What is Bingo?
It is a game of chance that originated in Italy in the early 16th century. By the 18th century, it had spread throughout Europe and became especially popular in the United Kingdom and France. The game of bingo as we know it in the modern era was popularized by Hugh Ward in the 1920s, and Erwin Lowe patented the bingo card we use today in 1942.
In the UK, we used to exclusively play ’90 ball bingo’ which is very different to the American ’75 ball’ version. Players receive a ticket with 15 numbers. A ticket has 27 spaces (3 rows of 9 columns) with 5 numbers on each row. You can purchase tickets in strips of six to guarantee that you will mark off a number each time a ball is drawn.
In traditional bingo, a ‘caller’ announces each number as it is drawn randomly. There are several ways to win:
- Four Corners: When you cover the number on all four corners of your ticket.
- One Line: When you cover one line of 5 numbers.
- Two Lines: If you cover two lines of 5 numbers on any ticket.
- Full House: This is the most coveted win because it offers the biggest prize. It means you have covered all 15 numbers on a ticket.
Players typically mark off the numbers as they appear on their tickets although it is done automatically for you online.
Who Are We & Why We Bring You the Best Deals?
Bingo.co.uk is a review site, and we aim to inform readers about the different online bingo games available and offer tips and advice. However, the main goal of our expert team is to find the top UK sites of 2017 to ensure you receive the best deals and enjoy the entire bingo experience.
We provide unbiased reviews of dozens of prominent online bingo websites to help determine the best option for you. Here are some of the criteria we use when reviewing these companies:
- The size of the bonuses and promotions and whether they offer value for money.
- The different payment options accepted by the site.
- Whether or not it is a reputable company.
- The payout percentages of every game on every site.
- Mobile bingo apps so you can play on the move.
- Whether the site is safe and secured.
- the variety of game types on offer.
- The website’s aesthetics because a gaming experience is ruined by cheap graphics.
- The level of community interaction because half the fun is chatting with other players.
To help you decide the best site, we rank each website accordingly and have a constantly updated Top 10. Finally, we provide informative articles including details on how to win at bingo, clever strategies and ways to make friends as you play.
Online Bingo in the UK
Online bingo in the United Kingdom is a modern day phenomenon and has led to the demise of the traditional bingo hall. In 2005, there were almost 600 halls in Britain; this had fallen to under 400 in 2014, and there have been further closures since. While issues such as the smoking ban and high taxes have hindered the future of halls, it is the incredible rise of online bingo that is the biggest reason for the death of community hall bingo.
In 2008, approximately 50,000 people played online bingo in the UK. As at 2017, this figure is well over 3 million! Contrary to the stereotypical image of bingo as the game for the elderly, the majority of online players are under the age of 50 with an enormous amount of twentysomethings.
The reasons for online bingo’s popularity are manifold. There is no real learning curve; you can set up an account in minutes and play anytime you want. You can keep stakes to a minimum and play for fun or up the ante and go for big prizes. Sites such as Tombola pay out £7 million in prize money weekly, and it is possible to win thousands of pounds in a single game!
How to get started?
Our goal is to help you find the best online bingo sites in the UK in 2017 so all you need to do is check out our page to find reviews of highly rated websites.
Unlike traditional bingo, the online equivalent allows you to try a wide range of variations along with the classic 90 Ball game. These extra options include:
- 80 Ball: Involves a ticket with 16 numbers that appear in 4 rows and 4 columns. A strip has 5 tickets, and you can win in many of the same ways as in 90 Ball bingo, but you can also win by marking the 4 numbers in the middle.
- 75 Ball: This is an American version, and each ticket has 25 numbers consisting of 5 rows and 5 columns. The middle square is a star and is ‘free’ while there are 24 numbers on the ticket. A strip is a group of 3 tickets.
- 50 Ball: This is a relatively new addition, and each ticket has just 10 numbers consisting of two lines of 5 numbers. The only ways to win are to fill one line or a full house.
- Bingo Roulette: This is a fusion of bingo and roulette. Just pick your numbers, place your bets and spin the wheel.
- Cinco: You only find this game on a few select websites. It is a type of bingo game that uses cards rather than balls. The goal is to match your 5 cards with the dealers. The first person to do so wins.
Although these variations are exciting, we suggest that you learn more about each game before spending any money as they have different sets of rules.
Our expert team scours the web to find you the best online bingo promotions. Here are a few to watch out for:
- Deposit Bonus: Bingo websites provide you with a free bonus when you deposit a specific amount of money. For example, you might receive £50 free when you deposit your first £10, but you can’t withdraw this bonus until you spend a certain amount.
- Free Spins: This bonus usually applies to Bingo Slots. As you’ve probably guessed, you receive a set amount of free spins on an online slot machine. In most cases, you receive the spins as an in-play reward although some sites offer them as part of its starter pack when you register.
- No Deposit Bonus: Again, this is fairly self-explanatory; you receive a bonus from a website without having to make a deposit. These bonuses are usually given to loyal players, and you may have to ‘play through’ them a number of times before being allowed to withdraw. For example, you could receive a £50 bonus but are unable to withdraw until you have spent £200.
The intense level of competition means online bingo sites have to offer something special to keep players away from rival companies.
Online bingo is a game that takes a minute to learn and offers a lifetime of enjoyment so play now and join the fun. At Bingo.co.uk, we will continue to provide you with up to date information on new offers along with guides on the rules of different bingo variations.
One final note: Please play responsibly and don’t spend more than you can afford!
Make Friends; Have Fun & Grab a Full House With Online Bingo!