75 Ball Bingo
75 ball bingo originated in the United States and is played much more regularly in bingo halls over there than the 90 ball equivalent which we use in the UK. However, playing online has evened the score somewhat introducing a whole new audience to both games equally. If you’ve never played 70 ball bingo you’re in for a treat. Here is all you need to know about the American version of the game.
75 ball tickets are created using 5×5 grids and can contain either 24 or 25 numbers (24 numbers will be used if the middle space is free/blank). Tickets will usually have the letters of the word BINGO spelled out along the top of the card with one letter for each column. The numbers in the B column will be between 1-15, I will contain numbers 16-30, N houses 31-45, G column is home to 46-60 and the O column has numbers between 61-75 in it. When numbers are called in 75 ball bingo, the letter of the column the number is in will be called too, for example B3.
There are three different versions of a 75 ball bingo game and whether you choose to play online or in person, the winning method will be explained to you before the game begins. The playing methods are as follows:
One line and then a full house:
In this variation of the game, you first play to complete one line of your card. In games where a prize is awarded for one line you wouldn’t usually have any free squares in your game. However, this will vary from hall to hall so make sure that you know the rules before you begin playing. Once someone has called and has won the one line the game then continues until someone fills all the numbers on their card – this is known as a full house. For a line to count it can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Some games also allow wins if all four corners are covered in lieu of a line.
One line, two lines, three lines, four lines, full house:
This is more commonly seen in an online game than in a bingo hall game. Play begins like the one line and full house game, but after the one line in completed the game carries on to a two line game, then a three line etc until five rounds have been played. There are usually no free squares in this game.
Unlike the two options above, this game is completed when a player has marked off all their numbers that create a specific pattern on their card. Common patterns include simple shapes such as crosses, hearts and champagne glasses. Other patterns may include letters or numbers. A variation on the pattern bingo game sees players try to complete a ‘crazy’ pattern – one that can be positioned at any angle on the bingo card. So, for example, a clock pattern with the hands pointing at 12 o’clock would be a winner, but so would a clock with hands pointing at any other time.
Prizes vary depending on many factors, most notably the number of players and the number of claims per game. Larger numbers of players will attract larger rewards and smaller sums will be given for lower player numbers.
It is also worth knowing that prize sums are divided by the claims in the game, so in the case of the pattern bingo above, the prize money is only awarded on one game outcome – completing the pattern. In the case of the 1,2,3,4 and full house game, the prize funds have been divided five times, one for each part of the game, meaning more chances of winning, but lower winnings for each successful player.
Games where less is paid per ticket will also generally have a lower prize fund than those where tickets cost more, so this is something to weigh up when considering your gaming budget. In a bingo hall, it may be difficult to find out what the prize funds will be until you’ve purchased your tickets, but this is much easier online where the amount paid out per line and full house/pattern is readily displayed for you to check.
Know the rules
It goes without saying that any time you are playing a game where money is at stake you should take the time to familiarise yourself with the rules. If you are visiting a bingo hall and are unsure of the rules of the game or it is your first time playing, it is a good idea to ask a member of staff to run through how to play so you feel more confident.
If you are playing online, game rules are provided in the FAQ and usually in a link attached to the game itself for peace of mind. This way you can play worry free without making a mistake that could cost you a win.
A way of increasing your odds is to purchase multiple cards per game rather than playing with one. It goes without saying though that playing more cards will diminish your bingo budget more quickly, so calculate the benefits carefully. Also do bear in mind that if you are playing in person rather than online you will need to mark the cards off yourself, so make sure that you don’t purchase more than you can comfortably handle. Bingo games can go quickly, and if you’re struggling to keep up you are more likely to miss any potential wins. When playing online this shouldn’t be a problem as you can set your game to auto-daub so that your cards are marked automatically for you.
Play at Quiet Times
If you’re playing online and are looking to increase the odds of winning it is much more effective to play in quieter times to avoid larger numbers of players. With less players, you are going to have a better chance of winning, and by avoiding the busier periods you can get to grips with the game if you are a novice player. Take note of the busy times online (straight after work and weekends can be busy, for example) and try to build your bingo schedule around to avoid those times. You will find that with a bit of research you will come across those games that attract the most people and work out a time that best suits your needs.