How Does Online Bingo Work?

Whether you’ve played bingo before or you’re a complete bingo virgin, you probably know that bingo is a game of chance and you must mark off all your numbers to win – right? Well, playing bingo is more than just marking your numbers off your card – there’s so many things that are involved with online bingo and I’m about to let you in on a few secrets.

What Bingo Sites Should I Choose?

Choosing a bingo site to play at is purely down to you, simply look for a site that appeals to you and sign up. Registration is not as scary as you might think, the process lasts a few minutes max and asks the basic of information, such as your name, address, date of birth and email address. You’ll have to select a password too, so make sure you remember this.

What Types of Online Bingo Games Can You Play?

There are many different types of bingo to start with and the more popular verities are as follows:

  • 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 yes? Well here is a brief guide on these bingo games:

  • 90 ball bingo commonly found in the UK and is the traditional game of bingo. These bingo games are played on a 9x3 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 4x4 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 5x5 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.
  • 30 ball bingo is a speed bingo game, this is because you have a 3x3 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 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!

What happens if I miss a number?

There is no need to worry about missing numbers when you play online bingo, because the bingo sites are automatically set to daub your numbers automatically, so there’s no need to try moving your mouse around like a headless chicken to mark all the numbers off.

Now, you do have the option to mark your own tickets manually, you simply go into the settings of the bingo room and select to manually daub your tickets. Now, even if you miss a number, the system knows what tickets you have and knows if you’re going to win – so this means if you miss 1 number or all of them – the system will automatically credit your account with your winnings.

What happens if more than one person wins?

More often than now, you will see more than one person winning – so when this happens the prize stated is shared equally among the amount of winners for that particular game.

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, but what makes it even worse is when the same names seem to crop up. I myself have seen too many comments like ‘the same winners all the time’ popping up in the chat feature, but it’s purely down to luck.

All online bingo sites are licensed and regulated by governing bodies to provide fair gaming. A RNG (random number generator) is used to randomly select numbers in every single game, no matter what bingo site you use.

Deposit methods accepted?

Before you decide to join a bingo site, you will see exactly what deposit methods they accepted on the website. Making a deposit is simple, you go to your account and follow the easy on screen instructions to fund your account.

Once you’ve completed your details, you will be transferred to your chosen banking website or e-wallet website to authorise your deposit. Within a few minutes you will deposited cash to start spending on your favourite bingo games.

Why do online bingo sites offer bonuses?

I would say almost all online bingo sites offer some sort of bonus and these are designed to attract the players. There are differences in bonus, which I will explain:

  • 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, this means you can’t just sign up for the bonus and withdraw it. You need to play through the bonus on the games stated. Some bingo sites will want you to provide your bank details upon registration – but don’t start panicking, no money will be taken from your account. Your card details are required for age verification purposes only – 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.

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.

If you deposit £10 and the wagering requirement is 25x, you will have to play 25x £10 = £250 before being able to withdraw.  Sometimes, it’s better not to accept a bonus, so if you win, you can withdraw without having to spend more cash.

How do I get my winnings?

If you win playing bingo, then congratulations! The next task is to withdraw your cash and start spending yes? So, 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 vary, but usually it can take between 3 and 10 working days to go back into your bank via a credit or debit card or anything between a few hours and 3 days for an e-wallet – such as PayPal.

What happens if I have a problem?

If you encounter a problem or an issue playing online bingo, you can contact customer support through the options on your bingo site. These can include live chat, where you get a response instantly, through email or telephone.

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


First things first, sign up, deposit into your account and decide on which bingo room to play in. Choose your bingo tickets and most bingo sites even allow you to buy in advance (so you’ll never miss out) and then cross your fingers and hope for a win.