Bingo is played in halls and parlours around the globe. In some countries, bingo nights are organized by non-profit charitable organizations, whether they’re for foundations, churches, or civic groups. In other parts of the world, the game is linked among many clubs and windfalls are possible. The National Bingo Game in the United Kingdom holds the record for the biggest jackpot, coming in at £1,100,000. In countries like the UK, bingo is a big business.
Bingo on the Internet entails several different versions, because the game isn’t played the same internationally. In the United States and other parts of North America, the game of choice is 75-ball bingo. The tickets used in this version, called cards, contain a 5×5 square of numbers with the centre square marked out (with the word “Free”). People in India call the game tambola or, perhaps more confusing to lottery players, even lotto.
Here in Australia and New Zealand, the game is played using the 90-ball ticket, which contains 6 game counters per side (including all 90 numbers somewhere among those 6 cards). Aussies and Kiwis call the game “housie”, though you’ll be hard-pressed to find online sites which market under that name. If you want to find online housie, you’ll need to search for “bingo”.
When you want to play on the Internet, sign up at an online bingo hall. Those who gamble online at casinos, bookmakers, or poker rooms won’t be familiar with some of the various software companies you’ll find powering sites. Other names are quite familiar, such as Microgaming. In fact, those wanting to be assured they play on licensed and audited online bingo halls need not ever try a site except those powered by Microgaming.
Registration is going to be quite similar to what you’d find at an online casino. You’ll need to include your full name, address, email address, and other such personal information. Those who play at the Fortune Group of online casinos and card rooms (Royal Vegas, Platinum Play, 7Sultans, Vegas Palms) can use their sign-up from those sites, but only if you register at an online bingo parlour named “Giggle Bingo”. At Giggle, players don’t even have to make a deposit to receive a £10 freeplay or no-deposit bonus. You can use this to play for free, but if you win while using this free cash and meet the wagering requirement, you’ll be able to withdraw your winnings as if you were a real money player.
Of course, most people are going to want to play for real money, even if it’s just a little bit. Like any other real money gaming site, you’ll receive a deposit bonus for adding in real cash to your player account. When you make your first deposit, GiggleBingo will match up to £100 at a 200% rate. That means you only need to deposit £50 to receive £100 in bonus money. Once again, you’ll need to meet a wager or playthrough requirement to withdraw winnings from your gaming with the bonus cash, but player cashouts of this sort happen every day.
Next, you’ll be asked to click on a Flash game link to open the interface. Adobe Flash is a multimedia software platform which lets you play games online, among several other uses. Free Flash software downloads are available on the Adobe website. Make certain this is the official Adobe site, but the download takes a minute or two. Many Microsoft OS computers come with the program on their computer already. Once you have the Flash player, you can open bingo games in your web browser, so the player is the only downloading to be done when playing only housie.
The big decision you’ll need to make is whether to play the 90-ball or 75-ball version. Most Australians are going to play the game they know, which has ninety balls. The seventy-five ball game is quite entertaining, too. In fact, the American game allows for diagonal bingos, which adds another layer to the intrigue. It’s probably not going to be your first choice, but you should give it a try somewhere down the line.
In most real money online gaming, playing either buy a stack of chips so they can wager in a cash game or ring game, much like what they do in poker, blackjack, or roulette. If you were entering a tournament, you would pay an entry fee. The same doesn’t apply in housie. Instead, you buy tickets, like you would in a live gaming environment. You’ll have the choice of “Buy Next Game” or “Advanced Buy”.
The first of these options lets you purchase a ticket for the next available game on the site, which is certain to come along in the next few minutes. The second option allows you to gain entry into tournaments or games over the next certain amount of time. You’ll see information on what type of game is being played, such as free, deluxe, penny tournament, PJP tournaments, or a CashBlitz. You’ll see what the current pot is, the current price of the ticket, how much room is left, and when the next game starts (with a ticking clock feature). That’s how GiggleBingo works, at least.
Once you’ve gone through these steps, you’re ready for the game to start. At this point, the game you’re playing bears a major resemblance to the land-based games you’ve played in Australia. Once you learn how to blot out numbers using your computer keyboard and mouse, you’ll be able to play bingo online just as well as you ever did in a live setting. The 90-ball bingo games on the Internet use random number generators to determine the outcome of the game. This is the same mechanism which has been used for pokies and video poker machines for decades. RNG’s have been used in all other online gambling sites for about 15 years now, so these are safe, secure, licensed, and tested to see they meet all your gaming needs.