The Best Place to Play Online Bingo
The game of bingo can be traced back to 1530s Italy where it originated from the local lottery known as ‘Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia’. The game later migrated to France and the UK and subsequently soared in popularity. Fast forward to the 1990s and the birth of mainstream internet and to bingo’s digital incarnation. The first online bingo site launched in 1996 and the beloved game has never been easier to pick up and play. Here’s a look at some of the best online bingo games in the UK today, plus rules and popular variations.
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- Fantastic Social Atmosphere!
The premise of today’s online bingo is the same as it was in the 16th century – although the bingo balls have been replaced by a random number generator. Players choose a bingo card or set of numbers and race to complete game tickets as quick as possible. The game has evolved over its long life and can vary from country to country. The beauty of online bingo sites is accessibility. There have never before been more variations of bingo available to UK players.
Play Bingo Online for Free – Try Demo Play
If you’ve never played bingo before, or have only ever stamped a card in your local bingo hall, it’s never too late to step into the 21st century. The game is easy to pick up, but for those looking to get in some practice you can demo the games online for nothing. It’s worth messing around with a few different variants to find a game that’s the right fit for you. Once you’ve settled on a formula, snap up a welcome bonus and dive into the real thing.
Bingo Rules and The Best Variants
As bingo travelled around the world over the years several different variations of the game rose in popularity. The main difference is the number of balls and tickets used to play each game. The gameplay remains consistent across all versions though. As the caller announces randomly generated numbers, players mark off matches on their game tickets. A win is announced when a player completes a winning combination. Combinations typically include lines – either left to right or top to bottom across the whole card – or matching every number to achieve a Full House. In some variations of the game prizes are also awarded for matching numbers in all four corners of the game card.
The mostly commonly played version in the UK and widely recognised as the European standard. Tickets consist of 3 rows and 9 columns with 15 numbers in total. Columns are grouped into decades, 1-10 through to 81-90. There are three successive winning patterns in 90-ball bingo. A single line win is awarded for covering all the numbers in any single row. Covering any two rows grants a double line win, and a Full House top prize is up for grabs for those who can cover all 15 numbers on the game ticket. It is possible for a single player to collect all three prizes during the game, and prize money stacks.
The dominant version of bingo played in The United States and Canada is 75-ball bingo. The tickets are slightly smaller. A 5 x 5 grid is filled with 24 numbers. The remaining, most central square is left free and does not need to be covered to create a winning line. The great thing about 75-ball bingo is the number of winning lines – there are loads. Online, I have seen up to 96 different winning combinations for these 5 x 5 cards. You don’t have to learn all the combinations to win when playing these online bingo games, the software will automatically dab for you and notify of any winning matches.
80-ball bingo was made for online. The game is played using a 4 x 4 bingo ticket as players look to cover all 16 numbers. Players can choose the number of balls to be pulled during a game session. Opting for a 35-ball selection will greatly increase the payouts, but reduces the odds of landing a full house. Alternatively, a 55-ball selection provides an excellent chance of a win, but the prizes will be smaller.
This streamlined version of bingo is played with a mere 30 balls using 3 x 3, 9-number tickets. It’s the perfect game for players who want fast-paced action. Due to the fewer number of balls, games last only a couple of minutes. Modern 30-ball bingo continues to rise in popularity as a result, and more and more operators are getting in on the action.
Flash Fives Bingo
52-5 bingo, or Flash Fives as it’s more commonly known, is an exciting new twist on the classic bingo formula. Unlike traditional European and American bingo, Flash Fives is played with playing cards. Players purchase a ticket containing a hand of five cards. As the caller announces cards from a standard 52-card deck, winning matches are covered with casino chips. Players must match all five cards to win the game. Flash Fives serves up a nice, pacey gameplay option for players who don’t want to hang around and provides a nice aesthetical twist to bingo that will be welcome to seasoned bingo players.
There’s so much out for the bingo fans these days. The game has come a long way from the traditional bingo halls found throughout Europe and North America. For other top casino games, bonus offers and free play slots check out my list of the best online casinos in the UK today.
Why Online Bingo Sites Trump the Bingo Hall
The UK’s love affair with bingo is showing no signs of slowing down. Walk into any elderly residential community and you will no doubt find a session scheduled. But bingo is not just for pensioners. Modern bingo has become a big business. Gone are the teddy bears and porcelain vases for winners. Bingo fans today play for cold hard cash, and there’s plenty of it to be won.
- You’re not bound by schedules – play anytime, anywhere
- Real cash prizes – no more gifts or unwanted prizes
- Bingo variants – USA and UK styles of bingo available
- Never miss a number – even if you get disconnected, the game will still auto dab and pay out wins
The social side of bingo has stuck around too. The best online bingo sites integrate chat features and games to maintain the spirit of the game. It’s popular for groups of friends to gather online, play bingo online and catch up on the gossip. Fortunately, you’ll never miss a ball while engrossed in conversation as bingo online is all automated. Bingo is also a great gateway game into the wonderful world of online casinos. If you fancy getting into other popular table games such as roulette, stick around.