One of the most exciting online gambling experiences is bingo. You can play online bingo at a dedicated online bingo site or go to an online casino that offers online bingo as one of its games. Going to a specialist online bingo site is certainly the better option as you get dedicated bingo games there as well as plenty of exciting bonuses and promotions, including giant progressive jackpots.
If you are a player from the UK, there are a number of online bingo websites that offer you a completely secure and fun online bingo experience. If you like to dive straight in, then head on over to our list of top UK bingo sites, pick a site and start playing right away. Otherwise, keep reading to learn exactly how to play online bingo.
Online Bingo Basics
The first step towards playing online bingo is finding an online bingo website, or an online casino that offers bingo, of your choice. Once you have zeroed in on a bingo website that meets all your criteria – promotions, security, software and more – the next step is to register with the site. You have to register with the site to be able to play the games that it offers, regardless of whether it is a bingo website or an online casino. Once you have registered an account with the site, you can download the software to your computer or, if the website allows, play directly from a browser in the instant play mode.
After you have downloaded the bingo software or opened a browser to play online bingo in the instant play mode, the next step is to decide whether you want to play for free or for real money. You do not have to pay a single penny if you opt to play for free, however, if you do choose to play for free you won’t be able to walk away with any winnings.
A much better solution if you don’t want to risk any of your own money is to claim a no deposit bingo bonus – these are real money bonuses given as incentives to new players from which you can win real money.
Once you decide to play for real money, you will have to fund your account by making a deposit into it. There are plenty of deposit methods to choose from including credit or debit card, PayPal or even cash-based voucher systems such as Ukash. Pretty much all bingo sites will also offer a deposit bonus when you make your first purchase – the offers vary from site to site and some even go into hundreds of pounds. To see examples of such offers, head on over to our bingo bonuses page.
How to Play Online Bingo
Once you have selected the bingo game you want to play and purchased your tickets, you will receive a number of bingo cards for a single game equal to the number of tickets purchased. Ticket costs vary between games – from 1p a ticket all the way up to high roller games that cost multiple pounds per game. Some bingo sites also operate ‘free bingo’ games for their players – where the tickets are completely free, but there are still real cash prizes. These games are usually only open to ‘active’ players. The prizes on offer for each game are directly related to the ticket price, as well as the number of tickets that have been purchased between the players involved.
The computer’s random number generator (RNG) picks the bingo balls at random. Each time a ball appears, it will get marked off any of your bingo cards that match it. If you are the first one to match all of the numbers require to make a line, pattern or full house, you win that prize! If two or more players ‘bingo’ at the same time, the prize is shared between them.
Some bingo sites give you the option of marking the cards yourself, which many players enjoy. This can get a little tricky if you’re playing a large number of bingo cards. Luckily the bingo sites will have the option to auto-mark the cards, ensuring that you don’t miss any numbers. And even if you choose to mark the cards yourself, the system will make sure that you don’t miss out on any wins that you are due, even if a number or two slipped you by.
So that’s it – simple really! And, don’t forget to claim the free bingo money and bingo promotions that the bingo sites offer – most decent bingo sites offer promotions on an almost daily basis. By making effective use of these promotions and bonuses you can maximise your chance of walking away a big winner!
Calculating Online Bingo Odds
One of the questions we are often asked is whether or not it is possible to calculate the odds of winning in a game of bingo. In this article we’ll try and answer this question in an easy to understand way.
Because bingo is game of chance and there isn’t really much of a skill element, figuring out what the odds of you winning a prize in a game of bingo simply a case of taking the number of tickets you have purchased, and calculating what percentage of the total number of sold tickets belong to you.
So if 100 tickets were sold in total, and you purchased 10 of them, that would mean you held 10% of the tickets. And you should win, in theory, 10% of the time – or to put it another way, your odds of winning are 1 in 10.
However, most online bingo sites throw a spanner in the works by not telling you exactly how many tickets were sold. Virtue Fusion bingo sites, for example, only tell you the number of players and the total prize fund. Whilst the prize fund should be representative of the number of tickets that have been sold, it will not equal it.
The reason the prize fund differs to the total value of the tickets is that the bingo site needs to take out some of the funds in order to cover their costs – which is exactly the same way that a lottery works. So a percentage of the ticket price is retained by the site to pay their staff and software costs, to contribute to the progressive jackpots and to fund player promotions (those lovely bonuses you all like to claim have to come from somewhere!).
Conversely, many bingo sites will offer guaranteed jackpots, or minimum jackpots, to encourage players to get involved with games when the site is less busy. This results in the prize fund being worth more than the value of the tickets that have been purchased.
For example, lets say you’re playing on a site that operates a minimum prize fund of £5. It’s 3am and there are only 5 people playing, each of whom buy 50p worth of tickets. The total player contribution to the pot is £2.50, but the prize pool is still £5 – twice as much as you put in.
When you take these factors into consideration, it becomes clear than you cannot accurately predict the odds of winning – the prize find could be more or less than the value of the tickets, and there’s no real way to calculate by how much it differs. However, you can still come up with a very rough estimation by taking the prize fund and dividing it by the cost of the tickets you purchased.
So if the prize fund is £50 and you purchased £5 worth of tickets, you will have contributed somewhere in the region of 10% of the pot, giving you an estimated 10% chance of winning.