Online bingo is one of the fastest growing sectors in the gaming industry at the moment. The number of new brands that are opening their doors and offering bingo games is increasing, and with that comes a new batch of games that companies are keen to try.
Gone are the days where there was just one style of bingo (often 90-ball bingo); that’s been replaced by a plethora of variations of bingo games that can be played with a diverse number of balls.
Although it’s true that the games can run in auto-mode – which means that once you buy your ticket you can just let it do its thing and it will notify you if you win – but that has to be one of the most boring ways to play any form of online bingo. We can guarantee that you will get much more enjoyment by learning the rules of the game that you want to play and then following along and hoping your numbers come up.
Types of Game
It’s also worth knowing that while we are going to include a lot of games on this page, you can’t necessarily access all of them from one single bingo site. Some of them, like 90-ball and 75-ball variants, are more popular than others, so you can find these games much more easily and from more bingo sites too.
The most obvious place to start is that of 90-ball bingo. This is the most common bingo game that you are going to find and pretty much all sites are going to offer it. This was the game that was originally played in bingo halls up and down the country, and it’s also the game that has had the most success online.
Its name comes from the fact that there are 90 balls that can be called at any time in the game. A number can only be called once though, and once it’s out, it’s out. If a player has the number that is called, then they cross it off their card.
The game comes with a card that includes 3 rows (left to right) of 9 columns (top to bottom). There are 27 squares on each card and with that you get 5 numbers dotted around the card on each row.
The columns will represent a block of numbers, usually from 1-9 although this might vary from site to site, with some making their brackets 1-10. Each column includes a different bracket, going from 1-9, 10-19, 20-29 and so on, right up to 80-90 for the last column.
You then can have zero of a maximum of 3 numbers from that bracket in one column. In total the card will include 15 numbers. Some sites will allow for some columns to remain blank, but other sites will require at least 1 number to be present in each column. It doesn’t make a huge difference either way as you still have the same number of balls, it just means that the cards are more evenly spaced, rather than seeing a clump of numbers in one section.
There are three ways that you can win in the 90-ball game. The first is by getting a full line of numbers ticked off. The second is by getting two lines ticked off and the third is by getting all numbers on your card ticked off. The latter is what is known as a “house” and this pays out the most money, with 2 lines paying second best and 1 line the least.
75-ball bingo is widely considered to be derived from the US, but it’s a popular game in the UK as well and you will find that it’s well stocked in most of the major bingo sites in the industry right now. It’s a nice change of pace from the 90-ball game and there are a number of different variants that you can play, which again makes it interesting.
The game starts with 75 balls, so it’s obviously smaller than the 90-ball format. Another massive change is the layout of the cards on offer. They come in a 5×5 square and you will often see that the centre square has been already filled, which means that there are 24 numbers on a single card.
As there are so many numbers in the game in comparison to balls, these games can run deep, but it keeps a lot of players interested over a longer period of time.
The columns run vertically and they include a series of numbers. They start with 1-15, 16-30, 31-45, 46-60 and 61-75. Obviously, there are 5 numbers for each column, which makes up the 24 in total (the middle square is crossed out, remember).
The prizes that are paid out depend on the variant of the game that you are playing. This is where 75-ball differs a lot from other formats of bingo as there can be a lot of versions of the game.
One of the most popular is that of the full cover games. This is where you need to dab all the numbers on the card to win.
Another option is that of pattern games. There are dozens of different patterns that you can make up, with anything from random patterns, to letters, numbers, and special patterns that might create something like a shoe, a cruise ship, an anchor, a horse, a plane, and loads more. As the patterns get more creative, it does mean the games can become harder to follow, but don’t worry as they are automatically chalked off when playing online.
Finally, you can also play 5-line games as well. This is a famous game type that is also known as Swedish Bingo and here you are back to the traditional 90-ball style of play, and play off as winners of lines. Obviously with this game there will be 5 lines in total and then a house; they also remove the centre block from the middle so you have 25 numbers in total for this game.
This game includes 80 balls in total and the card is quite similar to that of 75-ball bingo. The difference is that with 80-ball games the card is a 4×4 square, with 75-ball games having a 5×5 card.
You get 4 columns that work from the top downwards. Each column includes 4 numbers from a bracket of 20 in total. These brackets are 1-20, 21-40, 41-60 and 61-80. You can have any combination of each bracket in each column. There are no dead squares on this game.
Scoring on the game can actually work in a number of ways, much like that of the 75-ball variant. The first and most common is that of the full square, which means you need to clear off all your numbers to win.
Next up you will get patterned games. The number of patterns are less than other square ticket bingo games given that there are fewer boxes than most, but bingo sites can still get surprisingly creative with these.
Finally, you have your 4-line game. This is one of the most popular formats in the UK as it works in a similar manner to that of the 90-ball game, in that you can win per line. You need all 4 lines to be full for a “house” and it’s with these that you get the biggest prizes.
With 50-ball bingo you are going to be getting a much smaller card than usual, with just a 5×2 grid, meaning that you have just 10 numbers in total. The cards work in the same way as the other games in that your numbers rank vertically. So, 1-10 in column 1, 11-20 in column 2, then 21-30, 31-40 and 41-50 to round it off.
All squares are filled within the game and winners will be paid after completing 1 line in the firs tinstance, and then “house” which is the completion of the second line as well.
It’s a pretty rare game to see and there aren’t all that many companies currently offering it. The highest profile version is that of Virtue Fusion, with Gala Bingo having a good range to play.
This is one of the rarest games of bingo, but it can also be one of the most exciting. You get a card which is 3×3 and of course there are just 30 balls in the bingo wheel.
The games happen very quickly, but they also recycle faster than most between games, which keeps things moving along nicely and gives you more chances to win in a shorter time frame.
The 3×3 boards will work in vertical columns of 1-10, 11-20 and 21-30 and you get 3 numbers from each bracket in each column. The only prize on offer is for a full house, which means you need to fill the whole card to see any money.
As stated, given that there are only 30 balls in the game and 9 numbers on the card, it means games do not take long at all.
As we move away from the more traditional names and styles for bingo games, the first place that we wanted to start was that of Coverall bingo. This can sometime be called Full Slot Bingo and the basic principal is that you need to cover the whole square to win.
The cards come in a 5×4 layout, with numbers on each of the sections within that card. The games can vary in terms of the number of balls used and then the numbers that represent each column.
They differ from traditional types in that there are no line wins at all. You need to get all 20 numbers on the card to win. The higher the number of balls that the game uses the longer the games usually last.
It’s worth noting that progressive jackpots aren’t applied to these types of games, but you may see daily or even weekly jackpots applied instead. These jackpots will be triggered by filling the card in a certain number of balls or less.
Speed bingo is fairly self-explanatory although we still wanted to include this. It’s often used with 90-ball games, but the difference here is that the speed of the games is much, much faster than a normal bingo game.
What you will find is that the time between the calls of each number are vastly reduced. In fact, they come out almost immediately straight after one another.
Some players like this as it means that they can get through a greater number of games, but the downside is that it’s much harder to keep up to speed with exactly what is going on.
This is where you buy a group of tickets all at the same time but for different games that run over a certain time period and in their own dedicated room.
All types of bingo games can run together in what is known as “sessions”, which basically just means that the games are all in a group and happen in the same room within a pre-determined time frame. Instead of just buying one ticket for one game, you can buy multiple tickets for multiple games. It’s a form of pre-buying but with benefits.
It is often a bit cheaper to buy the tickets in this way and also gives the player the opportunity to try lots of different game types in one session of play without having to jump from room to room.
Each session usually lasts an hour.
There are lots of bingo games that have extra dimensions to them and these often come in the form of themed games. They might be based on TV shows, gameshows, soaps, board games, and plenty of other themes.
The fact that they are themed often means that they have been able to get a bit more investment as the developers and the people behind the brand both have a vested interest in the game being successful. Below is a list of some of the best bingo games and the “extras” that they include.
It is worth noting, however, that the majority of the main games are just your standard layouts, like we’ve already spoken about above.
Deal or No Deal
Deal or No Deal is one of the original themed bingo games and to this day remains one of the most popular. The TV show is hosted by Noel Edmunds and has a contestant work their way through a number of boxes with a secret amount of money in them before being offered a cash prize at the end. They eliminate boxes as they go and can intermittently choose to take a deal based on what is left, or gamble on to try and win a bigger prize.
The bingo game can actually switch between the 90-ball and the 75-ball (5 Line) version and is made by Virtue Fusion. The game plays out in the manner you would expect for each game type, but the winner of the house then gets to play the feature game.
During the main game, as numbers are called the boxes get removed from the starting line up of 21. After the game has finished, the winner then gets to choose whether to gamble their prize in order to open the mystery box (which potentially has a better prize) or to take the money that’s already on the table. The rest of the players in the game can vote on what they think they should do and help them choose.
This is another game that is derived from one of the nation’s favourite TV shows, except Coronation Street is one of the biggest soap, rather than a game show.
The bingo game has not only piggybacked the fact that the show and the game of bingo have a lot in common in terms of player demographics, but Gala Bingo, the brains behind the game, are long-time sponsors of the TV show as well.
The game is another 90-ball favourite and during it you get to play the Golden Cobbles Jackpot, which is a tribute to the cobbled streets that are synonymous with the show. In terms of features, the game also includes over 100 clips of the show going as far back as the first ever program which aired in 1960.
The Chase has not only become one of the biggest TV shows in the country, but now it’s one of the best bingo games as well. The game plays out as a standard 90-ball offering and then the house winner will be taken into the feature round.
The feature round plays out just like a game on the TV show would. The player can choose a high offer, low offer, or the current jackpot offer, and then they must answer a series of questions. The higher the offer, the more questions that they need to get right in order win the prize.
However, the player won’t actually answer the questions, which is odd and a bit of a let down really, as the game generates the answers so the outcome is already decided.