Eyes down for a full house - here’s to Bingo!

Lady luck might smile or frown, but if you are the type of person who revels in her capricious nature you will find that a bingo – a kind of lottery – is just the game for you. It’s a pastime that has captured the hearts of generations, with millions all over the world playing at home, in bingo halls, and even taking part in bingo games online.

Play bingo, and take your place in history

Bingo is so well-established across so many different cultures, that it would be quite unusual if you had never played it – and downright strange if you had never heard of the game. When you play bingo, you are participating in a tradition that knows no barriers. The modern bingo game is connected with the United States, and a toy salesman called Edwin S. Lowe (about whom, more later). But it is known that an early form of bingo was being played even as early as 1530 in Italy – and certainly, by the 18th century, the French had “Le Lotto”, a game very similar to our modern versions of bingo.

Such was its simplicity that bingo quickly spread around the world. As anyone will tell you, when a cultural phenomenon becomes big in the United States, it will surely follow in other countries too. And such was the case with bingo. Across the Pond, bingo was originally called beano, because dried beans were used as counters to cover the numbers on the game board. The numbers were (and still are) chosen at random, and when a player had covered all their numbers with beans, they could shout “beano” and win. The toy salesman Lowe happened upon a game, and noted that, in over-excitement, one of the players called out “bingo” – thus earning the modern game its name.

Want to join a bingo game? Here’s what you need to know

Play at home, play in a club, or play bingo online – whatever your choice, the principles of the bingo game are the same. What’s more, they are principles that your grandparents, and probably their parents, would recognise.

Each player receives a game card with random numbers. One person is needed to call numbers, also drawn from a pot at random. The players mark or cover the numbers on their cards (one or more) as they are called out, and the winner is the first to cover all or a pre-agreed pattern – and shout “bingo!” But be warned, if you are not quick enough, the next number will have been called and you will lose your moment of glory. For the timid amongst you, remember too that the roar of a lion is better than the squeak of a mouse, for every other player must hear your call.

For a real life bingo game at home, you need only cards, numbered balls for drawing, pens for marking, and a few friends or relatives. With bingo online games it’s even easier – you need only a computer or other device connected to the internet. When you play via bingo sites, the computer does all the work of calling and marking your numbers. All you need to do is pay attention, and click “bingo!” when you’ve hit your goal. One thing doesn’t change, though – speed is of the essence.

Want to play bingo? Great! But which bingo?

British bingo

British bingo, also known as European bingo, is played on cards marked with 9x3 grids. Only five of the nine spaces in each row has a number (from one to 90), and the rest are blank – so, 15 numbers in total.
The prize in everyone’s eyes is the full house – awarded for being the first to cover every number on your game card. Lower value prizes – though not to be sniffed at – can be won for marking off either one or two rows. Punters are the life blood of bingo clubs, so it’s in their interests to offer a variety of winning options; play bingo at home, and you will probably take part in the full house version. Whatever your route to riches, though, remember that you must shout bingo!” to stake your claim.

American bingo

The bingo game popular in the United States differs from the British version, most notably in that the cards consist of 5x5 grids and that there are only 75 numbers in play. Following the American philosophy of “more is more”, there’s an extra element to the game too. The word “bingo” is written on the cards, with each letter of the name corresponding to one column. The appearance of numbers on the game card is governed by the letter, as follows: ‘B’, one to 15, ‘I’, 16 to 30, ‘N’, 31 to 45, ‘G’, 46 to 60, and ‘O’ 61 to 75. On an American bingo card you will find a free space in the middle, which can be marked off immediately and proves useful in making horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines of numbers. The bingo blackout version requires all the numbers to be covered in order to win the game.

Play online bingo, or play at home – the benefits might surprise you

You know how it was in the old days. Bingo halls were the only place to play for real cash prizes, and they were the preserve of older ladies with blue rinse hairdos. But did you ever wonder just how those same old ladies happened to know everyone they met on the street? And how they managed to know exactly what you were up to (and report back to your mum)? Surely it’s no coincidence that the game of bingo strengthens both social and observational skills.

In the real world, people are a vital element of a bingo game. Whether you play at home or in a club, flesh and blood human beings are inevitably going to be part of the setup. If you play online bingo, they flesh and blood aspect is, of course, absent – but you will still be making direct contact with other players from around the world, via the various social interaction and chat options. The computer takes control of the mechanisms of gameplay, but it will be the people you meet, exchange messages with and befriend who will provide the real entertainment. Bingo online, or bingo at home – the social aspect remains the same… and that’s why the old ladies from the bingo club always seemed to know everyone.

As for their knowing what you were doing (in all likelihood, something you shouldn’t have been up to) – it’s pretty clear that bingo improves concentration and observation skills. Remember, it’s not enough to mark all the numbers on your game card, or complete a pre-agreed pattern. If you don’t shout “bingo!” you won’t win. So now you know.

Of course there is also the financial aspect of bingo, as you can win sometimes huge payouts for tiny stakes. This must be considered a benefit of the game.

Bingo online, bingo offline… why is game so popular?

The mental benefits of a regular bingo game are probably not so obvious, so maybe they don’t play a huge role in the massive popularity of the game. Simple rules and gameplay, a night out with friends (traditionally) and the prospect of cold hard cash at the end of it are all more plausible in this respect. But it could be the sheer cross-cultural weight of this game, accumulated over many centuries, that has had the greatest impact. Almost everywhere in the world, there are people who know the game in one form or another. It is even appears on TV and in our cinemas, in, for example, the animated film Hotel Transylvania, Better Call Saul, Bad Grandpa, The Babadook, and Rampage. True, when the game is presented on screen it is often in a humorous manner or as an aside or pace-maker for the main plot – but viewers nevertheless see it as part of life.

A cup of tea – three bingo rules you need to know
Kelly’s eye, number 1:
Go with the flow. The most popular sites offering online bingo games are popular for a reason – and that reason is quality. Play online bingo on thriving portals with many players, for the quality of the service will have a positive impact on your enjoyment of the game.

One little duck, number 2:
If on the other hand you prefer your bingo in the real world, a packed out club might not be to your advantage. Remember, you need to concentrate on the numbers called to be successful in bingo. A club rammed to the rafters will probably have a negative impact on your chances.

A cup of tea, number 3:
Don’t overstretch yourself. Logic suggests that the greater number of game cards you play at any one time, the greater your chances of winning something. Not so. Quality trumps quantity in a bingo game, whether it’s online bingo or the real life version. So, while playing multiple cards can help to some extent, it will only do so as far as you are able to manage the cards effectively.

Is bingo for me?

If you human, breathing, and reading this, the answer is probably yes. Bingo is one of the great levellers, and pays no regard to wealth, nationality, sex, education, age or profession.

As already noted, you do need to be able to concentrate. In the real world (as opposed to online bingo), good hearing is also useful. But even if your attention span has in the past been compared unfavourably to that of a goldfish, fret not; you will find that, while it will be a problem at the start of your bingo adventure, the game itself will help you improve. The more you play, the better you will become.

Thanks to online bingo, you no longer need to be a people person to enjoy this game. Sure, you still have the option of inviting friends or family round for a bingo game, but if you are in the mood for an evening of splendid isolation, just fire up your browser and in a few clicks you will be able to play bingo online.

The competitive edge - play online bingo

If you have access to the internet, you can play bingo online from the comfort of your favourite armchair, in your own home. While there is nothing to stop you from connecting with people from around the world as you play, bingo online can offer you real me time.

And, indeed, why not? We now accept not just the internet, but the internet of things as an integral part of our lives. We play games, and do many other things thanks to this technology – and there’s no reason why playing bingo should not be one of them. When you sign up at one of the many sites offering bingo games online sites, you will discover for yourself what the virtual version of this game has to offer.

Play bingo games online and…
…be comfortable. Sit in your favourite seat, surrounded by home comforts, wearing your most worn-in and beloved clothes – which you wouldn’t be seen dead in on the street. Well, you don’t even need to opt for clothes at all; the point is that this freedom to be yourself is a major reason why people opt for online bingo games.
… mix your game. Join several games at once, select different variations, just be sure that you are in control of and paying attention to all of your game cards. This is a definite one up for bingo games online, as real life home versions are usually limited to just one type. On the internet, you can chop and change as you wish.
… sing and shout. Bingo clubs, even home bingo gatherings, are not the place to blast out your unique version of the current hit song trapped in your head. When you play bingo online, this is not a problem.
… connect. Playing bingo online is not the same as playing bingo alone. Most bingo sites allow you to connect with others through chat functions. You can often allow invitations from friends of friends, then get to know people and exchange messages. You don’t have to do this in public either, as private messaging is a common feature of online bingo sites.

Does money make the (bingo) world go round?
The internet, like every innovation, was quickly harnessed as a way of making money. It’s true that gambling, including on bingo, forms a huge part of internet use habits. But bingo online isn’t all about the lucre. A simple search will yield dozens of sites offering online bingo games purely for fun. And in fact, as a bingo beginner, it would be foolhardy to start gambling on the game from the off. Take your time, learn the game, get some experience under your belt, and build your confidence and skills. Even then, you must bear in mind that bingo is essentially a game of fate; you never know when lady luck will smile, and when she will frown – so don’t be in a hurry to take a real financial risk.

But here’s the real beauty of bingo. You may play at home, you may venture out to a bingo club, or you may play online – choosing to enjoy (or not) the company of strangers. Whichever option you take, bingo is a game that will absorb your stress. If you don’t believe us, try it for yourself – you won’t be disappointed.

How do you choose the best online bingo sites?

By searching the Internet, you can find hundreds, if not thousands of bingo websites where you can play a fun round. No wonder - this simple lottery game is experiencing a real renaissance lately. Choosing the best online bingo sites where you will play is not so simple - especially if you're going to play for money. So how do you find an honest website where the game will only give you pleasure? Get to know some tips that will make this task easier for you.

What does it mean to play bingo for free?

Many sites offering games for money require a deposit. This means that before you start playing, you need to transfer a sufficient amount of money to a special account. Usually, you can use them later in the gameplay. After the end of the game, you can withdraw the winnings, or the remainder of the deposit.

Online casinos often offer different promotions to players who create accounts and make deposits for the first time. Such a welcome bonus may be, for example, doubling the amount you have paid, which you can use in the further game. These types of bingo websites also offer welcome bonuses for their players. It is often just a certain amount of money that you can only devote to the game.

However, there are many free bingo apps and bingo websites that don’t require you to leave any form of deposit and you can play without having to pay any money. You can try out various bingo websites and if the game does not suit you, you can just look for another one. You don’t need to worry about getting your money back.

Read the rules carefully

Internet users very often accept the rules of websites, programs or games without reading them. When it comes to money, you should be especially careful. Before you start the game, check whether the bingo websites you found are actually free.

Before you start the game, also see how you can withdraw any winnings. Maybe it will not be that easy. Opt for a service that offers a convenient payout method. If you have chosen another option, also check how you can make your first payment. Sometimes you need to do it with the right payment card, or you must create an account in the payment service.

Different types of bingo

The internet is full of all sorts of bingo. If you've played before, you certainly know two classic varieties: European and American bingo. However, other bingo websites and free bingo apps also offer completely new types of this game. One of them is bingo slots, meaning a combination of bingo with a one-armed bandit. Sound interesting? You can find even more entertaining games just by choosing the best online bingo sites. By trying out various sites, this guarantees that if the game does not suit you, you can turn it off without any regrets.

Remember that the mechanics of the game on particular sites may differ significantly. That's why try to play on different bingo websites. In this way, you will find the website where you play best.

Check out opinions of other players

When choosing an online gambling game, it is worth looking for information about it among other players. You can easily do this thanks to online forums. So what if the bingo websites offer great start up bonuses, if they freeze every few minutes? In that case, you will only get nervous instead of enjoying the game.

When browsing forums, also pay attention to whether other players had problems with paying the winnings. Perhaps the site turned out to be unreliable and they had to ask for a transfer or they did not receive it at all. So use their experience to your benefit and find a safe and honest website.