How to Play and Win at Online Bingo

Bingo has been exciting players all around the world since it was first invented in the 1530s. Thanks to the dawn of the internet and the subsequent explosion of online casinos, it's now incredibly easy to find a place to play online bingo games of all shapes and sizes, allowing you to enjoy the game without ever setting foot in a traditional bingo hall! But how is this popular game played and how do you win? Bingo is one of those games that everyone seems to know how to play, and while the basic gameplay is pretty common knowledge, there are a number of variants, particularly new ones, that are not so widely known. Whether you're totally new to the game and have no idea how it's played, or you've played before but want to know about new variants of the game, you're in the right place! Read on for everything you need to know about how to play and win at online bingo!

How to Play Online Bingo

Online bingo is all about the numbers. You may have an idea in your head of what to expect, having maybe seen bingo played by older people with chunky ink pens (daubers or dabbers) in churches or halls, using a bowl filled with numbered balls. Though the basic gameplay is the same, online bingo is a far cry from that scenario, offering a fresher, younger and more exciting experience!

In order to give you an idea of how the game is played, let’s start with the basics, including the tickets or cards and the various games you may come across before we get into the details of how an online bingo game works.

Tickets or Cards

Referred to as tickets or cards from when bingo was originally played on paper tickets or cards, these contain the grids of numbers that will be commanding your attention throughout the game! Each card contains a random assortment of numbers contained within a grid. Depending on the game, you may find that the grid is a square, such as with a 4×4 or 5×5 formation, while others may be rectangular, such as the 3×9 formation. You may also find bingo cards with a symbol such as a star in the centre, while others may have a pattern marked onto them.

These bingo cards are bought before the game, which can be done easily by clicking on the game you want to play, choosing how many cards you want to play with, then buying them with your deposited funds.

Games

There are a variety of different online bingo games these days, ranging from the traditional 90-ball and 75-ball variants to the newer 30-, 36- and 40-ball variants. What are the balls that are being referred to? Traditionally, bingo is played by blindly selecting numbered balls one by one at random from a bowl or tombola. Different games use a different number of balls, with 90-ball bingo using balls numbered from 1 to 90. Even though physical balls are not used in online bingo, the name has stayed the same to indicate the type of game being played and the range of numbers that are used.

Let’s take a quick look at each of the types of online bingo games you may come across:

Other variants do exist, such as unique games that have been specifically created by game developers, often based on existing slot games, but the above variants are the most common. As a beginner, it’s a good idea to start with either 90-ball or 75-ball games until you’re more familiar with how it all works.

How it Works

Speaking of which, let’s take a look at how an online bingo game works from start to finish. The first thing you need to do to play an online bingo game is choosing the variant you want to play. Clicking on the game will give you the option to buy tickets. Make sure you have already deposited funds at your site of choice as you’ll need a balance to buy your bingo tickets. It’s a good idea to go with just a single ticket if you’re a beginner.

Once you’ve got your tickets, you just need to wait for the game to start. Game times are usually listed before you buy your tickets so you know when the next one is and which game your tickets are for. Make sure you’re in the ‘room’ in time for the start of the game!

When the game starts, numbers will be drawn (or ‘called’) at random, one by one. These will be displayed somewhere prominently on your screen. If a called number matches any of the numbers on your bingo ticket, you need to mark it. This can be done by you or you can choose to have matching numbers marked off automatically.

The aim of the game is to match enough numbers to cover one of the winning patterns before anyone else! That could be one or more lines, corners, a square, a specific marked pattern or a full house. This results in the awarding of prizes, which can range from free bingo tickets to jackpot cash amounts!

How to Win Bingo

So those called numbers are the key to winning in online bingo, but what have all the different patterns and lines got to do with it? Depending on the game you’re playing, you’ll need to get your matched numbers fitting a specific shape or pattern to win.

Let’s take a look at these different winning patterns and in which games you can expect to find them:

Online Bingo Strategies

So now you know how to play online bingo and what you have to do to win, is there any way to actually improve your chances of winning? While you may think not because of the fact that the numbers are drawn at random, there are actually a few things you can do to get a bit of an edge playing online bingo! The following tips may work to a greater or lesser degree depending on what game you’re playing, but they’re all worth considering. Let’s check them out!

Pick your times wisely

What has the time of day got to do with your chances of winning? Bingo is all about being the first to make up those winning lines and patterns, so playing when there are fewer players means you have a better chance of being that lucky first winner!

You can use this knowledge to your advantage in a couple of ways. Try to choose a time of day or day of the week when not a lot of other people are playing, such as an early morning or on Mondays. You can also check the number of players at a specific time before the game starts so you can pick a game that isn’t so busy.

Buy more cards

Another great tip for improving your chances of winning is to simply play with more cards. The more cards you play, the more numbers you have that could potentially be called, and so the better your chances of winning! However, if you are going to play with more cards, make sure you have the auto-dab option selected, otherwise, you could quickly find yourself struggling to find all your matches!

Don’t skip the chat rooms

Bingo has always been regarded as quite a social game and online bingo has retained that trait with the use of chat rooms. A chat room is a little section of the in-game screen where you can chat and have a laugh with other players as you play, but how does that improve your chances of winning? These chat rooms often have their own little competitions that award prizes for matching certain numbers or even doing things that are totally unrelated to the game. Miss these and you may miss out on extra wins!

Try a strategy

Did you know that there are a couple of specific strategies that it’s claimed can help boost your chances of winning? Marking off numbers on a bingo card doesn’t exactly have any leeway for strategising, but you are the one who picks your bingo cards before the game, and it’s here that some claim a strategy can prove useful.

Here are two bingo systems to try:

Choose a reputable site

It’s important to choose an online casino that is trustworthy and reputable so you can be sure of a payout when you win. Make sure the site in question is fully licensed by a legitimate gambling authority and offers only provably fair games.

It’s also worth noting that many reputable sites also offer great bonuses for playing bingo games. Some may even give you free access to bingo games as a beginner or new player, which is a great way to get started playing the game. It’s also common to find sites that reward regular gameplay with bonuses and extra tickets, so look out for those!