What is the Tippett Method in Bingo?

What is the Tippett Method in Bingo?LHC Tippett was a British statistician, who lived from 1902 until 1985.

He was well renowned in his field, so when he came up with his bingo method, people took note.

The problem with statisticians though, is that while they may be wizards with numbers, probability, and theory, they don’t aways take the real-world application of their ideas into account.

This pretty much sums up the Tippett Method.

Despite being British, Tippet’s method centres on the 75-ball game, but as with the Granville Theory, it can be applied to the 90-ball game with a little tweaking.

The main gist of things here, is that the more balls that are called, the more they will gravitate towards the median number (the middle number), so you would ideally select tickets with numbers that are closer to the median.

Sadly, this is another strategy that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny in a real game of bingo, but nevertheless, I will explain how it wors below.

How Does the Tippett Method Work?

How the Tippett Method Works

There are actually two different approaches to the game when using Tippett’s method, and they depend on what sort of game you are going to be playing.

Both approaches require players to be able to pick their own bingo tickets though, which in itself can pose a problem depending on where you are playing, as it isn’t always practical or even possible.

Nevertheless, the idea is to either:

  • Pick cards with numbers as close to the median as possible
  • Pick cards with numbers as close to the extremities as possible

What do I mean here?

Well, if you are expecting a longer game such as a blackout game (full house), you would want cards with as many numbers close to the middle number (the median) as possible. The median number in a game of 75-ball bingo is 38, so you would want numbers either side of that.

In a shorter game, one where only a line is required, you would be better off with a card displaying lots of numbers close to 1 or 75, which are the extreme ends of the spectrum for 75-ball bingo.

The idea here, is that perfect normal distribution (or perfect average) comes into play the more numbers that are called.

Since 38 is the average, the longer the game goes on, the more likely that the numbers called would be clustered around this number. However, games that are usually over in fewer calls would not see this come into play, which is why you would be better off with numbers more towards the extremities.

It’s a little complex, but 38 is only the average number once all balls are called. If only nine balls have been called, the median number could be pretty much anything; if balls 1 – 9 were called then 5 would be the median, for example.

But the longer the game goes on, the more balls will be called, which is why the likelihood of the median being 38 or close to it, increases.

Can Tippett’s Method Help You to Win?

Woman with Fingers CrossedOn paper perhaps, but not in the real world.

As I touched on in the last section, picking your own tickets isn’t usually a realistic option, but even if it was, Tippett’s method wouldn’t be likely to improve your chances of winning at bingo.

It’s true that the average will even out as more balls are called, of course it is. To begin with all the balls are uncalled and the median is 38, that average then changes as the balls are called, until all of the balls are called, at which point the average again becomes 38.

It evens out.

But how many games have you played where every ball was called? Exactly.

Across the course of a real game, any numbers could be called in any order, so although the average will eventually get back to 38, the specific numbers called are no more or less likely to be those closest to 38.

It doesn’t take into account the number of players involved or how many tickets have been sold either. It’s a completely theoretical idea.

Another huge practical issue is that 75 ball bingo cards tend to be evenly spread. They start low on the left and get higher as you move across from one vertical row to the next, so finding a ticket with the sort of bias you would need is almost impossible.

Like I said, statisticians are very clever people, but they don’t always factor in the practicalities of their ideas. Tippett’s method makes perfect sense in theory, but in reality, it’s impossible to action, and wouldn’t work anyway.