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What is bingo?
Bingo is a classic lottery-type game where players mark off numbers on a card as they are randomly drawn and called out. The game is thought to have its origins in Italy in the 16th Century where it quickly spread across Europe.
The modern game of Bingo started to take shape in Britain in the 1920s, with the word “Bingo” being an old slang expression for when you find something you’re looking for. The game started to become popular at fairs and carnivals as players would buy a card with numbers on and watch as a caller reads out random numbers.
Bingo cards or tickets typically contain twenty-seven spaces in a 9×3 grid. This will vary depending on which type of Bingo you’re playing. Numbers in Bingo are either selected by a random number generator (RNG) or by selecting numbered balls from a mechanical spinner. For online Bingo, this is usually done using RNG, but you can sometimes play live Bingo games. These live games are similar to live casino games, in that they use a live stream of a real person rather than a computer program.
Why play online bingo?
Bingo is one of the faster growing forms of online gambling for a reason. Many people are starting to discover how fun it is to play, and it offers lots of unique advantages over other types of gambling and casino games.
Here are some of the main reasons why so many people are getting into online Bingo:
- Easy to play – Bingo is one of the easiest games to get into. All you need to do is match the called out numbers to the ones on your card. The game usually takes care of all the process for you, so you just need to wait and see if you win.
- Lots of variety – Most Bingo sites have a great selection of different game types for you to enjoy. We’ll cover some of the most popular types of Bingo later in this guide.
- Games are always available – Because it’s online, Bingo games can be played 24 hours a day seven days a week. There are always games and rooms available at the big Bingo sites.
- Social aspect – One of the best parts about online Bingo is that you can chat with your friends and other players as you play. This social aspect is a big part of why online Bingo is so popular.
- Bingo bonuses – Most online Bingo sites will offer free games and more to new players. Current players will also often be able to collect special promotions and offers.
How to play online bingo
The exact rules of Bingo will depend on which version of Bingo you’re playing. We list some of the most popular types of Bingo further down in this guide. Since 90-Ball Bingo is probably the most popular type of Bingo game online, the following tips include information and rules for 90-Ball Bingo:
1. Choose a bingo site
Before you start playing it’s a good idea to make sure you pick the perfect site. You should be looking for a site that’s legal to play in your country and has a good reputation with players online. If in doubt, always check our site reviews where we give you all the details. We’ll make choosing the perfect site easy for you and help you have the best time playing Bingo online.
2. Collect your bonus
Most Bingo sites offer a welcome bonus to new players. This usually comes in the form of free Bingo tickets, the perfect way to start your online Bingo experience. Make sure you read and understand the terms and conditions before you sign up and collect the bonus. Some sites do include certain restrictions on the bonus, and you can miss out on free cash if you aren’t careful.
3. Get your tickets
If you didn’t get free tickets with your bonus, you can buy some to enter a specific room. Bingo tickets for 90-Ball Bingo contain twenty-seven spaces across a 9×3 grid. There are five numbers and four blank spaces on each row, fifteen numbers in total on the ticket.
You can buy a strip of six tickets, which will give you every possible number from one to ninety. To make things easier to see which numbers you have, the numbers are grouped together on the ticket. The first column only contains numbers from the one to ten, the next has numbers from eleven to twenty and so on.
4. How to win
90-Ball Bingo has lots of different ways to win. You’ll need to match the called out numbers to the numbers on your card and you’ll land a win if you get any of the following patterns:
One line – A single line is the first way to win and all it takes is one line across the ticket, either horizontally or diagonally. You’ll win a prize from this if you’re the first, but you can still potentially win more.
Two Lines – Two lines aren’t included in all game rules so make sure to check the rules before you play. This is two lines either horizontally or diagonally across the ticket. The lines don’t need to be connected to each other for you to win.
Full House – The full house, or Bingo as it’s sometimes called, gives you the biggest prize of the game. This is where you manage to cross off every single number on your ticket.
5. Collect your winnings
Finally, if you’re won some cash, now you can either buy more tickets or withdraw your winnings. Make sure you’ve read through the terms of your bonus, as some sites won’t allow you to withdraw any winnings from your bonus until certain conditions are met. You should also verify your identity with the site before you withdraw, as this will make things much quicker and easier.
Online bingo tips
Bingo is a game that’s all about luck. Other than buying more tickets, there isn’t really a strategy you can use to increase your odds as numbers are allocated randomly. There are steps you can take to improve your online Bingo experience, however. Here are our top tips for having fun and making the most out of online Bingo:
- Don’t get carried away – It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying as many tickets as possible. This will definitely increase your odds, but it quickly gets expensive if you aren’t winning. The trick is finding the perfect middle ground, our advice is to never buy more than a single strip.
- Play at the right times – Playing on the weekend when there are more players online can be more fun, but it also gives you a smaller chance of winning. Try to play outside of peak times and look for rooms with less people.
- Set yourself a limit – Setting limits is important when it comes to gambling. You should set a limit of how much you’re willing to spend and make sure to not go over that limit, no matter what. This prevents yourself from losing more money than you can afford and chasing losses.
- Check the rules – This goes without saying but there are still a lot of players who think that because they know 90-Ball Bingo well, they can jump straight into a different game type without knowing the rules. Knowing the rules of the game you’re playing is essential if you want to avoid missing out on wins.
Online bingo bonuses
Everyone loves getting something for free and online Bingo sites are always using special offers to entice new players into joining. At Xfire, we’re big fans of collecting the best Bingo bonuses and we always publish them here on our site.
Bingo bonuses usually offer free Bingo tickets or free entry to special competitions. These are great for all kinds of players but they’re especially useful for new players who would like to get a free taste of online Bingo before they risk any of their own money.
Online Bingo bonuses usually allow you to try out the games for free. In most cases, all you need to do to qualify for a bonus is to sign up with a new account. You may also need to make an initial deposit and verify your identity.
At Xfire, you can find all the latest Bingo bonuses including no deposit bonuses. We publish all the best bonuses we fin and also include the bonus codes so you can easily claim the latest bonuses. Make sure you check back here often as we’re always updating our bonus page with the newest and biggest bonuses.
Online bingo vs playing in bingo halls
In years gone by, the only way to enjoy Bingo was by visiting a Bingo Hall. These are purpose-built buildings were people go to play Bingo and are a great way to relax and have fun in a social setting. Bingo halls are very popular in the UK with lots of major towns having at least one Bingo hall.
In recent years however, there has been an increasing number of online Bingo that give players more convenience and options when it comes to playing Bingo. While there are still lots of Bingo halls available, they have slowly been getting loss common as more people migrate to playing Bingo online.
So what’s all the fuss about? Is playing online Bingo online really that much better than at a Bingo hall? In our opinion, yes. Playing Bingo online gives you a lot more convenience in that you don’t have to get up and travel anywhere, you can load up your favourite site and play from the comfort of your own home.
Online Bingo is also available 24 hours a day, you have loads of different options for sites and games, plus there are exciting bonuses you can claim at many sites. The only real advantage that Bingo halls have over online Bingo sites is the social aspect. However, most good Bingo sites allow you to chat with your friends and other players in chatrooms as you play.
There’s still a lot of fun to be had going to a Bingo hall, but if you prefer a wider selection of games and more convenience, online Bingo is the way to go. The greater availability of online Bingo is also one of the main reasons why the game is growing in popularity among more players than ever. Whereas Bingo halls were often associated with older generations, Bingo sites are a great place for people of all ages to hand out and play.
Playing bingo on the go
These days almost everyone has a smartphone and it’s no surprise to see that mobile play is becoming increasingly popular for online gambling. Almost every online Bingo site is now available on mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.
This means you can load up your favourite site, join a room and get playing, no matter where you are! With mobile Bingo, there’s no need to download any additional software, and sites go to great lengths to make sure that mobile players have a smooth and enjoyable Bingo experience.
Some sites may offer an app for you to download to makes playing Bingo even more convenient. With an online Bingo app, you may even get special offers and promotions sent directly to your phone.
Before you sign up to a site, make sure you check that you can access the site on a mobile device and that all the same functionality is present. You can read our site reviews to get an idea of whether the site allows mobile players or not.
Popular bingo game types
There are a lot of different types of Bingo out, so many that it can get confusing if you’re a new player. How can you know which is the best game to play? The answer is that although there are a lot of differences between game types, the answer to which one is best comes down to personal preference.
We’ve made a list of the most popular types of Bingo and the main features of each game. Use this list to give yourself an idea of what to expect when you start playing.
90-Ball Bingo is the most common type of Bingo you’ll find at most sites. This version of the game is highly popular in the UK. As you might have guessed from the name, there are ninety balls in total, meaning that numbers from one to ninety are all in play. There are usually prizes available for single lines, two lines and a full house.
80- Ball bingo
80-Ball Bingo uses a square 4×4 grid with sixteen spaces rather than the typical 9×3 grid for its Bingo tickets. There are ten fewer numbers available, with numbers going from one to eighty. A full strip is a group of five tickets which will contain every number from one to eighty. Different winning conditions depend on the exact rules that the game is being played with.
75-Ball Bingo uses a bingo ticket with a 5×5 grid, that’s 25 spaces in total. Depending on the rules of the game you’re playing, different types of patterns will ne needed for a win. These include single lines, which can be horizontal, diagonal or vertical. There are also double lines or a full house/blackout.
30-Ball Bingo is the fastest and simplest form of Bingo you can play online. With only thirty numbers, games are usually completed in just a few minutes and are a great way of completing lots of games in a short amount of time. 30-Ball tickets use a 3×3 grid containing nine numbers in total. You’ll need to cross off all nine numbers to win in this game type.
Five-line Bingo is sometimes known as Swedish Bingo and is very similar to 75-Ball Bingo. The game also uses seventy-five numbers and 5×5 grid tickets. In this game type though, you can win prizes from one line, two lines, three lines, four lines or a complete grid.
Rather than using numbers, Flash Fives games use a standard fifty-two playing card deck. You’ll be dealt five cards and will need to match them to the called cards. To win the game, you’ll need to match all five of your cards.
Progressive jackpot bingo
Most Bingo games award fairly modest prizes. Depending on the game type and the site you’re playing at, prizes are usually between a few hundred to a thousand dollars. Some sites offer progressive jackpot Bingo games, however. This means that each time someone buys a ticket, a fraction of their stake goes into a progressive prize pool.
The jackpot builds up over time and will be awarded to a random winner. Progressive jackpots can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the exact amount will depend on the site and the number of people who’ve contributed towards it.
Other bingo types
Of course, there are many other types of Bingo to be found online and you shouldn’t just limit yourself to these games. Most big sites will offer plenty of unique and interesting Bingo games for you to try out and play. Some of our favourite unique Bingo games include Bingo You Pick Them, Bingo Bonanza, Stallion Race and Roll On Bingo. These games introduce different rules, winning conditions and themes to the classic game. Make sure to always read the rules properly before you start, that way you’ll always be in with a winning chance!