Its simplicity is what we love about bingo. Whether you’re playing online or offline, bingo is an easy game to learn with no need to spend time memorising strategies, picking up complicated rules or practising a poker face. There are, however, many different vairations of online bingo, and if you’re new to playing, it can be difficult to know which to start off with.
While you’ll find loads of different rooms and games at the best bingo sites, bingo can be loosely categorised by three variants – 90 ball, 80 ball and 75 ball bingo. There’s newbie bingo, speed bingo and progressive bingo too, with so many themes and styles it’s hard to count. The basic priniciples are the same, though there are some subtle differences between the different games you’ll have to get familiar with. Keep reading to discover more about the different basic bingo games in full.
90 ball bingo
If you’re playing online or in a traditional bingo hall, 90 ball bingo is the most likely game you’ll encounter. Like other bingo games, you buy your tickets, then mark off the numbers when they’re called out (pro tip: turn on the auto-daubing feature so you never miss a number).
90 ball bingo cards are laid out in three rows and nine columns, with five numbers to each line. Completing horizontal lines is the first main objective of 90 ball bingo. Each line represents a chance to win, and the prizes get bigger and better the more lines you complete. Signalling the very end of the game, someone will mark off a full bingo card – otherwise known as a full house.
Due to its similarities to land-based bingo, 90 ball bingo is seen as a great choice for those who are new to online bingo though may have played at a bingo hall in the past. There are many variations of the standard 90 ball theme, with progressive jackpot bingo and other various other styles to choose from so its never boring. Playing 90 ball bingo online guarantees you entertainment and the potential for some big prizes.
80 ball bingo
This game is often seen as the bridge between 75 ball bingo and 90 ball bingo. Popular in its own right, 80 ball bingo is also known as Party Bingo or Seaside Bingo. The reason for these alternate names comes from when the numbers used to be covered by bottle-tops in the arcades before the days of plastic sliding closures and online bingo.
When you play 80 ball bingo, you’ll notice it’s a 4×4 grid with a different colour for each vertical line. Apart from the fact there are 10 fewer numbers than 90 ball bingo, what’s different about 80 ball bingo is you don’t just need a line to win. In 80 ball bingo, the aim of the game is to mark patterns – whether vertical lines, horizontal lines or diagonal lines of four – or get the elusive full house (all 20 numbers). The diagonal and vertical options to draw a line keep things interesting, and ultimately boost your chances of winning.
Before starting to play 80 ball bingo, be sure to check the rules so you know which patterns to make as a priority. Pay attention, as this will typically be shown at the beginning of the game.
75 ball bingo
While 90 ball bingo is the traditional bingo hall game in the UK, 75 ball bingo is the staple game over in the US in both their halls and online play. Even though this game is still more popular in the US than in the UK and Europe, most casino and bingo sites offer at least a variation of two of 75 ball bingo.
In this game, the bingo cards all have 25 squares, laid out in 5×5 grid. Unlike 90 ball bingo, you don’t have to complete a line of a full card to win – it’s more like 80 ball bingo, where are you have to create patterns to win. The patterns vary and change with each game that you play. As a result, there are so many different possibilities, 75 ball bingo can be a lot more interesting to play, although you should pay more attention so as to make sure you don’t miss a winning pattern.
Other bingo variants
The above bingo games are the three main variants, though you will come acrosss other bingo types when you play online. They may well be less popular than 90 ball, 80 ball and 75 ball bingo, but they’re still worth a look in – especially if you’re wanting to play something a little different.
30 ball bingo
This bingo game is relatively new to the online bingo world. In 30 ball bingo, you have nine squares, laid out in 3×3 grid with no blank spaces. Due to it having few numbers, 30 ball bingo is a very quick game, which is one of its appealing features to those who don’t have lots of spare time. It’s also great if you’re completely new to bingo and just fancy tring out a game without committing to a more full-length version.
5 line bingo (Swedish bingo)
Five line bingo (also known as Swedish bingo) has – unsprinsingly – five lines. Its closest bingo game is 75 ball bingo, with 75 balls, however the numbers are ordered and the cards are laid out differently.
The word BINGO is found written along the top, with each letter corresponding to a single column. Each column has a rnadom selection of numbers in a random order from a pre-set range.
- B has five random numbers from 1 to 15
- I has five random numbers from 16 to 30
- N has five random numbers from 31 to 45
- G has five random numbers from 46 to 60
- O has five random numbers from 61 to 75
The way you win this bingo game is by marking off lines of numbers. There is some variation amongst different games but generally speaking, you can win with horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines. The winnings get bigger the more lines you mark off. One significant difference between this five line 75 ball bingo and the normal pattern bingo 75 ball cards is that the square in the middle (the centre squre) is not free.
Now if you’ve ever played games on an online slots site you’ll have heard of progressive slots – in which the jackpot keeps building until one player wins the whole lot. The same premise applies to progressive bingo. Progressive bingo games play like standard bingo games, keeping going until a full house is played.
With progressive bingo, there is a much bigger ‘progressive jackpot’ to win when calling a fullhouse within a pre-set number of ball calls. If no-one wins within that number of calls the game carries on and the jackpot rolled over to the next game. This keeps on building until one lucky player wins on their bingo card within the designated number of ball calls. At this point, the jackpot is reset to a base amount.
The upside to progressive bingo is that there is potential for a much bigger payout, however the downside is that it is much harder to win.
With so many mobile bingo sites offering different games, there are endless options available. Bingo game themes and stylse are limitless – it’s especially common to find games based on your favourite TV shows and movies, as well as other pop culture references. So while they might look different, most bingo games are based on the three main types above and you’ll find the gameplay is largely the same. Rest assured now primed with the knowledge of the basics, you’ll be able to enjoy all the variety that online bingo has to offer you.