The Ultimate Guide to Playing Bingo Online

Bingo balls with the letters B, I, N, G, and O sit on top of tablets and mobile phones, surrounded by gold coins.

If you’re new to the world of online bingo and are looking for all the information you need to start enjoying the game, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a complete novice, or just looking to brush up on your game knowledge, check out our ultimate guide and start having fun online today!

How to play

The wonderful thing about bingo is that it’s really easy to learn how to play. But before we cover online bingo itself, let’s see how it’s done in the physical world first. To start off, you need someone to run or host the game, and some players.

The job of the game host, at the most basic level, is to call out numbers, but an excellent host is someone who can spice up number calling with fun and exciting calls or funny jokes. The host can draw numbers out of a bag, or if you want to get fancy, you can buy a bingo set that comes with numbered balls and a cage.

As a player, you’ll receive a card. The style of this card may vary depending on whether you’re playing the American or British game, but at the end of the day, the goal is the same: mark off matching numbers on your card as they are called out, and if you complete a row or specific winning pattern, claim your prize!

Types of bingo

Different types of bingo balls and bingo cards.

Yes, there’s more than one way to play, and you’ll find all these types to play online as well as in the real world. The two most popular versions of the game are American (75-ball) and British (90-ball) bingo.

The American version features the numbers between 1 and 75, and is played on a card with a 5×5 grid. Each square in this grid has a random number, excluding the centre. This is a “free number” in the middle, making it easier to complete a winning combination along the centre column or row.

The British version features more numbers, with the host choosing the numbers between 1 and 90. The card is also slightly different, with a typical ticket being 9×3. Also, unlike the American card which has numbers in every square on the grid, only 15 of the squares have numbers. This version of the game also has numerous ways to win. You can win by:

  • Completing a single line on a ticket
  • Completing two lines on a ticket
  • Completing all three lines on a ticket, which is known as a “full house”
  • Filling in the numbers in the corners on the top and bottom rows

While these are undoubtedly the most popular versions, there are others for you to enjoy. These include:

  • 30-ball – Otherwise known as “speed bingo”, this version uses a smaller card and is designed for people who’d like to have a quick game, but don’t have enough time to commit to a full game.
  • 80-ball – Although not as fast as speed bingo, this uses a smaller card for a slightly faster game.
  • Blackout – In this version, the aim of the game is to fill the entire card, so it will undoubtedly be a longer game, but it offers a different kind of fun for people who are looking for some variety in their bingo games.
  • 5-line, or Swedish – Unlike other versions, this one has multiple rounds and multiple winners, with the game only ending after five lines are won!

Tips and tricks

Attractive man holding a notepad and pen isolated against grey background

If you were hoping for tips to improve your chances of winning, unfortunately, we have to tell you that bingo is entirely a game of chance. But while there is little you can do to improve your odds of winning a game, there are a few things you can do to boost your chances:

  • Join games with fewer players – Even though games with fewer players technically do not offer greater chances of winning, they do decrease your chances of losing to another player.
  • Play with multiple cards – Just like buying multiple lottery tickets increases your chance of winning, buying multiple cards also boosts your chances of completing a winning pattern! If you’re manually marking your cards, just make sure you’re able to keep track of all the cards you buy: it would be terrible to lose because you accidentally missed a number!
  • Play multiple games – As the saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Naturally, if you don’t win during a game, there’s nothing stopping you from playing another and trying your luck again. Just be sure to stick to your budget and not go overboard.

How to find the best and most trustworthy site

A laptop with a padlock image on the screen.

Now you’ve learnt how to play and have some tips in your back pocket, all you need to do is register at any old site and start playing, right? Hold on a second! Not all bingo sites are created equal, and some might even be trying to scam you out of your hard-earned money. Here’s some advice on how to pick the best site that you can trust:

  • Verify that the site is licensed in your region – While many may allow you to register and even deposit money and play, it might not be legal to do so. Check the site has the correct gambling license for your region before you hand over any of your personal details or money. You can do this in the UK through the Gambling Commission.
  • Check what security and payment options the site offers – To ensure your information is secure, a site should provide a secure “HTTPS” connection. You can verify if your connection is secure by looking for a little padlock symbol next to the website address in your browser. You should also follow up on what the payment options are. Most sites will take your credit card, but others will also offer other payment channels such as PayPal if you’re not comfortable sharing your credit card details.
  • Do your research – While a lot of business review sites may lean towards the negative (after all, if you’re happy with the service, why would you bother to register and leave a rating?), it’s important to dig deeper into reviews before you just accept them at face value. Some customers may have unique issues, while others may experience problems that impact others, such as site downtime or issues with payments. Be sure to also check social media to assess whether a site is reliable and safe.
  • Make sure the site offers player-safety materials and options – While gaming is undoubtedly fun, there might be a time when you find yourself playing even though you’re not enjoying yourself. In these situations, you should be able to engage with the site’s staff, support materials, or even set your play and spending limits on the site.
  • See what promotions are running – Many sites offer bonuses to encourage people to register or keep on playing. Take a look at what benefits these bonuses offer before you sign up and make a deposit.
  • Look at what other games are available – As fantastic as bingo is, occasionally you might want to play something else. Take a look to see what other games are on offer, like online slots, so you don’t have to waste time later registering to play games at another site.

How to get started playing

At most websites, getting started is remarkably simple. You will need to provide the site with your personal details, create a username and password, and make a deposit so you can begin playing. There may be slight differences here and there, depending on which site you’re on, but that’s the process in a nutshell.

If you get confused or are unsure about something, you can usually find an entry in the site’s FAQ section on how to register or reach out to the support team for assistance.

But before you do, perhaps you’d like to know more about these debunked online bingo myths, or these 10 things you probably didn’t know about bingo?

Put this guide to the test with Booty Bingo

Now that you’ve become an expert in online bingo and you’re ready to play, why not give it a go at Booty Bingo?

At Booty Bingo, we not only have a fine appreciation for treasure, ships, and all things pirate-related, we also love providing our players with a great space to play online bingo games. At our bingo site you can enjoy a wide variety of bingo games, including 90-ball and 75-ball, as well as other exciting experiences, including online slots and scratch cards.

So whether you prefer to play on your PC or tablet, or you prefer to play bingo for mobile, register with Booty Bingo to join in the fun!