Online Bingo SitesOnline bingo is loved for its simplicity and is both a fun and relaxing experience enjoyed by millions in the UK and abroad. There is however far more to virtual bingo than just playing games. On the face of it many bingo sites are very similar but like most things in life when you look past the aesthetics there can be huge differences in quality.
With so much choice when it comes to choosing a bingo site there are enough options to find the site that matches your style of play. In the long run this means you will have more enjoyment and hopefully more winnings. On this page we do not list hundreds of sites, rather we list a smaller but varied collection of the best bingo websites. Whether you want to find a bingo site based on software provider, game variations, existing customer promotion, loyalty or payment methods and minimum deposit, we have a diverse list of providers for you to choose from.
Further down this page you will find our online bingo guide, designed to give you objective and clear information on picking the best bingo operator for you, whether you are a complete novice or an experienced dauber.
Best UK Bingo Sites
How To Claim Bingo Bonuses
To register you will need to enter your full name and address. Ideally this address should match the address used for any future payment methods (this makes verifying your account easier later).
You will also need a valid email address to verify your account and you will need to confirm that you are of legal age to play.
You may be asked for your card details at this stage although this will only be sued to check you are old enough to play and that you are who you say you are.
Even if you do not need to verify your account when you register you will need to do so to withdraw any winnings in any case.
No Deposit Free Play / Bonuses
Free play or no deposit bonuses are easily claimed. You will usually only need to register to receive your free funds to play with.
No deposit bonuses will normally be credited to your bonus balance. Being a bonus it is not immediately cash, you need to meet certain wagering requirements before you can withdraw it and any winnings. The bonus amount will need to be played with several times over, this is known as the playthrough, rollover, turnover or wagering requirement. For example, you have a £5 no deposit bonus and you need to play through this 10x, this means you will need to play a total of £50 (10 x £5) in tickets before the bonus and winnings are converted to real cash.
Free bonuses will usually have a time limit, anywhere from 24 hours, but usually at least one week. If you do not use the bonus and meet the rollover in this time the balance will be void.
These offers can also sometimes have maximum winnings caps, this means you can only withdraw a maximum amount in cash from the free bonus.
Most free no deposit bonuses for bingo are given as a means for you to try out the site without risking your own funds. As this is free money it is fair enough that there are both rollover requirements and occasionally maximum payout limits. If you are lucky enough to still have winnings following the play through it is yours to keep though, whether you have deposited or not.
Bingo sites have some of the biggest deposit bonuses available in online gaming, in terms of the percentage you recieve free. For a very low initial deposit, usually £10, you can expect to at least double your money in free funds and often you can claim up to 600% free.
Terms are very similar to the free play bonuses discussed above, deposit bonuses will need to be wagered a number of times before they can be withdrawn. For bingo this tends to be lower than casino with most rollover amounts set at somewhere between 4x and 20x the bonus.
Be careful when wagering as not every game may contribute to the wagering requirement, especially if the site also allows you to use the bonus on casino games. Using one example, if you wager on bingo games you only need to rollover the bonus 4x but wager on casino slots this increases to 40x.
There will also be a time limit on the bonus. This should be at least 7 days and some have long expiry dates of 90 days or even unlimited. Make sure you use your bonus in this time or you will lose it.
There are some other important things to check to make sure you claim your bonus correctly:
- Do you need to enter a promo code or opt in when you first deposit or is the bonus awarded automatically?
- Are there any game restrictions or games that do not count 100% towards the turnover.
- What is the maximum amount or percentage of the bonus that can be used in a single play/game.
Check for payment method restrictions. Some bonuses are ineligible if you use Skrill or Neteller to fund your account for example.
Remember bonuses are designed to give you the opportunity to try out the site and games without risking too much of your own money. They are not really designed for everyone to win loads of money, if they were the bingo companies would go bankrupt. This is why bonuses come with turnover and wagering terms, this is fair enough from my point of view and whatever way you look at it you will still have more chance of winning with a deposit bonus than without one.
Withdrawing Your Deposit and Bonus
Once you've met your play though requirements your bonus and winnings will move to your cash balance and can now be withdrawn. Make sure you do not try to make a withdrawal before this point. Even if you try to withdraw your deposit and real cash winnings before the bonus rollover is complete it may invalidate the bonus terms.
Before you can withdraw the bingo site may want to verify your age and identity as part of their fraud checks.
Second and Further Deposit Bonuses
Many sites will offer further matched deposit bonuses following your first bonus. These will all be very like the welcome offer with play though terms, expiry periods and possibly game restrictions. You may also need to enter a promo code to get them.
Read the terms for every subsequent bonus you take and don't assume all conditions are the same for every offer.
Check also if you can have bonuses in parallel. If for example you take a second deposit offer before you've met the terms of the first you may invalidate your first bonus.
How Does Online Bingo Work
Online bingo games work on the same principle as real world bingo with the same basic games (90-ball, 80-ball, 75-ball, 30-ball etc.) and rules. The idea being you buy tickets and numbers are drawn at random, if you complete a line or numbers or a whole ticket (full house) before anybody else then you will win a prize based on the total amount of money in the pot.
Online vs Offline Bingo
What online bingo provides that you cannot get in a land based bingo hall is sheer variety. There are an almost unlimited number of game variations and themes along with the convenience of playing any game you like at pretty much any time you would like to.
The major difference is that you do not mark off your own numbers, this is done automatically for you by the software.
The positive of this is you will never miss a number and you can also play far more tickets in parallel than. The negative I suppose is that it removes any skill element, in a bingo hall it isn’t necessarily the first person to complete a ticket that wins, rather it is the first person to call out that they have won. For this reason online bingo is fairer but it does remove some the edge gained from having fast fingers when marking off your own numbers.
Random Number Generators
Whatever type or variation of bingo game you play numbers are drawn by a random number generator (RNG). These generators are checked and verified by independent approved testing bodies (such as eCOGRA) to ensure fairness and consistency, and this is an integral part of gaining a licence.
If you play with unlicensed and unregulated bingo sites however there is nothing to guarantee the games will be fair. If however you stick to reputable licenced sites you can be sure the game return to player rates are exactly as stated.
The RNG works in place of a person and a rotating bingo cage. This means it is more random than any real world bingo could be and cannot be open to fraud by the bingo caller.
Bingo games are, in the main, not run by the sites you play them on. Instead most games are created, developed and maintained by third party software developers who then licence the games to various bingo websites.
Sites are therefore hosts when it comes to their bingo games (although there are some independent sites that do run their own games) and this means you can play the same games on different sites if they have the same software.
All software companies offer the same basic game (90-ball, etc.) but there are unique variations and titles within each. The best way to find the right software provider for you is to try sites that host different ones.
You can read more about individual software companies and their games in our software guides.
How to Play Bingo Online
In terms of difficulty, playing bingo games online couldn't be easier.
If you are of legal age and you are residing in a country where the site accepts players then all you need to do is sign up and start playing.
This is a short guide to get you started playing bingo online.
Check the site is Legal
The site must have a UK gambling licence to accept players from the United Kingdom. If the site does not have a UK licence you should not play with them as if you are a victim of fraud or they refuse to pay out you will have no legal protections under UK law.
If you are playing outside the UK check the licensing arrangements in the country in which you are playing. If online gaming is not legal in that country you may get in trouble with local law enforcement.
Register and Verify your account
Register for an account. For this you will be required to enter your full name, postal address and a valid email account. You may also be asked or payment details, not to take money from your account, rather this is used to verify your age and identity.
You may be asked for further documents to verify you are who you say you are. This is required by law to prevent crime and fraud, even if it can seem frustrating. Although you may not be asked to verify your account immediately you will be required to before you withdraw. If you want a quick withdrawal it is worth verifying your account in advance.
Choose a Game and Room
There are three major game types to choose from, 90-ball (most popular in the UK), 80-ball and 75-ball bingo. These are self-explanatory, you have 90, 80 or 75 balls, these are drawn at random and marked off against your ticket. If you complete a line or whole ticket first you win a prize.
There are lots of different themes and feature variations of these games so have a browse around different bingo rooms to find one that suits you. Sites that host different software providers will have very different game themes, so if you are bored of Virtue Fusion games for example perhaps try a Daub casino.
There are other less common games too including 30-ball and Joker bingo. See our game guide for more.
How to Buy Tickets
Tickets can be bought as singles or in multiples, you can manually select he number of tickets you want to buy before the games starts. Most rooms have a maximum number of tickets that can be bought for each game. Some games have minimum quotas although for most the minimum is one ticket.
Layout of the ticket varies depending on the game (see game guide) but all will have rows and lines of numbers.
Cost varies depending on the game, some game tickets can be as low as 1-2p to buy other premium or VIP games can go up to £1-10 a ticket. In general for most standard games the ticket price is 5-10p.
Once you've confirmed the number of tickets you would like buy all you must do is to wait for the game to start.
When Does The Game Start?
Bingo games are mutli-player and so when you join a room the bingo game will not start immediately, rather it is scheduled. There will be a timer showing you how long you have until the game starts.
Most games are scheduled but some will be triggered once a minimum number of players have joined. Rooms will also have a maximum capacity so if playing a popular game you might want to get in early.
Many sites have a panel on the home page displaying which games will go live and when.
What to do until the game starts?
This is where the beauty of chat comes in and the main reason it is so successful in online bingo rooms. If you are waiting for a game to begin there will be an ongoing discussion for you to join.
Alternatively, many players join multiple rooms choosing games that go live at different times. Some choose to play side games (slots) in the meantime and others may go away and come back at the start time.
Winning in Bingo
Numbers are drawn randomly using independently tested software. If you have one of those numbers on your ticket(s) it will automatically be crossed off.
If you are the first to make a whole line of numbers you will win a small prize. The game will then continue until somebody completes two lines at which point a second small prize is given. Finally the game ends when a whole card is completed, this is a a 'full house', and the winner will receive the main prize pot. All of this happens automatically once the game has started.
Some games have different variations and other intermediate prizes (e.g all four corners, diagonal & vertical lines, etc.) but the principle remains the same. Jackpot and other special games also have additional prizes.
Once you've won any winnings will be added to your cash (or bonus) balance.
You do not need to be in the room (literally) to play online bingo. Games are automated so you can buy your tickets in advance and walk away.
Do not however leave the bingo room or close the window as this may cancel your tickets.
Daubing your own numbers
Some sites (e.g. 888 Ladies) will let you mark off (daub) your own numbers. This can be changed in the settings of the game. Although this is can feel more satisfying it doesn't change the result of the game, if you forget to daub a number this won't change the result of the game, you will still win anyway.
Changing Your Tickets or Strip
If you don't like the tickets you've been given you can keep swapping them up to the point that the game starts.
While mathematically this makes no difference, each ticket has an equal change of winnings, many like their tickets to have a balance of numbers across the board.
Choose Your Room and Time Wisely
Busier bingo rooms have higher prize pots, therefore the amount you could win from a single ticket is higher. Conversely however the chances of winning are decreased as more tickets have been entered.
There are two ways to find quieter rooms, either play at non peak times or play with more niche bingo sites with smaller communities.
Playing in quieter rooms or at less busy times also has its benefits for offers. Many bingo sites give incentives, such as free plays, bonuses or enhanced loyalty points, if you play at these times. In the long run this can increase your chances of winning.
On the other hand if it is the big prizes you are after play in busy rooms with big community sites where the prize pools are likely to be the highest.
More tickets Means Better chances but more cost
Bingo is a basic game, numbers are drawn, if you match them in order first then you win a share of the prize. These games have fixed end points and fixed probabilities and so it is true that the more tickets you buy the more chances you have to win a prize. Equally the more the game will cost to play.
Chances of winning are not fixed, instead it depends on the total number of tickets entered into the game. This will vary depending on how many people are in the room and how many tickets they buy.
To win more often in busier rooms you will need to buy more tickets than in a smaller room. The number of tickets you buy and in what rooms you buy them comes down to whether you are paying to win or playing for fun.
Jackpots and Progressive Jackpots
Some titles have jackpots, these tend to be more popular due to the enhanced prizes that come with them and many of the best ones are played at peak times. Jackpots fall into the following categories:
- Fixed Jackpots – These are awarded in every game played and can be won repeatedly. The jackpot is usually proportional to the size of the pot.
- Progressive Jackpots – These jackpots continue to rollover until somebody wins. The more people that play the bigger the jackpots can get. Progressive Jackpots are awarded for doing something special in a game, for example getting a perfect game (a line, two lines and a full house). Some progressive prizes can run into the millions.
- Community Jackpot – A form of progressive but instead of one winner getting everything the entire community playing at the time gets a share of the prize.
Playing Side Games and Slots
Side games are basically casino slot games or scratchcards. These can be played at any time and are often displayed in the side bar and in their own section.
Most games are usually single person 3-reel or 5-reel slots that appear in a separate window and are commonly used by people waiting for bingo games to start.
Games can be played from your same account wallet and you can set how much you would like to spend on each spin.
Don't be fooled, these are casino games by another name. Money staked on these games may also not count towards offers or bonuses and even if they do they will contribute less.
Play Free Bingo and Use No Deposit Bonuses
The best way to find the right game for you is to play with a bingo provider that offers free bingo (most do, Coral are the best). This way you can find the right game for you and get experience of how to play without risking any of your own cash.
No deposit welcome offers can also be used to try out sites and games without risk. See how to claim bingo bonuses for more.
Deposit and Play for Real Cash
Once you've tried out some free bingo games and you've found the right site, game and bingo room now is the time to take up one of the fantastic bonus offers.
If you play using your bonus remember it will need to be rolled over several times before you can withdraw and there may be maximum limits on how much you can use in any one game. Therefore take your time and use the deposit and bonus money to enjoy your bingo. There is no rush, most bonuses are valid for at least a week and often longer.
Withdrawing Your Winnings
If you are withdrawing for the first time to a bank card and this is the same one you used to deposit then in most cases this will go through no problem as you will have already have been verified.
In many cases however you will need to confirm your ID and age before you can withdraw, this is a legal requirement of the company.
Some sites do this proactively when you join, others wait until you try to make a withdrawal. As it can take time to verify an account it is worth sending in any documents early.
Once verified you can request a withdrawal, if it is higher than the minimum for that payment method, you should be paid out following a short processing period.
Budget Before you play
It helps to have a budget before you start playing bingo. This may simply be the amount you deposit, however if you already have money in your account you should work out how much you are happy to lose before calling it a day.
Play a game to match your budget, there is no point playing with £1 tickets if you have a £1 budget for each game as it wouldn't be much fun to just buy one ticket every time. Consider playing ten tickets in a 10p per ticket game instead.
The best players not only have budgets for individual sessions they also use daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly budgets. The best way to get the most enjoyment form bingo is to play responsibly and understand exactly what your liabilities are.
Playing to Win or Playing for Fun
More so than any other form of online gambling bingo is played most often for fun. On the other hand there are some massive prizes to be won in bingo and many also play to win.
If you are playing for fun there is no point in playing high stakes games, this will only increase the risk of losing more money, you are better off player lower stakes games. After all the games are ultimately the same it is only the ticket price and prize that differs. Also consider playing free bingo from time to time.
Players looking to win are better off being more strategic. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending more money on higher stakes games, it is often more about finding the right rooms at the right times. People playing to win will commonly seek progressive jackpot games that may be due to payout. The pursuit of winnings can as we all know be a costly adventure. If you play to win be prepared to lose.
Bingo games, whether real or online, are based on mathematical probabilities. This is how the gaming sites ensure they will always make a profit.
It is therefore important to play bingo for the right reasons and not to chase losses.
Gamblers fallacy can occur with bingo players just as much as with any other form of gaming for cash. This happens when someone believes that if something has happened more often than chance in the past that it will happen less often in the future.
This is simply not true, think of the old coin analogy. If you flip a coin five times and it comes up heads the first four times what is the chances it will be heads on the fifth flip? It is still evens. The previous four flips have no influence on the 50:50 chance of the coin landing on heads or tails on the final toss.
If you've lost 4 bingo games in a row the chances of you winning the next game is the same as when you started, you shouldn't chase loses in the belief you will have more chance of winning because of them.
We have a full article on the psychological defect that is gambler's fallacy right here.
Play With Multiple Sites
The biggest single benefit of playing bingo online is the choice of brands and the huge bonuses you get for joining them.
It makes sense to sign up with a few site for many reasons including:
- Trying Them Out – Not every site is the same, especially if they have different software, so registering wither several sites is a great way to find one to suit you in the longer term.
- More Bonus Cash – Joining multiple bingo websites means you can claim multiple bonuses. Although your chances of winning with a single bonus isn't that high your chances of winning with multiple bonuses are obviously higher. You can join sites that run the same software, meaning you are still playing the same games, but you get a new bonus to use!
- Regular Offers – Many offers are temporary but some can be hugely valuable (e.g. Buy £10 of tickets of a room get £10 free). The best chance you must get the best from these deals is join several sites and play with the one with the best deals at the time.
- New Game and Features – If a new restaurant opens in town you might want to try it out, why not a new bingo game. The best time to get good deals is when new games and features are launched by sites.
How to Choose a Bingo Site
This will depend on what is important to you when choosing a bingo site. In this section we cover elements such as welcome bonuses, regular rewards, customer service, interface, software and social elements that all go into making a good bingo brand.
No Deposit Bonuses
Free play bonuses are designed more for you to try out the bingo site rather than for you to win money. They usually come with large playthough requirements and maximum winnings caps so you don't always win, but for the purposes of seeing if you like the bingo site they are perfect way to play without risking any of your own funds.
All sites that have no deposit bingo bonuses also offer deposit bonuses too if you want to carry on playing so for me this is a no lose option.
If you've found a bingo website that you like, or you are confident you will like, then you may want to take the introductory bonus offer. Bingo attracts bigger percentage bonuses than any other type of virtual gaming allowing customers to get a huge amount of free funds from a very low deposit (usually £10).
Staggeringly high bonuses can be awarded online simply because the providers do not have the overheads required to run real world bingo. These offers are honestly not designed to trick or con you they are genuinely high value incentives in a hugely competitive market. If you like playing bingo then taking advantage of these offers is one of the great perks.
The main thing is to consider what your priority is with the bonus. Do you want to get the biggest amount of free play money, the biggest percentage of free funds or the best wagering terms (number of times you need to play through the bonus amount before it becomes cash). This all comes down to the way you play bingo. For help in choosing the right bonus for you see the how to claim a bingo bonus section below.
Software and Games
Although many bingo games follow the same basic rules (90 ball, 80 ball, 75 ball, etc.) the games themselves are wildly different in terms of the theme, layout, game play and interaction. Just because you like one 90-ball game on one site does not mean you will like every other version around (and trust me there are thousands to choose from).
Bingo games are in the main provided by third party software developers, not by the bingo sites themselves (although there are exceptions). This means you can access many of the same games on different sites if they host games from the same software providers. If for example you like Virtue Fusion games it is highly likely you will also get on with other websites that run the same games.
This is where no deposit bonuses are great, you can try out games from a software provider without risking your own funds.
In the table on this page we've listed the software company's different sites host to help you choose. If you are a bingo newbie I recommend trying sites with different software first, find the one for you, then you can find other sites with those games.
Other Products and Affiliations
Most bingo sites are stand alone meaning you can only play bingo games and nothing else. If this is all you want to do then great, stand-alone sites are uncluttered and easy to navigate simply because they only focus on bingo. My recommendations for bingo only sites would be those connected to bigger brands (e.g Wink (part of the 888 Group), Bucky (owned by Betfred operated by the 888 group) or Gala (part of the GVC group).
If however you want to play other games, such as slots or casino table games, or you want the option to place the occasional bet on sports, then you will be better off with a bigger provider that covers multiple products. My personal recommendations for good all round betting and gaming website would be Coral (shown in screenshot above) or 888 Bingo.
When you do play with big gaming site you will usually be able to use the same wallet, or at least very easily transfer funds between sections.
Existing Customer Promotions and Loyalty Points
Bingo games have high payout rates, usually over 95% return to player, this still means however that bingo sites make up to around a 5% profit depending on the game. Most sites plough some of these profits back into regular customer promotions, after all they have very few overheads to worry about.
If you are looking to play a lot of bingo, or you want to play regularly, then it makes sense to go for a site with rewards that suit your style of play. The above screenshot shows an example of one of the better loyalty schemes around from 888 Bingo. Here are some of the major promotion types you will see for existing players.
- Loyalty Points – A lot of brands will pay you comp points, this normally works out at around one penny in the pound. For example you may receive a comp point for every £10 you play with and a comp point can be exchanged for one free £0.10 line. Comp points schemes and terminology vary but in general expect to get at least 1% of your play back. If you play a lot of bingo loyalty programs tend to be better value.
- Free Games / Plays – Commonly given at certain times of the day, week or month, usually quieter times to encourage you to play. Sites generally will give you a given number of free plays matched to the number of paid plays. These deals are great if you want to play games at these times anyway but try not be sucked into playing when you usually wouldn't just to get a freebie.
- New Game Promos – Every time a new game theme comes out expect to see some free play offers to get you involved.
- In Game Rewards – There are many games that give you live rewards as you play them, this may be in the form of enhanced winnings, prizes, free-plays, etc. This tends to be linked with the theme of the game.
- Jackpots and Progressive Jackpots – Not a promotion as such but of you are looking for the biggest rewards play the big jackpot games. Top prizes can be much higher than typical slots or non-progressive jackpot games. As most bingo jackpot games are run by the software provider they are therefore running on tens or hundreds of sites at the same time, this is why the jackpot amounts can grow so high so quickly. This is something that would never be possible in a real world bingo game.
Layout and Interface
If you are going to spend a lot of time on a website, and you have the choice between so many different ones, you may as well choose one that you like the look of the best, especially if there is little else to choose between them.
This is more about just the colour of the site, the images or the graphics, it is also about how easy you find the site to navigate. How long does it take you to find a game? Are the promotions east to find? Can you get into your account wallet and banking section easily? Is it easy to find contact details or licensing information, etc.
The screenshot above shows two very different bingo websites side by side to show you the difference between a smooth and sleek site and a colourful and vibrant site like Mecca (right).
Contact and Support
You generally only find out if the customer service at a bingo site is any good once it's too late. This is an area where quality and coverage varies hugely and please do not assume you will get an instant answer to a question straight away.
Bigger operators tend to have 24/7 customer support with email, live chat and phone although many smaller and stand-alone providers may only be 9-5 Monday to Friday (sometimes even less). It can be very frustrating if you have an issue on a Friday and you need to wait three days to get a resolution. I would suggest you try out customer services early on by asking some simple questions, such as 'what is the minimum deposit' or 'do you accept bank transfers', etc. This will give you a good feel for the level of service before you get in too deep.
It's not all about the amount of time the customer services is open either. There is little benefit of having 24 hour a day communication if the staff themselves are not very knowledgeable. You can test this by asking questions such as 'how many 90-ball games do you have' or 'what is your return to player for game X'.
Community, Socialising and Chatting
One of the biggest benefits to playing bingo on the web is the social component. Bingo rooms have extremely active chat features on which people can spend hours chatting about bingo, life and pretty much anything else. There is also a whole dictionary of chat terms you can read about later on.
If this isn't for you then you can ignore the chat features and even close them down on many sites. If however you like the social element then it is important you find a site with active regular players who chat a lot. Bigger is again usually better as bigger brands have larger networks and communities. Saying that smaller rooms and smaller brands can be more fitting for those who want to arrange times to play with certain people without lots of strangers in the room.
Some sites, such as Bingocams, use video through your webcam / phone camera (although you don't have to). I know many people who love this, and you can even win monthly prizes for the best win moments videos. See the screenshot example above.
Bingo Game Guide
90-Ball Bingo Explained
90-Ball is the most popular version of bingo in the United Kingdom and therefore it is also the game with the most variety and choice. With most sites expect at least half of the games to be 90-ball.
Tickets are rectangular with 3 rows and 9 columns (3 x 9 chart). The first column contains any numbers between 1-9, second column 10-19, etc., up to the final column which contains numbers 81-90.
Fifteen numbers are drawn randomly (using a random number generator) and entered the columns of the ticket within the rule that each row should have 5 numbers and 4 empty spaces. In theory you could have all 90 numbers spread over 6 tickets (6 x 15 = 90).
Numbers are drawn and as they are announced they will automatically be marked off your card (unless you have set manual daubing).
The first person to get any whole line of 5 numbers first wins a prize (left), first person to get two lines wins another prize (centre) and finally the main prize is won by the person who gets all three lines, i.e. a full house (right). It is possible to win all three prizes in a game and if you do this you will often activate an additional prize or jackpot.
Tickets can be bought individually or in strips.
75-Ball Bingo Explained
This type of bingo was traditionally most popular in the USA and Canada but through online bingo it is now played widely across the world.
Tickets are square (5 x 5) with a blank in the middle (usually shown as a star) this means you have 24 numbers on the card. The first column contains randomly drawn numbers between 1-15, second column 16-30, third 31-45, fourth 46-60 and finally the fifth column has numbers between 61-75.
The aim of the game, as with 90-ball, is to be first to get a full house (all 24 numbers) although there are intermediate prizes for getting lines or shapes.
Lines are self-explanatory and can, the first to get a row of five numbers, either horizontally or vertically, will win a prize. prizes may also be given for two, three and four lines if applicable.
You can also win prizes for getting shapes in games known as pattern bingo. Prizes are given for shapes such as an arrow, all four corners, a square of outer numbers, a square of inner numbers, a cross, an airplane shape, etc. These types of shapes and prizes will vary between games. At the very minimum you will get a prizes for lines and a prize for a full house.
80-Ball Bingo Explained
80 Ball bingo is modern incarnation that takes elements form both the American 75-ball and the European 90-ball game. This is generally seen as a halfway game between the two.
The format is like 75-ball in that you have a square of numbers although the grid is smaller, a grid of 4 x 4, and so you now only have 16 numbers total, more like 90-ball, and no blank spaces. The first column contains four random numbers between 1-20, second 21-40, third 41-60 and fourth 61-80.
Games are again won by getting all the numbers on your card, a full house, and intermediate prizes are won for getting a vertical, horizontal and sometimes diagonal line. There are usually prizes for getting two and three lines too.
As with 75-ball bingo there are also pattern games that give additional prizes for shapes such as four coroners, outer square, inner square, cross shape (minus four corners), etc.
80-Ball is the least common bingo game of the main three although with big bingo sites there will still be a few games an hour to play.
30-Ball Bingo Explained
Sometimes called speed-bingo because with only 30 numbers to draw the game is around three times quicker than a 90-ball game. These games also tend to be cheap to play with the lowest ticket price costs.
Cards are again square but this time with only 9 numbers arranged in a 3 x 3 grid. Three numbers from 1-10 are drawn randomly into column one, 11-20 in the second column and 21-30 in the third column.
Prizes are won for a full house and there are a few games that also award prizes for lines (any direction, including diagonal) but due to the fast pace of the game most restricted to full-house prizes.
Not every site offers 30-ball bingo so if you want to play one of these games do your homework in advance. Cozy Games brands are a good option.
40-Ball and 50-Ball Bingo Explained
There are now all sorts of intermediate bingo games, many are licensed to certain providers. Ticket format and prize structure can vary a lot. For example, a typical 50-Ball game looks a lot like 90-ball but with only two rows and no spaces.
The example above is taken from Gala Bingo, who are licensed to provide these games. The first row contains two numbers from 1-9, then 10-19, etc., with the final row containing numbers 41-50. Prizes are won for a line or a full house.
40-Ball bingo is almost the same except there are two rows of four numbers. The example below is the Rainbow Riches themed 40-ball bingo. Here you win prizes for a full clover or a full house. Other variations give prizes for lines, squares, etc.
Both of these varieties are not very common, you will need to play with someone like Gala to access the full range.
Other Bingo Game Varieties
If you can draw numbers randomly and fit them into a shape, then you can guarantee there will be a bingo game available in that format.
There are lots of games, usually themed and licensed, with other numbers of balls. For example 36-Ball bingo is becoming popular in cube based games.
The above examples are taken from two licensed 36-Ball games, Bouncy Balls (left) and Cash Cubes (right). As with all bingo there are prizes for a full house with intermediate prizes for lines, blocks, cubes, etc.
Finally, there are game variations in the main 90 and 75-Ball games where numbers are replaced by letters or shapes. There are also variations in ticket shapes and designs.
Bingo Software Guide
Virtue Fusion (Playtech)
Virtue Fusion are by far the biggest and most well-known bingo software provider, not surprising considering they are part of the Playtech group. Huge resources, a massive catalogue of games, the biggest bingo community (>60k players daily) and the biggest brands associated (Bet365, Mecca, etc). Always developing and innovating the company are also famous themed games.
Microgaming were a much-loved bingo and casino game developer with nearly 1000 games titles in their locker. They had been around since the dawn of the online age, founded in 1994, they grew alongside online bingo developing many of the titles we know today. Unfotunatley in 2020 Microgaming closed their bingo and poker networks to focus on casino.
This software company were born to make bingo games, although they also make some great casino games too. Gamesys have a unique style and catalogue of games and they run their own sites too, such as their original 2002 flagship brand, JackPotJoy. With carefully picked partners, top themed games and lots of jackpots around they won over a loyal fan base.
When the company behind 888 Bingo launched back in the mid-1990's there were so few software providers around that the company created their own development division, known as Dragonfish. The proprietary software has been running now for decades and over this time they have created a customisable, user friendly games package with excellent loyalty, support and a big player community.
ElectraWorks (Cozy Games)
Cozy are software developers that both make bingo games and manage bingo sites. The network was aquired by GVC and is now called ElectraWorks. The Cozy Games bingo network used to have a very large number of sites but this has now changed since GVC took over. Most of the white labels have been removed and the games and network is now run as an in-house propriatary division for GVC brands (such as Coral and Ladbrokes).
Relax Gaming are a relatively new entrant to the world of bingo gaming online, launching in 2015. The group have delivered a very professional and smooth range of games and products, primarily provided through the Unibet group that includes the prize named Bingo.com. This is a network that will grow with new brands coming on board and early adopters will be very happy indeed.
Jumpman entered the market back in 2011 with a focus on providing different types of bonuses, websites and games. Games are run on two networks, the 15 Network and the newer Wheel of Slots network. The provider powers over 30 different bingo sites and have become a big player in a relatively short space of time. The Guernsey based company have lots of free and social games.
B-Livegaming power bingocams, one of the most innovative and different bingo sites around, and also provide games to other operators. The biggest selling point is their advanced gaming platform designed to integrate with webcams. The system allows live chat hosts, live win moments and private video chats between up to 3 people at once.
Daub are known for running Kitty and Lucky Pants Bingo, although when the originally set up in 2009 they ran Wink and Posh bingo before this was sold to 888. The brand is mainly known for its very generous sign up and regular offers. Primarily UK facing this is a great bingo specialist with some excellent unique side games on the side too. Good for weekly prizes and free bingo too.
Most bingo websites host games developed by third party software providers, this gives the advantage of shared support, bigger player bases and shared resources. The negative side of this is many sits become very similar in terms of titles and features. There are a few sites that make their own games, although they may host others too, two examples are BGO and mFortuneFortune.
Benefits of Online Bingo
For those who enjoy bingo for fun or just want to try it out then free bingo is a great option. It allows you to play the best titles, chat and hone your strategy without spending a penny.
Most sites provide free bingo either all or at least some of the time.
Free bingo also often comes with prizes too, so you could end up a winner any way.
This is largely a phenomenon online, few land based providers would or could run free games.
24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week, 365 Days a Year
As with most things we do online, whether it be shopping or browsing the news the main advantage is convenience.
The biggest benefit of online bingo is you can play when and where you want, all you need is an internet connection. I doubt very much you will find a bingo hall open on Christmas Day but you will be able to play online.
Play multiple Games at Once & Never Miss a Number
There is a physical limit to how many bingo tickets you can play at once if you are daubing your own numbers. The only physical limit with online bingo is the number of windows you can open on your computer or mobile device in one go.
Online bingo is largely automated so if you buy your tickets before the game start time you can participate in as many simultaneous games as you like. You could even play on multiple sites at the same time.
There isn't much chance you would be able to play a slot machine at the same time as marking off numbers in a bingo hall. Online however you can play a whole host of slot and casino games while you wait for your bingo to begin.
Many side games are hosted within the same window as the bingo game so you don't even need to flick between them.
Play on the Move
It would be difficult to organise a cash bingo game on a bus, train carriage or the waiting room at the doctors. Of course, if you play online and on mobile devices you can pretty much play online bingo wherever you happen to be – although beware these games can be graphic heavy and can use a lot of data on mobile networks.
Automatic Games and Pre-Buy Tickets
There is no need to be in the room to play bingo, you can queue up your bingo games hours in advance sometimes. This means you will never miss your favourite jackpot games or promotions.
More Competition, Choice and Variety
Online bingo is far more competitive than its real-world cousin. This not only means better sign up and regular deals, it also promotes faster game innovation and new feature ideas.
Many see offline bingo as stagnant and stuffy, the same is certainly not true online. There is a website out there to suit every game type, personality and style of play.
Better Offers, Promotions and Loyalty
Lower overheads mean better deals online it is as simple as that. A bingo-hall has huge overheads in comparison to a website. First of all a hall is not used all of the time and when it is there are staff, maintenance and security costs, rental/lease and insurance costs as well as physical limits on how many people can play any given at any game.
Many of the free play, free spin, bonus and loyalty deals you see online are a result of the far lower costs involved in running a site. Most games are provided by third party software companies too and licensed so there isn't even maintenance to worry about.
It is a sad fact that bingo has developed a stereotype as a game for older women. This may still be true if you were to look at most people in a bingo hall in Morecambe Bay on a Friday afternoon but when you actually look at the demographic that play online bingo you will be very surprised.
Most online bingo players are under 40 years of age (in the UK) and over 30% are in fact men. Online gaming is a great leveler as anyone can play with anybody else any time they wish.
More People to Chat With
You might think playing electronically would reduce your social interaction but in fact when playing online you will tend to chat to far more people than you would in a hall.
In the real world, you tend to go to play with one person or a small group of people, and while these may be close friends beyond these you find you do not chat with many others. Online you can chat to hundreds of people an hour, or you can choose to chat to specific people if you wish. The fact that you don't have to put your eyes down to mark off numbers also increases the possibility to chat socially.
Disadvantages of Online Bingo
If you get a full house in a bingo-hall then you will be paid out, usually in cash, and usually instantly.
Of course, with online bingo funds need to be deposited and withdrawn into an account, commonly using a bank card. This takes time so you may need to wait a few days to get access to your cash.
A tip for getting your winnings quicker is to use an eWallet services such as PayPal where incoming funds clear much faster.
Minimum Withdrawal Limits
There are minimum transaction limits online, usually £5+ for deposit and withdrawal and with some sites withdrawal minimums can be £30+. This could obviously prove a problem if you only play small stakes and you want to withdraw low amounts.
Of course in a real hall you can put in and take out any amount of cash you like. Online you need to be more savvy, bigger gaming sites are best for low limits (£5 withdrawal) and the fastest processing times.
Online is a great place to meet new friends and even a place to arrange to meet your existing friends but there is no substitute for seeing people in person. Whereas most people play online bingo to win many people visit bingo halls for a day/night out with their mates, and this cannot be replaced online.
Playing on the internet gives you more options but please don't let this replace going to halls entirely, if you enjoy bingo why not do both?
Local Economy and Jobs
Let's face it most websites are not based in the country, let alone in your local community. It is true that bingo-websites pay tax to the government but they don't contribute directly to your local economy.
A bingo hall will need to own or rent a hall and they need to pay locals to run the games and facilities. All of this feeds back into the community. Don't let your local hall go under just because you get a a better deal online, this is a balance, play online for convenience but also use your local facilities if they are there. Otherwise when they are gone you may miss the option.
Bingo Chat Terms
|1TG||One to Go||G2G||Got to go||PITA||Pain in the a**|
|2TG||Two to Go||GF||Girlfriend||PLS/PLZ||Please|
|3TG||Three to Go||GG||Good game||PM||Private message|
|4TG||Four to Go||GL||Good luck||PMSL||Peeing myself laughing|
|?||What do you mean?||GLA||Good luck all||POOF||I have left the chat|
|?4U||Question for you||GLE||Good luck everyone||PPL||People|
|*G*||Giggle or grin||GM||Good morning||QT||Cutie|
|*H*||Hug||GN||Good night||RE||Hi again|
|*K*||Kiss||GR8||Great||ROFL||Rolling on floor laughing|
|*S*||Smile||GTSY||Glad to see you||ROOMIE||Player in the chat room|
|*W*||Wink||H&A||Hug and kiss||RTF||Read the FAQ|
|((name))||Hugs||HAGD||Have a good day||SAC||Sorry all close|
|a/s/l||Age/Sex/Location||HB||Hurry back||SO||Significant other|
|AFIK||As far as I know||HHIS||Hanging head in shame||SOHF||Sense of humour failure|
|AFK||Away from keyboard||IC||I see||SOZ/SRY||Sorry|
|AFK2P||Away from keyboard (to pee)||IYKWIM||If you know what I mean||SWL||Screaming with laughter|
|AKA||Also know as||IGP||I gotta pee||SYS||See you soon|
|ASAP||As soon as possible||IGPI||In my opinion||TC||Take care|
|B4N||Bye For Now||IRL||In real life||TMI||Too much information|
|BAK||Back At Keyboard||JJ||Just joking||TOY||Thinking of you|
|BBIAM||Be back in a minute||JK||Just kidding||TPTB||The powers that be|
|BBL||Be back later||JMO||Just my opinion||TTFN||Ta ta for now|
|BBS||Be back soon||JTLYK||Just to let you know||TTYL||Talk to you later|
|BDT||‘Bout darn time||K||Okay||TX||Thanx|
|BF||Boyfriend||KIT||Keep in touch||TY||Thank you|
|BLNT||Better luck next time||KOTC||Kiss on the cheek||TYVM||Thank you very much|
|BRB||Be right back||L8R||Later||UL||Unlucky|
|BTW||By the way||L8R G8R||Later gator||VEG||Very evil grin|
|CM||Chat Master/Monitor/Moderator||LMAO||Laughing my a** off||WB||Welcome back|
|CYA||See ya||LOL||Laughing out loud||WD||Well done|
|CYAL8R||See ya later||LOFTING||Talking in private (Loft)||WTG||Way to go|
|CU||See you||LTNS||Long time no see||WTH||What/who the heck|
|EMSG||Email message||LY||Love ya||YBS||You’ll be sorry|
|E1||Everyone||LU||Love you||YSR||Yeah… sure… right|
|FCOL||For crying out loud!||NP||No problem||YVW||You’re very welcome|
|FAQ||Frequently Asked Questions||OIC||Oh, I see||YW||You’re welcome|
|FWIW||For what it’s worth||OMG||Oh my goodness/gosh||-||-|
|FYI||For your information||OTOH||On the other hand||-||-|
Banking and Payment Methods
If you want to use a bank card to deposit into your bingo account then you won't have a problem as they all offer this service. If however you want to use something like an eWallet (e.g PayPal, Skrill or Neteller), a voucher system (such a PaySafeCard) or any other means of payment then you may need to check they take deposits in this way first.
Consider also that just because you can deposit using a certain payment method doesn't also mean you can withdraw. It is worth checking this in advance, the best way to do this is to use the help or FAQ section or contact customer services. At the same time this will give you a good indication of the quality of the sites customer support.
Processing Times, Pending Periods and Manual Flushing
When you instigate a withdrawal for example it will need to be processed by the company and the amount of time this takes depends on the site. Bigger companies tend to process quicker, especially at weekends, so if this is important for you go with a bigger bingo brand with quicker processing times.
Pending periods are cheekier. This is a period deliberately built into the processing in which you could choose to reverse your withdrawal. You can see why bingo sites do this. If it bothers you, or you want your cash quicker simply don't play with a site that has a pending period. If a site does have a pending period look to see if they have manual flushing, this is a tool to bypass the usual pending period forcing the withdrawal to go through.
Minimum and Maximum Limits
If you only want to deposit say £5 at a time, then there is no point in playing bingo with an operator that has a £10 minimum. Likewise, if you want to withdraw small amounts check the minimum withdrawal amounts, and be sure to check for your specific payment methods as the values can vary.
You may also want to consider maximum deposits and more likely maximum withdrawals. If you do have a big jackpot win but you can only withdraw £10k a month it could take you a long time to get your £1M prize. In general, when it comes to high maximums bigger companies are better and if you want to be absolutely sure play with someone like William Hill who have the highest payout limits around.
It is more common to have withdrawal limits rather than payout limits, but again do check, some games can have restricted maximum payouts. Some sites have a maximum payout limit within 24 hours, although this should be high enough that it wouldn't bother most if us it is always worth checking in advance.
Verifying Your Bingo Account
Bingo sites don't make you send in ID or other documents so they can avoid paying you, rather they must do this by law as a means of preventing fraud. If you play with a licensed website you will need to verify your age and ID at some point, usually before you make a withdrawal.
If you sign up and play with a UK bank card, then often the ID checks are often done without you knowing. This is known as a soft credit check and sites can use your card details to check your age and registered address but they cannot see or affect your credit score.
Should you register using other payment methods or the company cannot verify who you are from your bank details then you will be asked to send in further ID to prove you are over 18 years of age and that you are residing in the country where you are attempting to play from.
Verification documents include passports, driving licenses, utility bills, etc., you can read more about this in detail in our verification and ID article.
Licenses and law
Most bingo games are played for real money with cash prizes and so these games fall under a similar classification to casino games. This means, in the United Kingdom, you must be 18 years or older to play and you will likely need to go through identification and age verification checks by law.
Is Bingo Gambling?
Yes, bingo is a form of gambling, even if you play free bingo if there are prizes available then this still classes as gambling.
Bingo websites must therefore be licensed to operate, in the UK, and they must adhere to gambling legislation and advertising rules that apply to all betting and gaming companies.
When playing bingo in a land based hall or online there is the possibility to both win and lose money. Be aware that this can be addictive and although these games tend to be less complex and more fun you should treat them with the same caution you would with any other form of gambling.
Bingo Gambling License
To provide bingo services in the UK legally companies must possess a current UK Gambling Commission Gambling License. This ensure all gaming is fair the Gambling Commission license stipulates under the 2005 and 2014 Gambling Act:
- All games and promotions should come with open and clear terms.
- Vulnerable and under age groups should be actively prevented from harm.
- Fraud prevention by ensuring all customers are vetted for their age and ID.
- Customers money to be held in a separate protected account in the event that the company should go bust or become insolvent.
- Bingo sites are required to take complaints seriously and have systems in place to correctly deal with them.
If you choose to play with an unlicensed bingo website you will not receive any protection from the UK government should you be a victim of fraud or theft. I can't emphasise enough how important it is to only play with licensed sites. All licensed operators must display details of their licenses on their home page. It should look a little like this example from Coral Bingo:
You can also search for licenses directly on the gambling commission website. If there is no record of an active license simply do not play with that company, after all there are hundreds of reputable licensed bingo sites to choose from.
Every site we list at OnlineCasinos.org.uk possess a full UK license.
For more information on UK Gambling Licenses and Law see our dedicated page. If you believe a bingo site has contravened the terms of their license you can report them to the gambling commission. The gambling commission does not however deal with customer complaints or issues with advertising (see next).
Bingo operators are obliged to follow the same rules when it comes to advertising as any other betting or gaming company.
This means adverts should not be aimed at children or vulnerable people, all terms and conditions must be clearly stated with no misleading language or phrasing. If you believe a bingo advert or offer does not meet these requirements you can report this to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).
Tax on Bingo Winnings
In the UK tax is paid at the point of consumption by the bingo operator. This is another reason why sites need to be licensed to operate. The player themselves doesn't pay any tax directly on either their stake or their winnings.
Of course, we all are paying some tax really as at some level the bingo companies will pass on some of the 15% point of consumption to us in the way they structure their games. The benefit of this however is that you always know whatever you win it is yours to keep in entirety.
Complaining about a bingo site
If you believe an operator has broken their licensing terms or mis-sold a product in an advert and you want to complain, then you can contact the Gambling Commission or the ASA. Do not however contact these bodies in relation to a complaint about your account. If you believe there has been an error, such as not being paid out correctly, then first you will need to contact the company and make your case.
Include any game play references (usually find in your play history), time references and screenshots if you have them. Always complain in writing as this way there is a written record of your correspondence should you need to escalate a complaint later down the line. If you complain using live chat make sure you save a copy of the exchange.
Be objective and be patient, the operators are obliged to take your complaint seriously but do give them time to respond appropriately.
If you cannot resolve your complaint directly you can now approach the third-party adjudication service IBAS. This an independent body with a professional panel of experts who will scrutinise your case, and the case of the operator, including all evidence submitted (this is why you should save your paper trail). The judgement made by the panel is binding for the operator although if either side wish to they can then take the case to court without detriment, although complaints only get to this stage in incredibly rare circumstances.
It is a common misconception that bingo is not gambling but just as with any game where money can be won or lost there is the potential for addiction and irresponsible gambling practices to arise.
By law all bingo operators in the UK are obliged to provide advice and tools to help you play safely. These include self-exclusion periods and deposit limits which can be used to help you play in a responsible way.
Many sites go beyond the basic requirements and will also offer tools such as loss limits, session timeouts, game restrictions, active account management and more.
There are many independent gambling advice services to turn to too such as Gam Care (http://www.gamcare.org.uk/).