Online bingo is now bigger than ever in the UK, with thousands of new players joining top UK online bingo sites every day. There are far more options to choose from for UK bingo enthusiasts, offering great bonuses and other incentives, lucrative online bingo tournaments, easy payment options, world class bingo gaming on mobile, and much more. With so many more quality online bingo sites to choose from in the UK, we put together the complete online bingo guide for newbies, showing you all you need to know to get into the best UK online bingo in 2018.
How Online Bingo Works
Online bingo works in exactly the same way as traditional bingo, played in church halls and bingo halls all over the UK. The only real difference is that you will find far more varieties of bingo games online, as well as quicker loading times, hot bingo bonus offers, a safe and secure playing environment, and a more convenient gaming experience overall. Bingo has the added advantage of being one of the easiest gambling games to learn to play, with most first timers only needing a few minutes to get the hang of the game. Let’s take a look at how online bingo works, including the basic rules of the game as well as the most common forms and varieties.
Basic Rules of Bingo
As previously mentioned, bingo is one of the easiest and fastest games to learn to play. The rules are very basic and easy to understand, which is one of the reasons why this classic game remains so poplar today.
- Simply choose one game that you would like to start with from the available selection
- You will then receive a card (the virtual version of receiving a bingo card in a bingo hall)
- The card contains a grid of numbers, with each row beginning with a letter, spelling out B-I-N-G-O
- Once the game starts, the caller (person that calls out each number) selects each number at random. With online bingo this is done with a special software program that contains a random number generator, keeping the game fair and random at all times
- You then have to check your bingo card to see if you have the number that is being called out. Most online bingo games also offer an ‘auto daub’ feature which tracks and marks every number for you
- Once you have all the number marked, which will depend on the actual type of bingo you’re playing, you will be able to claim the relevant prize. Winning results can include a single line, multiple lines or the entire grid, which is also known in bingo circles as a full house
- Whoever gets a complete result first wins and the game is automatically concluded, this is also known as the first past the post rule
Bingo Game Styles and Types
Believe it or not, the game of bingo actually contains quite a lot of variations which helps to keep the game fun and interesting. However, it is important to keep in mind that, while the basic rules and gameplay of bingo remain the same, every variant or style of bingo game will also include a few subtle rule changes. This means that it is important to check which game you are playing at the beginning, ensuring that you understand that particular variants rules properly.
Out of all the many online bingo variants available, most will fit into one of the following categories:
- 30 ball bingo
- 75 ball bingo – Popular in the US and Canada
- 80 ball bingo – Known as the ‘compromise bingo game’ combining 75 and 90 ball bingo
- 90 ball bingo – Popular in Europe and the UK
The numbers in each of these versions refers to how many numbered squares are available in each game type. This includes straight line games as well as other patterned games, where players are required to create a predetermined pattern on their cards in order to win.
These can include simple ones such as straight lines that go down or up, right or left, or diagonally across the bingo card. Other more interesting shapes can include squares, triangles, crosses (x or +) and many others.
These are similar tostraight line and pattern games except that, now you will need to complete a letter pattern or shape based on the alphabet to win.
In this version, you will need to fill in the entire grid on the card in order to win, which is known as a blackout or also as a coverall. These are often found in bingo tournaments and are preferred by serious bingo players that enjoy a longer lasting game.
Every game of bingo that you play online will end in one player winning the prize, which is most often referred to as a jackpot. Whilst just about every game of online bingo will feature some sort of a jackpot prize, not all the jackpots are the same. In UK online bingo, there are three main types of jackpots that you can expect to win, which include:
This means that the amount that you can win at the end of the bingo game is fixed and will always be that amount, regardless of the number of players buying the bingo card for that particular game.
Progressive jackpots are so named for the fact that their total keeps increasing the more people buy cards to play that game. Progressive jackpots can be very exciting as popular games often run up very high jackpot totals. Once the game is won the progressive jackpot total will reset and start building up again.
Applies to bingo progressive jackpot games except that, instead of just one person winning the progressive jackpot, the jackpot total is split up between several players.
What You Need to Get Started
Getting started in online bingo is very easy and you will be able to play online bingo games for free or for real money within a few minutes. The first step towards playing the best online bingo games in the UK is to pick your online UK bingo site. Simply browse through our extensive selection of tested and curated bingo sites for UK players. We’ve included in-depth reviews with each listing, allowing you to find out everything you need about each site.
Read up on those things that matter to you, including bonus and promotional information, convenient payment options, safety and security, support, mobile bingo options, and much more. Alternatively, simply click on our safe and secure links to navigate directly to your chosen recommended UK online bingo site.
Signing Up for the First Time
Signing up is as simple as clicking on the sign up or join now button. Once on the sign-up page, simply fill in your required details which includes your username and password, email address, mobile number, and one or two other details. Once your account has been confirmed, you will also be able to fine tune certain user settings within your account. This can be a great way to manage certain key aspects which can drastically improve your overall online bingo experience.
You can personalise your account by choosing an alias as well as an avatar (on most UK bingo sites), review your password and overall account protection and even set up parental controls, very helpful when playing on a mobile device that you let your kids use too.
A very useful feature is the self-limiting feature which allows you to control how much you can deposit each week or each month. This is a great way to control your gambling or gaming habits to ensure that you always have a positive experience when playing online bingo.
Get to Know Your Bingo Site
Moving on from your account setting and set up, exploring your new bingo home will help you to get familiar with how they operate, what sort of games are on offer on a daily basis and other useful features. Our top UK online bingo sites feature easy to follow tabs, making it a breeze to navigate to certain key sections such as payment options, games and tournaments.
One of the most important areas that you need to familiarise yourself with when exploring your new bingo site is their daily or weekly bingo schedule. Top UK bingo sites will usually run a full bingo schedule, with new games starting every few minutes. You will be able to easily see which games are scheduled to start within the next few minutes, along with the type of prize or jackpot on offer, cost of entry and a few other details.
Other important areas worth exploring include the sites lobby, where you will find other areas including their banking (payment options), terms and conditions, bingo game rules, support and so on. The bingo rooms are where the real action takes place and this is where you will find currently available bingo games. Once you’ve clicked on the game you feel like playing, you will be allowed into the bingo room for that particular game. Bingo rooms include cool features like interactive chat rooms and more.
Choosing Your Bingo Online Payment Option
Our top UK online bingo sites feature plenty of great, convenient online payment options. You can usually choose from a variety of options including:
- Visa credit card
- Visa debit card
- MasterCard credit card
- Maestro (MasterCard debit)
- e-Wallets (PayPal, Neteller, Skrill)
- Prepaid cards (EcoCard, PaySafeCard)
- Pay by mobile phone bill (boku)
Pay by mobile phone bill is becoming enormously popular in the UK as it allows you to instantly deposit funds into your bingo account (via your mobile bingo site). The only drawback to using pay by mobile is that it usually limits you to around £30 per day or per deposit.Generally speaking, e-wallets will allow instant deposits and very fast payouts of your winnings, usually in under 24 hours. You can also make use of prepaid cards, which offer the added advantage of near-anonymity since you do not need to add your banking details to your online bingo account. In fact, you don’t even need to have a bank account in order to use facilities like PaySafeCard.
Taking Advantage of Bingo Sign Up Offers
The best UK online bingo sites offer great opportunities to increase your starting bankroll with some free money. This is obviously ideal if you plan on playing bingo games online for real money, although you can still play plenty of online bingo games for fun too. Most online bingo bonus offers work off your initial deposit, encouraging players to make a real money deposit early on in order to take advantage of the special offer.
Generally speaking, most bonus offers will either offer a percentage match based on your deposit amount, or will give you free money, £5, £10, or even more. All you have to do is deposit the minimum required amount, which can be as low as £5 and up to around £20. Once you have made your deposit (using one of the payment options described earlier), your bonus amount will be added to your player account.
It is also important at this stage to take note of the attached terms and conditions associated with every bonus offer. These will include wagering requirements, which are basically a certain number of times you are expected to wager your bonus amount. Always ensure that you have met your required wagering so that you will be able to safely draw your winnings from your account.