Bingo is a gambling game, first played in Italy way back in the 1500s, which in the past century became a particular favourite in the UK and the USA. Online Bingo started around 1996, and since then expanded international Internet access and smart phones have turned the game into an industry worth billions of dollars a year.
Basics of Bingo
For those not familiar with the game: Bingo is a lottery game played with random numbers, which players have to match against numbers pre-printed on their Bingo cards. In a game with 75 numbers in the draw pool, the classic cards present a grid of 5 X 5 numbers, arranged under the letters B, I, N, G and O. Players bet by buying one or more cards, and win by completing a predetermined pattern of matching numbers on one card. A single game may feature different winning patterns for different prizes, allowing for multiple winners during a game. The pattern can be a simple line (in certain special-occasion draws, even a single number), or one of several more complicated patterns; often, patterns will relate to a theme.
Traditionally, a player completing a winning pattern in a land-based game has to shout “Bingo!” to collect the win; if they miss a number and only realise they have a complete pattern after someone else has called “Bingo,” they lose out. Some games have multiple stages: for example, awarding a prize when a player completes one line, another prize level for two complete lines, and the jackpot prize for a full card (known as a “full house”). In traditional land-based Bingo, players bought paper cards and the random numbers were decided by balls drawn from a spinning barrel. Online and mobile Bingo sites use random number generators both to create the players’ electronic cards on screen, and to generate the winning numbers.
Perks of Online Bingo
The online versions of the game offer a number of advantages over land-based Bingo that many players find attractive. Apart from the universal easier access, the auto-daub feature marks a player’s numbers on their cards and registers winning patterns automatically, which not only makes it easier to keep track of multiple cards, but also rules out the chance of a player accidentally missing a Bingo, or calling a false Bingo on an incomplete pattern.
Unlike land-based games, bingo encourages players to chat to each other during the game via direct message boards, enhancing the social atmosphere of players “ganging up” on the house. Bingo networks, which allow the players on several smaller sites combined access to the same jackpots, allow these sites to offer bigger wins than they would from their own restricted pool of players. Some sites also restrict the number of cards a player can buy per game, which keeps everyone playing for similar stakes and stops smaller players being overwhelmed by high rollers buying multiple cards.