Bingo games can be dramatic. Players huddle over their cards, frantically blotting out numbers. They wait for that one number that allows them to call out the magic word and win the pot.
Then the caller calls the number. And you can feel the letdown in the room when the other players realize they’ve lost out again.
If you’ve had enough of the bingo hall drama, there’s an option for you. Online bingo sites are making a surge in popularity. But it’s intimidating to start online bingo if you don’t know how it works.
In this article, we’ll list 10 things you should know about online bingo. Hopefully, it helps you make the decision about where to play.
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1. You can actually chat in online bingo.
Bingo players are notoriously serious when it comes to bingo etiquette. When the game starts, the chat stops.
But in an online bingo site, you can chat and not get shushed by the crowd. Most sites have a chat feature that allows you to carry on conversations during the game.
You can chat and get to know your fellow players and you won’t bother anyone else in the process.
Don’t want to get to know anyone? That’s okay too. The beauty of the online bingo site is that you can choose how social you want to be.
Also, have you ever called out “Bingo!” at a bingo hall and realized you were wrong? You probably had to flee the hall, ducking as they threw stones at you. That won’t happen online.
When you play online, you’ll have an “auto-daub” option. It marks the numbers for you as they’re called. That way you can still carry on a chat and not miss a beat in the game.
Many hardcore bingo players still prefer to mark the numbers themselves. With an online game, you can check what’s been called already to make sure you don’t miss anything.
2. Many online bingo sites have a signing bonus.
That’s right, you might get some bonus cash for signing up to play on an online bingo site.
Lots of sites offer to match your initial deposit up to a certain dollar amount. For example, they might match you up to $20. If you make an initial deposit of $20, they’ll give you an extra $20 to play with.
Many also offer free play days when you sign up.
Plus, it’s actually to your advantage to join the bingo chat rooms. There are often moderators who give out random prizes to those who join the chats. Prizes can include free spins, free gameplay, extra tickets, even real money.
But be sure and read the fine print. Often there are cash-in limitations on the matched cash. Meaning, you can’t cash it in at all.
Or there may be a minimum number of bingo tickets you have to buy before you can get that cash bonus back out. Read the rules before you sign up.
3. Online bingo sites are more flexible than land-based bingo halls.
Don’t like your bingo “room”? Move to a different one! It’s fast and easy to do when you play online.
When you go to a bingo hall, you’re forced to play whatever game they have on the schedule. You also have to play only during their business hours. Some bingo halls may only play once or twice per week.
Land-based bingo halls will never have the variety of bingo games that an online bingo site has.
4. You can manage your time with online bingo sites.
Play anytime you want. You don’t have to conform to a set schedule to play online bingo.
The great part about playing whenever you want is that you can play when the crowds are down.
If you’re a night owl or like to get up super early, this is an advantage. When you play during odd times of day, your odds of winning increase.
If you’ve got a day job, you can play over your lunch hour or during breaks. Or if you only have a few minutes and want to catch a quick game of regular bingo. There’s always a game open on an online site.
Many bingo halls only offer bingo games at night to attract the greatest crowd. If you work at night, this can be a problem for you.
Luckily, there’s no limit with online bingo.
5. Play big or play cheap.
The option is yours. Some bingo halls offer cards at different prices. But many don’t give you this option.
Online bingo sites have a variety of cards prices. This means you can play as big or as small as you want. But a word of warning, playing the cheap cards reduces your chances of winning. The cheaper the cards, the more people play.
Try playing moderate to expensive cards for better odds. Many online bingo sites show you how many people are playing with you. This makes it easier to decide on which room you’ll play.
If a room is packed with players, it’s easy to switch to another room with more expensive cards.
6. No smoke, noise, or lights.
When you play bingo at a bingo hall or casino, you’re likely to encounter a more hectic environment.
Many casinos still allow smoking. They play loud music and are full of noisy gamblers. And they have lots of bright lights flashing all around.
Bingo halls are better. But many are still smoke-friendly and serve alcohol, making for more noise.
Some people like to play in a high-energy environment like that. But if you’re into a quiet, peaceful environment, online bingo sites are the way to go.
7. Beware of scams.
This applies to both online and land-based bingo halls.
Pay attention to the fine print. Read through your contract before you sign up to play bingo at a site. You’ll catch loopholes that way.
Only gamble at reputable bingo sites, online or land-based. If you’ve got a bad feeling about a place, don’t gamble there.
Every bingo site, land-based or online, has rules of play. Know the rules before you start so you can beware of anything out of the ordinary.
In fact, online gambling sites are subject to more regulation than land-based sites. As long as you’re playing at a legit online bingo site, you should be good.
8. Online is safer than gambling in person.
You’re more likely to get robbed at a land-based casino. Although most casinos take safety seriously, the fear factor is still present.
Someone leaving the bingo hall after a big payout is a parking lot target for thieves. Avoid this by avoiding the bingo hall altogether.
And it’s not only leaving the casino where safety is a concern. Inside a casino or bingo hall, you’re at a higher risk for thieves and pickpockets.
If you do opt to gamble in a land-based casino, lay off the alcohol. Although it’s tempting to knock back a few free drinks while you play, don’t do it.
Drinking makes you less aware of your surroundings. It leaves you open to theft and other crime. Which can be especially dangerous in places where money is plentiful.
9. Don’t go crazy buying bingo cards.
Keeping your cool applies both to online and land-based bingo. This is also another good reason not to drink while you gamble.
When you drink, you tend to be more reckless. Spending money doesn’t seem so crazy when you’ve had a few.
Online, it’s even easier to overspend because you don’t have the physical cash sitting in front of you. Set a budget for how much you plan to spend in a bingo session. Then stick to that budget.
We’re serious about this! Don’t go overboard. Gambling addiction is a real thing and if you think you’ve got a problem, get help.
10. When you play online, you can play anywhere.
This is the very best part about playing bingo online. You can enjoy bingo in the comfort of your own home.
You can also play on the go. Many online sites offer a mobile app.
Planning a long road trip? Play a few rounds of bingo to pass the time.
If you’re taking a walk over lunch, jump into your online bingo game while you walk. Waiting in line at the grocery store or at the DMV? That’s the perfect time to hop onto a quick game. Plus, you can play in your jammies. Or in your superman costume. Or in your underwear.
The possibilities are endless when you play online.
The Future of Bingo
Bingo is a great activity, no matter where you play it. We are fortunate to live in an age where we have options.
You can play bingo out with friends at the local bingo hall. Or you can play in the comfort of our home on our cell phone.
But the future of bingo seems to be pointing toward online bingo sites. If you haven’t given it a try, now’s the time. We hope these 10 tips help you get more familiar with the online version of the game you love.
Check out our bingo in Australia page for more information.