How To Play a Game of Online Bingo
Bingo has recently been experiencing a massive boom in popularity. Though the number of people playing is nowhere near bingo’s heyday in the 1960s where upwards of 14 million Brits played on a regular basis, it is seeing a huge resurgence, due predominantly to technological advances and the move online.
In the early 2000, bingo’s popularity was waning: the once popular bingo halls were closing at record speed, with the many thousands up and down the country dwindling to just shy of 400 by 2014. Many experts felt this was the end of bingo. Many touted it as a skill-less past-time, attracting the blue rinse brigade and offering very little to the new generation of players.
One of the key criticisms levelled at bingo was that it had not adapted to the changing times, changing player habits, and changing demographics. The bingo of the mid 2000s was the same as the bingo of the 1960s, making it dated and boring, with players flocking to other games that were current and hip.
However, when it eventually made the move online, following in the footsteps of poker, slots, and blackjack, developers found that new technology could revitalise the game, and bring it to a new demographic and new type of player. From a low of 1.5 million players in the mid-2000s, in 2020 there were over 3.5 million players in the UK.
Despite this boom in popularity, and bingo being a relatively simple game to play, there will be many players unsure of how to play bingo online; what are the rules? What is the correct etiquette? What happens in between games? Playing online bingo for the first time can be a daunting experience, but luckily there is plenty out there to help players. So, how does bingo work?
• Calculate the odds
It is easy for a player to calculate the odds of winning: all that needs to be done is to divide the number of cards the player has by the overall number of cards being played. In an online game, players will be able to see how many other players there are, and how many cards are being played. So, if there are 100 cards in total in play, and a player has 10 cards, they have a 10/100 chance of winning, which means a 1 in 10 chance, or 10%.
• Know which numbers come up most often
Unless the game is rigged, there is equal probability of a number coming up. Though some players may see a number more often, over a longer period of time it is just as likely that a 5 will be called as a 57. All reputable sites governed by the appropriate legislative body will be required to use an independent random number generator that is independently audited on a regular basis.
• Avoid peak hours
Playing at less popular times means increased odds of winning. Fewer players mean less competition, and more chances of winning. The jackpot may be smaller, but by law it still has to be given out. It may be harder to find off-peak times online as people from anywhere can join, but there will be lulls in the frenzy of online bingo halls.
• Purchase more than one card
Again, buying more cards means increasing the odds of winning. Even better are players can chose their cards and have ones that don’t duplicate numbers across the various cards, as this further increases chances of winning.
• Look for second and third place prizes
Some games will allow players who have one number to go (1tg) or two numbers to go (2tg) to share in a smaller prize pool. It is always worth looking for games where this is an option as it increases the fun and excitement, as even if a player doesn’t win top prize, they may still manage to leave with something.
• Look for welcome bonuses
New players should always look for welcome bonuses to give them more scope to play the game and get a feel for how it works. There may be associated terms and conditions limiting the amount of winnings that can be withdrawn, but it is a good starting point and will allow for many hours of fun on a relatively small budget.
• Use a reputable site
Players should make sure the site is governed by the appropriate governing body and has secure systems for holding personal data and financial information. Players can also check forums and reviews to ensure that as well as being able to make deposits they are able to withdraw their winnings.
• Look for apps and mobile friendly sites
Most players like the freedom of being able to play on the go, accessing their favourite games from anywhere, and at any time. Most operators have a whole team to make their games mobile-friendly and using an app increases convenience and security.
• Play for the right reasons
Statistically speaking, bingo is not a way to win life changing amounts of money. Bingo pots tend to be fairly small, and the game is purely based on luck: there is no way to influence what numbers are called no matter how many lucky talismans people have with them or how many deities are called upon. Bingo is meant to be fun and entertaining, a way to unwind, meet like minded people and have a bit of fun!