What makes a good bingo site? Since the start of the credit crunch, the popularity of online bingo has rocketed. It seems people prefer to stay in and get their kicks at home. Still, we all need excitement, and we all need to socialise, and the lucrative jackpots and vibrant chat rooms of online bingo are the perfect place to do this.
The amount of bingo sites has increased accordingly, and now as a player, you can find hundreds of alluring sites, all keen to sign you up, to give you free cash bonuses, and to keep you playing for as long as possible.
It's rare to find a site that suits the need of every player, but some are better than others...MUCH better than others. And others are nothing but fly by night rogue operators, looking to make a quick buck.
It's easy to get lost in the glare and razzmatazz of free cash bonuses, and special offers when you sign up to a new site, but most importantly of all, you need to check your site is reputable. If it's not vetted and regulated by any one of the four main licensing agencies that regulate the European market, which are The Isle Of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta, the Gibraltar Licensing Authority and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, then forget about it, or at least, exercise extreme caution when you play.
These governing bodies ensure sites are strictly regulated, especially when it comes to fairness and payouts. You should be able to check a site's credentials at the bottom of the homepage in the small print.
So, you decide your site is kosher, but what about all the welcome offers and deals? Does this mean you have found a good bingo site? Some sites offer a generous no deposit bonus, meaning you can sign up, play, and win cash without funding your account. They also offer deposit bonuses, which are usually expressed as a percentage, such as 100%, 200%, or 300%. With a 100% bonus, it means your cash is doubled, so if you fund your account with £10, you get £20 to play with.
Once again, it pays to read the small print here – to get your hands on any bonus cash you win, you may need to wager many times more than your initial bonus. This is known as the wagering requirement, and some sites that appear very generous on the outside, have a nasty sting in the tail.
As a keen gamer and bingo journalist, my next step is to check the PROMOTIONS part of the website. Are there exciting competitions and prizes? What can I win? Cars? Holidays? Gizmos? Or are offers vague, stingy and out of date?
Then it's on to look at the range of games. Some sites offer a smaller variety of halls – just 90 ball and 75 ball. Others offers speed bingo and 80 ball. Are tickets affordable? Are progressive jackpot enticing? How often does a game come along? And what about side games? Is there a decent selection? Do they have big jackpots?
Then it's on to the actual playing experience. Some sites are on a network, and have an identical software interface. Others can operate on standalone software, meaning it takes time to learn their intricacies. Do you find the software intuitive? Do you enjoy the voice of the caller? Did the chat moderator make you feel welcome and include you in the chat activity? Were the roomies friendly? I've played at some sites where I felt like a stranger walking into a Wild West Saloon. Thankfully, that's a rare experience, and most sites are exemplary when it comes to making a player feel at home.
It pays to shop around before you deposit at a new site, so make good use of any no deposit bonuses you see. Take this advice into consideration, and pretty soon you will know what makes a good bingo site too.