Bingo is a game played on a bingo card using called out numbers to mark off the cards. To win, players have to mark off on their cards the correct numbers being called out and aim for creating words or sets from what is on the card. Often there are letters on the card that can be used to spell certain words, most usually “bingo”.
This is one of the most popular gambling games in the world because it is so accessible and because it manages to sidestep many gambling laws that hold back other similar games from being played by certain age groups or in certain areas.
Online Bingo vs Physical Bingo
The rise of online gaming and particularly online gambling, has led to bingo becoming a major source of income for many casino sites. There are also sites dedicated entirely to bingo, and these have been around since as long ago as 1996.
Now physical bingo usually involves a set of balls that are rolled or picked to create the called out numbers. No physical balls are used for online bingo, though. Instead, numbers are produced through a random number generator. This helps to cut back on potential cheating and ensures a fairer game for everyone.
The other major difference between online and physical bingo is the communication. In real world bingo, no one is allowed to talk while the game is being played. The rules are quite different online, where entire communities spring up around the chat rooms that often accompany these online games. The chat rooms are often moderated by a chat host, denoted by CH (for chat host) CM (chat moderator) or some other set of similar initials. The host’s duty is to welcome players and get them talking back to the community. Through these chat rooms, the game makers hope to retain their customers and keep them coming back to talk to the friends they have made there.
Rules of Bingo
Bingo comes in a few different variations, but they all follow some of the same basic rule sets. The goal is always to make words or sets using only the numbers that are called out or displayed. Also, every player has a bingo card to work from, so everyone has the essentially the same chance to win.
75 Ball- The conventional form of bingo is played on a 5×5 card. The middle square or portion is labelled as “free”. The numbers used to play the game all come from a 75-ball lot. Players may achieve “bingo” a few different ways- either by going in a straight line with their choices or making a pattern. But they are all working toward the same goal.
There are variations on even 75-ball bingo, such as speed bingo, where the numbers are called out quickly and the games play much faster. In speed bingo, players have to try to keep up with the fast pace or risk being beaten by another player.
90 Ball- The 90-ball version of bingo isn’t as common, and it uses as 9×3 card. This game is a bit longer than its counterpart, so it is played in stages. Each stage usually focuses on a different line of the three-line card. Each line contains a different set of numbers, so it keeps the game feeling fresh and the players never have to feel like they are playing the same numbers over and over again.
80 Ball- This form of bingo uses a 4×4 card, and the goal is usually to fill an entire line, either horizontally or vertically. This usually goes a bit faster than a typical bingo game, so it is better for people who want to play shorter games.
30 Ball- For a 30-ball game of bingo, the game is played on a 3×3 card. The game is much simpler here and requires less strategy. Instead of trying to fill specific lines or make words, the goal is simply to fill the entire card. Players must wait for nine numbers to be called before they can fill their entire card.
What to Expect from Online Bingo
Even if you have never played bingo in any form, online bingo is easy enough to get into. And you should not have trouble finding games to play, as the game is usually considered legal where other casino games may ask for location and/or age verification. If you are playing for money, then your age and credit card information may need to be verified first. But many bingo sites operate free of charge and just let you play for fun, instead making their money from paid advertisements.
Before you start, you may have a chance to talk to and greet others in the chat room. The mostly female demographic of the game makes it a light-hearted and friendly affair most of the time. Once the game begins you will be given a bingo card on your screen. Then you just wait until a number is called to choose which number on your card you want to mark off.
You may have several places on your card to choose a specific number, so you want to be careful about which numbers you choose, especially later in the game as you get closer to running out of numbers and chances to achieve “bingo”.
Depending on what version and variation of bingo is being played, the game can take a few minutes or as long as 15-30 minutes. Online bingo is usually faster than real world bingo, as the host is not often waiting on everyone to mark their cards, since most games use a countdown timer to make sure people are making choices in a timely manner. So you may be able to play several games in the span of time it would take to play a single game of physical bingo.
You’ll likely find that you get hooked on the game after just a few plays, and it will certainly make the time more pleasant if you are chatting away with other players and making friends.