If you’re not too familiar with playing bingo, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s all pretty much the same deal – you’re marking numbers off on your card (whether real or virtual) and the first person to mark off all their numbers wins. But there’s far more to it than that, which is why more and more people are beginning to play online bingo according to the statistics.
traditional forms of the game, which traces its origins all the way back to Renaissance Italy. But in the online and smartphone era, which is a highly competitive one, all the bingo providers have to compete hard for our custom, and they do so in ever increasingly creative ways. This can take the form of free offers and free games and promotions of course, but it’s also competitive in terms of the variety and diversity of bingo games played, the accompanying graphics and sound effects and, above all, the user experience.
The success of the disappearing message app Snapchat perfectly demonstrates how short our attention spans are these days and how instant online gratification is king. Bingo providers understand that if they want to keep us interested, they’re going to have to make their sites fun and interesting places to be. Otherwise we’re going to vote with our feet – or should that be our fingers!? In short, the more innovative bingo operators make sure they provide a variety of bingo games and those which are most fun to play. Some bingo sites, including Sun Bingo, also offer casino-type games such as slots.
The most popular, and most traditional, form of bingo in the UK is “90-Ball Bingo”. This is played on cards with 15 numbers spread at random over three rows of numbers with five numbers on each tier. No numbers are repeated and there are 90 numbered balls in total. As the balls come out of the draw, the numbers are called and players tick off their cards. Usually, the first player to mark off a line of all five numbers on a card is deemed the winner. In traditional bingo halls, players would shout “house”, “housey-housey” or simply “bingo”. The same game then usually continues on the same cards as players compete to become the first to mark off two lines, followed by a full house (having marked off all the numbers on their card).
In the USA, the equivalent form of bingo is known as “75-Ball Bingo”. This has 75 balls and cards which are five by five rows – so a 25-box grid. The cards are usually marked with a “free space” in the centre slot. The winning player is the first to mark a card with a row of five numbers marked off – either in a row, or as a column, or as a diagonal. This version of bingo is also available online with UK providers.
“80-ball Bingo” is relatively new in the UK. In this version, cards have rows of four by four. Each row uses different colours for numbers in sets of 20, i.e. 1-20, 21-40, 41-60, and 61-80. The basics of the game are the same – the first player to mark off a completed line wins.
Other forms bingo include Mini Bingo with just 30 balls and cards of 3 x 3, Pattern Bingo whereby players need to complete a certain pattern like a letter T, or all four corners etc., “Coverall Bingo” where only the first to a full house is the winner, and “Quickie Bingo” where the numbers are called rapidly.
And this is by no means an exhaustive list. There are also “Bonanza Bingo” with progressive jackpots for a full house, “Money Ball” whereby a number doubles a player’s win amount, “Lucky Ball,” where the first number drawn is deemed “lucky” for a whole bingo session and players who win with it gain additional prizes, to name but a couple more.
Bingo has never been more diverse, or more fun to play thanks to the creativity of the online providers – which is surely why more of us are playing online than ever before. In fact today, there are thought to be over three million players playing online Bingo regularly in the UK alone.