How to play Bingo

Bingo is a game of chance that has been popular around the world since the 1930s. The objective of the game is to match the numbers printed on the bingo card to those that are drawn at random. The first player who gets a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line of numbers calls out “Bingo!” to alert the participants and the host, that they have the winning card for the prize or the jackpot.

Lottery-type games similar to the modern Bingo were played in Italy and France as early as the 16th century. However, modern Bingo was popularized by Edwin Lowe in 1929 in the United States.

There are several variations to Bingo played with various grid bingo cards, different amounts of balls, and different rules. You can play bingo online free or for real money, on your PC, and even on mobile devices.

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Game variations

Playing bingo has universally the same principles, however, there can be slightly different rules in every bingo house or online casino you play at. The two most popular types are the 90-ball Bingo that is popular in the UK, and the 75-ball one that is predominant in the United States. There are several types of bingo games free online as well.

90 Ball Bingo

90 Ball Bingo

90-ball bingo is played with a bingo card that is a grid of 27 squares of 3 horizontal lines and 9 vertical ones. Fifteen numbers are displayed on the grid, and, typically, players buy 6 cards per round. You can win by three outcomes: one line, two lines, and a full house. The prizes increase with every winning line.

80 Ball Bingo

80 Ball Bingo

The 80-ball bingo grid is a 16 square grid that contains 16 numbers arranged in colourful columns. The caller first calls out the colour and then the number. Players can win with one, two, or three lines or with a full house. In a bingo hall, you close the shutter on the numbers manually, while online this is done automatically.

75 Ball Bingo

75 Ball Bingo

75-ball bingo is played with a single 5x5 grid bingo card that has 24 numbers on it. The centre square is free and often displays a heart. You need to know what is the predetermined winning pattern as it varies from one bingo hall to the next. It could be anything such as a single line or a shape of a heart.

30 Ball Bingo

30 Ball Bingo

This is a rapid version of bingo where a single game only lasts for a few minutes. The grid has 9 numbers arranged in 3 rows and 3 columns so it is quick to mark the numbers which gives highly immersive gameplay. The first person completing the winning pattern wins.

Bingo Odds

What do you think of your chances to hit “bingo” in the first 4 balls? The probability that you will get “BINGO” on 24 number-card in the first four balls is about 0.0000032910%. Yes, these are really low chances.

Let have a look at the table below where are collected probabilities of catching bingo at the first 4 balls to 15 pulled-out balls.

Bingo odds
Single Bingo card – 75 Ball Bingo
Number of Calls Bingo on the last ball Bingo on or before the last ball
4 0.0000032910% 0.0000032910%
5 0.0000136274% 0.0000169183%
6 0.0000352272% 0.0000521455%
7 0.0000727720% 0.0001249175%
8 0.0001314050% 0.0002563225%
9 0.0002167256% 0.0004730480%
10 0.0003347781% 0.0008078261%
11 0.0004920317% 0.0012998578%
12 0.0006953500% 0.0019952077%
13 0.0009519466% 0.0029471543%
14 0.0012693244% 0.0042164788%
15 0.0016551953% 0.0058716740%


1. Choose a bingo game

1. Choose a bingo game

Depending on your mood or personal preferences, you can choose a traditional 90-ball bingo or a quick-fire 30-ball game, or anything in between. Many online casinos allow you to play bingo free so if you are not sure which variation you like the best, you can try them out first.

2. Select number of cards

2. Select number of cards

You can play with one card or several.

  • Consider buying more tickets if the prize is big and there aren’t many cards in play.
  • Avoid buying many cards when the prize is the biggest as many people will buy lots of tickets.
  • Think first if you can handle multiple cards at once.
  • Consider your budget for each game.
3. Wait for the draw

3. Wait for the draw

When the draw starts, you will have to mark numbers that were drawn and are on any of your cards.

  • In a bingo hall, mark them with a pen or by closing a shutter.
  • With online bingo, you can mark the squares by clicking on them or you can select auto-daub and the software will do it for you automatically.
4. Payout

4. Payout

  • The payout amount is calculated based on all the money that people bet on buying bingo cards. The higher the wagers, the bigger the payout.
  • Jackpots can be won most typically with a full house.
  • Some bingo games also offer a progressive jackpot that grows with every game until it is finally won.

Some tips for bingo players

Bingo Strategy

It is really easy to play online bingo as several online casinos offer different variations of the popular game. Before signing up, make sure that you are choosing a reputable casino and that you are aware of the rules of the game and the terms and conditions of the casino. If you play bingo online for money, you should consider these tips:

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    Decide how much you want to spend

    Have a budget that you can afford to lose.

    If you lose it all, stop playing, and only come back to the site when you have money to spare again.

    If you win, you can play some more for possible further profits.

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    Buy card booklets or packs

    You can buy one bingo card or several of them.

    When buying a specific amount of cards, you can let the computer pick them for you or

    You can pick them individually from the selection offered.

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    Don’T buy expensive cards

    If your budget is tight, play low-value games and buy only one ticket initially.

    If you win, you can buy more tickets.

    Play free bingo (check out the free bingo schedule of your casino).

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    Use online bingo bonuses

    Check if there are any bonuses you could get when you deposit.

    Look for promotional codes you can use on the online casino’s website.

    Ask for a special bonus on live chat customer support (it will often work).

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    Try Jackpot bingo

    Jackpot bingos are more expensive to play but the prizes are higher.

    Fixed jackpots are available to win with every jackpot bingo game.

    Progressive jackpot bingo is not won in every game so it can grow and grow – it can become incredibly high.

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    Understand Bingo game variations

    It is important to understand your odds of winning, which depends on:

    ⭐ The variation of bingo you are playing

    ⭐ The number of people playing the same game

    ⭐ The rules of the casino

Best Bingo strategies

Bingo strategy

Bingo is a game of chance, however, certain factors can help you win. The basics are buying more tickets, being fully aware of the particular rules, and playing when fewer people are playing. More advanced strategies exist though and these are:

Granville's strategy system

This strategy is based on the 75-ball bingo and it is about picking the numbers right. According to this theory, every number has an equal chance to be drawn and therefore one should choose numbers that are as different from one another as possible. The theory suggests choosing:

  • An equal spread of high and low numbers
  • An equal amount of odd and even numbers
  • Numbers ending in different last digits

For example, if the number 18 was drawn, it is unlikely that the next number will end in 8, so we should not have a bingo card that has 28 and 68, and 88 on it as well. Also, statistically, if an even number is drawn, the next number is more likely to be an odd one. The next one is more likely to be even again so we should have about as many even as odd ones.

This strategy is not bullet-proof though, as this type of probability calculation applies over a long period, rather than over an individual game.

Tippet strategy system

The Tippet theory was also based on the 75-ball bingo game, however, it can be applied to the 90-ball version as well. The British statistician created a simple idea to pick numbers that are closest to the median. He thought that the longer the bingo game goes on, the closer the average of the numbers will be to the median – the average value of the numbers – which is 38 in 75-ball bingo and 45 in 90-ball bingo. This theory only applies for longer games though so:

  • Don’t use it for 30-balls bingo or one line patterns – for short games choose tickets that have more high and low numbers
  • Use it for getting the complex patterns in 75 or 90-balls bingo – for longer games choose tickets with more numbers closer to the middle number.

This theory is purely based on statistics and in the long run it makes sense. There is no harm done trying out this theory – perhaps first with online free bingo – and see if it works for you.


🎱 Can I win money with bingo?

You certainly can. Bingo is a game of chance so there are no skills involved. All you need is luck.

🎱 Is it better to play bingo online or in a bingo hall?

It depends on whether you want to play from the comfort of your home or along with other people. You can play a wide variety of bingo games online and in bingo halls so the choice is yours.

🎱 Can I play bingo free online from Canada?

You can indeed. Online bingo in Canada is popular and several casinos offer a free game option as well as a real money option.

🎱 What are bonuses and when do I get them?

The best online bingo casinos all offer bonuses when you sign up. Upon making your first deposit you usually get a welcome bonus that you can later on use to play a bingo game online.

🎱 Do I need to download software to play free online bingo games?

Most casinos offer free bingo games with no download required.

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