The advent of online bingo has given rise to loads of exciting new options for players. Although the purists can still indulge in classic 90-ball and 75-ball variants at any worthwhile online bingo site, those hankering after something a little different now have plenty of choice.
With this in mind, we've put together a guide to the main types of bingo you'll find online:
One of the original bingo formats, 90-ball is a game where options are the main draw. Because this variant contains more numbered balls than any other, players who prefer a longer session often gravitate towards these rooms. In fact, this is the main reason it became a staple fixture on the live bingo scene in the UK and remains the most popular option today.
In terms of mechanics, a standard 90-ball bingo card contains 27 squares organised into three rows and nine columns. Each row contains five numbers as well as four blank squares, which means each card contains 15 numbers. Finally, players are allowed to purchase up to six game cards and can win in the following ways:
Single Line = Five numbers running from left to right. This offers the smallest percentage payout from the overall prizepool.
Two Lines = 10 numbers across two lines running from left to right. This offers a slightly larger prize than a single line win.
Full House = All 15 numbers are covered. This offers the largest payout.
75-ball bingo originated in the US but still found popularity in the UK during the 1960s. Today, it's recognised as one of the core variants and offers a happy medium between the slower paced 90-ball and modern "speed" bingo.
Cards are arranged into a 5x5 grid structure and, unlike 90-ball bingo, there are is only one numberless square in the middle of the card. At the top of each column is a letter and under each you'll find consecutive numbers in batches of 15, e.g. 1-15, 16-30 on so on.
Players can purchase up to six strips of cards (a complete strip contains three tickets and every possible number from 1 to 75). Finally, to bank a win in this game, you'll need to mark off five numbers in a row, column or diagonally. Depending on the game, the number of potential ways to win will vary.
A fairly new game in the UK, 80-ball bingo is unique in the fact that it offers four different game options. When you purchase a 4X4 game card containing 16 numbers, you'll be playing under one of the following prize structures:
Single Line = The first player to mark off four numbers in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line wins the total prizepool. Additionally, players can win by marking off numbers in all four corners or the four central numbers.
Any Line + House = Like single line games but with two prizes, players first have to cross off four numbers as above. After that, the first player to cross off all 16 numbers wins.
Any Line + Column + House = This game offers four prizes. The first is awarded to a line winner as above. The second goes to a player marking off two columns (eight numbers). The third prize is for three columns (12 numbers) and the final prize goes to a full house (16 numbers).
Full House/Pattern = In this variant, players will play for a single prize either by covering all 16 numbers or making a predefined pattern outlined before the start of the game.
If you like bingo with a twist then this is the game for you. A product of the internet, Joker Jackpot Bingo uses cards instead of numbers and is played on a 3X3 grid.
At the start of each game you'll be dealt nine cards from a deck of 54 (52 standard cards + two jokers). In the same way numbers are drawn in traditional bingo games, the system will deal cards until a player/s makes the following combinations in order:
This variant sees balls drawn every second and games can come to a climax in less than three minutes. To complete this high octane game, cards are arranged into a 3X3 grid and contain just nine numbers. The aim of the game is to cover all of the nine squares and collect the prize.
This set-up not only makes it the perfect game for players who want quick wins, but also for mobile gamers. Because the grid is small and the pace fast, you can easily keep up with the action via your smartphone.
The final type of online bingo you need to know about is 5-Line or, as it's also known, Swedish Bingo. Based on 75-Ball bingo but without the free space, this variant is played on a 5X5 grid with the letters B I N G O at the top of each column.
As with the more common types of online bingo, the aim of the game is to cross off numbers in a set pattern. However, unlike its peers, 5-Line bingo offers five ways to win, which has made it popular with novice players.
Wins occur in the following ways and all prizes are based on the number of active players multiplied by the cost of a single ticket:
This snappy spin on the traditional bingo format can be found at Sun Bingo and other Virtue Fusion sites. Instead of the traditional grid of numbers, each cash cubes card contains four connected squares (2x2), and 12 numbers. The squares have a number attached to each one of their four sides, with adjacent squares sharing a number along their touching sides.
When all the numbers around the sides of a square have been called you’re rewarded with a coloured cube and the square disappears. The winner is the first to get a full house. But those coloured cubes you collect live on, and when you’ve accumulated 50 of a single colour you’ll be rewarded with a cash cubes bonus.
There is also a progressive jackpot on offer, which is triggered when a player gets a full house in 18 calls or less.
Another Virtue Fusion creation, this time a twist on the popular daytime game show fronted by Noel Edmonds that adds a little novelty to the traditional bingo format. Based on the standard 75-ball and 90-ball games, DOND introduces the TV show’s mystery boxes into the mix, offering any player that completes a full house the opportunity to do a deal (or not) with the infamous Banker.
The game, and the associated slots and scratchcards, can be found at almost every prominent Playtech-powered site.
As you can see, online bingo has something for everything. From traditional variants offering a relaxed environment that’s perfect for socialising, to speed games where wins can occur in seconds, you'll be able to find the ideal game for your style at any of our recommended bingo sites.
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