We’ve been around the bingo block a few times, so we know what it takes to find and, importantly, join the best bingo sites. While we love bingo for its simplicity, we understand that joining an online bingo room for the first time can seem like a complicated process.
To help you settle those newbie nerves we’ve put together a straightforward step-by-step guide to choosing, joining and depositing to your first bingo site. And the good news is that once you’ve done it for the first time you’ll find that the same steps will apply to almost any site you decide to join later.
Step 1 – Choose a Site
Choosing the perfect UK online bingo site is part objective reasoning and part subjective preference. The first part of this equation is where we come in. Through our experience, we’ve picked out the top bingo sites in the UK from the hundreds out there.
Now, from this list of leading online bingo site, the next part of the process falls to you. In a nutshell, finding the right site requires you to ask the following questions:
- Am I looking for bonuses and, moreover, what sort of bonuses do I prefer?
- Do I want to play via my desktop or is bingo on the go important to me?
- Are there more games on offer besides bingo?
- Do I want a casual gaming experience where chat rooms and forums take centre stage?
- What stakes and prizes am I looking to play?
- Am I happy with low stakes/free games, or do I want progressive jackpot options?
- What does the site look like and does navigating from game-to-game feel intuitive?
After reading that list you’re probably thinking: where can I find the answer to those questions? Simple, we’ve reviewed all of our recommended bingo sites. Covering everything from the interface and selection of games to the bonuses you can claim, our bingo reviews will answer all the above questions and more, so you can make the right decision with ease.
Step 2 – Register and Make a Deposit
Once you’ve completed Step 1 and followed one of our secure sign-up links, the next thing you’ll need to do is create your first account. At this stage in the process, it’s important that you’re as accurate as possible when you fill in your personal details. Because all licensed UK bingo sites are bound by certain laws, any false or inaccurate information can result in your account being closed.
To register your first bingo account, you’ll need the following pieces of information:
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Username (you choose how you want to be identified onsite)
- Password (this needs to be at least 6 characters long and contain numerals, letters and, sometimes, special characters)
- Secret question (the answer to this question will help you recover any lost login details)
- Currency (choose your native currency)
Think carefully before choosing a username, as it’s likely that you won’t be able to change it once the account is set up. Once you’ve filled in the above details, agreed to the site’s terms and conditions and validated your account (typically via an email link), you’re then ready to make a deposit.
- Choose your payment method
- Input the deposit amount
- Confirm your details and process the payment
Most popular payment methods espeically e-wallets like PayPal will deposit instantaneously to your bingo account. However, you should still read the information provided by the site on withdrawal times and limits before choosing which method to use.
Step 3 – Moving from Game to Game
After creating your first account, the trick to getting the most out of your time online is to know the basic layout of the bingo site you’ve chosen. Although all the top bingo sites will look slightly different, the underlying structure will be roughly the same.
Lobby – This is where you’ll find the list of upcoming comes. Inside every bingo lobby, you’ll find a list of tabs either along the top of the page, down the left-hand side or inside a central menu. These tabs will outline the main game formats – i.e. 90-ball, 75-ball, speed bingo, jackpot games, specials, themed games, new player games – and you need to choose the one that suits.
Once you’ve clicked on a tab, a list of games will appear with the one scheduled to start the soonest at the top. As well as countdown timers, you’ll also see information such as: ticket price, prize pool, number of registered players and game name. After finding a game you like, hit the “play now” or “register” button and you’re in.
Game Rooms – Each game will usually appear in a pop-up window. To the left of the page you’ll be able to purchase a ticket (you can buy more than one) and at top you’ll see an icon that shows you the patterns required for a win. Also at the top of the page will be the prize pool and number of players in the game.
In the centre of the page you’ll see your game card(s), while the numbers drawn will typically be shown in the top right of the screen along with an audio announcement.
*You’ll also see a list of additional casino games, such as slots, on the right-hand side of the page.
Chat Box – Each game room will also have a chat box on the right-hand side of the page. This is where you can talk to your fellow players and post questions, say congratulations and even send emojis. Moreover, on well-populated bingo sites, you can usually play mini-games and win prizes via the chat boxes. Chat hosts, who run fun games and keep the banter flowing, have become less prevalent in recent years but can still be found in the biggest games.
Step 4 – Choosing a Game
Just as finding the right online bingo site is a matter of preference, so is the games you actually play. As we’ve said, each bingo lobby is broken down into tabs and each tab will contain a different variant. For more details on each bingo variant, see our article here. For now, however, it’s important to understand that speed is the important factor here.
In general, online bingo comes in the following formats:
- 30-ball (speed bingo)
Beyond the number of balls (i.e. potential numbers in the game), each game will have a different draw timer. Some games will draw a new ball every second, others will take a few seconds. As a player, you need to find the games that tick over at a rate you prefer and, importantly, don’t go on for longer than you’d like.
Step 5 – Playing Your First Game
After making all the right moves, you’ll finally find yourself playing your first game. One of the main benefits of online bingo in the UK is that you don’t have to be an expert to play. Because the games run at a fast pace, almost all of the action is controlled for you.
As a game is about to start you’ll receive a 30-second warning to purchase your game card and, once the action starts, it’s full speed ahead until someone wins. The numbers drawn will flash up at the top of the screen and, if the game’s dynamics allow, you’ll also hear a caller announce the numbers. If one of your cards has a matching number, the software will cross it off for you.
If you’re looking for high octane action without the need for complex moves, online bingo is one of the most exciting options around. Indeed, when you join one of our recommended sites, you’ll find that everything is as easy as 1-2-3.