Bingo is a lottery-type game that’s been around in its modern form since the 1920s, but it has its roots in much older games played across the world for centuries. It remains popular today, and while Bingo halls may not be as common these days, Bingo has surged in popularity in recent years thanks to online Bingo sites. There are plenty of different types of Bingo out there, but the main rules of the game are fairly similar.
Bingo is a straightforward game to learn, and it can be played without needing to practice or learn lots of complicated strategies. This sets it apart from lots of other forms of gambling and makes it highly accessible to all types of players. Whether you gamble extensively, or you’ve never been to a casino before, Bingo is great fun and simple to play, but a lot of newcomers are still put off by some of the terminologies. The fact that there are so many different game types can also be confusing for some.
At Xfire, we love playing Bingo, and we enjoy helping new players to discover the game. Knowing how to play, and the different types of games available will help to be more successful while playing Bingo online. Even if you’re just playing for fun, it’s good to know about the rules as it will help you choose the most fun games to play.
We’ve put together this guide which explains everything there is to know about Bingo. We’ll let you know all about the different ways to win, the key differences between popular game types and the best ways to play. If you’re just starting out with Bingo or would like to learn more about the game, this is the perfect guide for you.
The basic rules of online bingo
If you’ve never played Bingo before online or in real life, don’t worry, it’s incredibly straightforward to play. Here we’ll explain the basic rules and go over some of the details later on.
To play Bingo, you’ll need a Bingo ticket. In traditional Bingo, this would be printed on a small slip of paper, but online Bingo obviously uses a virtual alternative. This ticket contains a grid which is partly filled by numbers. Depending on which type of Bingo you’re playing, the grid could be 9×3, 5×5 or a different size.
The numbers on your ticket are essential to the game. Once the game starts, numbers will be called out at random. Traditional Bingo uses a tombola machine, or a random number generator read out by a person. Most online Blackjack games simply use a random number generator and display the numbers as they appear. Each time your number appears, it will automatically be crossed off.
Winning at bingo
To win at Bingo, you’ll need to complete an entire line of crossed out numbers. Depending on which game type you’re playing, you can win with one horizontal or diagonal line, two horizontal or diagonal lines or by completely filling the grid. Because there are multiple ways to win, a game of Bingo can have multiple winners, and you could win several prizes from one game.
Online bingo glossary
If you’re a new player, some of the terms and phrases used in Bingo might initially be confusing. We’ve included some of the most popular terms and definitions of each to give you a better understanding of the game.
Admission – Each Bingo game you play will require an admission of a certain number of Bingo tickets. This is usually between one and six for most sites. Also sometimes known as the buy-in.
Bingo card – The Bingo card or ticket is the sheet which will display your numbers. As the game progresses and numbers are called out, your numbers will automatically be crossed off. Form lines to win prizes. Different game types will have different Bingo cards, some with more numbers on than others.
Chatroom – A lot of online Bingo sites provide a chatroom for players to use while they play. Bingo is a sociable game by nature, so it’s good that online Bingo is managing to replicate some of that, and most sites have a strong sense of community.
Full House – A full house occurs when you mark off all of the numbers on your Bingo card. This is the final prize available in Bingo, and the game usually ends once a Full House has occurred.
Game room – Most online Bingo sites use game rooms to separate players into individual games. This way it gives players a better chance of winning as rooms won’t be too overpopulated.
Jackpot – A jackpot is the top prize on offer and players can win the whole thing or a share of it.
Multiple winners – Sometimes, multiple winners occur at the same time. If this happens, the prize is shared between them.
Progressive jackpot – A progressive jackpot is a type of jackpot which builds up over time as more players play. It will always keep increasing until it’s eventually won. Progressive jackpots on popular sites can quickly build up into massive prizes.
How to win at bingo
Almost all types of Bingo feature three different ways to win and three separate prizes. We’ve listed the three ways to win below and what you’ll need to do to get your hands on those prizes.
- One Line – One line is the easiest way to win and the simplest to understand. All it takes is a single line, either horizontal or diagonal from one end of the ticket to the other. Some game types will also allow you to win with a vertical line. We cover more details about specific rules for game types later in this guide. Make sure you check the rules before you play.
- Two Lines – This is pretty much the same as the first way, only this time you’ll need two lines. Again, this will depend on the type of game you’re playing with, but lines can usually be horizontal or diagonal and sometimes vertical. To land a two lines win both lines have to be on the same ticket. If you have two separate single lines on two different tickets, this won’t count.
- Full House – A full house is the final way to win for most games of Bingo. This is where every single number on your ticket has been called out and crossed off. A Full House win usually awards the biggest prize, so you’ll have your fingers crossed hoping you land this one.
Different bingo game types and rules
Bingo is an easy game to learn as you’ve seen, but there are a few different game types out there. These types of Bingo usually follow the same basic rules but have some slight differences in how they work. In most cases, it’s not too hard to learn the differences between Bingo rules. Just because you’ve only ever played one type of Bingo, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try out a different game type.
We’ve written up a list of the most popular types of Bingo you’ll come across online. We’ve included some details about their rules and what makes them different from regular Bingo. Hopefully, you’ll be interested in trying out some different types of Bingo and who knows, maybe you’ll discover a new favourite game!
90 ball bingo
This is the most popular form of the game in the UK, and it’s commonly found online. As the name would suggest, this Bingo game uses 90 balls, which each have their own number. Bingo tickets can feature numbers from 1-90 while playing 90 Ball Bingo.
- Each Bingo ticket has a 9×3 grid which will always contain four empty spaces and five numbers on each of the three rows.
- With fifteen numbers in total, players can usually purchase a strip of six tickets which will always contain every number from 1-90.
- Most games allow a maximum of six strips to be bough, totalling 36 tickets and 540 numbers.
- You can win with a single line of five numbers, two lines of ten numbers all on one ticket or a Full House with all numbers crossed off on one ticket.
75 ball bingo
This is a slightly different form of Bingo which is generally more popular in the US. As with 90 Ball Bingo, the clue is in the name. 75 Ball Bingo uses 75 numbered balls which will match numbers 1-75 featured on the Bingo tickets.
- Bingo tickets use a 5×5 grid, and each contains twenty-four numbers in total. The middle space is considered a free space.
- Unlike 90 Ball Bingo, there are no blank spaces in 75 Ball Bingo.
- A strip is a group of three tickets which will contain every number from 1-75.
- Generally, players are allowed to buy a maximum of six strips which will give you eighteen tickets and 432 numbers.
- You can win with horizontal or vertical lines plus the Full House. Some other game rules may allow you to win with different patterns too.
80 ball bingo
As with the other types of Bingo, this is named after the number of balls that would be used to play the traditional game. In a Bingo hall, numbered balls are pulled out of a spinning machine at random. Online though, balls are virtual, and RNG creates the numbers.
- Bingo tickets used for this game type feature a 4×4 grid.
- All spaces on the grid are occupied by 16 numbers.
- A strip is a group of five tickets which will feature every number from 1-80.
- Different game types have different winning conditions. Lines, vertical lines two lines, full house and patterns are all ways for players to win.
30 ball bingo
Sometimes known as Speed Bingo, these games are lightning-fast and are a great way to quickly play a few games in a short space of time. Games generally only take a few minutes to complete at most as there are fewer numbers.
- Bingo tickets consist of a 3×3 grid which contains nine numbers.
- Players can buy a strip of tickets but the exact amounts you can buy vary depending on the site you’re playing at.
- Because the tickets are so small, there are no line wins.
- The only way to win is with a Full House.
Flash fives is slightly unique compared to most other types of Bingo. Rather than using numbered balls and numbered tickets, it instead uses playing cards. Sometimes known as 52-5 Bingo, players will purchase tickets known as hands.
- Hands contain five cards each.
- The caller draws cards from a deck and calls them out.
- You’ll need to match all five of your cards to win.
- Players can but multiple hands at the start of the game.
Progressive jackpot bingo
Progressive jackpots are big prizes that build up over time as more people enter. They’ll always keep increasing until they’re eventually won, which can lead to some massive prizes. A lot of Bingo sites offer progressive jackpot games. If you like big wins, you won’t want to miss these.
Any type of Bingo can be played with a progressive jackpot, but there is usually an extra winning condition that triggers the main prize. Make sure you read the rules before you play, so you know what to look out for. Progressive jackpots can be triggered for hitting certain combinations of numbers, having matching patterns on your tickets or reaching a full house within a certain number of balls.
Other bingo variations
While we’ve covered the most popular Bingo variations above, there are lots of different game types out there besides these. Here are a few which you might come across online:
Bingo Bonanza – In this game type, players will have the chance to win before the game begins. Forty-three numbers are pre-drawn, and you’ll be able to win instantly after purchasing a ticket. If no one wins, the game continues with balls being drawn as normal. The jackpot rolls over to the next round if no winners are made from the pre-drawn numbers.
Pattern Bingo – This is a rule variant that can apply to any of the previously mentioned Bingo types. Here, instead of making a line or a full house, players will win by making certain patters. These rules can be used alongside the regular game to give out additional prizes or can be the only way to win.
Bingo You Pick ‘Em – This version of Bingo is more similar to lottery games and Keno. Here, players will be able to choose the numbers they want. If you have particularly lucky numbers you like using, this is a great game type to play. Winning conditions are the same as regular Bingo, once a certain amount of your numbers have been called, you’ll win.
Bingo Elimination – This is basically the reverse of regular Bingo. Here, rather than winning, any player who gets a full house will be eliminated. The winner is whoever is the last player left. This is a great way to spice up Bingo a little bit and make it more exciting and unique.