How to Play Bingo: A Complete Beginners Guide

Bingo gameIn the UK, the popularity of Bingo is phenomenal. Even in other parts of the world, people associate Bingo mostly with the British. But did you know that it’s not an authentic English game? Rather, it originated in Italy.

Over time, the game has evolved a lot. From playing in church halls or dedicated Bingo halls, you can now play Bingo online casinos in the UK. This guide is intended to teach you how to play online Bingo. We’re going to cover the rules of Bingo as well as different variants of the game.

How Online Bingo Became a Thing

how to play bingoAs we said, the game does not have British heritage. It was a form of lottery in Italy, known as II Gioco del Lotto d’Italia. Considering the simplicity and high payout of the game, the French decided to play it too!

After many years of that, the game entered the UK. Interestingly, it didn’t take long for Bingo to become an extremely popular activity in the country. Bingo halls started popping up all over Great Britain. Even churches have dedicated halls, mostly for charity purposes.

Now, coming to online Bingo, it’s something no one anticipated even remotely. But when online casinos started to become a thing in the late 1990s, developers thought why not Bingo? If you can play slots, roulette, blackjack, craps, etc. games online, you can play Bingo online too.

Since then, pretty much all major British online casinos have been offering this game as part of their services. Some list them right inside the core game library while others have dedicated pages and online rooms for the players.

Another interesting insight is that the number of female Bingo players is higher than male players. It’s a paradigm that has shifted over many years and not overnight. Then again, the difference in the number of players was never that severe to begin with.

In 2010, 48% of online Bingo players were female. But in recent times, females have taken over the percentage.

A Brief Guide on How to Play Bingo Games

If you want to play Bingo online, the first thing you need to know is what the game is. If you’re an experienced player and have visited plenty of brick-and-mortar parlors in your time, you may skip this step. But we recommend going through with it for consistency.

So, the basic idea behind Bingo gamble is getting 5 “chips” or positions on your Bingo card. These positions must be adjacent horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. The first player to get the 5 chips in a row will win the game.

Now, where do you place the chips? Where do you even get it? And what’s written on the Bingo card? These are all valid questions for a first-time player.

When you enter a Bingo hall, you first need to purchase Bingo cards. These are also known as tickets. They’re your qualifying element to participate in a draw. Typical cards have a 5×5 grid on them, with the term “BINGO” written on top. Each of these letters associate with 1 column on the grid.

So, your game of Bingo starts with you having 25 numbers. Now, another player (if you’re playing privately) or caller (at a Bingo hall) will draw balls from a big pool. Let’s say there are 90 balls in the pool. The balls are shuffled before each draw to make sure the numbers are random.

Once a ball is drawn, the caller looks at the letter and the number printed on it. If it says B6 on the ball, it means you need to place a chip on column “B” and the number 6. Now, if your Bingo card’s B column doesn’t have 6, it means you didn’t get any numbers for this draw.

That’s why playing Bingo often requires purchasing more than 1 card. The more you buy, the higher your chances of hitting drawn numbers go.

Once you get 5 chips in a row, you call out “Bingo”. It means you’ve got what is the minimum requirement to win the game. The main prize in a game, however, is the full house. It’s when all 25 numbers on at least one of your cards are crossed off from the draw.

The “free” square on a Bingo card doesn’t have a number on it. If you’re familiar with wild symbols in slots or jokers in a card game, that’s the same role this square plays. If you have the remaining squares crossed off, you can include the free space to create a winning pattern.

How Does Bingo Work Over the Internet?

play bingoComing to the core topic of our discussion for this guide. How to play online Bingo? Before delving into the meticulous details, let’s go over the brief history of online gaming and gambling.

Back in 1994, a company called Microgaming announced the idea of an online casino. Of course, to experience casino players, Microgaming is a name that needs no introduction. Only 2 years later, we saw the first ever gambling platform that’s based on the internet!

Since then, plenty of software developers like NetEnt, Playtech, Play’n Go, etc. started to form to supply the sheer volume of games needed to make the iGaming industry feasible. As part of the paradigm, providers decided to include Bingo as it has a component of gambling.

Bingo Zone is often considered one of the very first online games, coming out in 1996. Interestingly, it didn’t happen in the UK. It was a US-based website. The layout was very 90s and it didn’t offer any further functionality than playing the game.

Over the year, plenty of other software providers have joined the arsenal to make the itinerary longer and more inclusive. Some of the greatest operators in the UK right now are Tombola Bingo, PlayOJO Bingo, 888 Bingo, Buzz Bingo, and Boomtown Bingo.

The 888 Bingo is actually known as 888 Ladies. Although it sounds a bit sexist, there’s no doubt that females love this game more than males. The reason might be unknown but there’s no way to deny that it’s a fact.

Apart from the mentioned ones, there are plenty of other operators spread across the country. To play online Bingo, you first need to sign up at one of these platforms. After your account is ready, you’ll need to deposit real money to start playing.

You’ll use the money to buy tickets for the game, just like you would’ve done at a Bingo hall. Similar to other casino table games, there are 2 primary variants of the game. The RNG games and the live dealer games.

RNG Bingo

If you’re not aware yet, RNG stands for “Random Number Generator”. It’s currently the backbone of the iGaming industry. It’s essentially an algorithm that creates random strings of numbers constantly. Depending on what game it is, the numbers are then translated into game data.

For Bingo online, the game data are the individual numbers that come up in the draws. So, in a game that’s run by the RNG, you won’t see any human callers calling out the numbers. Rather, you might see an animation on your screen that draws the numbers for you.

And the card you bought should also be there on your screen. Some games will automatically cross off a number when they find a match. For other instances, you’ll need to manually click on them.

Once you get a winning combination, there’s no need to call out “Bingo” loudly. It’s primarily because there’s no one to hear it on the other end.

Live Dealer Bingo

Although less popular, live dealer Bingo sites are very much real. Similar to other live casino games you’re familiar with, there will be a human caller in the game. To make the process more streamlined, most operators create a separate tab that is connected to a lobby. In a lobby, there can be multiple players. Think of the lobby as the online counterpart of a hall room.

You’ll see the caller draw balls from a real machine. It’s simply a cage full of balls. The caller can spin the cage manually to shuffle the balls and at the end, one ball comes out. If you have the number and the letter on your virtual Bingo card, you need to cross them off.

The rest of the Bingo rules are pretty much the same for both variants. Now that you have a very good idea of how the game works on the internet, let’s go over the most important rules of the game so you don’t miss out on a single win.

Most Important Rules of Online Bingo

All games in the world must adhere to a set of rules. Otherwise, it becomes chaotic for the players as well as the organization. The same goes for when you learn how to play Bingo online game. In this section, we’re going to cover the most important rules.

  • You can win by placing plastic markers on four corners of the cards or “daubing” off the numbers on your screen.
  • A horizontal line in one of the rows is a win
  • Two horizontal lines are also a win
  • Different games have different rules for vertical lines
  • Different games have different rules for diagonal lines
  • Daubing off all numbers is a full house and it’s the biggest prize in the game

Traditionally, online Bingo games have far more options than a hall. You can buy multiple tickets with a single click or even schedule buying tickets for future play.

Different Types of Bingo Games You Can Play in the UK

While the game itself is very simple and straightforward, there are many variants that are popular all over the world. Within the UK itself, there are 5 main types of Bingo. There are even online slots that have been re-released with a Bingo twist.

But let’s not go too far from the paradigm right away. In the upcoming sections, we’re going to cover the most common types of Bingo games for you.

90 Ball Bingo

When someone says “Bingo”, this is the game they’re referring to. This is the most commonly found and the most authentic Bingo game to ever live on the earth. As the name suggests, the main pool has 90 numbers, starting from 1 and ending at 90.

All 90 of the balls are put inside the draw machine. Or, for the online variant, the RNG is programmed to draw numbers between 1 and 90. So, there will be 90 calls. Your goal is to get either 1 line, 2 lines, or the full house within these 90 calls.

It’s even better if you can do it within 45 balls. Another important distinction is that there are 27 squares in a 90-ball Bingo game in comparison to 25 squares in other versions. It’s a 3×9 grid.

75 Ball Bingo

Right after 90-ball Bingo, 75-ball is the most common variant. If you haven’t guessed already, there are 75 balls instead of 90. Also, the cards you buy have the usual 5×5 grid when compared to the 3×9 grid.

You’ll also see the term “B I N G O” written on top of each of the columns to associate the numbers with the letters. The center square in this game is always blank, playing the role of a wild square.

Each of the columns for 75 ball Bingo has different ranges for the numbers. Here’s a table to show you exactly how the numbers are chosen from the columns.

B 5 numbers between 1 and 15.
I 5 numbers between 16 and 30.
N 5 numbers between 31 and 45.
G 5 numbers between 46 and 60.
O 5 numbers between 61 and 75.


All over the world, you can win using 30 different patterns on the cards. Even in the UK, different online casinos or dedicated rooms will offer different patterns for you. It’s crucial for you to know which ones you’re eligible for.

You can turn the autoplay feature on for most of the online games so that you don’t have to manually daub the numbers. Overall, this is the most convenient game in our opinion.

80 Ball Bingo

You can think of 80 ball as the UK’s very own creation. It first originated in the country and it’s played across many cities all over. It was initially known as the “shutterboard” Bingo because the caller would shut a window over the number that was called.

In the world of online Bingo, that’s not the case anymore. In fact, it’s very similar to the other 2 variants we’ve already discussed. In the 80-ball game, you get a pool of 80 balls and a set of predetermined patterns that can credit you the wins.

These patterns will vary drastically from casino to casino and even round to round. So, as always, it’s recommended that you read the patterns beforehand.

One of the many reasons behind the recent craze for 80 ball Bingo has a lot to do with its traditional style. The classic electronic boards and screens are not used for online games, but 80-ball seems to have incorporated it into the visuals.

Apart from these characteristics, there are no fundamental differences between this game and the ones we’ve covered previously.

Special Bingo Games

Well, the header for this section pretty much explains it all, doesn’t it? Special Bingo games are simply games that don’t follow the traditional rules. Take the 30-ball game for example. Or, you can consider the slots that are now available in a Bingo format.

Or, vice versa. For example, an Egyptian-themed Bingo is very much possible. In such games, the buttons on the screen are formatted in a way that looks like a slot. You’ll also find additional animation as well as soundtracks in the game.

Instead of the reels and rows, you’ll see Bingo cards. On one portion of the screen, the RNG will run and keep drawing numbers. As we said earlier, you can turn on the autoplay feature to automatically daub the numbers.


Slingo, also known as Sling Bingo is also a special type of game. The term “Slingo” is the marriage of “Slots” and “Bingo”. As you can imagine, the gameplay also has a mix of both. You already know that Bingo is so there’s no point explaining it.

If you’re not familiar with slots, it’s a casino game that has vertical reels that spin. On each reel, there are symbols. Most modern online slots of 5 reels and at least 3 rows or reel positions. It’s the combination of the symbols that generate winning payouts.

Now, Slingo is a hybrid. To be precise, between a 5-reel slot and the 75-ball Bingo. Slingo was initially released as a free play game only. But after the massive boom in its popularity, the developer decided to monetize it.

You can find plenty of Slingo titles in the UK online casinos. Popular slots like Rainbow Riches, Slingo Showdown, Sling XXXtreme, Slingo Deal or No Deal, and plenty of other games. These games have the usual 5×3 grid for the slot and an additional reel at the bottom.

On the reel positions, you get numbers instead of slot symbols. But you can also enjoy features like wilds, scatters, and free spins round in the same game.

Online Bingo vs Physical Bingo (at Halls)

play bingo onlineMost players agree that there shouldn’t be any comparison between an online game and a physical one. It’s because even if it’s the same game, the experiences are completely different.

For physical Bingo halls, you must leave your house, go to the location, buy tickets with cash, get a pen, and listen carefully to the caller. If you’re distracted or if the noise is too much in the room, you may miss out on a surefire call!

When you learn how to play Bingo UK online, you get convenience at your disposal. You don’t need to leave the comfort of your home. You don’t even need any cash on you as long as you have a valid online payment method.

The biggest benefit is that you don’t run the risk of missing out on a call. Also, many online casinos offer numerous bonuses when you sign up. You can also take advantage of ongoing promotions!

However, the human element is completely missing in a Bingo website. Even if you play a live Bingo online game, you can’t directly interact with the caller or ask them questions.

So, it ultimately comes down to what matters to you the most. Comfort? Or, the thrill?

How to Play Online Bingo

We’re nearing the end of our Bingo guide here. But we’re yet to cover a very important aspect yet. How you can start playing the game in the UK. So, here’s what you need to do.

Choose a Bingo Room for Yourself

Even if you’re playing online, you’ll need a room first to participate in the game. It’s not a physical room. Rather, a virtual room where other players like you have gathered. You can choose one from the list we’ve provided on this very page!

Pick and Choose the Number of Tickets

By now, you know about the different variants of the game and how they differ from each other. Based on that, you need to decide how many tickets you want for each of the games. The more you get, the more you can expect to win.

To be safe, if you’re a beginner, we recommend starting with 1 card only. That way, you can understand the different rules of the game without risking too much real money.

Check the Schedule for the Room

Bingo is one of those games that you can’t play alone. So, you’ll need to enter a lobby. And where other people are involved as well, you need to follow a schedule. So, when you ask how do you play Bingo, we’re going to ask you to check the schedule.


Article by Rebecca Aniston
Published on: 05.23.2022/Updated on: 10.18.2022
Rebecca is the senior editor at She uses all her experience in the casino industry to write objective reviews and useful guides.
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