Changes in consumer habits mean that it is very rare for entertainment activities to remain in vogue for a long time.
However, that is certainly not the case where bingo is concerned, with this iconic pastime boasting a nearly 500-year history.
Bingo first rose to prominence in mainland Europe, before finding its way to the United Kingdom and the United States before the First World War.
Restrictive gambling legislation forced bingo to remain ‘underground’, with lawmakers frowning on commercial gambling during the first half of the 20th century.
However, the game’s popularity forced governments into a rethink, and the revision of gambling laws in key jurisdictions in the early 1960s proved to be a pivotal moment.
Bingo became the go-to entertainment activity for millions of people around the world, and the boom continued apace for nearly 40 years.
Things turned sour for the bingo industry around the turn of the millennium as people started to gravitate towards what were perceived to be trendier activities.
The creation of the internet ultimately proved to be a lifesaver for bingo, sparking a huge upturn in the game’s fortunes via digital platforms.
Popular sites such as City Bingo have introduced a lot of new players to the game, creating one of the biggest online communities around.
Advancements in technology have allowed gambling operators to expand their offering, giving players several new exciting bingo variants that are only available online.
While these have been a big hit, two traditional versions of the game are still hugely popular with players. Let’s take a look at the top three bingo games.
The 90-ball version of bingo became popular in the UK during the 20th century and is still the game favored by most online players today.
Each 90-ball bingo ticket contains nine columns and three horizontal lines. There are 15 numbers on each ticket and 90 on a ‘strip’ of six.
90-ball bingo is hugely popular with players in the United Kingdom – Image via Pexels
The game is generally split into three parts, with the first portion requiring players to complete a horizontal line of five numbers to win a cash prize.
A larger cash prize is then up for grabs for the first player to mark off two lines, while the jackpot goes to the first player to complete a full house.
With games available to suit all budget levels, playing 90-ball bingo is one of the best ways to entertain yourself on the internet.
If you prefer your bingo to be a little faster and more furious, the 75-ball variant should suit you down to the ground.
75-ball bingo originated in the United States after World War I when toy salesman Edwin Lowe adapted the game after discovering it was an Atlanta carnival.
Tickets have five columns and five horizontal lines. Each column is headed by a letter spelling BINGO, with the numbers running from 1-15, 16-30, 31-45, 46-60, and 61-75.
The middle space on the card is labeled ‘FREE’, giving players a head start as they strive to complete a vertical, diagonal, or horizontal pattern or a full house.
The best online bingo sites run special games in 75-ball bingo chatrooms where there are special prizes available for players who complete crosses or four corners.
As we mentioned earlier, technology has allowed gambling operators to develop several exciting new variants of bingo.
These include Bingo Roulette and Slingo – each of which take elements from other popular casino games and merge them with bingo.
However, arguably the best new variant is Flash Fives (also known as 52-5) which takes elements of bingo and poker to create an exciting game.
Numbered balls are replaced by a standard deck of playing cards, and players are required to complete five-card hands to win cash prizes.
The speedy nature of Flash Fives makes it the ideal game for anyone looking for a quick bingo fix, particularly for people who love playing on mobile devices.
Winning at Bingo
Now you know about the top three bingo games, you will probably be wondering whether there are any ways to improve your chances of winning.
Although bingo is a game of chance, there are strategies you can implement to give yourself an advantage over your opponents.
One of the easiest ways to tip the odds in your favor is buying more tickets for a game – effectively, more tickets equal more winning chances.
For instance, let’s say you play a 75-ball bingo game with 100 players including yourself. If everyone purchases six tickets each, there would be 600 in play.
This gives everyone a six in 600 chance of winning the full house. If you bought another 30 tickets, you would improve your chances to 36 in 630.
While this methodology requires you to spend more money, playing more tickets tips the odds in your favor during the game.
Some bingo players advise playing when there are fewer players. Statistically, you are more likely to win regularly although the cash prizes will be smaller.
Whichever bingo game you decide to play, these strategies could be the difference between winning and losing, so don’t be afraid to use them!
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This game was very popular in our families in the USSR.
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