Unfortunately, the randomness of the game means that you can’t directly influence your odds of winning the prize in any particular game; you have as much chance as anybody else, but equally they have as much chance as you.
So what is it worth considering when you’re playing bingo? Here are some of the things you might want to take into account – they might not make it more likely that you will win overall, but they can help you to play the odds intelligently.
Play Multiple Tickets
The most obvious approach many players take is to buy up all the available tickets for each upcoming game.
In 90-ball bingo in particular, this usually means you have every possible ball from 1 to 90 represented on your tickets, so every single call will count towards (hopefully) a win.
Actually winning is still as likely or unlikely on each ticket as it is for anybody else, so this doesn’t really do anything to adjust the odds in your favour.
What it can do, however, is give you a psychological boost as you watch your tickets inevitably being filled in ball by ball – and if you’re a career bingo-player, that might be preferable to the chance of sitting and watching any one ticket stay relatively empty for the entire game.
Play Multiple Rooms
Nothing (usually – but check your preferred site’s terms and conditions if you’re not sure) says that you must only play in one room of a bingo site at a time.
Your cards are marked automatically anyway, so you can buy into several games even if you can only watch one, safe in the knowledge that any wins you miss will be paid automatically into your account.
Although this does not directly raise your chances of a win, it gives you more chances to win, which should keep the prizes rolling into your account for as long as you’ve got the funds to pay for the tickets.
With online bingo tickets often costing as little as a few pence, it’s also a good way to play through larger sums of money without having to wager the full amount on a single big-money game – kind of like spreading your bets in a bingo sense.
Of course, you can also dip into several different types of bingo – so you might choose to have tickets active in 75-ball, 80-ball and 90-ball rooms all at the same time, so you don’t miss the opportunity of a win on any one form of the game.
Play Multiple Sites
This often-overlooked option takes the ‘multiples’ approach to a new level, by planning your bingo strategy across several different websites.
It allows you to capitalise on the different sign-up and bonus offers available, inevitably giving you more free credit to play with than you would get at any one site.
You’re also able to step outside of the limits of any one bingo network, giving you the chance to find the sites with the best ratio of prize money to players, and any where it simply seems that your chance of winning is better for some reason.
If you’re feeling particularly sneaky, play at several bingo sites within the same network – buy five cards at a time on three different sites playing the same networked game, for instance, and you’ll have 15 tickets in play.
Does this increase your chance of winning? Not on any one ticket perhaps, but overall it certainly does. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether you think it’s worth the extra initial layout to cover the cost of the extra tickets.
Play Quiet Rooms
The fewer people there are in the room, the higher your chance of winning – that’s statistics at its simplest, and it’s true.
Look for rooms with fewer players taking part, and wager on those if you want a better chance of winning; alternatively, you can achieve the same effect by playing outside of peak times.
Bear in mind, though, that the prizes will usually be lower if fewer people are playing, so if and when you do win, it will be worth slightly less to you.
This is a fairly conservative strategy, based on the notion that more frequent but smaller wins are healthier for your long-term cashflow than bigger but less frequent payouts.
It also buys into the idea that, with a decent chance of winning, the random outcomes of multiple games might happen to all land in your favour, giving you a total payout that defies the basic odds.
Play Busy Rooms
This might sound like it contradicts the argument in favour of playing in quiet rooms – and in a sense, it does – but the busier the room, the bigger its jackpot usually is.
Many sites set their prizes as a portion of the total amount wagered on tickets, so if you’re hunting for a big win, a busy room is the place to be.
Your chance of winning will be lower with more opponents, but the payout if you do win will be higher, helping the two to balance out.
In principle, this is a higher-risk strategy that, if it pays off, will reward you with a big win early in your playing career, which you can then reinvest more conservatively.
It’s also a good way to use any bonus credit you receive on sign-up, as you’ll usually need to play through this before making a withdrawal anyway, and wagering it in a room that’s more of a gamble is as worthy a way as any to meet the playthrough requirements.
Play Lucky Numbers
OK, so the maths might not leave any room for you to manipulate the odds of truly random bingo, but not everybody believes that simple statistics are all that’s at work when you play a game of chance.
If you believe in luck, fate, destiny or anything similar, make sure it’s on your side – don’t ignore any omens that come to light in your daily life, know your lucky numbers, and play the tickets on which they appear.
Bingo is famous for the cry of “unlucky for some” when the number 13 is drawn, and that’s just one of up to 90 balls in play, so maybe there’s some hidden force at work after all…