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How to Play Online Bingo
By Brodey Sheppard - September 08, 2016
Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about bingo. It is rich in history and it has seen some major bumps along the road. But one way or another, it still manages to survive and even thrive. In recent years, thousands of bingo sites have emerged to carry traditional bingo’s torch into the future. With its availability on the Internet and the number of online bingo sign up bonuses, the game has been brought closer to players who have never tried playing it before.
New players may easily get swept up by creating an account without completely understanding what’s going on. While there are a lot of free online bingo games available so you can learn the how-to of it all before spending any precious pounds or dollars, it is fun to know how to play bingo online for money. It might seem a bit complicated for people who haven’t tried online bingo before. But the truth is the game’s very simple and fun.
Online Bingo Explained
Here’s how the system works in the online bingo industry: Every software provider works with hundreds of online bingo sites. They let these sites lease the use of their platform. Basically, the types of games that you will encounter depend on the bingo site you visit and its software provider. Needless to say, you should review the types of games that a site has to offer before you create an account with them. You may get bored if you settle with sites that offer limited types of games. Read through the list below to know the most common types of online bingo games:
- 90-ball – this is the traditional UK format where the numbers are distributed over three lines and where the caller randomly draws numbers from among 90 balls.
- 75-ball – the traditional bingo format which came from the US. It plays on a 5x5 grid.
- 80-ball – this format is played with 80 balls on a 4x4 grid.
- Five-line – players win by creating the first five lines horizontally, vertically or diagonally.
Keep in mind that a big population of online bingo sites work under a network. It goes without saying that these sites join in most or some of the games and special offers. If you are playing on a networked site, you won’t just be competing with other players on that bingo site, but you’ll also be competing with players from other sites as well. This means that the games have a large population of players and chances of winning are lower.
On the other hand, if you are aiming for online bingo loyalty bonuses, it would be advisable to play on networked sites. As long as you play within the same network, you continue to earn loyalty points.
How to Play Online Bingo
If you have just created an account on an online bingo site you will be logged in and ready to play. You may even be lucky enough to be offered an online bingo welcome bonus.
Once you’re logged in, you will be directed to a generic homepage where you can find the bingo site’s main features and games, as well as available bingo promotions. There’s also a possibility that you will be directed to your personalised account page where you will see your account details as well as offers that depend on your loyalty status.
At this point, you can choose to play bingo and will be directed to a relevant game ‘lobby’. Heere you will find a list of bingo rooms you can play in. You can click ‘play now’ to start playing in your chosen online bingo room.
You will find that every bingo room features a particular bingo game style (75-ball, 90-ball, etc.). Different ticket values that range from free to £1 (if you're in the UK) can also be found. You may even find some big games with bingo tickets that cost £5 or just a few dollars! You can find a lot of sites that run bingo games every few minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Once you’ve selected your bingo room, you will automatically see the bingo tickets which can be used for the upcoming game. All you have to do is choose the tickets that you want to play. This may also be the best time to use the online bingo bonus codes you have so you can maximise your playing experience. To choose the number of tickets that you want to buy, you would have to move the ‘slider’ or + or – buttons. Once you’ve completed your selection, you can click the ‘buy now’ or ‘purchase’ button. It is important to note that the bingo rooms have different maximum limits and minimum purchase requirements.
Seeing references to ‘maxing’ means that there’s a player who has purchased the maximum tickets for that particular game instead of selected a smaller number of strips or tickets.
Once the game begins, you will hear the Bingo Caller announcing the balls as they come out. A lot of players on different sites refer to a caller by a name. This is a tradition that online bingo players have adopted from the land-based bingo halls in order to personalise their bingo experience.
The call board will feature each number as they are announced. Most software will automatically ‘daub’ the called numbers on your bingo ticket. If you are playing on a site with manual daubing, you will find a ‘catch up’ button which will allow you to automatically mark the called numbers that you may have missed.
Each game comes to an end when a player completes the winning requirement. This means someone has hit a single line, full house or two lines in a 90-ball bingo game, or a certain pattern shape in 75-ball bingo. There are a number of online bingo games with software that will show how close to winning each ticket is. You will also see the best tickets on the screen so you can determine which ones are close to bingo. Even if you aren’t aware of it, the system will automatically announce BINGO for you so there’s no chance that you will miss a win.
You can also buy bingo tickets in advance through a number of sites. Moreover, you do not have to be in a bingo room to play and win – your tickets will play for you even if you are offline. The same goes with leaving a bingo room or logging out in the middle of any particular game.
Just as in how it goes with land-based bingo games, there can be more than one winner in online bingo games. If on the same call more than one player claims ‘Bingo’, the prize is equally divided between the winners.
Common Terms in Online Bingo
If you know how to play bingo, you know that the traditional version is centered on the meaning of the various calls. However, there are other terms that you will encounter when you play bingo online for the first time. As a beginner, here are the most common terms that you have to know:
|Tickets/cards||These will show your numbers for each game.|
|Cover-all||This is a type of bingo game in which you need to mark all the numbers on your card in order to win the jackpot.|
|CH or CM||These letters represent chat hosts, also known as chat moderators. CMs are present on bingo sites to manage the operation of chat games and to reward the prizes.|
|Full house||When you have marked off all the numbers on your card, it means you have achieved a ‘full house’.|
|Lines ||This refers to the number of lines your bingo ticket can win.|
|Patterns||This applies to 75-ball games which often require the players to create a pattern like a cross on their card rather than covering the whole card.|
|Progressive jackpot||Every time a certain bingo game is played, this special prize pot increases in value. The jackpot can either be exclusive to a particular room or it can be sitewide. This can be won once bingo is called in a particular number of balls. It takes time for the jackpot to be hit, and it can grow to be worth thousands.|
|Escalator jackpot||This is a type of progressive jackpot that runs for a given period of time. There’s an increment in the minimum number of calls every day or every hour until the jackpot is won.|
|Sliding jackpot||This has similarities to a progressive jackpot, but it only applies to one game. In any number of calls, a base prize for bingo is available. If bingo is made in a particular number of calls, larger amounts can be won.|
|Roomie||This is a term you can use to refer to other online players.|
|1TG, 2TG, etc.||These acronyms represent the phrases ‘One to go’, ‘two to go’ and so on. When a player says ‘1TG in the chat box, it means that they only need one number to completely cover a line (or full house).|