Online Bingo Intro
If you’ve ever wondered what this online bingo malarkey is all about wonder no more. We’re here to explain to you everything you need to know to get started on one of our nation’s favourite pastimes. And the best bit? You don’t even have to leave your sofa to be in with a chance of winning big!
The game is really old
While online bingo has been around for 20 years now, the game of bingo itself is much, much older. It was first invented in the 1530s in Italy and was originally more of a lotto-type game. It then found itself spreading out into wider Europe before crossing the pond to our American cousins. It was here that the game evolved into the version we play today. Its name was originally going to be ‘Beano’ named after the dried beans that were used to cover the numbers on the cards, but when the American toy maker Edwin S. Lowe tested the game on his friends, one of them yelled out ‘Bingo’ instead of ‘Beano’ and it stuck!
Is it legal in the UK?
While some countries are strict on gambling online, in the UK it is a pastime that is enjoyed by many. In England, the game falls under the category of a lottery type game thanks to a definition given in the 1928 Royal Commission report. It is considered a game of chance as every participant is provided with a random set of numbers, which allows it to avoid the licensing issues that can flounder casino games.
How do you play online bingo?
Playing online bingo is really simple, and contrary to popular belief, players don’t miss out on the sense of community you can find in a bingo hall. This is in part down to that chat rooms that are run by friendly chat hosts to encourage conversation.
Much like in a bingo hall, games of both 90 and 75 ball bingo are played and because there are so many people online at the same time, jackpots can be huge. For example, in 2012 a grandfather from Lincolnshire won a staggering £5.9 million jackpot by betting just 30p on his card!
Games can cost as little as 1p a ticket, and max out at around £1 per ticket with the larger sums usually rising in line with larger jackpots. Players can purchase between 1-96 tickets per game, much more than you would usually find in a bingo hall.
The process works like this:
1. Players sign up for the site and are usually offered bonus funds for doing so. This adds to your bank roll, but do bear in mind that there are playthrough requirements attached before withdrawals can be made. Check out the terms and conditions when you sign up.
2. Players then deposit funds into the bingo site’s secure banking system. These are protected using the latest SSL security protection for peace of mind, ensuring that your personal details are kept safe.
3. Players then enter the lobby. Here you will find a selection of 75 ball and 90 ball games, each with their own jackpots and ticket prices easily displayed. There will also be a counter for each game telling you how long it is before the game starts. Simply select the game you would like to play to take you to the right room.
4. Once in the room you purchase your tickets. To do this there is usually a slider so you can select how many bingo cards you would like to buy. Cards are usually marked automatically for you, meaning you can purchase more than you would usually at a bingo hall without the fear of missing a number. You can, however, chose to mark your cards manually yourself if you prefer. Once you have selected your cards, you click ‘buy’ which than purchases your cards ready for the game to begin.
5. Sit back and watch as the numbers are called and displayed on your screen. These are usually audibly called out as well for those who prefer a more realistic feel to their bingo experience. In some bingo rooms video link is also available showing you the numbers being called by a real-life bingo caller.
6. Chat to your hearts content in the chatroom. Here you will find all the other players of the game you are playing as well as a friendly chat host. As well as getting everyone talking, the chat host will also organise chat games where you can win bonus points or cash prizes when you take part. Some chat games will require you to answer a question, whereas others may award you bonus points simply based on your positioning in the chat list.
7. Win! Well, hopefully anyway. You don’t need to claim for your win yourself, the computer does that for you so you can be sure you’ll never miss a prize. Good news if you want to wander away from your PC or tablet while you make a brew.
Types of games in online bingo
As mentioned above there are 75 ball and 90 ball bingo games commonly found online, although some sites also include 80 ball games. 75 ball games consist of cards of 5 rows of 5 numbers and sometimes have the middle or top left square marked as a free number. Some games are broken down into 1 line, 2-line, 3-line, 4-line and full-house rounds offering five chances to win per game. On other games, you are required to complete a set pattern to win the game.
In 90 ball games, there are usually three chances to win, a 1 line game, 2-line and full-house, although some larger jackpot games are played as a straight-through full-house game with no 1 line or 2-line rounds.
Each game has a kitty which is split over the rounds of each game. Say for example, a 90 ball game has the kitty of £50 to win. It may be broken down like this:
1 line – £10
2 lines – £15
Full house – £25
In addition to a kitty, many games also have a progressive jackpot. This is usually a much larger sum and is awarded to a full house winner if they win the game in a set amount of numbers called, for example under 40 numbers.
Thinking of giving it a try?
If you’re wondering if playing online is worth it we urge you to give it a try. Setting up an account is simple, and often you are given a free bonus just for signing up to get you started. Who knows, you could be as lucky as our chap in Lincolnshire and make yourself a millionaire!