The origin of the game of “Bingo” can be traced as far back as 16th century Italy, where a national lottery became popular, was subsequently adopted and modified by the French, and eventually crossed the Atlantic to the United States, where it became the fairground crowd-pleaser, “Beano”, and, ultimately – as the result of a mispronunciation by an over-excited player – “Bingo”, as we know it today.
Bingo, today, is no longer confined to bingo halls – the popular, although extremely outdated, image of a multitude of little old ladies playing bingo in, perhaps, less than salubrious surroundings, has finally been banished – and can be enjoyed in the comfort and privacy of your own home, on your computer screen, in the form of online bingo. Online bingo is no less exciting than bingo played in a bingo hall, with the possibility of huge cash rewards, and no less sociable, with a variety of chat and messaging facilities that allow you to make new friends, and keep in touch with your fellow players.
The traditional game of Bingo, as played in the United Kingdom, involves 90 coloured balls, unsurprisingly numbered 1 to 90, which are drawn at random. Each Bingo player is issued with a card, or cards, on which a selection of these numbers is printed – typically, in three rows, each containing five numbers – and the idea of the game is to mark the numbers called, to complete a pre-determined winning pattern. A winning pattern could, for example, be a single, horizontal line, or two lines, across the Bingo card, or the four corner numbers, or a “full house”, where all three rows are completed.
Bingo cards for this form of bingo are normally issued in sets of six, such that all the number between 1 and 90 are distributed throughout the cards, so a player will be marking every number called during a game, on one card or another. Numbers do tend to be called in quite rapid succession, at intervals of 10 seconds or so, so you do need to pay close attention when marking your Bingo cards. If you’re a novice, most online Bingo sites offer the facility to have your card marked automatically – although you may also find that this detracts from your enjoyment of the game.
A single game of Bingo continues until one or more players claims “Bingo”, or “House” – unfortunately, shouting at your computer screen is not yet an option – and if the numbers are correctly verified, the prize is awarded.
The first step that you need to take is to register with one of the many online Bingo sites on the Internet. You will need to provide your personal details – name, address, etc. – together with a method of funding your online Bingo account. Credit, or debit, cards are, perhaps, the most popular methods, but many sites also have a range of other payment options.
Some online Bingo websites require that you download proprietary (although free) software before you start playing, although many use Flash, or Java, based applications that allow you to start playing straight away, after registration. Many websites include a “Help”, or “FAQ” (“Frequently Asked Questions”) , section to introduce you to the game play, and the other features of the site.
One of the great attractions of traditional Bingo is the social aspect – not just the possibility of financial reward, but the opportunity to chat, and gossip, with fellow players, about the game, or about anything else. You might think that online Bingo is a fairly solitary, mundane, activity – but, not so – chat and messaging facilities maintain the camaraderie between players, and the preserve the excitement of a true Bingo community. It may take you a little while to get used to the “lingo”, so to speak – acronyms are often used to replace commonly used words and phrases, much like test messaging using a mobile phone – but you can communicate even during game play (strictly taboo in a traditional Bingo hall). Take note of any chat protocols, or guidelines, though – so that you don’t upset any fellow players.
Online Bingo is also becoming increasingly popular with younger players – in fact, a recent survey revealed that 90% of online players are below the ago of 50 – so Bingo is definitely no longer the preserve of the older generation, not least because of the funky, modern design and slick audiovisual effects associated with most online Bingo sites.
Most online Bingo websites operate a “loyalty” programme, which offers bonuses to new and regular players. Typically, a new player will receive reward points, perhaps, to the value of £5.00, or so, for opening a new account, and further bonus points for subsequent funding of the account, or introducing other new members to the site, or for purchasing Bingo cards. These reward points can be redeemed for further Bingo cards, or allowed to accumulate, for bigger prizes – although do bear in mind that some of the top prizes represent an astronomical investment in Bingo cards. Most sites also offer regular promotions that allow you to earn extra, perhaps “double”, or “triple”, reward points.
Bingo is seen, by many people, as a safe and harmless pastime – and played responsibly it is exactly that, as well as being extremely exciting and enjoyable – but remember that it is a form of gambling, however mild it may seem in relation to other forms. Playing online Bingo involves investing real money, and it as easy, if not easier, to become addicted to it, as to gambling on horses, greyhounds, cards or roulette – so, as with other “games of chance”, don’t gamble with money you can’t afford, however attractive the rewards may seem, and don’t chase your losses – there’s always another day.
Bingo has been a popular form of entertainment, and gambling, for many decades, and the advent of online Bingo sites on the Internet has breathed new life into this old favourite, and presented it in a new light to a, perhaps, younger, more technologically minded, audience, than previously. Keep track of what you’re spending, and enjoy a comfortable, relaxing, yet thrilling, and sociable, experience – online Bingo.
AstroBingo is operated and owned by Worldwide Online Entertainment Holdings Inc, a British Virgin Island based company. AstroBingo has been operating online bingo since 2001 and our web based experience in servicing and hosting gaming is extensive. Our software technology is licensed by Parlay Entertainment Inc., internationally renowned as the world's supplier of Internet bingo solutions.