Whether you’re a brand-new player looking to learn, or a dab hand hoping for a refresher, this is BingoPort’s ultimate guide on how to play online bingo! This guide will take you through the basics of online bingo, help you choose a site you’ll love, and make sure you know how to win once you start playing.
BingoPort take responsible gambling seriously, so as well as helping you have a great time, we also want to make sure you’re fully clued up on how to play it safe and get help if you need it.
Before you join…
You’ve probably heard of bingo; players have cards with numbers on, and a caller will shout out randomly selected numbers at the front of the room. Players mark off the numbers on their cards as they are called, and the first to match a winning pattern shouts “bingo” to win a prize.
Online bingo is a way of playing bingo from your own home without having to change out of your pyjamas! You can sign up to a site in just a few minutes, make a deposit, and start playing bingo before the TV advert break is even over.
It’s quick, convenient, and social, all from the comfort of your home if you choose, and with just about all bingo sites being mobile adaptable now, you can play on the go too.
Online bingo has a lot in common with regular bingo hall games. For both, you must be 18+ to play. You still purchase cards, and random numbers are still called and marked off your cards to get a win. However, the main difference is that online bingo is much easier. Here are some of the biggest differences between online and hall bingo:
One of the best things about online bingo sites is the variety of games you’ll get. Not only will you be able to pick from a number of different bingo rooms, just about every bingo site has a slots catalogue to go with it. That means you often have the choice of hundreds of slot games to enjoy in between rounds of bingo, and many slots can even be played as side games while you’re in the bingo room!
Forget picking from one or two clunky old fruities down the local pub; online slots are slick, sophisticated, and there are thousands out there to pick from. Find slots based on your favourite TV shows, singers, and movies, as well as slots with tonnes of special features and bonus rounds. You might even find yourself converted from a bingo fanatic to a slots lover!
Of course, if slots are your favourite, you might prefer to play on a slots site instead.
Choosing an online bingo site is a big deal! You want to make sure you pick somewhere safe and fun, with a great selection of games, as well as super customer service. Picking an online bingo site to join should be exciting, and BingoPort helps take the stress and legwork out of your decision.
Using BingoPort to compare bingo sites means that you can easily see all of the information you’ll need to make your decision. When choosing a new bingo site, you should consider:
Once you’ve found a bingo site you love, it’s time to sign up! You’ll need to enter your personal details, like your name, date of birth, and address. It’s important to put the correct details, as they’ll be used to confirm your identity for security checks.
The site will then ask for your email address and phone number. You’ll need to enter these, but don’t worry- you’ll be able to choose if you want to receive emails, SMS messages, post, or phone calls.
Now comes the fun part- choose a username! You probably won’t be able to change this later, so pick something you’re sure you like, and make sure you’ll remember it.
Sites often recommend that you don’t include things like your pets’ names or your birthday, as these are often used in your passwords. And it goes without saying, but… don’t pick something rude! It will be banned from the chat and your account may be blocked.
Once you’re all done, you’ll be signed up and ready to explore your new home!
Now that you’re a member…
A bingo bonus is something that you may be offered when you register, or as part of your first deposit welcome bonus. Think of it as like in-site money; you can’t withdraw it, but you can use it to play with. There is a way to make bonus turn into cash- each bonus comes with a wagering requirement.
A wagering requirement tells you how much you must bet in order for your bonus to convert to cash. It will be written like “10x”, and this means that your wagering requirement is 10 times the bonus amount. To learn about wagering requirements in a simple, easy breakdown, take a look at our Ultimate Wagering Requirements Guide.
Not all sites offer bingo bonus. If you don’t like the sound of wagering requirements and would prefer just to play with cash, choose a cash-only bingo site.
When you play bingo online, you’ll usually start in a bingo lobby. This shows you all the bingo rooms that are available, and usually you’ll find the slot games here too. Have a browse of the bingo rooms and see if there’s one you like. When picking a game, consider:
Once you’ve picked a room, go into it and buy your tickets. Unless it’s a free game, you will need to have deposited to do this. Select the number of tickets you’d like, and double check the total price. Once your tickets are bought, you’re ready to play!
You don’t have to be in the room once your tickets are purchased, but it’s fun to join in the game and watch the numbers. When the game starts, the numbers will flash up one at a time, and your tickets will be marked off automatically.
While you watch the numbers, why not chat to your fellow roomies? You could have a laugh, make a new friend, or if there’s a Chat Host on duty, you might be able to join in a game and win a prize.
If a player matches a winning combination, which could be a line, a pattern, or a full house, your screen will flash up telling you that bingo has been called, and you’ll see the winner’s name. Fingers crossed it’s your name you see!
You may see the numbers ‘90’, ‘75’, ‘80’, or ‘30’ on bingo rooms. This tells you how many balls are in play, and what kind of bingo game is running. 90-ball bingo is the classic UK version, whereas 75-ball is more popular in America.
In 90-ball bingo, players buy their tickets in strips. Each strip will have six tickets on, and these six tickets have 15 numbers on each, covering all 90 numbers in total. Players can win a prize for being the first to cover one line, two lines, or the full house (every number on a single ticket).
In 75-ball bingo, each ticket is a 5x5 grid, and every number is filled in except the blank middle space. Unlike 90-ball bingo, you may not just be playing for a straightforward line in 75-ball. Depending on the game, you may need to cover a pattern or shape, and there may be a prize for a coverall (every number).
5-Line Bingo, sometimes called Swedish Bingo, is becoming more and more popular too. It plays with 75 balls, but it’s a little different from classic 75-ball bingo. In 5-line bingo, there are 5 prizes available. These go to the first players to cover one, two three, four, and all five lines horizontally. With five prizes, there are even more chances to win in each game.
There are even more bingo variants out there, including 80-ball, 30-ball, and a version played with 52 playing cards.
When playing in an online bingo room, one of the greatest things about it is the online chat! You’ll get to meet people from all over the UK, and you can even keep chatting while the game runs, unlike in a bingo hall. Here are some key things about online bingo chat:
There are etiquette guidelines when you play in a bingo hall- don’t false call, stay quiet while the numbers are read, and so on- and online bingo has its own manners attached. While you can make as much noise as you like (especially if you win!), here are some things to bear in mind:
Eyes on the prize…
Depending on what bingo variant you are playing, there are a number of ways you could win online bingo. There are often prizes for the first player to reach one line, two lines, or more, as well as the jackpot for being the first to a full house, of course. In some bingo variants, players must cover a particular pattern to win.
For your best chance to win, play in a quieter bingo room, where there are fewer players competing for the prize. Games like 5-line bingo have five winners every game, whereas some bingo games only have one or two, so playing 5-line bingo increases your chance of being a winner. Some sites also offer special promotional games where every player with a ticket will win a share of the jackpot.
It’s definitely possible to win cash playing online bingo. If you’re after cash winnings, there are a number of things you can do:
Even if you follow these tips, it’s important to remember that bingo is a game of luck, and not a sure way to make money. Don’t forget to have fun in amongst that hungering for jackpots!
There are tonnes of bingo freebies out there, if you know where to look. If it’s free play you’re after, there are a few things to keep an eye out for.
Getting rewarded just for playing your favourite bingo games is one of the best things about online bingo! Many sites offer some sort of loyalty scheme, but the best way to guarantee yourself some seriously good rewards is to sign up to a site through BingoPort!
BingoPort costs nothing to join, and you earn rewards when you sign up and play on any of our participating sites! Here’s your simple steps to rewards:
Staying safe while playing…
There are hundreds of online bingo sites out there, and unfortunately, some of them are less than genuine. But how do you tell which sites are safe to play at, and which are scams? BingoPort has some advice:
Gambling should be a fun, enjoyable activity, and for many people, it is simply a nice pastime. However, for some people, the urge to gamble becomes uncontrollable, and they become addicted to gambling. Gambling addiction is finally getting the recognition it deserves as a serious issue, and those affected are getting better and better access to support, treatment, and care.
For BingoPort, maintaining responsible gambling is a serious priority, and we want to make sure all of our players are safe and happy. That means encouraging players to only gamble responsibly, and providing directions to help and support should they need it.
Read more about BingoPort’s commitment to responsible gambling here.
Online bingo sites have a lot of responsibility when it comes to keeping their players safe. They will have procedures in place for recognising and preventing problem gambling, as well as tools that players can use to stay safe and get help if needed. Familiarise yourself with the tools available:
Now that you’ve had your crash course in how to play online bingo, you’re all set and ready to go! Choose a brand-new bingo site to fall in love with by using BingoPort’s helpful recommendations, and start earning rewards!