Bingo is a simple game, and that is one of the reasons why it has remained so popular over the years – literally anybody can play.
It takes no special skill, no player can have any real advantage over another apart from buying more tickets, and it doesn’t take much effort either. But it is definitely fun!
This combination of simplicity and enjoyment is catnip to so many bingo players, not to mention the fact that it can be a great night out with the girls or a good way to catch up with an old friend.
But this hasn’t stopped people adapting the game many times over, and now there are more variations of the simple game of bingo than we can keep track of. We don’t just mean variations based on the number of balls like 30 and 50 ball bingo either – there are some really wacky twists out there and even bingo games based on well loved TV game shows.
None of them are particularly difficult to learn, but there are some differences that you may want to familiarise yourself with before you dive into a new version of the game you love.
Find the game you are interested in from the list below and then have a quick read, all our guides are written in simple language and we don’t waffle on too much either, so you will be up to speed in no time.
First though, let’s run over the basic ground rules for a game of bingo for those who don’t already know.
General Bingo Rules
A game of bingo involves three main elements:
- The tickets
- The balls
- The dauber
A player can buy as many tickets as they like, but if playing in a real bingo hall don’t buy more than you can physically keep up with – you only have two hands. Marking the numbers off with a dauber is your responsibility, and bingo callers don’t tend to hang around in between numbers so you could end up falling behind and even missing out on a win. Tragedy!
With online bingo the numbers on each ticket are marked off for you, and if you have bought a lot then those with the most numbers crossed off (the most exciting tickets) will even be automatically put at the head of the pack so you can watch their progress.
The balls are drawn and called out by the bingo caller who might also add a little bit of humour to proceedings in a real life game of bingo, but online the balls are drawn randomly by computer and will show up on the screen briefly.
The dauber is also automatic so it will work its magic instantly after a number is drawn, so if the number drawn matches a number on your ticket then it will be crossed off. Some sites/games do offer the option for players to mark their own tickets, but if you miss one it will catch the mistake for you.
When it comes to winning, the online game will know if you have a winning ticket so you don’t need to do anything really, whereas in a bingo hall it is up to you to shout “Bingo!” before the next ball is drawn.
The amount available as a prize is usually determined by how many people are playing and how many tickets have been bought, but some games have fixed amounts, it just depends. This will always be made clear before the game starts though, so you know what you stand to win.
Those are the basics, but see below for a more specific run down of each individual bingo version. Have fun!
It is the biggest game in circulation, and will usually take the longest amount of time to complete too. There are many themed versions of 90 ball bingo.
It’s a game for those that want more action and perhaps a slightly increased pace of play too – just don’t let the alternative ticket layout confuse you.
It’s a very different looking game with a ‘free’ space on every ticket, but its’ biggest characteristic is the fact that you can win by creating patterns on your card as well as boring old lines.
There are only two ways to win so it isn’t the most inventive variation, but it strikes a good balance when all other bingo versions are taken into account.
40 ball bingo is a popular target for game developers who want to add in extra features, so you can often win in more ways than you might initially imagine.
The grid may be small but the prizes don’t have to be, so this game is perfect for an uncompromising quick fix when you are waiting in line at the supermarket or even if you are trying to get as many games in as possible during a quick 20 minute break.