Bingo is a pretty simple game. It doesn’t require a specific set of skills, and we can say that anybody can play it. It is a very social game, and that’s one of the key reasons for its popularity. In this Beginner’s Guide to Bingo, we’ll give you an insight into the rules and specifics, and we’ll explain how to play bingo. A brief historical retrospective of bingo will also be provided. Once you’re done reading our Beginner’s Guide to Bingo, register with one of our bingo providers, claim your bonus and you can start playing online bingo.
Bingo is quite an old phenomenon. Historians claim that the game first appeared in the 16th century in Italy and then soon afterwards it spread to France, from where it was exported to Britain.
Although it wasn’t until the 18th century that bingo became popular in Britain, it is currently, and has been throughout the 20th century, not just one of the most popular games in the country, but also a social event. In the twentieth century it was quite common for people from every neighbourhood to gather at the local bingo hall, play a bit of bingo, have fun and chat with their neighbours and friends. People simply knew where to play bingo.
Decline Of Conventional Bingo
Many agree, that while the prizes are not insignificant, for a lot of people bingo was primarily about chatter and banter, rather then an opportunity to win some money, although, again, the prizes can be quite hefty.
There’s a general consensus that conventional bingo in the UK is declining, especially since 2005. Namely, the number of bingo halls throughout the country has been decreasing steadily in the past several years. There were about 600 bingo halls all over Britain in 2005, whereas by 2014 their number was already down by more than 400. It is estimated that the current number of open bingo halls is even lower.
Rise Of Online Bingo
There are few reasons that contributed to the decline of conventional bingo and that led to the closure of numerous bingo halls throughout the country. The period of decline roughly coincides with the smoking ban and many argue that many smokers simply stopped frequenting bingo halls and that resulted with an overall fall of visitors’ numbers. While there is some truth to that claim, we have to say that it is only partially true.
Namely, there is a more direct reason for the decline of conventional bingo. In fact, bingo itself isn’t in decline, but the way people play it has changed. Online bingo is nowadays the dominant bingo branch and more and more players shift from conventional to online bingo on a regular basis.
A lot of people were sceptical when online bingo appeared for the first time. They argued that due to its social nature bingo cannot ‘survive’ online. Moreover, there have been suggestions that since the elderly are a vital bingo demographic, online migration isn’t popular, as they are not tech savvy enough and they cannot accept new trends and get used to playing online.
It appeared that nothing was further from the truth. Not only did bingo kept its social function online, but also pensioners quickly got used to the idea of playing bingo on their computers, tablets and smartphones, so nowadays the answer to the question – ‘Where to play bingo?’ is practically unanimous – online, at one of the plenty bingo sites.
Why Is Online Bingo So Popular
There are several reasons why online bingo is on its way to totally replace conventional bingo. Firstly, online bingo is a lot more convenient. You can sit in your living room, on the sofa, ride on the bus, stand in a queue waiting to buy tickets for a concert and still play bingo, there are no limits, you can play anywhere, anytime.
As opposed to that, with conventional bingo you have to visit a bingo hall on a given date at a given hour, and while there were quite a lot of bingo halls throughout the country, it still involves travelling to the location and going back home and sometimes that can be a bit of a hassle. With online bingo you can start playing whenever you want, and you can quit whenever you want.
Moreover, online bingo is a lot of cheaper for the organisers, as they don’t have to pay rent on the hall, or employ bingo callers, security and other staff, so they don’t have to stretch their margin and they can afford to hand out more lucrative and more valuable prizes. There are a lot of bonuses and other perks which aren’t offered in land-based bingo halls.
How Online Bingo Works
Bingo sites work just like all other online gaming sites. You need to register first in order to be able to play real money bingo games. Another one of the advantages of online bingo is the fact that online operators aren’t limited in terms of space and they can open additional bingo rooms without any problems.
Most bingo sites offer plenty of bingo varieties, and even though 75-ball bingo is by far the most popular variant in the UK, plenty of people choose to try out new variants. For example, 90-ball bingo which is predominantly played in the US is available at most UK bingo sites.
Moreover, there are plenty of other innovative variants like 52-ball bingo, as well as many unique bingo games that are offered only on one or few bingo sites owned or operated by the same company.
Many online bingo sites offer not only bingo games, but also plenty of online slots. So, if you’re waiting for a game to begin, or you are simply a fan on slots games, you can also give your favourite slot game a few spins.
Another reason why players choose to play bingo online is the fact that online bingo sites offer a range of promotions and bonuses, starting from new player bonuses which are awarded to players who have just registered and made their first deposit on a bingo site, as well as reload and redeposit bonuses.
Bonuses are also offered to players who have referred their friends to a specific online bingo site and there are also loyalty bonuses that reward loyal customers and their activities.
Where To Play Bingo
Now, back to the initial question – where to play bingo? There are plenty of bingo sites, but not all of them offer the same variety of games and the same perks and benefits. So, we’ve selected a couple of the best and most reliable online UK sites. If you like to know more about them check our full reviews and if you like what they offer, click on ‘Claim Now’ on the review page.
Blighty Bingo is one of the leading UK sites that offers great bingo games, more than 300 slots, and what’s most important their bingo bonus has no wagering requirements.
Dabber Bingo is a sister site to Blighty Bingo and it also offers a wide range of bingo games and slots, with some quite extraordinary jackpot prizes. The site has a unique and colourful design.
How To Play Bingo
In the past, you didn’t have to specify that you’re asking how to play bingo at a bingo hall since there was no online bingo. Nowadays, people play bingo online and also at bingo halls. Although it is the same game, there are certain differences.
How To Play Bingo At A Bingo Hall
Before you start playing bingo at a bingo hall, you will need to find a bingo hall. There are about 400 bingo halls in the UK, so that shouldn’t be difficult, even though their number is constantly decreasing, as a lot of players prefer playing online. Several years ago there were more than 600 halls, but with the rise of online bingo, bingo halls started closing down.
Once you’re in the bingo hall you just need to purchase a bingo ticket or tickets and watch the draw. The numbers are drawn and then called out by bingo callers. Bingo callers are employed by bingo halls and there are few specific bingo caller rules that you need to be aware of. First and foremost, you should be friendly with bingo callers and if you hit bingo you can tip them if you want.
If you get five numbers in a single row, you’ve completed it and you need to shout bingo. A row is a standard bingo pattern and classic bingo games feature only such standard patterns. But, enough about standard bingo, let’s talk a bit more about online bingo.
How To Play Online
To play online bingo you will need to join one of the many UK bingo websites. As there are many bingo halls, there are also many online bingo sites where you can play different bingo variants, including 90-Ball Bingo, 75-Ball Bingo and many more.
First, you will have to register, and fortunately, we have some of the best online bingo sites featured on our website, so just select one, fill in the provided online form and open your account. Once you’re registered you can claim an online bonus and get free bingo tickets. After that you’re free to go, just pick a bingo room, or play in the one for which you got free tickets. Explore the rooms and different games, you will find that many sites offer free bingo rooms, i.e. rooms where you can compete for real prizes without having to pay a single penny for a ticket.
Unlike land-based bingo where you need to pay a bit more attention, online you can select the system to mark your drawn numbers automatically, instead of having to mark them manually each time.
Bingo Rules & Types
As we mentioned, the bingo rules are quite simple, although they may differ depending on the specific bingo variant. 90-Ball bingo, for example, is the most popular bingo type in the UK and when British bingo players talk about bingo, they usually mean 90-Ball bingo. However, with the emergence and popularisation of online bingo sites, it became possible for players to try out different variants on the same website. Check Blighty Bingo, you will find a lot of different bingo games and slots.
A bingo ticket features three rows and nine columns, with a total of 27 spots, out of which 15 are filled with numbers. A strip is a set of six tickets that include all numbers from 1 to 90. In most cases, you can purchase six strips, which amounts to a total of 36 tickets. In free bingo where no player has to purchase a ticket, the same number of tickets is awarded to every player.
You will need to get all numbers across a row to get a win, so that’s five numbers. This is the smallest prize and it’s called one line. If you get all numbers on two rows you have won two lines and getting all numbers on a ticket is called Full House or Bingo.
This is the type of bingo that’s more popular in the States, but with online bingo sites, UK players also have the opportunity to play 75-Ball bingo, at the same sites that offer 90-Ball bingo. In this bingo type, you get 25 squares across five rows and five columns. A total of 24 numbers appear on each ticket, with the exception of the middle spot which is free and is marked with a star.
A 75-Ball bingo strip consists of three tickets. The situation is similar, you can also get one pattern, two patterns or a full house. Bear in mind that you won’t find a lot of bingo halls that offer 75-Ball bingo, so if you wish to play this variant you should look for an online bingo site.
Advantage Of Online Bingo
We already mentioned that the main difference is between online bingo and land-based bingo and we also mentioned that people tend to switch to online bingo nowadays. Let’s see why that is the case. There are few major online bingo advantages.
Firstly, if you wish to play bingo online, you won’t have to leave your home, in fact, you can play no matter where you are, as most bingo sites are mobile-friendly, so you can play your favourite bingo variant on your smartphone or tablet.