Bingo is a ‘lottery’ style numbers game that has been popular for centuries. It is known all over the world, although it is particularly associated with the USA and UK casinos, and the can credit its success to a number of factors. For starters, it’s really easy to understand so anyone can play – and all participants in a game have an ‘equal’ chance of winning. It also lends itself to big games in huge halls with lots of players, making it a very social pursuit that offers a great sense of community. The nature of bingo also meant it was a great fit for online play upon the advent of the internet. Although plenty of people still visit bricks and mortar bingo halls, more and more players are choosing to play games online as ‘virtual’ bingo continues to grow in both scope and popularity.
What Is Bingo?
Bingo is a lottery style number game during which a series of numbers are randomly selected and participants are asked to mark them against the numbers found on their own bingo cards. The appearance of the card is dependent on the variation of the game you are playing. In the UK, a bingo card will typically include three rows of nine spaces while a US card is usually arranged in five rows of five.
A player wins when he or she manages to match all the number on his or her card, according to a pattern that has been predetermined before the game began. The simplest type of win is a ‘full house’, whereby the first person to mark off all the numbers is the victor but other popular patterns, such as a ‘completed row’, may trigger a win too.
The History of Bingo
Historians consider bingo to be a direct descendant of the Italian lottery, which was popular in Italy in the 16th century. The game of chance including randomly selected numbers soon spread to France, where it became popular amongst the upper classes and aristocracy, before spreading throughout Europe. The thirst for lotto games increased throughout the 17th and 18th century, and bingo games even became a popular educational tool designed to teach children how to count numbers.
In more recent years, the game has been heavily associated with the UK and US, although both countries play different versions or bingo with varying win combinations which reflect the fact that there are usually 90 balls in UK bingo and only 75 in the US. Land-based bingo reached the height of its popularity in the late 20th century in the UK, although it has declined in recent years due to various pressures including changes in taxation laws, the smoking ban and evolving social habits.
Another key reason for the decline in land-based bingo has been the rise of online gaming and in particular online bingo, which first appeared in the late 90s and has grown in popularity of over the course of the 21st century.
What is Online Bingo?
Online bingo represents a reproduction of the land-based game but it’s just played on the internet and uses a Random Number Generator to select the numbers rather than a machine or human intervention. In order to replicate the social aspects of bingo that appeal to so many players, live chat functions are often incorporated into online bingo websites so that players can interact with each other. Players can more easily chat in-game when playing online because there are ways to check numbers later. This means they don’t have to concentrate so intensely to ensure they tick off all the numbers as they are selected.
Players mark their numbers against an on-screen version of a bingo card using their mouse, and will typically have to click to alert the ‘house’ if they secure a winning combination (although some games will automatically calculate a win for ease). Online bingo games are designed to be bright, fun and engaging in order to maintain the interest of players. The technology allows designers to be increasingly creative when conceptualising new takes on the classic game.
How Do I Play Online Bingo?
There are loads of bingo sites out there on the internet. Some stand alone as bespoke bingo platforms, but others are attached to online casinos, which offer a range of slot and table games that you can also try. Online bingo games afford you the opportunity to play your favourite lottery game from the comfort of your own home. Gone are the days when you needed to venture out in the cold and visit a real life bingo hall.
You will usually have to register with a site before you can purchase bingo cards and start playing for money. Generally speaking, you will have a greater chance of winning if there are fewer players participating in an individual game of bingo. However, if you join a game with a larger number of participants then the chances are that the prizes on offer will be bigger if you do strike it lucky.
Best NetEnt Bingo Websites
NetEnt do not produce bingo games directly, but there are a number of bingo sites that also host NetEnt games on the side. You can get some really tempting welcome bonus offers on many of these platforms – both for bingo and casino gameplay. These are great places to go if you are curious bingo player who is tempted to give some slot games a go or vice versa.