Beginners Guide to Bingo

If you’ve never played bingo before or you have but just not online then this guide is the ideal starting point for you. If you’re a total novice it might seem really complicated just now but we have broken it down as best as we can for you. This guide covers everything you need to know from getting started to withdrawing your cash and we even include some helpful tips to boost your chances of winning.

What is Bingo?

Bingo is one of the most popular games in the UK with 1.9 million people playing bingo every month. Bingo is a game of probability where players mark off numbers on their tickets as the numbers are drawn randomly and the first player to mark off a set of numbers is the lucky winner. Depending on the type of game this might be all the numbers on the ticket or a line or pattern.

Some games just have one big prize but others have a few prizes up for grabs. Unless it’s a guaranteed jackpot game the amount you can win is determined by ticket sales. Each ticket has a set price and the money generated from the sales goes into the prize pot which is paid out as prizes.

Online bingo is inspired by traditional bingo halls but it’s a lot easier to play and that’s down to one important feature and that’s the auto-daub. The auto-daub feature automatically marks off your numbers on your tickets as they get called so you don’t need to pay attention to the game or even be logged in while the game plays out. Auto-daub is an essential feature for online bingo because it ensures the speed and reliability of your internet connection doesn’t affect your chances of winning.

There’s also the added benefit that you can play in your slippers from the comfort of your own home. Online bingo is just as exciting as traditional bingo halls and the chat rooms mean you won’t even miss out on the social atmosphere.

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Who Can Play Bingo?

Real money bingo is classed as gambling so you must be over 18 to play.

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Finding a Bingo Site

When it comes to online bingo there’s an unbelievable amount of bingo sites to choose from. Online bingo is more diverse than ever so there’s a lot to think about before you decide where you to play.

The first thing you need to consider is the welcome package. Since the marketplace is highly competitive, online bingo sites usually offer new players some sort of incentive to entice them to join. Some bingo sites offer better welcome packages than others and, of course, so make sure you shop around until you find the right one for you.

The best welcome packages include a no deposit required freebie on registration. This might come in the form of bonus funds, free bingo tickets or free spins so that you can test out the games on the site before you spend any of your hard-earned cash.

Some players like to move around from site to site so they can claim the different welcome packages but by doing this you can miss out on loyalty perks so that’s something you need to think about.

While the welcome package is pretty important, it’s not the be all and end all. There are lots of other things you should consider when selecting a bingo site such as the design. Is it user-friendly? Is it an eyesore? Bingo sites come with various different themes and it’s important to find one that’s right for you which is all down to personal preference. Playing bingo is all about having fun so you want to find a site that you’ll enjoy playing on.

Another important factor to consider is the choice of games. Online bingo sites all have a games lobby where you can play the different games. You’ll always find classic 90 ball and 75 ball games but if you’re a bit more adventurous you’ll probably be seeking more than just two types of bingo. If you don’t want to get bored make sure you find a site that has all the games you desire.

Luckily for you, we’ve done all the hard work for you. We’ve rounded up all the best bingo sites so you don’t need to spend hours scouring the web to find somewhere to play. We suggest you read our reviews here at BingoMum.co.uk to find one that’s just right for you.

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Setting up an Account

Once you’ve found the perfect site for you, it’s time to get the party started but first thing’s first – you need to register. Most bingo sites make it really easy for you to create an account which usually just involves filling out an online form and agreeing to the terms and conditions of the site.

To keep your account safe and secure you’ll be asked to choose a username and set a password. Make sure you’re happy with your username because it will appear on your chat room conversations and winning announcements.

You’ll also need to verify your age and identity and the easiest way to do this is by registering your credit or debit card but don’t worry they won’t take any money from you.

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Funding Your Account

When your bonus funds run out you’ll need to transfer money into your account and most bingo sites accept a wide range of deposit methods. This includes credit and debit cards as well as a number of alternative methods such as Paysafecard, Neteller, Paypal, Skrill, and Boku. The minimum deposit varies but most of the time it’s £10.

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Choosing a Bingo Game

The next thing you need to do is choose a bingo game so head to the bingo lobby and check out what’s on offer. Here you’ll be able to see when the next game starts for each bingo room as well as what sort of bingo it is, the value of the prize pot, how many people are playing and ticket prices. If the site has quite a lot of games on offer the bingo lobby will most likely be tabbed which makes it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.

There are lots of different types of bingo games to choose from. The traditional UK 90 ball and the classic US 75 ball versions of the game are the most popular and you’re guaranteed to find these two options at any bingo site.

In a 90 ball game, the card is split into 27 squares which are made up of three rows and nine columns. On each row five of the squares are numbered and four of them are blank so each ticket has a total of 15 numbers.

What’s really exciting about 90 ball bingo is that there are plenty of chances to win. There are three rounds – you need to complete a row to get your hands on the one line prize, two rows for the two line prize and the entire card for the full house prize.

75 ball bingo uses a different style of card. It’s a 5×5 grid divided into 25 squares where 24 of the squares are filled with numbers and the one in middle is a free square. There’s only one prize up for grabs but it’s usually a biggie and to get your hands on it you just need to be the first to complete a pre-determined pattern.

On top of that, there are newer variations such as 80 ball, 50 ball, and 30 ball bingo which are based on the original game. If you want to check out something totally different then you should try the likes of Cash Cubes or Rainbow Riches Bingo which you can find at a number of Virtue Fusion sites.

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Free Bingo

If you’re new bingo we recommend you start off with some free bingo which comes in many different forms such as no deposit bonuses, free bingo tickets, and free bingo games. Most free bingo games reward players with bonuses rather than cash prizes but it’s still a great way to brush up on your bingo skills without spending any money.

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Eyes Down

Once you know what room you want to play in all you have to do is click on that particular room to take you inside. Then you need to decide how many cards you want to play with and this can be anything from one up to the maximum allowed which is usually 96. Ticket prices vary but online bingo sites usually cater for all budgets so you’re bound to find something in your price range.

Bingo sites usually allow you to select your bingo tickets individually or buy multiple tickets at once. This includes a max option so you can buy the maximum number of tickets allowed in just one click.

In 90 ball bingo rooms, you can buy a strip of six tickets which you’ll no doubt want to do because each strip includes every number from one to 90 so every number called is a step closer to a full house. Once you have purchased your tickets you just need to wait in anticipation for the game starting.

Online bingo is really easy to play. Basically, the numbers are drawn using a Random Number Generator (RGN) to ensure fairness. As they are announced by the bingo caller you need to ‘daub’ the numbers on your ticket. You can do this manually but if you’re playing with a lot of cards it will probably be easier to use the auto-daub feature. The first player to call bingo after completing a set of numbers is the lucky winner.

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Bonuses and Promotions

Online bingo sites are always looking to entice players with bonuses and promotions. Some of the most common types of promotions include prize draws, leaderboard competitions, chat games, guaranteed jackpot games, refer a friend schemes, loyalty programmes and various different bonuses.

Our favourite type of bonus is the no deposit bonus because it gives you free cash to spend on the site without any strings attached. The best bingo sites usually offer a no deposit bonus as part of the welcome package so that’s something to look out for.

It’s not just new players who can enjoy free bonuses. Many bingo sites reward players with a reload bonus whenever they make a deposit which is a great way to encourage players back to the site. The bonus usually increases as players climb the loyalty levels so the more you play the more value for money you’ll get.

Most bingo sites offer bingo bonuses that you can only spend on bingo and sometimes this is limited to selected games only. Some bingo sites also offer slots bonuses and free spins but they aren’t as popular so when you come across them it’s a real treat. If you enjoy playing bingo and slots, an all games bonus will be right up your street as you can use it on any game you like.

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Wagering Requirements Explained

Bonuses are great but the only downfall is that you can’t just withdraw them as cash whenever you want which is a bit of a bummer. If you want to withdraw your bonus funds you need to meet the wagering requirements first of all. This is a multiplier that indicates how many times you have to wager your bonus before you can withdraw it.

Wagering requirements can be calculated by adding the bonus to the deposit amount then multiplying it by the multiplier.

We suggest you check the wagering requirements before you join. These can usually be found in the terms and conditions. Most bingo sites have a 4x wagering requirement for bingo and a 10x wagering requirement for everything else. If it’s anything higher than that you might want to think twice about joining the site because it will be harder for you to withdraw your bonus.

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Making a Withdrawal

There’s nothing more exciting than your name flashing across the screen because this usually means you’ve landed the jackpot. If you’re lucky enough to scoop up a win you don’t need to do anything as your account will automatically be credited with your winnings.

You then have the big decision to make – do you reinvest your winnings or do you withdraw them? If you want to play it safe the best thing to do is to continue to play with your original deposit but withdraw the rest of your winnings to ensure your bingo tickets don’t eat into your profits.

As we have already mentioned you need to meet the wagering requirements before you can make a withdrawal. You also need to make sure that you’ve funded your account at least once and you’ve reached the minimum withdrawal amount because you won’t be able to withdraw anything less than that. It’s also a good idea to keep your ID handy in case you need to further verify your account which sometimes happens. Once you’ve requested a withdrawal it usually takes about a week to process.

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Top Tips For Playing Bingo

Set Yourself a Limit

If you want to boost your chances of winning make sure you set yourself a limit and don’t exceed it. You don’t want to end up in the situation where you’ve spent more than what you can afford. The best way to manage your budget is to take advantage of all the bonuses and cheap bingo tickets available. If you think you are gambling more money than you can afford to loose, it might be worth checking out our responsible gambling section.

Choose your tickets carefully

Make sure you choose your tickets carefully to give you the best chance of winning. Basically, you want a well-balanced ticket with the numbers spread out and an equal amount of odd and even numbers. We also suggest that you also have a good mix of numbers with different endings. If you have something on your ticket like 12, 22, 32, 42 and so forth the chances of all your numbers coming up are slim. Remember, it has not been scientifically proven that selecting certain numbers increases your odds of winning. At the end of the day, the results are random!

Buy lots of tickets

The more tickets you play with the more chances you have of winning so buy as many tickets as you are comfortable with.

Play at off peak times

The best time to play is during off-peak hours because there are usually fewer players which mean fewer people to compete again so you’ll probably win more often. The only downfall of this though is that there probably won’t be as much cash up for grabs.

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Chat Games

Chat games are a great way to find out more about the game from other players and make new friends – not to mention it gives you the chance to win extra prizes!

On the Dragonfish network, chat rooms tend to be networked which means you can chat to players from different bingo sites. If you’d rather just chat to players on the same site for a more ‘community feel’ then check out sites powered by Virtue Fusion or sites that use Dragonfish software but are not part of the main network.

Most bingo sites have regular chat games as it keeps the rooms lively and ultimately encourage players to return to the site. Don’t worry if you’re a bit on the shy side because the friendly chat hosts will keep the chat flowing and ensure everyone has fun.

Once you’re in a chat room it’s a good idea to stay there instead of jumping from room to room because as soon as you leave you’ll miss out on all the chat.

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Bingo Lingo

When you’re chatting away to your bingo buddies you’ll soon notice that they use their own bingo lingo which is basically just a shorter way of saying things. Here are examples of some of the lingo you might come across:

  • BRB – be right back
  • TTFN – ta ta for now
  • YVW – your very welcome
  • GL – good luck
  • BLNT – better luck next time
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Mobile Bingo

These days most bingo sites are mobile optimised so you can play your favourite games anytime, anywhere. Mobile players don’t always get access to the full library of games but sometimes they are entitled to additional perks such as exclusive free bingo rooms.

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What Other Game are Available?

As well as bingo, there’s usually a host of other games you can play such as slot games, table games, and scratch cards. Some bingo sites even have free bonus games. For example, Circus Bingo runs a promotion called Pablo’s Nuts which is a free bonus game that gives you the chance to win up to £1 in bonus funds every time you make a deposit.

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Conclusion

Online bingo is really easy to get a hang of especially when you have us to give you a helping hand. Don’t worry if you still feel overwhelmed because as soon as you enter the bingo room it will all piece together. The main thing to remember is that it’s about having fun so enjoy yourself and let loose. One thing we would say though – don’t dive straight in at the deep end. Start off with free bingo and small wagers until you get used to the rules of the game and the pace. Now you’re equipped everything you need to know about bingo all you need is a little beginners luck!