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How to Play Online Bingo for Real Money
Online bingo is one of the most popular forms of online gambling today. What once had a reputation for being played at church fundraisers and bingo halls is now one of the most played online games where people wager real money. You can play bingo online for money at numerous online casinos and there are even a number of online bingo halls exclusively dedicated to the game. Here is everything you need to know about playing bingo online for money.
Quick History of Bingo
The game of bingo can trace its roots back over 500 years to Italy and a lottery game called “beano”. As part of the Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia (The Italian Lottery Game) in the 1500s, players would receive a numbered beano card, and winning numbers would be pulled from a sack. When a player won, they would yell, ‘BEANO!”
The game moved from Italy to France in the 18th century and became very popular with the French aristocracy. It was here that a few tweaks were made to the game. The board was changed to create 27 square is a 9 by 3 pattern. This would be what created the 90 ball style of bingo that we know today.
There are competing stories about when the name bingo was first created. Many attribute the term to Hugh J Ward, a game operator from Pennsylvania who borrowed the term from British military slang. Ward would publish the first book of bingo rules in 1933. Others say it was first used by American toy salesman Edwin Lowe who say the game in Atlanta, GA, and brought it back to Brooklyn, NY around 1939. It was Lowe who first patented the name in 1942.
Bingo would make its way to Britain early on and experienced a major boom post-World War II. Through the latter half of the 20th century, bingo was hugely popular in the UK. It was so popular that more bingo halls opened every year in the UK until 2005. Over the last 15 years, several factors have led to a decline in the popularity of in-person bingo but these factors have also led to the explosion of online bingo. Today, the bingo in the UK is a £1.3 billion market.
What Are the Rules of Bingo?
Bingo is a game where players have numbered boards. A caller calls out numbers one at a time and players cover those numbers on their boards as they are called. To win, you have to cover a certain amount of numbers on your board to make a pattern.
These are the general rules that apply to any game that is called bingo. However, there are multiple styles of bingo that are played regionally and online. Each of these styles uses different boards and require different patterns to win. There are 3 main styles of bingo, each with several offshoots as well as other bingo-style games available.
European Bingo - 90 Ball Bingo
This is the most widely played style of bingo in the world and traces its origins back to France in the late 1700s. In addition to being played in the UK and most of Europe, it is also popular in places like India, South America, and Australia, and New Zealand. In certain areas of the world, this game may also be known as Kinzo or Tambola.
90 ball bingo tickets generally have 6 27-square game boards, each laid out in a 3 high by 9 wide patterns. The horizontal columns each had 4 blank spaces and 5 numbers randomly placed in them. In the vertical rows, you will find the numbers are limited to a certain set of numbers These numbers are as follows:
- Row 1: 1-9
- Row 2: 10-19
- Row 3: 20-29
- Row 4: 30-39
- Row 5: 40-49
- Row 6: 50-59
- Row 7: 60-69
- Row 8: 70-79
- Row 9: 80-90
In this style of bingo, there are 3 ways to win. Each way to win is usually associated with a successively bigger prize. That prize depends on the price of the bingo cards and how many cards are sold for a given game. The 3 ways to win are:
- Any 1 line: covering 5 squares to create a horizontal line
- Any 2 lines: covering 10 squares to create 2 horizontal lines
- Full House: covering all 15 squares on your ticket
American Bingo – 75 Ball Bingo
While Brits and Europeans grew up playing 90 ball bingo, most Americans are much more familiar with the 75-ball version. This is the second most popular style of bingo both online and around the world.
As opposed to the 3 by 9 game boards used in 90 ball bingo, the 75-ball version is played on 25 square, 5 by 5 card. The vertical columns on the American bingo card are labeled B, I, N, G, and 0, and each column has the following set of numbers associated with it:
- B: 1 – 15
- I: 16 – 30
- N: 31 – 45
- G: 46 – 60
- O: 61 – 75
To win in American bingo, players must cover a 5 space pattern that covers an entire row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. In some versions, you can win by covering the 4 corners of the card. In many versions of 75 ball bingo, the center space is free given as free space on all cards. This means that you can win in as little as 4 turns. There is only one winner in the standard version of 75 ball bingo. Just like other versions of bingo, the winnings depend on how many cards are sold in a game and for how much.
Speed Bingo - 30 Ball Bingo
While 90 ball bingo can trace its roots back over 200 years and 75 ball bingo goes back over 100 years, there is also a new style of bingo on the block that was invented specifically for online bingo. 39 ball bingo is a sped-up, smaller board version of 75 ball bingo. The board in only 9 squares (on a 3 by 3 grid) and the game goes by so quickly it is often referred to as “Speed Bingo”.
To play, you first pick how many balls you want to be drawn. You can pick a 20-ball draw, a 22-ball draw, and a 24-ball draw. These games each payout differently with the 20-ball game paying out at 80-1, the 22-ball game at 27-1, and the 24-ball game at 10-1. With this style of bingo, you are playing against the house, not other players.
Other Types of Bingo
There are numerous other bingo games that you can find online. Many are derivations of one of the three styles above but some are totally unique. Many sites also have their own proprietary games for you to explore. Other popular bingo games include:
- U Pick ‘Em
- Coverall Bingo
- Blackout Bingo
- Bonanza Bingo
- 80 Ball Bingo
- Shotgun Bingo
- And many more
What Are the Benefits of Playing Online Bingo?
Bingo is a great game that had been played and enjoyed around the world for 100s of years. It is no secret why people like the game. But, what are the benefits of playing bingo online? Here are just a few of the big benefits.
Always a game
Bingo halls close. Just like any other real-life establishment, most are not open 24 hours a day. What is nice about playing online is that the internet is open 24/7/365. You can always find a game no matter what time of day it is where you are.
If you grew up in the UK you may only know 90 ball bingo. If you originally came from the U.S. you are probably only familiar with the 75-ball version. No matter where you are now are or where you came from, you can check out all different styles of bingo online. This not only helps you learn but helps the game stay interesting for a long time.
Don’t Leave Your Home
There is nothing like doing something you love from the comfort of your own home. Playing bingo online allows you to experience all the fun that goes on in bingo halls but right from your couch! It is the ultimate in bingo comfort.
Win Real Money
Even if your region, state, or country doesn’t allow gambling in person, you can almost always find an online casino or bingo hall that accepts players from your area. Most sites will not let you sign up if you are from a prohibited area but always read the fine print to make sure you are allowed to play.
Win Fake Money
If you go to a real bingo hall, you will have to pay money to play. If you are just learning the game or don’t like to gamble, this can be hard. Many online bingo sites offer free games for fake money so players can learn without risking real money or play if they love bingo but, for whatever reason, don’t want to gamble on it.
Bonuses and Promotions
When you play bingo in person, you normally have to pay for every game and card you play. When you play online, casinos and bingo halls must compete for your business so most offer different types of bonuses and promotions to entice you. It is always nice to get something for free!
How Do Online Bingo Bonuses Work?
One of the best things about playing bingo online for money is the bonuses. Most casinos have a range of different bonuses that reward you for all types of things related to playing online bingo. Here are the most common types of bonuses.
Many sites will reward you with free money or free play just for signing up.
You can earn bonuses with your first deposit or first 2 or 3 deposits on most sites. Some sites even have a daily or weekly deposit bonus as well.
Free Play Bonuses
Sites will reward players with free bingo cards for a number of reasons including playing certain games or playing at certain times.
There are loyalty or VIP programs on many sites that will give you cashback or free play the more you play on the site or a specific game.
If you refer a friend to the site, you will get a bonus. It is usually cashback but it won’t kick in until your friend deposits money and they may be required to wager too.
Where Can I Play Online Bingo for Real Money in the US?
Online bingo is not nearly as popular in the U.S. as it is in the UK but there are still places you play bingo online. As with all forms of online gambling, the law varies by state and while more states are relaxing the laws, in most states it is still considered technically illegal. Here is the breakdown of states where you can play bingo online for money in the U.S.
In 2013, the state of New Jersey legalized online gambling and casino games to go along with its legal in-person gambling in Atlantic City. In addition to online casinos, there are dedicated online bingo halls licensed by the state where it is legal for people in the states to play bingo for real money. Currently, it is the only state where playing bingo online for money is fully legal.
Delaware does allow for online sports betting and online casinos but does not specifically make online bingo halls legal. So, while you may be able to find a legal bingo game in an online casino, you won’t find the dedicated sites.
All Other States
In all other states, playing bingo online for money is illegal. However, several other states have legalized or are about to legalize online casinos and gambling where it may be legal soon. These states include Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan. Colorado just legalized sports gambling in late 2019 and this may allow physical casinos to offer online gaming in the coming years. In many other states, such as New York and California, the issue is being weighed by state governments.
While it is technically illegal to do so in the U.S., there. Are a number of offshore licensed casinos and bingo halls that accept players from the U.S. If you are so inclined, you are able to play bingo on these sites.
Some Tips for Playing Online Bingo
If you are interested in playing bingo online for money, there are a few tips that will help you win more often and enjoy the experience more. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Play at Off Times
Most forms of bingo, with a few exceptions you will find online, are played against other players. The winners are the first player, or few players, who get a bingo. To maximize your odds of winning, you want to play against as few players as possible. This means that the best times to play are when a lot of players are not playing. These times include weekdays and during work hours. Just know, bingo prizes are also based on the number of cards bought so while you might win more doing this, you will also probably win less in a single game.
Play More Cards
Winning at bingo is, for the most part, strictly a numbers game. No matter how many winners there are per game, your chances of winning are based on the total number of cards in a game. So, it stands to reason that the more cards in the game that you own, the better chance you will have to win. Most bingo games will let you play multiple cards in a single game but many put a cap on exactly how many.
Use a Bingo Strategy
While bingo seems like mostly random chance, there are a few strategies that claim otherwise. Joseph Granville, a very successful American stock market investor created the Granville Strategy and British statistician L.H.C Tippett created the Tippett Bingo Strategy. Both these strategies work if you can pic your card or your numbers.
While it won’t necessarily help you win, this may help you enjoy the experience more. Most online bingo games feature a chat room where you can interact with players around the world. Even though you may be on your couch, you can talk to players from all different locations which, for many, makes the game more fun.
How to Choose an Online Bingo Provider
Now that you know all about playing bingo online for money, the question is, how do you choose the best place online to play? Here are a few tips about questions to ask to do just that.
What is the Reputation?
While there are many great online bingo sites, there are also some that are not so great. Some casinos have poor gameplay or selection and others are bad about letting you put money in or worse, take money out. Make sure you play at a licensed, reputable establishment.
How are the Reviews
To find out about the reputation of an online bingo establishment, it is best to read the reviews to find out which site is the best fit for you. Online Casino Gems provides impartial, in-depth reviews of tons of bingo sites so you can make the best decision.
What are the games?
Maybe you want to only play the bingo you are familiar with or maybe you want to branch out and learn a new form of the game. Either way, make sure the selections on bingo games on the site has what you are looking for.
How big are the jackpots?
Jackpots and prizes are usually related to how many people are playing on a site and how much the cards cost. If you want to win more often, you may want a site with fewer players. If you want bigger prizes, a site with more players is right for you.
What are the offers?
Look for bingo sites with the best bonuses, promotions, and rewards. To take advantage of these, it may mean playing on different sites every so often or sticking to one site religiously. It all depends on what you are looking to get from the specific bonuses.