How to play bingo
Online bingo comes in the form of two major played games; 90 Ball Bingo and 75 Ball Bingo. 90 Ball Bingo is traditionally played in the United Kingdom and Australia, whilst 75 Ball Bingo is traditionally played in the America and Canada.
90 Ball Bingo
90 Ball Bingo is similar to that of the North American style 75 Ball Bingo, where players firstly purchase tickets / cards, then mark the numbers off as they are called, hoping to be the first player to correctly complete the winning pattern. Although the principle foundations of the two games are the same, there are still many differences. In 90 Ball Bingo, player’s cards have three rows and nine columns. Five squares in each row contain numbers ranging from 1 to 90, while the rest are blank. Each Game has three patterns and each of the three patterns has a prize associated with it. The 90 Ball Bingo patterns are as follows:
Single Line Across (Line)
– The first player to correctly cross off any horizontal line
Two Lines Across (Two Lines)
– The first player to correctly cross off any two horizontal lines
Full House (Three Lines / All numbers on the ticket)
– The first player to correctly cross off all three lines
Numbers from 1-90 are randomly “called” by the respective online bingo system. The first player to successfully match all numbers from their ticket to the numbers that are called out (for each of the patterns) wins the prize corresponding to that game. As a default on most bingo systems, the numbers are set to Auto Daub whereby the software will automatically mark called numbers on a player’s card. This feature may also be set to manual thus allowing the player to tick off numbers as they are called out. This function means a player can replicate how land-based bingo is played.
90 Ball Bingo is usually played with strips of six tickets. Each strip contains all 90 numbers distributed throughout the six tickets in a dab all format. If a strip (six tickets) is played in one bingo game then every possible number from 1-90 is covered and therefore, a number is crossed off after each bingo number is called.
75 Ball Bingo
In 75 Ball Bingo there are 75 numbers on the bingo board, opposed to the 90 Ball Bingo rules. Of these 75 numbers, there are over 6,000 possible number combinations on a bingo card, which consists of 24 random numbers between 1 and 75. The bingo caller calls out the numbers that come out on the bingo board. To win, players need to mark matching numbers that appear on their bingo cards as soon as they are called out.
Bingo cards have five columns that are each marked with a B-I-N-G-O letter. These make 25 squares, comprised of five down and five across. On the bingo card, each column contains 5 numbers within a given range as shown below. In the middle of the grid in the N column, there is a free cell, commonly referred to as a free space / square, or wild square. This cell is automatically highlighted and counts as a genuine cell in a winning pattern.
Numbers in the ‘B’ column range between 1 and 15
Numbers in the ‘I’ column range between 16 and 30
Numbers in the ‘N’ column range between 31 and 45
Numbers in the ‘G’ column range between 46 and 60
Numbers in the ‘O’ column range between 61 and 75
The objective of the game is to match the called numbers with a pattern shown at the top left hand corner of the bingo game or beside its associated prize in the ‘Game Stats’ information in order to win the Full House prize. The patterns are manually configured to differ for each game. For example:
Single line across
Single line down
The whole card shaded (known as a ‘Coverall’)
The bingo winner will be the first player to have shaded (daubed) all the squares in any of his / her 5 x 5 bingo cards in the same manner as the displayed pattern. Other patterns within 75 Ball Bingo may be offered by online bingo halls and these may include patterns made up from letters of the Alphabet, Numbers and various other combinations of patterns.
Progressive Jackpots and Other Prizes
In both games, a Progressive Jackpot is available which increases according to the number of players wagering (a small amount of the value wagered in each game is progressively added to the Jackpot), and is available to win if a player claims bingo within the number of calls set before the game starts. This number is called the ‘Calls to Jackpot’ number, and is displayed next to the Progressive Jackpot value (on screen) in the Bingo Room. The prize often runs into several thousands of pounds. A variety of other prizes are available at different times of the day and days of the week.
Bingo is a highly social community game. Both types of online bingo feature Chat Rooms which allow the players to communicate with each other and be part of a thriving Chat Community.
The Chat Rooms are controlled by Chat Moderators / Managers (CMs) whose job is to provide the players with a fun, friendly and helpful Chat Community. They are the first point of contact for players who need support, and they also offer them a chance to win extra Bonus Money (BBs) by playing Chat Games. Chat Games are played alongside the Bingo Games, and are generally based around the idea of players choosing numbers and calling those numbers or pattern of numbers, and winning extra Bonus Money. Chat Games can also consist of trivia based games where players make guesses in answer to questions in order to receive Bingo Bonuses.
Other functions usually found in the Bingo Rooms allow players to customise their own games by changing the colour and style of their Daubers (the electronic Stamps that mark off numbers), the speed of Game play and graphic quality. Players are also able to mute other chatters, so that they can concentrate on a singular conversation.
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