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There was a time when the only way to play a game of bingo was to head on down to a local bingo hall. Thanks to modern technology, there are now many ways to access bingo games online. The first ‘virtual’ bingo halls launched at around the turn of the century and have become very established since then. Recently, we’ve seen the availability of bingo on smartphones and tablets, making the games more accessible than ever before.
Playing Bingo Games Online
Bingo games vary a great deal from platform to platform and have gone through many changes and improvements since the advent of the first bingo games online. The biggest of these improvements is that most sites now offer no-download bingo play. You don’t have to download anything and you can access the games through your browser. This has been a real boon for the industry, as it allows players to log on to their account and play from any device. Some require you to download an app, but many just play directly from your browser screen.
Best new bingo sites will have a selection of rooms for players to choose from. That usually means more than one variant of bingo. These games are usually accessible from what sites call the ‘Bingo Lobby’. How the lobby is displayed will depend on whether you are playing from a desktop device or a mobile device. While all aspects of the game will be available for desktop, sometimes compromises are made for the screen size of mobile devices.
When you do enter the bingo lobby from desktop or mobile, rooms are shown either in a list or a tabular format. It’s easy to see what’s coming up, as the lobby screen will show all the information you need on upcoming real money and free no card details bingo games. When you decide which room you would like to play in and enter, you’ll find much more than just bingo tickets.
Features of Bingo Gaming Sites
Most sites offer chat rooms where you can chat along with other players, making it a real community activity that can be as much fun as a night out. Chat rooms are usually hosted too, so there’s always a reliable moderator present to offer help and advice. These moderators even run chat games where you can win one off bingo bonuses that you can transfer back into money to continue playing bingo. The social aspect of the game is one of the main draws of bingo games on the internet.
When playing your favourite types of bingo games, you may also see a selection of other instant-win games. You can play online slot machine games and scratch cards while the regular bingo is in play, or in between games. Many of these side games have brilliant graphics, drawing the player right into the game. While bingo jackpots can be generous, progressive video slots jackpots can go through the roof! This is where many big prizes are won - not in the main game itself - but in the side games and mini games.
Online Bingo Game Tickets
We can’t forget the bingo games themselves of course! You’ll usually find the bingo tickets take up the largest part of the bingo screen on a desktop device. They'll take up more or less all the screen if you’re playing from a mobile device.
Buying tickets for your bingo games is fairly easy and many sites have a multi-buy option. Ticket prices vary online, and while we see lots of penny games, some sites do charge up to £1 a ticket. Jackpot games can be even higher than that. It’s worth noting that ticket prices can change from game to game, so you should keep track and check how much each game's worth so you that you don’t overspend.
Just as you get variation in the ticket prices, you’ll see variation in the pot prizes too. The pot size in a room will depend on many things, from how many players are participating in the game, to how much the tickets cost, and how much of the sales goes into the pot.
Bingo Game Jackpots Online
There are also jackpots to consider. Many top UK bingo rooms have their own set of progressive jackpots where an ordinary game can turn into a big jackpot win. You will also find special bingo rooms in the lobby. These are rooms aren’t open all the time, and usually offer one-off jackpot games. The prizes here can be either be fixed, or it can incrementally increase as the game progresses. While a standard game may be worth anything from £10 to £100, a jackpot game can offer thousands of pounds!
You may also encounter jackpots that do not offer any cash at all. These prizes could be brand new cars or once in a lifetime holidays. While these types of jackpots don't have the same lure as hard cash, the prizes can still be very tempting to the right audience. Many brand new bingo sites will offer a cash alternative if you don’t like or can't use the prize on offer.
Features of Online Bingo Games
When you’re playing bingo at new UK sites, the easiest way to keep up with the numbers is by using the auto-daub function. Using this function allows you to chat and play other games as you go. Auto-daub is usually the way the game is set up as standard. By using this function, you can watch your cards and listen to the bingo calls, but your numbers are marked automatically. They are often auto-sorted so your ‘best card’ is always on top. As you get closer to the win, you’ll see your cards marked with 3tg, 2tg or 1tg, or they’ll change colour. This marks your progress through the game and shows you how close you are to a win. If you don't know what 3tg, 2tg, or 1tg means, you can look at our page about bingo lingo and slang.
With the auto-daub, you don’t have to worry about anything. You can just chat with your friends and celebrate the wins as you play your favourite bingo games. Should you prefer to daub your own cards, or not listen to the caller, you can use the settings to change the gameplay. While this may vary from site to site, but there are usually quite a few options to personalise your bingo games online.
If playing top mobile bingo sites using a device, you may find it a bit different from a desktop screen. But don't worry, you will easily find the icons you need to open chat boxes, games and other functions. This makes the mobile version as easy to play as the desktop version.
Types of Online Bingo Games
So now you know how to play online bingo games and you have an idea of how the online game works. There are so many different variants of bingo available and each come with different rules and a different prize structure. Some games have one winner, others more. Some games play with 30 balls, others with 90, and everything in between. Here’s a quick rundown on the rules of each variant of the bingo game online and how to play.
90 Ball Bingo
It makes sense to start with the most common, and most popular form of bingo played in the UK and that is traditional 90-ball. This classic game is played at bingo halls up and down the country. The 90-ball version is played on a 9 x 3 grid with five numbers on each line and blank spaces in between. As the name suggests the ball pool is 90 numbers and the game offers three prizes each game, for one line, two lines and then the full house.
75 Ball Bingo
American 75-ball bingo is also popular here. For 75-ball bingo, the bingo game is played on a 5 x 5 grid with one free square in the middle. Players are required either to cover all the squares, or to cover a particular pattern. There is just one winner per game and that person is the one who covers all the required squares first.
80 Ball Bingo
More recently, we’ve seen unique bingo games available, as new UK bingo sites try and offer more and more titles to attract players around the world. One of these is the 80-ball game, less frequently stumbled across but popular all the same. 80-ball is sometimes known as shutterboard bingo. Games are laid out in a 4 x 4 grid and there are usually two prizes for the game, one for the line or pattern required and a full house prize too.
50 Ball Bingo
Another newer addition to the market - and not available at every site - is 50-ball bingo played on a 2 x 5 grid. The game usually offers two prizes for a single line and then the full house. Although not available everywhere, the 50-ball game is appearing at more and more online bingo sites. It is proving popular where ever it is available.
30 Ball Bingo
For players who like their bingo game fast and furious, there’s 30-ball bingo. Again, this isn’t available at all sites, but if you can find a site that offers it, you should try it out. It’s a high-speed, non-stop, exciting way to play bingo. The 30-ball variant plays on a 3 x 3 grid, with just 30 balls, as the name suggests. While the rules for this can vary from site to site, there can be as many as three winners per game for one line, two lines and the full house. That's not bad for a game that can be over in 90 seconds.
Hybrid Bingo Games & Unique Variants
The bingo games mentioned above are the common variants you will find on the Internet. However, there are plenty of other types of bingo games you will enjoy playing. Most of them are given an exciting twist that will keep you playing for long periods of time. For instance, you can check out 30-ball Speed Bingo. It involves the standard game of bingo but the game is faster than the common variants that it only lasts no longer than 30 seconds. On the other hand, you can try hybrid games like Snap Bingo. It is part bingo and part playing cards, so you will find something interesting in this game.
Play Online Bingo Games Now!
As you try different sites, you’ll find that each site offers its own games. While most sites offer the main two variants, 90-ball and 75-ball, there are sites that go further than this. Some offer every type of game you could possibly want, with extra bingo bonuses thrown in too!
As always, it’s a case of checking before you start playing bingo games online. Familiarise yourself with the best sites, and making sure you’re armed with all the knowledge before you start to play! If you need help finding the right site for you, check out our trusted bingo site reviews.
Playing online is a lot of fun, and is an appealing, fun and social way to pass the time! A night in the online bingo hall can be as much fun as a night on the town, and you can even do it in your pyjamas!