Though it can take many different forms depending on when you play, bingo is undoubtedly one of the world’s most popular social gambling games. Often played at fundraisers or for charity purposes, bingo is also be a serious gambling enterprise, with many casinos offering games with life-changing top prizes. Today, online bingo is just as popular as the live game, allowing players to enjoy the same social interaction and the thrill of winning jackpots from the comfort of their own homes.
While several forms of bingo are played around the world and on the Internet, most bingo play falls into one of two categories. 90-ball bingo (also known as “housie”) is most common in the United Kingdom, and Australia, as well as many other countries. In this game, players have tickets that feature three rows of nine spaces each, though not every space will have a number. Players will have to completely fill one or more rows in order to win. In the United States, 75-ball bingo is the most popular format used. This game features cards which contain five columns of numbers with five rows each, with a straight line being the most common winning pattern.
In a game of bingo, a caller announces numbers as they are randomly drawn. As numbers are drawn, players mark them off on their tickets or cards, keeping track of which numbers have been called. The first player to completely fill in a prescribed pattern – for instance, filling in a full row in 90-ball bingo – is the winner. There may also be multiple winners: for instance, the first player to fill one row may win, as may the first player to fill two rows and the first player to fill their entire ticket.
When a player has successfully filled out the winning pattern, they are traditionally asked to shout something to announce that fact. Common phrases include ‘bingo’ and ‘line’. What is important is not what’s shouted, but rather the effort to attract an official who can verify the win. If playing online, most casinos will automatically mark of the numbers for you and then at the end of the round, you will be paid out automatically if you win.
Online bingo has proven to be extremely popular; there are dozens of different real money bingo sites which accept Australian players and our AUD. We recommend True Blue Bingo, which offers both 75-ball and 90-ball bingo, as well as slight variations of the game, including bingo with progressive jackpots. You can read our review of True Blue Bingo here.
Online bingo works under the same rules as traditional land-based bingo games. However, there are several features that make online bingo somewhat more convenient and easier to play than the version you’d play in a casino or church charity game. For instance, many Internet bingo sites offer options such as “auto-daub,” a feature that will automatically mark called numbers rather than require players to do so manually. Similarly, players with multiple cards can take advantage of card sorting features that allow quick access to the cards closest to winning.
Online bingo also allows players to highly customize how much each game is played for and how many cards they buy for each game. Players can often choose to play in games where the number of total cards or cards per player are limited, preventing big spenders from dominating the games. Chat features allow players to interact socially with others in the same game.
See also: How to Play Bingo on the Internet
Yes, online bingo is completely legal for Australians to take part in. The IGA has no laws prohibiting players from playing at real money sites, most likely to be located offshore as the IGA does make it illegal to operate an online casino within our borders.
Unlike in some countries, Australians have numerous methods available for making online bingo deposits. For starters, most online gambling sites will be happy to accept deposits made using a credit or debit card, with cards carrying Visa or MasterCard branding being the most likely to be accepted.
If you’d rather not use a credit card to make an online bingo deposit, there are other options that are also fast and safe to use. One method growing in popularity is the use of online banking payment systems that use your own bank’s online interface to help you make a deposit. In Australia, the leader in this area is POLi Payments, which can be used by Australians who hold accounts with a number of the largest banks in the country.
While those might be the fastest options available, others can also be used. Many players like opening an account at an e-wallet site such as Neteller or Skrill (formerly Moneybookers), as these can be used to manage several online gambling accounts and process both deposits and withdrawals. Bank wires and prepaid methods are also commonly used to fund bingo accounts.
While playing bingo for real money is the only way to win cash prizes at most Internet bingo sites, free play options are usually offered as well. Free play games can be used by those who mostly like to play bingo for the social experience, or for checking out a bingo site’s software being determining whether or not to play for real money. Almost all real money bingo sites have a free play option, and many social games on sites like Facebook also have free bingo.
Bingo sites are a big part of the mobile gambling movement, and many online bingo sites can now be accessed from your Apple iPhones and iPads, Android, Windows and other smartphone and tablet devices, with features and graphics specifically designed for our hand held platforms.