Bingo halls were popping up all over the UK in the 1980s, with brands like Mecca and Gala Bingo dominating the scene. These days, the majority of these purpose-built venues have either downsized or closed, largely due to the advent of online bingo. You can experience the buzz of those bingo hallfs from the comfort of your own home thanks to our handpicked lists of the best online bingo sites.
If you’re new to online bingo rooms, you might need a little guidance. That’s where we come in. Check out our beginner’s guide to find out everything you need to know before getting started.
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Beginner’s Guide to Online Bingo
The most popular games are often those which are the easiest to play. You’ll be glad to know that bingo definitely falls into that category. It is a fun game of chance that just about anyone can play. In its bare form, it’s similar to a lottery. You kick things off by purchasing a ticket which features a grid of numbers. Numbers are called out at regular intervals. Your aim is for all of the numbers features on one of your tickets to be called out. Unlike a lottery which draws a set amount of numbers, bingo continues until a player wins.
There are a few variants of online bingo available but the basic rule set is the same. The most popular game is the classic 90-ball version. In this version, players will receive a bingo ticket with 15 numbers on it, like the one illustrated below:
Each card has 3 rows each containing 5 numbers. There are 9 columns on the card which helps to order the numbers, so the first column features numbers 1 – 9, column two contains numbers 10 -19 and so on. The empty spaces are irrelevant to the game. Numbers will be called at random and if they match those on your ticket, they will be crossed off. Most games payout in 3 stages:
- The first player to cross off all the numbers on 1 line
- The first player to cross off all the numbers on 2 lines
- The first player to cross off all the numbers on 3 lines – this is bingo (or house)
As you are playing against other bingo players, it’s possible that more than one player can win at the same time. When this happens, the prize is divided equally among the winners.
The Different Bingo Game Types
One of the joys of online bingo sites is the dazzling range of immersive bingo rooms on offer – from games packed with colourful emojis to official Deal or No Deal and Britain’s Got Talent tie-ins. In terms of gameplay, they can be broken down into some common categories.
This is the classic way to play bingo, and still the most popular. Each ticket has 15 numbers scattered across three rows of nine squares, and the aim is to be the first player to cover, or “daub”, all the numbers across one row. You can also hit the jackpot by covering two lines or all three — also known as a “full house”.
These bingo games are particularly popular in the US, and feature tickets with five rows and five columns. To win, you’ll need to cover numbers to make predetermined patterns.
Less common than other variations, 80-ball bingo is pretty similar to 75-ball. Each ticket here has a square grid pattern with 16 numbers and colour-coded columns. You can win in various ways – for example, by covering the four numbers in the corners of your ticket, or completing vertical lines.
Progressive Jackpot Bingo
Progressive jackpot bingo rooms offer potentially huge payouts, as the prize pot gets bigger and bigger with every ticket sold. Just bear in mind you’ll only be able to win the progressive jackpot by fulfilling certain conditions such as bagging a full house within a set number of calls.
How to choose the best online bingo site
Bingo websites are like bingo halls – how much you enjoy the experience can boil down to personal taste. You might simply prefer the look and “personality” of one site over another. That being said, our in-house reviewers are here to give their objective recommendations, which means looking out for a series of key elements. These include:
- A large games library, with popular bingo variations like 90-ball, 80-ball and 75-ball, along with slot games
- A buzzing community, with plenty of players regularly attending bingo rooms
- Fast withdrawal methods, so you’re not kept waiting excessively to get your hands on your winnings
- Player-friendly bonuses, with fair wagering requirements, or no wagering at all
- Responsible gambling awareness, providing set deposit limits, reality check alerts, and time outs, as well as a link to BeGambleAware.org
- Active customer support staff who are on hand via email, phone and live chat, ideally right around the clock
- Friendly chat hosts, who engage with players and keep that community spirit going
Bingo Software Providers
If you play at online casinos, you’ll probably know that the games are actually supplied by software developers. The same is true when it comes to bingo sites. Some of the leading bingo developers are:
- Dragonfish, arguably the best-known name in online bingo, powers leading sites like Wink Bingo and 888ladies
- Gamesys, which has decades of experience in the iGaming sector, having established Jackpotjoy way back in 2002
- Playtech, which is famous for its portfolio of casino games, acquired bingo industry heavyweight Virtue Fusion in 2010, now boasting a network branded as the biggest in online bingo
Winning a Bingo Jackpot
While some players play purely for fun, many players are looking to make a tidy profit. So the first question many of you will be asking is ‘how much can I win?’ The jackpot for winners varies largely, and can range between a few pounds up to tens of thousands, depending on the type of game you choose. Progressive bingo games feature the biggest jackpots currently available – you could land a life-changing 7-figures payout! As you can imagine, landing such a huge jackpot isn’t so easy. A progressive jackpot will only payout if a player wins in under a certain number of calls.
Read the Bonus Small Print
There’s no better buzz than getting to shout “Bingo!”, but bagging a great bingo bonus offer runs a close second. At many sites, new players making an initial min deposit will unlock a certain amount in bonus funds which can be spent on bingo tickets. Some bingo sites go beyond a deposit bonus by offering a no wagering bingo bonus, which you’ll be given just for signing up. Before getting swept up in the excitement of potential bonus wins, newbies should read the T&Cs for welcome offers, as the following strings may be attached.
When a bonus comes with wagering requirements, it means you’ll have to bet the bonus amount and/or initial stake a set number of times before you can draw out any bonus winnings. Let’s say you get a £30 bingo bonus which has a 5x wagering requirement. This means you’ll need to spend at least £150 on bingo before you can make a withdrawal. This may also apply to free spins winnings. The good news is that there are some sites out there that don’t require any kind of wagering contribution, so you can withdraw your money straight away.
There may be an expiry date on bonus funds, which you definitely should be aware of when you make that first deposit. You should also check what the deadline for the wagering requirement is.
Max Bonus Limit
There’s usually a cap on how much you can win using bonus funds – keep that in mind before you max it out!
You might only be able to use your bonus on certain games – this is especially likely in the case of no deposit offers. Certain deposit payments may also make you ineligible for bonus offers, so do check the small print before going ahead with payments.
Existing Player Bonuses
The best bingo sites don’t go quiet after handing out welcome offers to new customers. They also lavish their existing members with exciting promotions. New promotions come and go quite regularly — you’ll usually see ‘valid until further notice’ in the terms of conditions of many promotional offers. Let’s take a look at some of the more common examples at the best online bingo sites.
Sometimes known as bingo freerolls, these promos let you play bingo for real money without having to dip into your own pot. Using free bingo tickets is a good way to try out a brand new bingo room for the first time and see if you like the vibe. Read the terms and conditions so you know how these freerolls work, as you’ll often be awarded with bonus credits rather than real money prizes.
Keep your eyes out for cash prize promotions – these will be offered in different ways depending on the site, and you’ll notice that some bingo rooms may be boosted to provide more chances to win.
The best bingo sites offer a wide selection of slots, from classics like Starburst and Rainbow Riches, to the latest blockbuster titles. Free spins are often given to existing members, which means you can enjoy hitting the reels without putting any of your own cash on the line.
You don’t have to splurge to enjoy online bingo. Games with 1p or 2p tickets are widely available, giving you the chance to win big with very little risk.
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Playing Bingo from Your Mobile Phone
Like the thought of playing bingo whenever you want and wherever you are? The good news is virtually all bingo rooms are designed for use on your phone or tablet, so you can just head over on your web browser and log in as normal. Some sites go further by offering their own native app which you can download onto your device. While this will take up some storage space, you do get some great perks. These include a more personalised gaming experience, and push notifications letting you know about the latest promos as they happen.
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Play Bingo for Free
We already mentioned how some UK bingo sites can treat their customers to freeroll games where you can play for prizes without spending your own funds. But you may also be able to play for the pure fun of it, with no payment required and no prizes on offer. This is perfect for newbies who want to get used to bingo gameplay before investing in real money games.
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How to Pay at an Online Bingo Site
From your first deposit onwards, paying into online betting sites is a fuss-free experience, with a low minimum deposit available across almost all methods. Let’s have a look at the key payment methods available to you at our top online bingo sites.
Fast Withdrawal Bingo Sites
There are some bingo sites that are known for offering fast payouts – sometimes even on the same day as your request. Check what T&Cs apply, as your chosen banking method will still matter at these sites.
Now that we’ve taken you through the ins and outs, you’re probably eager to get started. All you need to do is check out our list of top bingo sites, choose your favourite and start playing!
Your Questions Answered
Stick to bingo sites licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, which are the only sites you’ll find on Compare.bet. The licence means the sites utilise random number generators that are rigorously tested, so you can bet safe in the knowledge you won’t be scammed.
Yes, as long as they have the UKGC stamp of approval. This means they have industry-standard encryption in place to safeguard their members’ funds and personal details.
There’s no such thing as a bingo strategy that can guarantee wins, or else we’d all be landing huge jackpots! That said, buying more tickets and choosing bingo rooms with fewer competitors are both great ways to boost your chances.
Your odds of winning depend on how many tickets you have, compared to how many tickets are in play. If, say, there are 100 tickets in play, and five of those are yours, then you have a 5% chance of winning.
Yes. Unlike land-based bingo, you won’t have to manually check off your numbers as they are called out. This is done automatically, allowing you to have multiple games running at the same time.
Yes, plenty of operators provide players with the chance to play for free. It’s a great option for players who want to play for fun or get familiar with the game.
Your game will continue to play as normal. Despite not being able to see the result occuring, your winnings will be automatically added to your account if successful. While this is the case in most instances, we’d recommend reading your chosen bingo site’s terms and conditions before playing.
There’s no such thing as a bingo strategy that can guarantee wins, or else we’d all be landing huge jackpots. Instead, there are a few top tips that can improve your chances of winning. Buying more tickets and choosing bingo rooms with fewer competitors are both great ways to boost your chances.
Yes. All of the sites featured on Compare.bet are mobile-friendly and can be accessed on just about any web-enabled device. There are even a number of operators that have mobile apps available for download on a multitude of apps including those of iPad, iPhone and Android. .
The best way to guarantee a fair game of bingo is to play at a licensed online bingo site. All of the gambling operators featured on our site hold a license with a reputable governing body such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Licensed sites use Random Number Generators (RNG) to determine the outcome of games. These RNGs are put through frequent and rigorous tests to ensure they’re up to scratch.
Yes. A few top online bingo sites now offer no deposit bonuses to stand out from the crowd and attract new customers. While these bonuses usually don’t hit the heights of those huge matched first deposits, it’s still a great way to get familiar with online bingo without risking your hard-earned cash. Regular deposit bonuses are still the norm in for most bingo sites, however.