There’s a world of difference between online bingo and land-based bingo. They are like the noble, history-rich older brother and the aggressive fancy-pants younger one. But at the heart of it all, they are similar where it counts – it is still basically the same game. The rules are the same and players still win the same way, whether its 90-ball bingo or 75-ball bingo.
Online bingo sites are designed to resemble real bingo halls. Sure, random number generators have replaced bingo balls in picking numbers, but in everything else, online bingo games try to capture the look and feel of the real deal. You even have bingo hall staples like (virtual) people walking around or lounging in a bar area as the games are played.
The big difference is convenience. And that’s also the big advantage that online bingo has over its land-based counterpart. For instance, a player doesn’t actually have to be present at a bingo hall to play online bingo. He can play from the privacy of his own home. He doesn’t have to get into his car and drive.
The fact is, the online player doesn’t even have to get dressed at all. A player can play for hours with their hair in curlers and dressed in nothing but pajamas. Just imagine the cold stares you are likely to get if you show up in a bingo hall in pyjamas and curlers.
Convenience is the difference. That extends to game schedules as well. While land-based bingo games are set to a fixed schedule a few times a week, online bingo allows you to play any time you want, 24/7, because the online games never stop. Moreover, at a bingo hall, you’ll have to play whatever game they offer. Online bingo sites offer you the game of your choice, with a wide array of different rooms to choose from.
Online bingo boasts of a number in-game functions that make playing bingo easier. “Auto-daub” automatically marks the numbers on players’ cards, so players don’t have to do that themselves. They avoid the risk of accidentally changing the placement of their markers – a constant concern in land-based bingo. “Best Card Sorting” and “Best Card Highlighting” sort a player’s cards and highlight those which are closest to winning.
Then there’s the matter of socialization. Bingo players love to interaction, and that holds true for both land-based and online bingo games. In land-based bingo, players can mingle or sit down and huddle during breaks. But when the games start, it’s all business. In online bingo, interaction takes place during games. Through the chat functionality, players can exchange views and utter words of praise and encouragement to one another. Players can make friends with people from all parts of the world.
Perhaps the one area where land-based bingo has a decided advantage over online bingo is in the handling of funds, say, when paying entry fees or collecting winnings. In land-based bingo, players can pay all fees and collect their prizes at the venue. In online bingo, players have to fund their account through e-wallet options such as Neteller, Citadel, Firepay and PrePaidATM. They also have to make arrangements online and wait a while to collect their winnings.