Now, just by reading the first word of this piece, we have likely taken you back to some memory of playing a game adored by children and seniors for centuries. Maybe it brought you right back to playing with cards in your backyard with your grandparents, covering squares with peanuts. For some, it brings the clear picture of the game card, and that Free square right in the middle. Even more of you are probably thinking of one night when you snuck some drinks into a smoky bingo hall and pissed off some regulars when you won the big prize. Whatever chord that word has struck with you, it is safe to say that the game of Bingo has been woven into the tapestry of our lives.
But did you know how enormous the bingo industry has become? Or how many players play the game for real money? That’s what this page is hoping to help with. What you will find here is a detailed look at the game of real money Bingo, from its roots right to the online versions of the game played today. Yes, the game is really one of the simplest to learn and to play, but when you drill down into the story of the game, you may be surprised by what you learn. Who knows, you may even get the itch to play a few games, and if so we can recommend some great places to play bingo online for real money.
Like many of the games we currently love to play in North America, the history of Bingo can be traced back to Europe and many centuries ago. Most historians will point to Italy as the birthplace of what is now known as modern Bingo. There. In the 1500s, a lottery game called Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia was invented and became a favorite pastime for the citizens of that country. In fact, you can still find the original game played on weekends across Italy.
After finding success in Italy, the game started to spread around Europe, first to France in the 1770s. It is here where the modifications to the game that made it most resemble our game of Bingo took place. The name of the game was still lottery based – in fact it was just called “Le Lotto,” and it quickly became a game frequently played for real money by the French Elite. From France, this version of the game spread across other countries, but it found a real match when it was introduced to the British market. The idea of playing a simple game of chance for big jackpots was attractive to a culture already ripe with gambling, and “Le Lotto” was now a fixture across the English countryside.
It wasn’t until the game came across the Atlantic that it was given its iconic name. First introduced into the carnival scene in Georgia in the 1920’s, the game was played on cards and called numbers were covered by dried beans. When a winner was declared, the sound of “Beano!” was heard across the carnival grounds. There are some urban legends as to how the name went from Beano to Bingo, but very quickly a set of cards and balls were mass produced for home use, and the game grew from there.
When it was realized that the game could be played for real money and used as a lottery-style fundraising tool, the prominence of bingo halls grew. Now, all across the U.S. (and other countries), you could find a bingo game in church gymnasiums, Legion halls and then finally into bingo-specific facilities. The game continued to grow, and the social aspect of it made especially fun for seniors as a way to get out of their homes and interact with one another.
As a result of the boom of Bingo amongst seniors, the game gained a stigma as being only for “blue-hairs.” On top of that, bingo halls became filled with rank air and cigarette smoke (I know, right?). Somehow, the game needed to be marketed to a younger demographic, and the advent of the Internet was the catalyst the industry needed.
The first Bingo game online for real money launched in 1996. Cyberbingo was definitely ahead of its time, but they paved the way for the public to understand that they no longer had to leave their houses to feel the same rush as inside the halls themselves. These internet bingo sites made for much larger pools of players, resulting in significant real money prizes available to be won. This drove the popularity of the game to new heights and to this day real money online bingo continues to grow on an annual basis.
We’ll dive deeper into Internet Real Money Bingo a little later on, but now that you have an understanding of the history of the game, we can focus on the different variants.
We know what you are thinking when you read that header. “Are they kidding me right now? Any moron can play Bingo.” While the game is simple enough, there are loads of different styles of games that have been developed, all of which we will cover in this section. Also, we are aware that some people actually haven’t played the game before, so let’s start right from the beginning.
Real money Bingo is a game that is played on a card or series of cards. These cards have had random numbers printed on it, usually in a square or rectangle pattern. As a player, you pay money to purchase a card. In fact, depending on where you are playing, you can buy multiple cards for each individual game, increasing your chances of being a winner.
Once the cards have been purchased, players await the start of the game. The prizing of the game is announced, and the winning pattern is also made known (more on that later.) A game administrator, known as a Bingo Caller, begins to select numbers at random, either from a cage full of individual balls or by a random number generator. When a ball is selected, the Bingo caller lets the players know what that number is, and should you have that number on your card, you mark it (referred to as “dabbing” or “daubing”). Once a player has dabbed all the numbers necessary to complete the pattern, they announce “BINGO.” The game is paused at that time until the card can be verified, and if the pattern is confirmed, then that player is the winner.
Games can be set to have only one winner, but to make the games last longer (and therefore extend the period of enjoyment for the players) several different winners can be created from one game. In that case, players simply continue to play with their used boards until all winning patterns have been claimed. Once that happens, used cards are no longer valid, and cards are sold for the next game.
As we mentioned, there are several different variants of Bingo available for play for Real Money. Some of these games are more popular in different countries, but with the continued growth of online real money bingo, you are able to find most of these games online quite easily. In fact, we have reviewed all the best online real money bingo sites and will provide some recommendations for you at the end of this page.
75 Ball Bingo is the game that most people recognize today as Bingo. 75 Ball Bingo is played on a square card with 25 spaces set out in a 5×5 grid. 24 of these spaces are filled with numbers, with the center square being a FREE square for all players to have without needing to have a number called.
The top of each column of numbers has a letter which spells out the word B-I-N-G-O – smart, right? IN 75 Ball Bingo, the 75 numbers are divided among those 5 columns in the following order:
B – 1 to 15
I – 16 to 30
N – 31 to 45
G – 46 to 60
O – 61 to 75
When the game is being played, a Bingo Caller will announce the number and the corresponding letter. This makes it much easier for people to follow along and find the number, especially if they are playing multiple cards simultaneously. For example, you may hear “Under the N, 34” as a typical 75 Ball Bingo call.
The winner of a game of 75 Ball Bingo is determined by what pattern or patterns are being played in the game. Several different games can be made with the same 5×5 grid. Here are the most common:
Really, the only limit of what pattern to use is the number of squares on the card. When playing online real money Bingo, you will find more creative patterns are used than the ones typically found in a live bingo game.
90 Ball Bingo is a very popular version of real money bingo, but not in North America. The game is mostly played in the UK, some parts of Europe, and New Zealand and Australia. The game follows the same gameplay as a traditional 75 Ball Bingo game, but as you can imagine, with 90 Balls there are some different rules. Let’s review the game, shall we?
Similar to 75 Ball Bingo, when you are playing for real money you need to buy cards. These cards are a different shape (as you can see in the picture above). The most noticeable difference is that the grid on a 90 Ball Bingo game is 27 spaces, in a 3×9 pattern. The 90 numbers are split into 9 groups which correspond to the 9 columns on the card. Another difference is that each row of numbers only includes 5 numbers and 4 empty spaces. Cards are usually sold in strips of 6, and these 6 cards will include all 90 numbers in the game, so you are guaranteed to have all the numbers on your cards when the game starts.
When a 90 Ball Bingo Game starts, the rules are much simpler. There are only three games played per round, and there is only one way the games can be won. As we mentioned, there are three rows of numbers on each card. The first game is completed when someone covers all their numbers in the top row. The next two games then continue for the second and third rows, and when that third-row game is complete, it’s time to buy new cards and play a new game.
80 Ball Bingo is a new variant of the game that is very similar to 75 Ball Bingo in many ways. The game was designed specifically to be played online, as the speed of the game makes it better for both players and operators.
The 80 Ball Bingo card looks very similar to the 75 Ball card as it is also a square. However, the grid for this game is only 4×4. The 80 numbers are split into 4 groups, and from there the game is essentially the same as 75 Ball Bingo. With fewer squares needed to make the game patterns, 80 Ball Bingo games usually end more quickly than the traditional 75 Ball games, however with the extra 5 numbers in play, there is an added element of probability.
30 Ball Bingo is another real money version of Bingo that was developed by folks who run online real money Bingo sites. This game is a scaled down version of 75 Ball Bingo, and is often referred to as “Speed Bingo.”
30 Ball Bingo, as you can imagine, is played with 30 balls and is played on a board that features a 3×3 grid of numbers. There isn’t much more to the game – it is played the same way as its 75 Ball cousin, usually requiring a full card of 9 numbers to declare a winner. AS we mentioned, the game is very fast, and as a result, players can play many games of 30 Ball Bingo for real money an hour, which is music to the ears of an operator.
We have referred to the online version of Bingo throughout this page, and with good reason; the Bingo industry would be dying if it weren’t for the growth of the game on the Internet. Since the launch of Cyberbingo in 1996, hundreds of sites have come along offering all the different real money Bingo games you could imagine, and these days huge games are running around the clock. We are going to review some of the reasons online real money bingo became so successful as well as some things you should look for if you are thinking of playing yourself.
The most noticeable difference between playing Bingo for real money online versus playing live in a bingo hall is the speed of the game. An online game doesn’t require someone coming along to sell you tickets, nor does it need a Bingo Caller slowing the game down to ensure everyone has checked their cards after each ball is selected. As a result, games are much faster which is ideal for you as a player as it means you could be a winner in a shorter period of time, or if you don’t win then another game will start only moments after the conclusion of the game you were playing. Don’t be fooled though, that speed also works to the advantage of the house, as they are able to have more games played per hour, giving them more profit in the long run. A real win-win situation for both sides in our opinion.
Along with a faster game, online real money bingo is infinitely more convenient to play. You can play Bingo for real money without even getting out of bed or putting on clothes (although we do recommend you stay inside your house if the latter is true). No need to get in your car and make your way to the bingo hall or casino, get money from the ATM, and sit in uncomfortable chairs for hours at a time. With online bingo, the games come to you. This combined with the speed of each game means that players can get their games in by playing for as little as a few minutes at a time, which means even the busiest person can get their fix.
Another very convenient option in online real money Bingo is the Autodab feature available at online Bingo sites. This feature, when turned on, lets the computer find all the numbers called and they play the game for you. Now, you may think that this takes away from the fun of the game, and for some it does. However, when you are playing online, you can be playing hundreds of cards at a time, which would make it virtually impossible to follow along fast enough to stay in time with numbers being drawn. In cases like this, having the Autodab button turned on is almost a necessity. In some extreme situations we have seen, some players simply set the number of games, cards, and dollars they want to spend on games, set the Autodab on and walk away from the computer, only to come back to see how much they have won or lost after the games have ended.
One of the biggest complaints about online Bingo, when it was introduced, was how cold and impersonal the game felt compared to playing in a live environment. Many people played the game for that social experience, and now playing while staring at a cold computer screen didn’t make the game nearly as enjoyable, especially when playing for real money.
Online Bingo sites grew wise to this continuing problem and found a solution, creating a chat box inside the game where players could talk to one another while the game was being played on the screen. Think of these chat boxes as the earliest forms of social media, bringing together strangers from around the world into one central location. Soon after that, sites introduced “hosts” into the chat rooms, not only to keep conversations going, but also to run fun contests right in the chat box itself. This changed the game completely, creating a very social atmosphere for those who found themselves sitting at home playing real money Bingo for hours. Nowadays, the popularity of an online bingo site can be partially traced to the quality of their chat rooms.
Here’s the thing about critical mass when it comes to online real money Bingo: once you have a significant number of players, you can create massive prize pools. For small buy-in amounts, you could have access to games featuring thousands of players and hundreds of thousands of cards, resulting in a first prize that is astronomical compared to the amount you paid.
Also, an online real money Bingo site can use critical mass to create an enormous progressive jackpot that rivals those associated with the big online slot machines found at real money casinos. A progressive jackpot in Bingo is created when a small piece of every card sold is placed into a separate jackpot, usually triggered by reaching a game outcome in a particular number of balls or less. For example, in a one line game, there could be a jackpot triggered by someone getting Bingo in 8 balls or less. Of course, this is tough to achieve, meaning it will take many cards and games played to find a winner. As a result, the jackpot will continue to grow, and just like a huge lottery jackpot, it becomes a way to attract players to the game.
There are hundreds of sites that want to take your real money in exchange for Bingo excitement. To differentiate one site from another, competitive signup offers and bonuses are promoted to draw your attention. We have dedicated an entire page to different types of real money Bingo bonuses, but make sure to take advantage of all the offers available to you as that can be the difference between being a winning and losing player in the long run.
Bonuses aside, there are lots of other things to look for when selecting a site to play real money online Bingo. Some sites have different themes that may be attractive to you, while others may have a series of promotions that you like. At Legit Casinos Online, we take pride in reviewing every site we can find to be able to bring you only the best gaming experience. With that in mind, here are our Top 5 online Real Money Bingo Site recommendations.