Online Bingo UK
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Online Bingo Playing Guide
There are over 4 million people in the UK who play online bingo every day. So what’s the appeal?
The game is simple to play and while there are variants across the world, the rules remain the same. This makes it a universal pastime with a chance to win money.
The key is to match the numbers on your card with those called by the game. You may need to match a line, a full house (all the numbers on the card), or a predetermined pattern to win.
How To Play Online Bingo
- You purchase a minimum of one card to play. These cards have a set of numbers on them which are arranged in a grid.
- You’ll then be given the pattern that you need to fill in to win the game. Will it be a line, full house or something else?
- The numbers are generated and displayed clearly on the screen. In a real bingo hall, the numbers may be called by a person called the bingo caller. Some online sites display the ball number and you’ll hear a recorded ‘caller’ telling you which number has been chosen.
- You match these numbers with the ones on your card. On most sites, you’ll be given the choice of having your numbers marked automatically. You can, however, choose to mark your cards manually if you prefer.
- You win by matching the required numbers. The prize is given to the winner. It’s possible for more than one person to win at once, resulting in the prize being divided by all winners.
The Different Types of Bingo Games
There are a couple of things which may vary between bingo games. The first is the pattern required and the second is the number of balls used in the game.
The UK version of the game more commonly has 90 balls, but if you travel to the other side of the pond you will likely find 70, 75 or 80 ball bingo.
The latter is called Keno and is less common on UK betting sites. Pattern bingo is usually associated with games where 70 or 75 balls are used.
These patterns can be as varied as the imagination allows, with letters, shapes and celebrations just some of the themes used.
70 and 75 Ball Bingo
Popular in the US and Canada, these bingo cards can sometimes have the letters B, I, N, G and O at the top of the card, with each card divided into five sections.
This variant of the game was introduced into America in the late 1920s and has remained in popular culture ever since, evolving from the game of choice at church socials to the online example we see today.
Patterns in the game include the diamond shape, letters E, B and F and the coverall, which is where you need to cover every number on the board, excluding the centre square which is a ‘free’ number.
75 ball bingo is considered the second most popular bingo card in the UK after the traditional 90 card game.
80 Ball Bingo
Less popular and more recent to the bingo world is 80 ball bingo, which was developed for online gaming without an introduction to the traditional bingo hall. Known as Keno in America, this game is played on a 4x4 grid which is colour coded.
Numbers in the first row are red, the second row is yellow, the third row is blue and the final row is white or silver.
It is often played for a line, two lines, three lines and full house game, although other winning combinations are included such as four corners and a diagonal line for added excitement.
90 Ball Bingo
90 ball bingo is the original bingo game and remains the most popular here in the UK. It is played both online and in person at bingo halls around the country.
For 90 ball games, the bingo card is divided into three rows of five numbers. In many cases the games are also divided into three, with winnings paid out for being the first to get a line of five numbers, for completing two lines and covering the whole card.
Cards are usually bought in books of six, with online bingo games allowing players to pick anywhere up to 196 tickets. With so many tickets available, they are often offered at discounted rates.
Real Life Bingo
90 ball bingo and 75 ball bingo are played in real-life bingo halls around the country. Many of these also offer slot games either via a bingo terminal or via real slot machines installed in the bingo hall.
When playing bingo in real-life, the emphasis is on the social element of the game. Enjoyed by young and old alike, groups of friends descend upon the bingo hall in the hope of winning a tidy sum and catching up socially.
Online Bingo Game Entry Formats
There are a few different betting options to familiarise yourself with on online bingo sites. These are:
It’s common to find games that follow a popular theme such as cartoon style slots or ones that feature mythology. Some games may also use licensed characters from popular TV and film franchises such as Superman and Deal or No Deal.
As the name suggests, these games are completely free to play. It’s no surprise, then, to find that the number of players on these games is often larger than the numbers found in other bingo rooms.
Jackpots are often small to account for the loss the bingo site will make on these games, but they can be a good way to prolong your betting if your budget is small.
Entry Fee Games
The most common type of bingo games charge an entry fee to play. These are priced per ticket, with larger ticket prices commanding larger overall prize pots.
Tickets on some sites start from 1p and can rise to as much as £1 per ticket.
Side bets are available on some bingo games, allowing you to wager on scratchcards or purchase a few spins on a slot game while you’re waiting for your bingo game to start.
You’ll find these on the side of the screen next to your usual bingo tickets.
Progressive Jackpot Games
Some bingo games pay out a jackpot if you call house (fill your card) within a set number of calls.
Jackpots are progressive, meaning they grow larger with each bet placed on the site, but even if it has been won recently, there will be a minimum jackpot you’ll receive if you win.
Progressive jackpots can reach life-changing sums of money and usually run alongside the main bingo games, so even if you call house outside of the required number of bingo calls, you’ll still win the house prize for the game.
What are Bingo Chat Rooms?
To add to the social aspect of betting online, you can chat with your fellow bingo buddies in the chatroom.
As well as getting to know more about other players, you can also take part in a host of chat games, such as trivia games.
These usually give you bingo points or credits as a reward. It’s thought that the chatroom is one of the most popular aspects of online bingo for players aged 30 and under, which reflects the fact that up to 45% of those betting online are thought to be in this age category.
Who are Onling Bingo Moderators?
Moderators are the people in charge of the chatroom. Their job is to ensure that everyone’s having a fun time and to remove those who are causing problems for other players.
They also host the chat games and award bingo points to the winners. They’re usually friendly guys and gals with a wealth of knowledge about bingo and the services offered on the betting site.
Is Online Bingo Safe and Legal in the UK?
Online bingo is allowed in the UK, although it’s always worth checking that a site has the relevant security features online to keep you safe.
One of the things you should look for is a license from the UK Gambling Commission, which gives a bingo site permission to operate here in the UK.
Games are usually monitored for fairness and impartiality, so check that someone is responsible for this by checking the ‘Responsible Gaming’ page.
Here, you’ll also find information on keeping safe online and protecting vulnerable players such as underage bettors and those with gambling issues. If you’re concerned, this page should be your first port of call.
Does Online Bingo Software Matter?
It’s easy to overlook bingo site software when thinking about what makes a decent website. However, it is important to check this out when betting online. Good software, which is provided by industry leaders can make the betting experience immersive and improve the site’s performance.
There’s nothing more frustrating than placing your hard earned money on a bingo game only for it to crash on you, so check out the software and make sure it’s from a reputable source before betting online.
Some sites prefer you to download software in order to wager online, whereas other sites load quickly without software installation requirements.
Mobile players will also prefer a bingo site that is mobile compatible and will look for reliability in areas where internet connection may drop.
So yes, software matters. The only way to decide if a particular site is right for you, however, is to try it and see if it works well for your needs.
Online Bingo Betting Strategies
While bingo is a straightforward game, you can employ a few betting strategies to help you wager smart. The most commonly used of these is bankroll management.
Understanding how much a bingo game will cost you and how it stacks up against potential wins is an essential part of betting and will help you to decide how many tickets to purchase during a game.
It’s vital to understand your betting limits, so calculating how much you can afford to wager is essential to safe online betting.
While the online betting environment is not as focus-driven as playing bingo in a bingo hall, you’ll still need to keep your wits about you so you don’t miss out on big jackpot games or reward schemes.