Best Bingo Online Casinos
The game of bingo has undergone a remarkable transformation in the past decade. From a game that many associate with charity events played out in dusty church halls, bingo has now become a million dollar industry that awards millions of dollars in prizes each month, thanks to the online gambling industry. Bingo sites abound on the internet, with many players drawn to them for their great social vibe, as much as the lucrative prizes, excellent promotions and endless fun that is available 24/7. Anybody who has ever played a game of lottery will instantly recognize the same elements in bingo game, making it one of the simplest and certainly one of the most popular forms of entertainment both online and off.
A lottery type game, with similar elements to bingo as we know it today, was first played in Italy in the mid 1500’s. The popularity of the Italian National Lottery soon spread to France and Germany and became a regular part of European culture from then on. Nobody knows when bingo first reached the shores of the United States, but what is for sure is that in 1929, a traveling salesman, Edwin Lowe, was enthralled with a game that what was then known as ‘beano’ in a carnival setting and immediately introduced the game to his circle of friends. Before long, beano was wildly popular among the parlors of the United States, where the name was changed quite unintentionally to ‘bingo’.
Lowe soon began marketing bingo, which also caught the attention of churches that thought that the game would attract congregants and raise much needed funds. While bingo has usually enjoyed a ‘clean’ image, there are countless bingo halls set up all across America, including Nevada. The game is also a huge hit in the United Kingdom, where bingo halls are an extension of the cultural landscape. From the 1990’s, when online casino sites first hit the internet, bingo software has enabled players to enjoy a game from the comfort of their own home, all the while chatting to other players from all around the world.
The objective of bingo is to be the first player to cover the numbers of a predetermined pattern on a bingo card. The numbers are called out randomly and the first player to cover these numbers calls out BINGO and wins the prize.
75 Ball Bingo: Bingo played in the United States and Canada, played on a traditional 5 x 5 grid with numbers ranging from 1 – 75.
90 Ball Bingo: Bingo played in the United Kingdom, with numbers ranging from 1 – 90.
Bingo Board: An electronic display board that shows the number that was last called.
Bingo Card: A playing card with numbered squares that needs to be covered according to a predetermined pattern.
Blackout: The pattern that requires all squares on the bingo card to be covered in order to win.
Caller: The person who calls out the bingo numbers in a random fashion.
Free Space: The square in the middle of the bingo card that is covered up.
Game Room: A room where bingo is played (both online and off).
Hardway Bingo: Completing the pattern of the bingo card in a straight line, without using the free space.
Multiple Winners: If more than one player shouts BINGO at the same time, the prize is divided accordingly.
Nicknames: Traditional calling names for bingo numbers.
Progressive Bingo Jackpot: A prize pot that increases in value every time the game is played, and is won in one bulk sum by a lucky player.
Speed Bingo: A variation of the game, where numbers are called quickly.
How to Play/Game Rules
Bingo is one of the simplest games to play, and even players who have never set foot into a bingo hall will understand the basic premise of the game within minutes.
The Bingo Card
A traditional bingo card is made up of five lines by five lines. On top of the five columns, the word BINGO is written, with B being the first column, etc. All numbers are allocated to a specific column, so that the numbers 1-15 fall under B, 16-30 fall under I, and so forth until the number 75. Callers refer to the numbers by their letter and number, so that a typical number called could be I20.
Each card is unique, and the numbers allocated are totally random. As a result, there are literally thousands of different bingo cards that a player may be given.
How to Play Bingo
The player purchases a bingo card or a number of cards.
The pattern to be covered (for example the entire card, one horizontal row, one vertical row) is announced before the game begins.
The numbers are either called by the caller or displayed, depending on the type of bingo being played.
As each number is called or displayed, the player needs to cover the number if it is found on his or her bingo card with the express purpose of being the first player to cover the predetermined pattern.
Numbers are called until one player completes the pattern.
The player who completes the pattern first and calls bingo, takes home the prize.
As mentioned, there are a wide number of bingo cards and patterns that players can choose from in order to keep the game varied and entertaining. In addition, there are two main variations of the game, namely American bingo and UK bingo.
American Bingo: The classic American version of the game has 75 numbers to choose from. In addition, many American players take on multiple bingo cards, as part of greater culture difference between the two.
UK Bingo: The UK bingo card is made up of numbers between 1-90.
Both American and UK bingo can be played at online casinos. Internet bingo differs from traditional land-based bingo, not only because of the obvious physical differences. Online bingo allows players to play the game faster, and increases their chances of winning with unique features such as auto play, multiple cards and auto daub.
Tips and Strategy
Bingo is considered a game of chance and thus there exists no specific strategy that will help the player bring down the house edge. However, as with every type of game, there are certain things that players can do to affect the outcome of their playing session.
Choose a bingo website that has a solid industry reputation and proven track record. You will want to spend your precious time and money enjoying your gaming session, not running after your payouts or waiting endlessly for replies to simple queries.
Give yourself a break from the computer screen once in a while. This will help your concentration and ensure that your mind is always kept alert and refreshed during your bingo session.
Stick to your budget. Determine how much money you have to spend at the online bingo site and do not exceed that amount. Some bingo fans prefer to pocket half their winnings and not play with them and put the other half back into their bankroll. That way, if they blow their bankroll, they will still have the winnings waiting for them after the session.
Don’t abuse the chat rooms. These great features are there to enable bingo players to have conversations with others from around the world, spur each other on and generally have friendly chats. Chat rooms are not meant as a tool to be rude to fellow players or to endorse your own business.
When playing bingo at a traditional bingo room, you would do well do carry at least two daubers so that you never have an excuse for not marking your cards! Also, don’t be greedy and purchase more cards that you can handle.
Finally, make sure that you take up your bingo session when you are alert and ready to roar! Never play any game for money if you feel that your senses have been impaired, whether by alcohol, tiredness or just sheer moodiness!
The simplicity of the game, combined with hours of entertainment and a vibrant social environment are just some of the reasons why literally millions of players are attracted to bingo, both online and off. The future of bingo looks extremely promising, especially the internet version, and advancements in software technology means that players are rewarded with a bingo experience that becomes more and more true to life with each passing year.