How Does Online Bingo Work?

online bingo screenshotWhether you’ve played bingo before or you’re a complete bingo virgin, you probably know that bingo is a game of chance right? It’s fun, social and usually very low cost to players, so provides exciting gaming that is very good value for money.

Generally the main aim of the game, whether playing online or in a bingo hall, is to mark off numbers on a card and complete a line or full house to win a prize.

There are however so many more things that are involved with online bingo. These include bingo variations, side games and chat rooms too, plus a whole bingo language all of its own. Here are a few insider secrets, hints and tips to help you understand the online bingo world a bit more.

What Bingo Sites Should I Choose?

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Choosing a bingo site to play at is purely down to you. There are so many different ones available these days, so simply look for a site that appeals to you and sign up. There are lots of reviews available on this website too which may help you choose the right one for you so check them out.

Things that can differ from site to site include:

  • online bingo gaming options screenshotSome online bingo sites belong to bigger branded gaming companies which also offer separate casino, lotto, football and other sports betting platforms, whereas other sites operate on smaller, much more intimate networks.
  • Some online bingo sites are based on specialist theming and designs, so you may be able to able to match a site to other common interests you may have such as baking, animals and fashion etc.
  • Payment options can differ between sites, some offer a wide range including e wallets and paypal, whereas some of the smaller sites only take card payments.
  • Games will differ across sites. Some of the larger brands will have more choice, but some of the smaller networks may offer specialised more unique gaming.

There are pros and cons to all online bingo sites, so it really does come down to your own personal choice.

Whichever site you end up choosing, registration is always pretty simple and you can instantly start playing away until your hearts content. You will generally need basic information such as name, address, date of birth and an email address, plus you’ll have to create a password and sometimes register a payment card.

Nearly every site on the market now has a fantastic welcome offer to for all new players too, so this will enable you to try out the sites at very little cost.

What Types of Online Bingo Games Can You Play?

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There are many different types of bingo available to play online,  the main variants you will find are:

  • 90 ball bingo
  • 80 ball bingo
  • 75 ball bingo
  • 30 ball bingo

You’re probably wondering what the differences are and how to play them perhaps. Well here is a brief guide on all of these online bingo games:

  • Kitty Bingo 90 ball90 ball bingo commonly found in the UK and is the traditional game of bingo. These bingo games are played on a 9×3 grid on your card, with three horizontal rows of numbers and three vertical columns intersecting them. There will be 15 numbers on each card, 1 through to 90 and empty squares. Generally speaking, there are three prizes to be won in this game, a line, 2 lines and full house with prizes increasing drastically from the line to the house. To get the line prize you must mark a line of 5 numbers before anyone else. The two-line prize can be two lines anywhere on your ticket and the full house is all 15 numbers marked off
  • 80 ball bingo is also known as coverall bingo. You will be presented with a 4×4 grid with numbers ranging from 1 through to 80. There’s only one prize to be won in this game, so the first person to mark off all 16 numbers wins.
  • 75 ball bingo features a 5×5 bingo card with every grid containing a number from 1 through to 75. The first column will have numbers 1 to 15, the second column will have numbers 16 to 30, the third column will have numbers 31 to 45, the fourth column will have numbers 46 to 60 and the final column will have numbers 61 to 71. First person to mark off the numbers wins. Here’s a little twist for you, this game is also known as pattern bingo. It features the same grid with numbers and the winner is the person who marks off the stated pattern on their card.

Dream Bingo 75 ball

  • 30 ball bingo is a speed bingo game, this is because you have a 3×3 grid featuring 9 numbers. The aim of the game is to mark all 9 numbers off your card to win the one prize on offer.

How do I buy online bingo tickets?

Buying tickets into the game is ever so simple. You simply head to the bingo room you want to play in and there will be bingo tickets displayed on your screen. You select the desired amount you wish to purchase and hey presto, off you go.

What happens if I miss a number?

bingo card screenshotThere is no need to worry about missing numbers when you play online bingo. The bingo sites are automatically set to daub your number, so there’s no need to try moving your mouse around like a headless chicken to mark all the numbers off, no matter how many tickets you have bought.

Now you do have the option to mark your own tickets manually however if you’d prefer. Simply go into the settings of the bingo room and select to manually daub your tickets.

You will still never miss a number however, as the system will always know what tickets you have and knows if you’re going to win or not.  If you daub away manually and accidentally miss a number, you will still automatically be credited with your winnings if you’re playing on a winning card.

What happens if more than one person wins?

As a lot of bingo networks are linked with other rooms on other sites, there can be quite a few players playing in each game. In the bigger branded rooms you could be playing with lots of people all over the UK, which can mean that there are joint winners.

In this instance, the prize will be split between the winnings players accounts. This is very similar to the rules of a physical bingo hall.

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Is playing online bingo fair?

When it comes to playing online bingo, it can get very frustrating when you’re waiting for one number and someone wins. This can be seem the same when playing in bingo halls too. There can be quite a lot of comments in chat rooms stating that the same names seem to win all the time, but it is purely just down to luck at the end of the day.

All online bingo sites are licensed and regulated by the governing bodies to provide fair gaming across the board. A RGN (Random Number Generator) is always used to randomly select numbers in every single game.

Every site will have a full terms and conditions section, so you can have a scour of those to read more into the laws that they must abide by.

The main governing bodies you may come across are:

  • UK Gambling Commission
  • Gambling Commission of the Isle Of Man
  • Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner
  • Alderney Gambling Control

Deposit methods accepted?

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Credit: GotCredit/

Every online bingo site will have a clear list of their deposit methods stated usually on their homepage. Methods can vary from site to site but in general making a deposit couldn’t be simpler. Just follow the on screen instructions and choose whichever method you prefer.

Some of the smaller sites may only have the facilities to accept debit or credit cards, whereas some of the larger sites will a huge variety of payment options available to you.

Some of the main options you will come across are:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Visa Electron
  • Maestro
  • Switch
  • Solo
  • Bank Wire
  • PayPal
  • Paysafecard
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • UKash
  • Entropay

Why do online bingo sites offer bonuses?

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Nearly all online bingo sites these days will offer a welcome bonus package. It’s a great way to entice players to sign up, but it also gives you the chance to really trial the site and have a go on lots of games at very little cost.

There are a few different types however, so here’s a little info on which is which:

  • No Deposit Bonus – This is a free bonus offered by the bingo site as a way of allowing players to test drive the site and its games for free. The amount of bonus cash awarded is non-withdrawable, which means you can’t just sign up for the bonus and withdraw it. You will need to play through the bonus on the games stated, and some bingo sites will still want you to provide your bank details upon registration. There’s no need to panic if they do however, as your card details are required for age verification purposes only and no money will be taken from the card. If you don’t add your payment details when requested, you will forfeit your free no deposit bonus.
  • Deposit Bonus – This is a bonus offered on your first initial deposit. The amount you’ll receive varies from each bingo site, but for example if you get a 300% welcome deposit bonus and you deposit £10, you will get £30 free giving you a total of £40 to play with.
  • Cash Match Bonus – This bonus just matches what you deposit. So if you deposit £50 you get £50 free, that’s a total of £100 to play with.

Once you’ve signed up and started playing on the site, you will then qualify for further bonuses each time they come up then.

Why can’t I withdraw?

When you sign up to a bingo site, make sure you read the terms and conditions of every bonus offered, don’t just go charging in like a bull in a china shop.

Virtually all bonuses come with wagering requirements. This means that you will have to play through your bonus, and sometimes even the deposit too a certain amount of times before you can withdraw.

For Example:

If you deposit £10 and the wagering requirement is 25 x the deposit, then you will have to play 25x £10 before you can withdraw.

£10 x 25 = £250.

Always read the terms of every bonus as it may be worth your while to not accept them all as they could end up costing you more money before you can withdraw any winnings.

How do I get my winnings?

If you win a game of online bingo, then congratulations. The next task is to withdraw your cash and start spending.

To do this you simply go to your account and request a withdrawal. Whatever payment method you used to fund your account, will usually be the one that they send the cash back to.

Time scales can vary, but here are a few guidelines:

  • Credit/Debit Card – 3-5 days
  • PayPal – Instant to 7 days
  • Ewallets – 3-7 days
  • Moneybookers – 3-7 days
  • Bank Transfer – 7-10 days

What happens if I have a problem?

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Credit: GotCredit/

If you encounter a problem or an issue playing online bingo, you can contact customer support through the options on your bingo site.

All sites will vary but nearly all online bingo sites these days will have a live chat feature. This is great as you will get a response almost immediately and should hopefully get your problem sorted asap.

Most sites will also have a telephone number, email address and postal address available too.

Bingo chat terms and abreviations

Bingo lingo is a term used to describe bingo chat. Sometimes people don’t want to type long words, so they shorten them to make it quicker and easy to understand. Here’s a brief insight into common lingo you will encounter:

  • OMG – oh my god
  • ROFL – roll on the floor laughing
  • SYS – see you soon
  • SS – so sorry
  • WDW – well done winner
  • 1TG/2TG/3TG – the amount of numbers you’re waiting for (1 to go etc)
  • TYVM – thank you very much
  • GL – good luck
  • TY – thank you
  • ASL – age, sex, location
  • LOL – laughing out loud
  • TC – take care
  • WTG – way to go
  • YW – you’re welcome
  • HB – hurry back
  • GN – good night
  • NP – no problem


Bingo card screenshotFirst things first, choose a bingo site that takes your fancy and sign up. Just register your details and payment method info then get playing some bingo.

Take advantage of the welcome offer available, and be sure to read all the terms and conditions before you accept it. Lots of sites these days will also offer a ton of free bingo in your first week of registration too so make sure you use all of the bonus features and get the most out of the newbie online bingoexperience.