Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade you might have noticed that bingo isn’t just bound to your grandma and her pals anymore. It certainly snuck up on us but apparently people are playing it in their millions, on their phones and laptops, and even at bingo halls, getting on the lash and coming back with a load of cash!?
There’s a perk, too, that if you’re tentative about laying down some of your hard earned money, most creditable providers offer free bingo only alternatives where you can sharpen your skills or even try the game before depositing your own money.
So, what’s the secret? Is there one? Is it merely a game of luck or are there things you can do to improve your chances? Fortunately for you, if this is your first rodeo, we’ve put together a checklist to level up your bingo prowess. You’ll be screaming “HOUSE!” at your screen in no time.
Let’s quickly get the fundamentals out of the way:
The caller – the caller draws the balls and calls out the numbers sometimes with their own witty spin: “Another Brexit debate…48!”. Har har…good one! Online the calls are automated.
The scorecard – these look slightly different depending on the variety of game you’re playing but essentially, they resemble grids of numbers, organised numerically. The goal is to blot out (or daub) each number on your card as it is called, so try not to get distracted.
How to win – winning in bingo often occurs in stages so there’s more than one chance to get your mitts on some money. Again, this depends on which variation of the game you’re playing, but you’re usually looking to be the first to successfully complete a line, then two lines and finally a full house. The full house winner will get the lion’s share of the prize money
Choose a reputable website
With so many gambling games requiring money transactions and personal details, it is vital to choose the right provider.
It goes without saying, if you’re handing over your credit card details, you want to be certain that your information will be safe. Do your research, find some testimonials, and check on review websites for the legitimacy of the site.
A good bingo website will have chat rooms, a variety of games and features to get stuck into and will offer free bingo for newcomers or casual players. Take full advantage of the free games before depositing money.
Make sure to research a site before opting to play bingo.
A reliable internet connection
If you’re an avid gamer, you know how important this one is. Nothing stings more than your connection dropping in the 90th minute of a 2-1 lead in a FIFA grudge match.
The same is true for your online bingo exploits. Luckily, with autofill features, when your internet reconnects, the software should have kept you up to the minute with the action. And your balance and accrued winnings will be safe too.
Choose your flavour
You might be surprised to know bingo comes in many shapes and sizes. From winning patterns—diagonal/vertical/horizontal lines, crosses, corners, etc.—to the size of the scorecards and even the number of balls in play. Sometimes a central wild square will be given for free.
Make sure you’re familiar with which version of the game you’re playing, its rules and most importantly, what it takes to win. Free-to-play options are great for getting familiar with these aspects.
Autofill features make it possible for you to play rounds with several cards at the same time without having to have the superhuman focus of a robot. The website will automatically daub called numbers and organise your scorecards so the ones closest to a win are more visible.
Take advantage of promotions
It’s a competitive world out there for the bingo providers. Every major casino, bookies and even the odd newspaper has their own bingo site and they’re all itching to make a loyal customer of you.
Because of this, there’s no shortage of promotions for new players when they sign up—from deposit matching to free cards and welcome bonuses. Browse around to find the best of them so you can maximise your winnings.
Many bingo providers offer a range of bonuses and promotions to players, be sure to check them out!
Becoming a bingo master
If you want to get into the real nitty gritty of the game and become the Mr. Miyagi of the bingo hall, here are a few advanced techniques to consider:
Pick your moment
The busier a room is, the higher the prize pool but the lower your chances of winning. So it’s a trade-off. Choose to play at less busy times of the day to be in the money more often.
For some extra reading, see if you can make heads or tails of the Granville or the Tippett strategy. Two statisticians who believed they could tip the odds in their favour in the bingo rooms. We’re not convinced, but maybe you will be.
So, there it is! A comprehensive list of how to make the most of your online bingo gaming experience. And if you win big as a result of any of the tips herein, mine’s a Gin & Tonic. Cheers!