B-I-N-G… NO! 10 Losing Ways to Play Bingo

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Bingo has been around for a while now.

Indeed, you can trace its heritage all the way back to the early 16th Century!

Obviously, it’s changed a little in that time. Even so, the game as we know it today has been popular for almost a century. According to the same source, approximately USD $100 million were being spent every week on bingo games in North America by the end of the 1930s!

Clearly, the game has a special allure.

People of all ages and background partake in the game all over the world! And, with the rise of online Bingo, it’s now more popular than ever before.

However, money’s often on the table! That means, like most games of this nature, you’re far more likely to enjoy it if you’re winning! Are you looking to improve your chances of success?

Keep reading to discover 10 losing ways to play Bingo. Do the opposite, and you’ll be on your way to winning in no time.


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Basic Bingo Rules

New to the game?

Here’s a brief summary of the gameplay and rules.

Thankfully, the rules are straight forward. That said, it’s worth noting that specific Bingo variations exist.

People in the UK or Australia may play a different version to the US; online players often come across another altogether. Wherever you play, you’ll find a set of rules laid out that clearly state how to play.

Anyway, regardless of where you play, everyone starts with what’s called a Bingo card.

On it, there’s a 5×5 grid full of numbers ranging between 1 and 90 (1 to 75 if you’re playing in the US). There are 24 numbers in total with a blank ‘free space’ in the centre.

Each player has a unique card (no two cards ever have the same layout of numbers). You buy your card and can’t change it until the end of the game.

It’s possible to buy and play with multiple cards at once. This is important! We’ll explain why later.

As the Bingo game begins, someone (or a computer- depending on how you’re playing) randomly draws numbers (from 1 to 90/1 to 75). These are called out to the group.

If you have the number that’s called on your card, then you mark it down with a chip. The aim is to get 5 in a row, diagonally, horizontally or vertically. This is known as a ‘bingo pattern’. Some rules have different patterns required to win (aka not a simple straight line).

The free space we mentioned above is automatically filled (i.e. it counts as one of your 5 in a row).

In real-life, with 5 in a row, you’ve won the game and call out “Bingo!” The prize is yours. However, if two people have bingo at the same time, then the first person to shout it wins.

Online Bingo usually has a button to press to claim Bingo. Others accept it automatically.

Read on to learn how to maximize your chances of winning.

10 Losing Ways to Play Bingo

Now we’ve covered the basic rules, let’s turn to how not to play it.

Keep the following tips in mind and, hopefully, you’ll be able to do the exact opposite! You’ll be on your way to Bingo success in no time.

1. Playing With a Single Card

Here’s a basic Bingo truth:

The more cards you have in play, the higher your chances of winning.

It makes sense. After all, more cards mean more potential winning patterns. Limiting yourself to one card (in a game where everyone else has multiple) is like choosing to run a race using crutches. You’ll be far slower to the finish line.

If you can afford more cards, then purchase them. Many people play with 10 or more! However, beginners will do well to start with between 1 and 6.

Remember, the more cards in the game, the quicker it’ll be. Entering games with masses of cards means it’s unlikely to last as long.

2. Playing With Too Many Cards

It’s a fine line though.

Too few cards and your chances of success dwindle against people with multiple cards.

Too many though, and you risk struggling to keep up. More cards mean more numbers to find and mark. When the patterns are unclear, and you aren’t adept at scanning them, you can quickly fall behind.

Bingo numbers can get lost amongst too many cards. It’s all too easy for inexperienced Bingo players to miss out on marking a number they actually have.

Start slow. Get better at scanning. Learn the patterns. Then build up to playing with multiple cards.

3. Playing At a Fraudulent Site

This one’s obvious.

But it’s worth mentioning anyway.

Some gambling sites are only after your money. Well, let’s be honest, all gambling sites are after your money. It’s just that some of them will try and swindle you in the process.

Stick to reputable Bingo sites (especially online, but this can happen in real-life Bingo halls as well). This way you’re more likely to avoid fraudulent sites and have success.

4. Playing In Person

Online Bingo offers many advantages.

For instance, the ability to automatically claim ‘Bingo’ is a major advantage.

In person, you can win, but be too slow to shout it. Someone else who says it first gets the prize. This isn’t a problem for online platforms with automatic claims.

If your primary intention is winning at Bingo, then online may be the best bet. However, there’s more to Bingo than money! Playing online means you obviously sacrifice the social side of the game that comes from doing it in person.

5. Ignoring Card Discounts

This is another that applies to online Bingo.

Many websites will incentivize your participation by offering discount cards.

Remember how having more Bingo cards increases your chance of winning? Take the free/discounted cards on offer!

Likewise, other incentives may be put on the table too (such as free credit to be used). Playing online anyway? Then it makes total sense to take advantage of the perks.

6. Failing to Prepare

Failing to prepare is like preparing to fail.

Or so they say.

This, strangely enough, is relevant to Bingo playing.

It only applies when you’re at a Bingo hall though (aka not online). Being prepared for the game can make a big difference. For example, bringing cello tape along can keep the cards in place on the table. Likewise, a marker pen can help highlight the patterns required.

Equally, many halls are far from comfortable. You don’t want to miss a call through your fidgeting! Why not bring a cushion to make things more enjoyable? Taking snacks are drinks can help for the same reason too.

7. Playing in Larger Groups

More people equals less chance of winning!

This applies whether you’re online or offline.

Playing in Bingo halls with lots of people may create a great buzz. The social side may be amazing. However, it also means there are far more cards in play. That makes it less likely that you’ll have the winning set of numbers.

8. Sitting Too Far Away

Sitting closer to the caller increases your chance of winning too.

Firstly, being far away means you might not hear the call. People may be talking around you. Your hearing might not be what it used to be. It doesn’t matter the cause- the outcome is the same. Missing the call means the potential to miss the win.

Equally, being closer to the action gives you a chance of seeing the number before it’s called! Getting a sneak peek isn’t against the rules. It’s an acceptable practice. You just aren’t allowed to call Bingo before the number has been shouted to the group.

9. Losing Focus

It’s all too easy to get distracted when you play Bingo.

Your mind wanders, you get pulled into a conversation, or you start thinking about your supper. It’s vital that you stay focused! Bingo can move at a fast pace.

It’s important to stay attentive in order to keep up.

10. Failing to Mark the Pattern

Remember the bingo patterns we’ve mentioned above?

They can often be simple straight lines. However, they can often be far more complex.

New patterns are usually harder to remember.

Many people choose to mark them on their cards beforehand. Doing so is like plotting a route on a map. You don’t need to worry about remembering it. You hear the number and get taken straight to the card to see if it’s there, in the pattern you need.

It’s a quick hack for increasing your chances of winning.

Time to Wrap Up

There you have it: 10 ways to play Bingo that are sure to let you down every time!

Bingo has been an enormously popular game for centuries. However, there’s often money on the line. It makes sense to do what you can to improve your chance of winning!

Hopefully, the information in this post will help you be successful. Keep the losing ways in mind and do the exact opposite! You’ll be shouting Bingo and taking home the prize money in no time.

Like this article? Want more? Click here to read all about playing Bingo in Australia.

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