The Story of Online Bingo
Online bingo reached our computer screens back in 2003. Since the 1930s, land-based bingo halls have been entertaining people across the UK and North America. They have been social gaming communities and that’s why today’s online bingo sites go to such great lengths to provide that element of interaction in the chat rooms before, during and after games.
Today, there are more than 350 online bingo sites active across the UK and beyond. Millions now play bingo online at least once a week, thanks to the improved user interfaces and cross-platform experiences.
What Are the Most Popular Games Available at Online Bingo Sites?
90-ball bingo has long been the most popular version of bingo in the UK, both on and offline. It’s the version that offers the most depth, creating a sense of drama and intrigue. Each ticket in a 90-ball bingo game contains nine columns and three rows, with five random numbers listed on each row giving you 15 numbers per ticket. A 90-ball bingo game pays out prizes for three different scenarios. First, when a player completes a horizontal line of numbers. Second, when a player completes two horizontal lines of numbers and lastly, when a player covers every single number on their ticket – a full house!
The 80-ball version of bingo was developed specifically for the online bingo market. Players buying tickets for an 80-ball bingo game will discover that the cards differ from the 90-ball original version, with a 4×4 ticket containing 16 numbers. Players can win by marking off numbers in different patterns to the original version of the game, including four corners.
75-ball bingo is the most popular form of the game in the US. You’ll find that online bingo sites which cater for American players will offer more 75-ball games than 90-ball games. Tickets for 75-ball bingo games are 5×5 cards containing 24 random numbers. The middle square remains blank. Players can win by marking off rows horizontally, vertically and diagonally too.
30-Ball ‘Speed’ Bingo
For those strapped for time or with shorter attention spans, 30-ball ‘speed’ bingo could be the ideal solution for you. Tickets for 30-ball speed bingo games are usually 3×3 grids filled with nine random numbers. Given that fewer numbers are in-play, there’s only one prize per game here – a full house.
Most of the leading online bingo sites will also offer a unique form of slot gaming that’s inspired by the dynamics of bingo. Slingos combine all of the best elements of slot and bingo gaming. As slingo was derived in the US, it’s unsurprising that most slingos are modelled on the 75-ball bingo game. At the start of a slingo game, you’ll be given a selection of random numbers on a grid. The reels will then spin a predetermined number of times, which will land on certain numbers, helping you to cover them on your grid, just as you would in a normal bingo game.
Video Slots and Online Scratchcards
Many online bingo sites go one further and provide state-of-the-art video slots and online scratchcards as an alternative for their customers. Video slots are typically inspired by popular culture and increasingly contained high-definition visuals and audio for an immersive experience akin to sitting down at a land-based slot machine. Online scratchcards also provide that sense of immediacy, with instant-win online cards capable of removing all game symbols at the touch of a button or removing each symbol one by one.
How Do You Play Online Bingo Games?
It’s never been easier to enjoy online bingo games whenever and wherever you are. Although it’s still possible to play on your desktop or laptop, the responsive nature of the best online bingo sites means that you can have the same fun on smartphone and tablet devices. You can play within the web browser of your mobile devices or you can download the native app of your chosen bingo site and install it on your iOS or Android handset.
Most online bingo sites make it easy to find upcoming bingo games from their homepage lobby. These lobbies will typically list the next bingo games with countdown timers, as well as those jackpot games with the biggest prizes on the horizon.
What to Look for in an Online Bingo Site
- User Experience
When you sit down to play online bingo games, in an ideal world you’ll want to be able to log in, buy your tickets and watch the game unfold with ease. The best online bingo operators offer fully responsive user experiences, with colourful and consistent interfaces on desktop and mobile devices.
- Social Interaction
The best online bingo sites don’t just provide slick interfaces that make your gaming nice and easy. Each bingo room has its own chat room, managed by fun and friendly chat hosts. These hosts are designed to help beginners, congratulate winners and dish out spot prizes to lucky players.
- Sign Up Bonuses
When you become a new customer at any of the online bingo sites listed above, you can be sure of bagging a welcome offer of bonus funds that can increase the number of tickets you can play with per game – increasing your winning potential.
- Huge Prizes
The biggest online bingo rooms offer massive payouts for some of their most popular games. You can find some bingo sites that offer linked games across multiple sites, which pool prize money and generate the biggest possible prizes – sometimes six-figure sums!
- Customer Support
When it comes to dealing with your hard-earned money, it’s important to play at an online bingo site that takes your needs seriously. The best sites offer 24/7 customer support via numerous channels, spanning email, telephone and live chat.
Now you’re armed with the features and engagement that you should expect from a good online bingo site, scroll up to view our ratings and reviews of the top online bingo rooms and take your pick!