Most people, whether they have played or not will be familiar with the game of bingo, how it is played and what you basically need to do to win. Some of us may be a little rusty or maybe have never played a single game so are then called 'newbies'! So for all of us that don't know how to play online bingo we have put together a little guide..
Firstly, you'll need to understand the three main types of bingo games before you learn how to play online bingo. These are known as 75 ball bingo, 80 ball bingo, and 90 ball bingo; they are named as you might probably have guessed, from the amount of balls that are used in each of the games. Basically all bingo games involve the drawing of numbers from a pot at random and in the case of online bingo they are drawn using a RGN or random number generator.
You'll need to choose a site, that in itself isn't the easiest task as there as so many these days! The best thing to do is either browse through some bingo site reviews or ask a friend for a recommendation. You may be tempted by big bonus offers or free bingo no deposit bonuses, as a newbie it is probably a good idea to start with a site that offers some free bingo. That way if you don't particularly like the site or what is on offer there you can leave without losing a penny of your own.
When you register you'll need to choose an alias, this is just an AKA or a pretend name. You can make this as silly as you like, try to remember it though or make a note of it for when you want to come back and login again. You'll need to enter your email address, your home address, your telephone number and choose a password too. When you have completed the registration form you'll usually need to verify your bingo account. Make sure to do this as often you won't receive your free bingo bonus until you have done so. To verify your account just visit your email inbox and find the email that your chose bingo site have sent you, there should be a link contained within the email which you will need to click on. That link will take you back to the site and bobs ya uncle- you're a fully fledged member of that bingo site.
First thing to do is to make sure you have a look around in the bingo lobby, you'll see a choice of different games to play. There will be a list of those games, the jackpots available and number of players per room. You'll usually find the following games;
90 ball bingo is the most common bingo game in the UK, and this is also the simplest to play, generally speaking.
75 bingo is a North American favourite, as opposed to 90 ball bingo which is favoured in the UK but you are likely to find it at most bingo sites.
Of course you could stumble upon 80 ball bingo, which is a kind of hybrid version of both 75 and 90 ball bingo, it was actually not really ever used in land based halls and has been developed for online bingo specifically.
30 ball bingo or speed bingo, it's a fast paced game.
All bingo players operate in a different style when choosing a room to play in. Some of us are big jackpot chasers and like the biggest rooms with the largest prizes, this of course lowers the chance to win the line and jackpot prizes as there are more players and that means more cards in play for that game. Then there are the smaller rooms with smaller prizes, this means although the prizes are less you do in fact have a better chance of winning as your bingo odds are improved with less cards in play. I have been informed that if you play at odd hours of the day ie 1am then you have a better chance of winning a game, personally I like my sleep far too much so I can't give you confirmation on that count! If you're not an Eastenders or Corrie fan this can be a good time to take advantage of quieter bingo rooms so I'm told.
Ok, so now you can choose your room based on player numbers and understand that part. Now which type of bingo game do you play first? A good start is 90 ball bingo as it's easy to follow and you'll find it at almost every bingo site on the planet.
When you enter a bingo game you'll more than likely notice a chat screen where people are usually saying weird things, well weird until you understand bingo lingo anyway! You should be welcomed into the room by the resident chat host, you can either reply and join in with the nattering or if you would prefer there should be an option to turn off the chat screen. It is nice to congratulate others or be congratulated too, so if you like a chat then why not join in with them. I have seen the strangest and most random conversations going on, it could be anything from what players have had for tea or what Alfie Moon is up to on that nights episode of Eastenders. I'll be honest I love joining in! You may come across chat games too, these are great fun and another way to win a prize or two.
Every bingo player that wants to take part in the game will purchase a card, or a number of cards. You get to choose how many you buy, but how many do you buy? Well again this depends on how much the cards are and if there are any BOGOF (buy one get one free) offers on at that time. If the cards are 1p each then you'll probably want to splash out and purchase quite a few, however if the cards are £1 each then you may want to limit your card numbers so you don't spend all of your money in one go. Make sure to check the ticket prices before you purchase for the game. The card sales will close just before a game begins and re-open after a game finishes, when you hear a ticking clock it means you need to get your skates on and get those tickets before the game starts and it's too late...
You can also pre-purchase cards for most games, this is especially handy if you know you will be busy when there is a £10,000 jackpot or a brand new car being given away. You have got to be in it to win it right?!
Ok, so you've chosen your bingo room, you've chosen and purchased your cards- now what?
The bingo game will begin after a countdown, no more cards will be sold after this time.
The next thing that you'll see is that the game will be announced as started, then you'll hear the first number being called. It's no problem if you want to leave your sound off, the balls are shown on the screen too. Don’t worry unlike land based bingo games it is not your job to mark off all of the bingo cards in order to win, the clever computer software does this for you. Actually some bingo sites offer the option to DIY, in this case you can sometimes find some pretty cool daubers to use!
If you are playing 90 ball bingo you'll see that your bingo cards have a 3x9 grid of numbers, there are supposed to be blanks don't panic!
With the marking of bingo cards being automated if you are playing a game of bingo and you want to grab a coffee or have to answer the call of nature and have to leave your game, do not fear if you win as your account will be credited with your jackpot winnings or your line or house prize. This also applies if your internet connection goes too- which unfortunately for those of us that don't have super-duper fibre optic broadband, or those of us who live in a rural location can happen a little too often. When playing on your mobile or tablet device you may lose your mobile internet also but don't worry, you will always get your winnings, have no fear!
Your bingo cards will be shown clearly on the screen in the bingo room, as you need less numbers for your card to get a line you may see 1TG, 2TG or 3TG next to your card or a few of your cards, this means you either have one, two or three numbers left on your card for you to get a line prize. It's really exciting when you see a 1TG next to one or more of your cards, especially if you are chasing a big prize fund and even better if you have a few different cards with 1TG!
The first prize will be for one line, you'll need a line of marked off numbers on your card in any direction. If you are a winner your alias will be splashed across the screen with you winnings amount. Be sure to look out for WTG or WD in the chat screen, this means 'way to go' or 'well done', the other players are usually a friendly bunch and love to congratulate each other.
Next prize is the two line prize, this means you'll need to have covered 2 lines on one of your bingo cards to win. All of the above applies..
The last prize on offer is for a full house, cover all 3 lines to win this bigger more sought after prize. Again, if you do win your alias will be flashing up on the screen in front of you woohoo! Much to the annoyance of the other players you've cracked it and walked away with a prize.
Your bingo winnings will be credited to your account straight away automatically, you can then choose if you want to play again in that room or try something different. It is worth noting that if you are playing with free bingo funds then it's more than likely the case that these cannot be withdrawn until you have made a deposit at the site. These are the rules I'm afraid and it is always, always worth looking at the terms and conditions at the site to see what the wagering requirements are for the site you are playing at.
If you choose to go on to make a deposit at your bingo site check for the deposit bonuses that are on offer. You will find the standard amount most bingo sites offer is around 200% on top of your bonus. If you're not sure how to calculate this it's worth remembering the following;
Deposit £10 @ 100% = £10 free - a total of £20 to play with
Deposit £10 @ 200%= £20 free- a total of £30 to play with
You will come across different deposit bonus amounts at each bingo site, the above are just an example to help.
Most bingo sites will tell you exactly what kind of bingo games they offer, and at some sites new players are can try the site out with some free bingo no deposit. Where possible it is probably a good idea to try out a site with the freebie on offer, even if that happens to be a few quid you can get the hang of things without putting your hand in your pocket.
Basically, everybody has their own favourite game and bingo site and ultimately everyone is different. Find out what yours is and practice it before you play with the free bingo no deposit required offers that you will find at many bingo sites. Other than that, there really is nothing to it is there?
Congratulations, you now know how to play bingo, come and join the community!