplest version of the game. Like the previous game, Rival designed 30-Ball Bingo. The card used in thirty-ball bingo is 3×3, with 9 random numbers on each card. Once again, players choose between 1 or 100 cards, while the bets range between 10-cents to $1 per card. Players also can choose from three types of games: 20-ball, 22-ball, and 24-ball drawings. The 20-ball game pays out 80-to-1 for the type prize. The 22-ball game has a 27-to-1 payout and 24-ball game has a 10-to-1 payout.
Some online casinos call this game American Bingo, because it’s played in North American bingo parlors. The card is a 5×5 grid, with prizes offered for anyone who blots out either a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line of 5 boxes. The Full House in this version requires 25 blotted numbers, though the many cards in American Bingo have the middle square dabbed-out to begin the game. 75-ball Bingo is the second-most popular version in the world.
The online gaming software developer Rival Gaming developed 80-ball Bingo, so sites which use Rival software feature this game. Instead of playing against other players, the gambler plays against the casino in the form of a pay schedule. 80-ball Bingo uses a 4×4 card and 80 bingo balls. Winnings depend on the highest winning pattern they achieve, somewhat like the pay tables in video poker. Players can choose whether to play 1 to 100 cards at a time and the bet per card (10-cents to $1.00), while the casino offers 35-ball, 45-ball, and 55-ball drawings for each. The 35-ball draw has a 10,000-to-1 payout for a top prize. The 45-ball version has a 1200-to-1 max payout, while the 55-ball draw has a 55-to-1 top jackpot. 80-ball bingo features many smaller prizes, too.
90-Ball Bingo (European Bingo)
Many online casinos call this variant European Bingo, because 90-ball bingo is popular in the United Kingdom and parts of continental Europe. It’s also prominent in Australia, New Zealand, parts of South America, and India. Tickets contain three horizontal rows and nine columns (9×3), which contain 5 numbers and 4 blank spaces. Tickets have 6 strips (for 6 games), accounting for all 90 numbers. The big prize is the “Full House”, which a player wins if they get all 15 numbers on one strip. Operators in India and sometimes even in Australia, call 90-ball bingo “Tombola”.
A popular online version of the bingo played in the United States. Players can choose between getting 35, 45, or 55 balls, in an effort to customize the game. It uses the classic 5×5 grid for the bingo cards, with the added bonus of getting the middle spot given to you for free. Fill in the spaces diagonally, vertically, or horizontally to get a Bingo.
Online Bingo Rules
Online bingo rules are similar to the brick-and-mortar bingo parlor rules. The mechanics of the game are different in some ways, so new players should read the section below to learn the differences. The drawing of numbers is different in online bingo. So is the method for how bingo balls are “drawn”.
Random Card Numbers
Online bingo drawings are completely random, so there is no specific strategy that guarantees a win. Do not research tips for beating the casino, because they don’t exist. Instead, look for money management strategies which help prolong the game and make your gaming experience better.
Jackpots and Bonuses
Some online casinos offer bonuses and jackpots when playing bingo on their sites. When choosing an online casino for its bingo games, study their deposit bonuses, reload bonuses, and games-specific bonuses. Also, read about the bonus jackpots they offer, because these make a difference in your bankroll (and thus how long game sessions last).
Money management strategies don’t assure you’ll win, but they help gamblers keep playing longer. Players should read how much of their bankroll to wager on any given hand. Experts show how to calculate bankroll percentages and give a range of options, depending on your aversion to risk. Read a bit about loss limits and win goals as a guide to preserving your bankroll over many sessions.
How Much Can You Afford to Lose?
The amount of money that a player sets aside to buy bingo cards is a bankroll. Each player must decide what that amount is based on the money he or she is willing to lose. This amount fluctuates based on previous results. For example, small wins and losses will increase or decrease the player’s bingo bankroll.
Bingo players need to set a win limit that allows them to pull cash out of the bankroll. A good amount for this type of cap might be an individual win that is equal to the original bankroll. The house edge on bingo can be astronomical. This means that the bingo player must decide when it is appropriate to reseed the bankroll if there are no lucky streaks.
Bingo Elements Versus Your Bankroll
There are several elements that should be evaluated when determining a bingo bankroll. As bingo is a negative expectation game with a large house edge, the first factor is how much the player is willing to lose. Bingo players should never put more money in their bankroll than they are willing to part with. Another important factor is the typical buy-in of a bingo game.
Bingo bankrolls are different than video poker, poker and table game ones. That is because a bingo game will often have a set buy-in amount and a single winner for the pool. Bingo is not a game where one can move up in limits. There may be larger special events, or a final coverall with a larger buy-in, but it is unlikely one will find regular high limit bingo tournaments.
Learn the Common Terms
Every game with such deep roots and longstanding traditions has developed its own unique subculture, and bingo is no exception. Veteran players will casually toss around slang terms like “hard way,” “jumped the gun,” and “dauber” throughout the night, and for the uninitiated, trying to decipher this complex bingo jargon can be quite difficult at first. Learning about the equipment, staff, and common terms used to govern every game of bingo is an important first step for beginners, and special attention should be paid to the game’s strict code of etiquette.
All players are expected to adhere to these unspoken rules and guidelines, and unless you want to be the unfortunate soul who unwittingly sits in a 30-year veteran’s “lucky” seat, you’ll need to brush up on bingo culture before diving into the game. Fortunately, a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding bingo and the right way to play can be found on our FAQ page.
Bingo Numbers and Odds
Bingo odds depend on the number of balls drawn. Some of the most common cards you’ll encounter in online bingo are the 5×5 and 3×3 cards. We’ve provided numbers you’ll encounter while playing, including odds of winning, house edge information, and payouts.
When attempting to make the traditional single line five square bingo using a single card, on average you can expect to wait for 41.37 balls to be drawn before landing a winning combination. This percentage holds true for every bingo card at all times (when playing single line) because both the numbers on the card and the numbers being drawn are completely randomized.
Holding More Cards
One crucial caveat about the random nature of bingo cards must be considered in order to understand the game’s fundamental strategic consideration: every card holds an equal chance of winning, but every player holds a different number of cards. This disparity in the number of cards purchased by each player is the reason why you seem to hear the same players calling out “bingo!” more frequently than the rest. These players have increased their odds of landing a bingo by increasing the number of cards at their disposal for a particular round.
30-Ball Bingo Odds and Payouts
Three versions of 30-ball bingo exist. Each game stipulates a different number of balls drawn. The winner has to fill the entire 3×3 card to receive a payout. The games that draw fewer balls have bigger the payouts. The 20-ball draw is the best version of 30-ball bingo.
|20 Balls||1.17%||80 to 1|
|22 Balls||3.48%||27 to 1|
|24 Balls||9.14%||10 to 1|
75-Ball Bingo Odds and Payouts
75-ball bingo requires a 5×5. The basic game in 75-ball bingo requires one filled line. The filled lines include vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines. Because the center square has an “X”, some lines require 4 drawn balls and others require 5 drawn balls. Only 24 of 75 bingo numbers are found on each card, which accounts for the low odds of getting a bingo with a few numbers drawn. 55-ball drawings are usually the limit, as most games are over by then.
|BALLS DRAWN||ODDS OF LAST BALL|
|BALLS DRAWN||ODDS OF LAST BALL|
Bingo Odds Example
Imagine the following scenario: you purchase a single bingo card for the next round, your spouse purchases three cards, and the regular across the table purchases the maximum of one dozen. Aside from these 16 cards, other players in the room purchase 84 cards between them, making a total of 100 cards in play for this round.
With just one card to work with, your chances of winning stand at 1 percent (1 / 100 = 0.01), giving you an outside chance of winning. Remember, every bingo card holds the same chance of winning as any other when the balls are drawn randomly.
Your spouse, on the other hand, has three times the chance to call out “bingo!” with 3 percent odds (3 / 100 = 0.03). By purchasing two additional cards, they’ve increased their odds of winning by three times.
Finally, the regular across the table has a 12 percent shot at winning the round with their 12 cards in play (12 / 100 = 0.12). This player has four times the chance to win as your spouse, and a whopping 12 times the chance you have when playing just one card.
As you can see by examining this scenario, the optimal strategy for bingo is simply to purchase as many cards as you can before each round. Every bingo venue will operate under its own house rules, so the limit on card purchases per round will vary from place to place, but by purchasing the maximum number, you’ll always give yourself the best odds of landing a winning bingo before anyone else.
Another great way to immerse yourself in bingo culture is to read up on the game in a more expansive format. You’ll find plenty of bingo books out there covering a variety of subjects, from a historical nonfiction (“The Bingo Queens of the Oneida: How Two Moms Started Tribal Gaming in Wisconsin”) to basic instruction (“Bingo for Dummies”) and strategy guides (“Basics of Winning Bingo”). For a lengthy list of bingo book reviews, check out our bingo books page to find the next addition to your Amazon account’s shopping cart.
History of Bingo
This is quite the development for a game which has remained quite the same throughout much of its 500-year history, but one that’s not altogether surprising. One of the first numbered card games, Lotto, originated in Italy and spread throughout Europe, and during medieval times, gambling on the Lotto provided a source of diversion for people from all social strata. More information on the full history of bingo can be found on our history page.
Popular & Simple Game
Most commonly associated with the 1940s and 1950s, the game of bingo is actually a centuries old pursuit enjoyed throughout many cultures by millions of people around the world.
Today, bingo still forms the foundation for social gatherings and community events held in American churches, club lodges, and bingo parlors, providing an opportunity for enjoyment and entertainment every day of the year in all avenues of the country. A remarkably simple game to learn, bingo nonetheless offers endless hours of playability due to the randomized nature of the ball draw. Combined with the inevitable allure of gambling for real money prizes, and more than 60 million bingo players in America currently play the game 1.2 billion times per year.
Bingo is For Everyone
Although bingo may seem like it’s played in the slow lane, the game is actually a fast paced, frenetic affair. When hundreds of players pack the bingo hall and the game is in full swing, the sight of daubers flashing to mark off spaces can be dizzying, and most nights can see dozens of games take place. Aside from the game’s deceptive levels of speed and excitement, bingo players simply love getting together for a good time, typically becoming regulars in their favorite establishment and playing alongside one another for years at a time.