Bingo was once a favourite pastime in the UK, with bingo halls regularly filled to the rafters on a Saturday night. It was a game that appealed to the whole family because of its simple rules and fast play.
But by the mid-2000s, it had fallen completely out of favour with the younger generations. Images in popular culture depicted it as a game for pensioners, played in shabby halls with little excitement.
So, how did the industry turn it around? The answer is by embracing the internet and riding the wave of online gambling. Bingo is now one of the most popular online activities amongst people aged 25-54 and there are roughly 3.5 million registered online bingo players in the UK.
With increasing demand for games, it’s no wonder that online bingo sites began popping up all over the place. Today there are hundreds of dedicated online bingo sites operating. Players can play in their web browser or by downloading the site’s companion app, making it easy to play games on the move.
But with so many different bingo sites to choose from, differentiating between them all becomes hard. So, the bingo site operators have to work hard to make themselves stand out from the crowd. There are a number of different ways to do this:
- Unique branding with memorable characters, adverts, and taglines.
- Attractive sign-up offers and loyalty schemes.
- Wide variety of bingo games on offer.
- Payment options including cryptocurrencies and online wallets.
Which Bingo Game is Best for You?
In order to maximise the number of games available for people to play, online bingo providers like 888ladies started to offer different variations on the standard bingo game. While the main idea remains the same – numbers are announced at random and you need to match them to your card to win – changing the number of balls or the winning pattern really shakes things up.
90 Ball Bingo
This is the traditional version of bingo played in the UK and uses balls numbered from 1-90. This version has a bingo card with 15 numbers for you to match, divided into three rows of five. There are many different chances to win; be the first to fill a row, or two rows, or the whole card for different bingo prizes.
75 Ball Bingo
This variant is more common in the US and Canada and only uses balls numbered from 1-75. The balls are divided into five groups, one for each letter in the word bingo, and this how they are arranged on a 5×5 card – with one column dedicated to each letter’s numbers. The middle space in the card is always a free space, so players only have 24 numbers, and they don’t have to match them all.
75 Ball Bingo games are won by matching numbers in a given pattern on your card. Popular patterns include the outside edge, a square in each corner, and even letters like E and L. As these patterns can change with every game, it adds an extra element of excitement and frustration – especially when you get to cross off numbers, but they aren’t in winning places!
80 Ball Bingo
Similar to 75 Ball Bingo in that you need to fill a pattern to win, but this time your card is smaller, despite there being extra balls in the pot. 80 Ball Bingo cards have 16 numbers on them arranged in four rows of four. The fun here comes from the variety of different patterns available and how every game is slightly different.
30 Ball Bingo
This is speed bingo at its finest! Every player gets a 3×3 card with nine numbers on and you have to complete the entire card in order to win. Because there are only 30 balls these games are much faster, perfect for players who are filling time on a commute or lunch break, or who want to play multiple games.
This fun new spin on bingo throws out the balls in favour of disco songs and retro catch phrases. Players have a 5×5 bingo card, the same as in 90 Ball Bingo, but instead of it having 25 numbers, each square instead has a short disco reference. It could be the name of a song, a band, or a word like ‘groovy’, ‘party’, or ‘fun’.
Players tune into the Disco Bingo stream and listen out for their songs to be played. If you hear a famous disco track like Dancing Queen, Staying Alive, or I Will Survive, you can cross the artist or track name off your card. Don’t worry if you miss one though, because the online bingo software will automatically dab the square for you – all you have to do is enjoy the music.
83% of online bingo players say that the main reason they play is to have fun, proving that modern online bingo has completely revamped the game, turning bingo from drab to fab. There are lots of different versions of bingo games available online, so you can choose one that suits your needs. Whether a long game, a traditional game, or a fun and funky disco bingo game, there’s something to appeal to everyone.