Online bingo games are simply a digital simulation of the physical land-based game of bingo. It uses virtual bingo cards and usually some kind of chat room to replicate the social aspect of playing the game in an actual hall.
Just like real world bingo, there are a variety of different games available for you to play – including 90 ball, 80 ball, and 75 ball, plus some online-only exclusives that you won’t find in a brick and mortar bingo halls.
This is your guide to those game varieties.
The 90-ball version of the game is the one best known to players in the United Kingdom, and it has found widespread popularity across the rest of the world as well. It utilises 90 numbered balls, and the bingo cards which are provided are marked out in a grid of 9×3 boxes, incorporating nine columns and three rows.
Each of these rows contains five numbers, so each each card contains a total of 15 different numbers. Each of the nine columns will contain either one or two numbers, with the first offering up numbers from the 1-9 range, the second 20-29, the third 30-39 and so on.
In order to complete a single line win, the player needs to mark off all five numbers on a single row, while a full house is won by marking off every single number on the card. 90-ball bingo games usually pay out to the first player to complete one line, then two lines, and finally the full house. This means there are three prizes in each game, and any player could win one, none, or all of them.
Here are the usual ways to win in a little more detail:
- One Line – One line across any one ticket is going to win you the first and lowest prize of the game. Once this prize is won, the next target is to complete two lines for a slightly bigger prize.
- Two Lines – As the name suggests, all you have to do to win the second part of a 90 ball bingo game is to cross off two lines of numbers. They must both be on one single ticket, and not split across two different ones. Once this pattern has been formed and the winner confirmed, the game then moves on to the full house.
- Full House – To win the top prize payout you will need to get all of the numbers on any one of your 90 ball bingo tickets crossed off. Depending on how many players there are this may take a fair few balls for someone to win, but the full house delivers the biggest prize of the game.
This, along with the 90-ball variation of the game, are the oldest known versions of bingo. 75-ball is more prominent across the United States, and as the name suggests, it uses 75 numbered balls.
The game is played on cards that feature a 5×5 grid. The centre of this grid is always left out as a free space, and therefore, each card contains a total of 24 different numbers. The top of the card will feature the word ‘BINGO’, with each of the letters appearing above one of the columns. The ‘B’ column contains numbers in the range of 1-15, the I column contains numbers up to 30 and so on.
A winning line in 75-ball bingo can be created horizontally, vertically, or even diagonally. This type of bingo will also often feature patterns on its cards which can get pretty whacky, and it can also be played as a variation known as ‘Speed Bingo’.
There are lots of different winning patterns for 75-ball bingo, just a few of which include:
- Window Frame – The Window Frame bingo pattern is formed whenever all of the numbers except the second and fourth on lines two and four are crossed off. The reason it is called the Window Frame is that it resembles a window frame of course!
- Witches Hat – The way in which this bingo pattern is formed is by having all of the numbers crossed off the bottom line, then the middle three numbers crossed off the two lines above, followed by the middle number on the top two lines. This forms a pointy hat shape.
- Coverall – All bingo games offer this type of playing pattern; the idea is to simply get all of the numbers on any one of your bingo cards crossed off before any other player does. These Coverall bingo games usually have the biggest payout attached to them, and are often the jackpot paying games.
- Any Three Lines – This is an easy pattern to look out for. As soon as you get any three lines of numbers in any position across one bingo card then you are the winner – if you are the first player to do so of course.
- Outside Bar – The Outside Bar bingo pattern is any line of two adjacent sets of numbers, one of which must be touching any outside line of your bingo card. Another that is easy to spot but one that could take a while to form.
- W Bingo Pattern – This is quite an unusual pattern but one you will definitely not miss when it forms. The W bingo pattern is formed when you get the letter W on any one of your bingo tickets, funnily enough. The pattern must start in the upper left hand side and the last square of this letter is going to be in the upper most right hand side of you bingo card.
Being a relatively new variation of bingo, 80-ball merges the larger number of bingo balls with the card style of the 75-ball game. Games are played on a 4×4 grid and feature a total of 16 numbers per card.
As with the 75-ball version, wins can be formed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, however, this game doesn’t feature the central free space. Numbers are organised in a similar way to other versions, with 1-20 showing in the first column, increasing by 20 through to the last column which incorporates numbers 61-80.
Cards are usually colour coded as well, and as with 75-ball bingo, game cards can utilise pattern matching to win as well as lines and full house style games.
- Any Line – When you play an Any Line game of 80 ball bingo then you just need to form a line in any direction on the bingo card to win. These games are fast paced, and as such you will find they last just a minute or so before someone wins.
- Coverall – To win a Coverall game you need to be the first player to get every single number on any one of your bingo cards crossed off. DO that and you are the winner. These Coverall games are the longest lasting version using the 80 ball bingo format.
- Four Corners – One unusual pattern often found in play on 80 ball bingo games is the four corners pattern. The aim with this pattern is to simply be the first player to cross off the four corner numbers on any one of your cards. If you do that before anyone else then you are the winner.
This game is actually considered to be its own entity as it is an online only product, and demonstrates the first instance of online bingo leading the way over physical bingo.
As well as the three most popular varieties noted above, there are a few other bingo variations that are worth knowing about:
50 Ball Bingo
50-ball bingo provides players with a single card featuring an individual grid of 10 squares, made up of two rows and five columns. Each of the squares is numbered, and wins are created when a single line is marked off or when the full house is marked off.
Fifty ball bingo isn’t particularly common, but can be found at Gala Bingo.
With Joker Jackpot, you’ll be given a full deck of 52 playing cards plus two jokers. Buying a single ticket will present you with nine cards from the deck. The rest of the cards are then dealt (called as if they were bingo balls) and you need to match the cards appearing with those in your own hand.
A ‘J’ pattern in the cards will win the first prize, followed by the full house of cards for the top prize. Two jackpots exist within the game as well; the ‘Joker Jackpot’, which is yours if you win in 16 cards or less, and the progressive ‘Super Joker Jackpot’, which requires you to win in 14 cards or less with the last card being the joker.
Deal or No Deal
This is based on the television show of the same name, and uses the same type of tickets as the 90-ball offering. Four prizes exist within this version of the game; a single line win, two line win, full house, and the ‘Deal or No Deal Feature’ prize. The latter of these can be seen before each game draw commences, and on each side of the feature area will be 22 different amounts that are held within 22 boxes.
The blue lower amounts will show on the left, with the red higher amounts on the right. A box is automatically chosen at random from the red ones, and this becomes the player’s box. The remaining 21 boxes then open to reveal numbers from 1-90, and each time a ball is drawn featuring the same number, it opens to reveal an amount from the prize board.