Where do I start?
To play bingo online, you need to register an account with the site of your choice. It can seem like a bit of a minefield out there, but have a browse of what is available and try signing up to one of the big names offering no deposit bingo. They’ll generally throw in some bonus money or free tickets, which you can use to play a few different games until you’ve found your feet. This way there’s nothing to lose; in most cases you won’t even have to hand out your bank details and you may even win some real cash! Have a look through our bingo site reviews to find out more.
Once you’ve signed up with your email address and a couple of other details, you’ll need to choose your username. This will appear whenever you login and will identify you in any chat room conversations and winning announcements, so take care to choose something you’re happy with. Now you’re ready to play!
Choosing a Bingo Game
Click on the ‘play’ button on the site. This will take you to the lobby; here you’ll find the full range of bingo games available to play. It’ll probably tell you about the jackpot for each game and the price of tickets, as well as when the next round starts and how many players are in that particular game room. Most sites will have different types of games available too; 90-ball bingo is standard for the UK, but sites also offer 75-ball US bingo as well as variations like 30 ball speed bingo. Let’s stick with 90-ball bingo for now.
How to play 90 ball bingo
90-ball bingo uses a card or ticket with a 9 x 3 grid of numbers. Each row of 9 contains 4 blanks and 5 numbers. So there is a total of 15 numbers on each ticket. Each ticket forms part of a set of six tickets called a strip. There are 90 numbers in a full strip; each number from 1-90 appears once across the tickets. It’s up to you whether you buy tickets individually or as a strip, but buying a strip guarantees you’ll match a number every call! Want to learn more? Read our 90-ball bingo guide.
Once you’ve chosen the game you want to play, you’ll be taken to the game room. You’ll be offered a choice of randomly generated bingo cards to buy. The minimum and maximum number of tickets you can buy varies from game to game, but you can usually start a game with just 1 or 2 tickets!
You can buy tickets automatically or manually, individually or by the strip. So you can either select the tickets you want by clicking on them one by one or in strips, or you can auto-select tickets or strips and let the computer do the work for you! Of course some players will have their lucky numbers or combinations, but it’s entirely up to you what you buy. Remember, even if it’s a free game you’ll still need to ‘buy’ your tickets; it’s just that the tickets don’t cost you a penny!
Once you’ve chosen your tickets, make sure you buy in time before the game starts without you! There’ll be a countdown somewhere on your screen and if your sound’s turned on you’ll probably get a reminder from the virtual caller.
How much is a game of Bingo?
Bingo can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be, depending on which games you choose, how often you play and how many tickets you buy. And, of course how lucky you are! To qualify for the biggest prizes available, you’ll need to register your payment details with the site and probably make a deposit too. However, there are lots of free bingo games out there and sites offering bonus cash to spend with no deposit required.
To make a deposit, you’ll need to fill in your credit or debit card details. Some websites also accept PayPal or other online payment systems, which will save you the hassle of entering your personal bank details every time.
Tickets for games generally only cost 5p or 10p to buy, and you will find there is plenty of choice available. Most sites also offer to double or even triple deposits so you may find yourself with a sizeable playing budget without spending more than a few quid. If you’ve signed up to a no deposit offer, you will be able to buy tickets using your free bonus cash without parting with any real money.
How do jackpots work?
Jackpots are either guaranteed or progressive. Some sites offer games with minimum guaranteed jackpots or have weekly evening games with large guaranteed prizes to attract more players. However, most jackpots are progressive and depend on the cost of the tickets and the number of people playing.
So the more players there are and the more tickets they buy, the bigger the prizes will be. The games with the most expensive tickets will be able to offer the highest jackpots when the room is busy. Jackpots and prizes are always clearly marked before, during and after each game. There are usually three chances to win at 90 ball bingo: any 1 line, any 2 lines or full house. Match all the numbers in a line of your grid to claim the any 1 line prize, all the numbers in 2 lines for the any 2 line pay-out or all 15 numbers for the full house jackpot. Some games will only offer one of these prizes, while in others it’s possible to win at all three!
Once the countdown stops, it’s time for the game to start. The virtual caller will read out the numbers as they appear. All you need to do is sit back and wait for your numbers to come up! The software will automatically highlight your numbers as they are called and even tell you how many balls you have to go (e.g. 3tg, 2tg) until you’re a winner! Most sites also have a feature which automatically moves your best card to the top each time a matching ball is called so you can easily keep tabs on your tickets, leaving you to watch the game or enjoy a chat with the other players.
You might prefer to switch the ‘auto dab’ feature off, so you can mark numbers off yourself as they are called like you would in a traditional bingo hall. There’s no risk in doing this; if you lose track your numbers will still be counted automatically so you won’t miss out on a prize.
Most games have their own chat room with a designated chat monitor (CM). So if you have any questions, there’s always someone happy to help. Why not have a chat with your other ‘roomies’ or join in one of the many chat games (CG) while you play? And don’t forget to wish the other players ‘Good luck’ (GL) or congratulate them on a win with a friendly WTG (‘Way to go’). You’ll make new friends in no time!
Winning a prize
As a player wins, the game is paused and a message is flashed up to all players showing which player has won and their prize. If you’re lucky enough to be the winner, your account will automatically be credited; there’s no need to do anything other than enjoy it! Don’t worry if you get disconnected either; if you’ve got a winning ticket and your internet lets you down your win will still be credited and the money automatically transferred.
You can either withdraw your winnings, or choose to reinvest them in more fun by using them to play again. You can request a withdrawal at any time by going to the banking section of the site. Some sites have minimum and maximum withdrawal limits and you may need to fund your account in order to withdraw your winnings. Withdrawals will usually take about a week to process.
Who can play bingo?
You must be at least 18 years old to play online bingo. You must also be resident in the UK or in a country where the use of online bingo is legal. So if you live in the US or Spain, for example, you won’t be allowed to open an account. Remember that only one account per individual is allowed; so no trying to grab those free welcome bonuses more than once!Back to top