How to Play Bingo - The Bingo Games Official Guide

Chapter 3


Bingo is a relatively simple game, but you still need to know your way around a bingo ticket/card and understand a few basic rules. The rules differ depending on the variant you’re playing and whether you’re playing online, offline, or at home, but here are some basics to help you out.


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How to Play Bingo Online

How to Play Bingo Offline

How to Play Bingo at Home

Is There a Way to Win at Bingo?

How to Play Bingo Online

Online bingo is arguably the easiest game to play as the software, by default, tends to do most of the work for you (although at some sites you can elect to daub the numbers yourself).

The first step is to establish your budget. A gambling budget is also known as a bankroll and it’s something that all experienced players establish to avoid losing more money than they can afford, it is vitally important that you consider affordability before playing.

If you’re playing on a regular basis, your bankroll can be set weekly or monthly. It should be a very small percentage of your disposable income, an amount of money that you can afford to lose and one that will not impact your ability to pay bills, purchase food, or cover other living expenses.

Once your budget is set for the beginning of the month, refrain from depositing any more for the rest of that period. Adopting this habit helps to keep your losses down, prevents you from making rash and impulsive decisions, and encourages you to stick to an affordable budget and a manageable session time responsible gambling sites will usually offer tools to help with this.

After establishing your bankroll, simply choose your preferred payment options and deposit funds into your online bingo account. Find the game that you want to play, purchase your tickets, and start the balls rolling.

The game will mark your cards automatically, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track and there’s no risk of missing a number. It will show you how many numbers you have marked on your ticket, how many more you need, and what kind of prizes await.

It’s a very simple and straightforward way to play. If you’re new to bingo, online bingo can help you to acclimatise to the game and become more familiar with its rules and processes. If you need more information on your chosen game, just check the game file.

All games have these files and they contain information such as the rules, payouts, probabilities, and bonus features.

How to Play Bingo Offline

Offline bingo requires some patience and focus and you’ll need to keep your highlighter pens (daubers) at the ready. The process is similar to online bingo—set your budget, buy your tickets, and wait for the game to start.

You can buy as many tickets as you want but bear in mind that you will need to mark all of them yourself. If you miss a number and only realise after the game has ended and the prizes have been paid, it’s tough luck.

If you’re new to the game, you may want to begin with just one or two tickets.

Every time the bingo caller announces a number, you need to mark it on your ticket. When you have the pattern required for a win, shout “Bingo”.

That’s all there is to it. The actual patterns you need will depend on the game you’re playing. This information is often clearly displayed, but you can ask one of the staff members or another player if you’re not sure.

One of the great things about offline bingo is that it brings you closer to other players. It’s an opportunity to meet new people and to enjoy yourself with friends. Most bingo halls offer refreshments and a bar in addition to side games, so make sure you invite some of your friends along and don’t be shy. 

How to Play Bingo at Home

Playing games of bingo at home requires more preparation as you effectively become the organiser and the onus is on you to ensure the game runs smoothly and everyone has a good time.

Here are a few steps to help you out:

  1. Print the Tickets: You can download bingo tickets online, before printing them out. Alternatively, bingo sets are available from many game stores and come with all the cards, markers, and other necessary paraphernalia.
  2. Explain the Game: Make sure everyone knows how to play and don’t just assume that they will understand. Run a few trial games to bring them up to speed and prevent any confusion.
  3. Choose a Caller: You need a bingo caller, someone whose job it is to call out the numbers. Ideally, it should be someone who likes to talk, someone who has a few jokes to tell and will make a show of it. Choose your most extroverted friend and encourage them to be creative.
  4. Mix the Balls: Most bingo sets come with a tombola and several number balls, allowing you to replicate a real game of bingo. Alternatively, you can write the numbers on pieces of paper, fold them up, and toss them into a bowl. The easiest way, however, is to use a random number generator set to 75, 80, or 90 numbers, depending on the variant you’re playing. It will select the numbers completely at random and save you a lot of trouble.
  5. Pens at the Ready: Everyone will need a pen to mark their tickets, after which the game is ready to begin!
  6. Set a Prize: To give players an incentive, offer a prize to the winner. It doesn’t have to be big or pricey, just something that extends beyond simple bragging rights.

The great thing about at-home bingo is that your friends don’t even need to be in the same room! If you’re living miles apart or simply want a shorter game and a quieter night, you can play over Skype or Zoom. The process is the same, only everyone gets a virtual card and the numbers are announced over the stream.

To keep things simple and to avoid breaking any rules, be sure to never profit from the hosting of a bingo game. 

Is There a Way to Win at Bingo?

For every real money game, there are players who think they can beat the system and strategies they insist are foolproof. People will say such things about blackjack, poker, and roulette, also.

As you might suspect, these strategies don't live up to the hype, after all, bingo is a game of chance at the centre of the online game is a random number generator (this is often the case in bingo halls nowadays too). 

Whilst we suggest you approach any 'system' with extreme scepticism, there are a few (perhaps obvious) ways in which you can increase your chances of winning:

  • Bulk Tickets: Every ticket that you buy increases your odds of winning by 1x, which means your odds of winning increase by 100% when you go from one ticket to two or from two tickets to four. If the operator offers a discount for multiple tickets, it might be worth taking advantage of this. Obviously though, you must keep an eye on your budget.
  • Lower Numbers vs Higher Numbers: When you’re playing for a guaranteed prize, lower numbers are better; when the prize increases according to the player numbers, the more the merrier. Of course, it’s always easier to win when there are fewer players, but the prizes often reflect those reduced numbers, so that needs to be taken into account as well.
  • Stay Sober: While it’s tempting to enjoy a few drinks when playing at your local bingo hall or club, it will only distract you and may lead to missed calls and costly mistakes. It’s never a smart decision to gamble while drinking, so don't do it!

These strategies are not the only ones that players use, but they’re the only ones that make sense for bingo, none of them are really 'ways to win' though, sorry!

Words of Warning: In bingo, players may believe that because they have lost multiple times in a row, or because all other players have won, the next time will be their time. As a result, they may gamble more than they usually would, buying lots of extra tickets when they should be calling it a day.

When it comes to games of chance, future outcomes are not affected by past ones. It’s never “your time” to win and when you’ve gambled your budget for the day, it’s time to call it quits!