There are strategies that can be used in online bingo and players report some success with them but it’s important to remember that no part of the game can be predicted and therefore no strategy will work predictably either.
In this guide, we talk our readers through some tips, techniques and strategies that can help players choose how best to play bingo, online and in traditional venues.
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Playing multiple cards or tickets is possibly the most popular bingo strategy. The more cards you have in play, the higher the chances of one of them carrying a winning pattern. Having multiple cards means that you can spread out the range of numbers you have bet on further than if you had fewer cards.
It’s important to keep the cost of the cards and the potential prize in mind. Spending a lot on tickets just to be able to win a very small amount of money at the end does not make much sense so use your judgement to identify this tipping point.
In a bingo game, every other player is your competition. They are vying for those all-important winning patterns and the subsequent prize money. A good way to shift the odds in your favour is to play games with fewer players in them.
After work hours on weekdays and at most times on the weekends, you will notice that bingo rooms get extremely busy. Avoid these periods and play at different times. Odd hours like early mornings or even mid-afternoon, while most players are likely to be busy with other things, are good opportunities to get in on quiet games.
We have all heard of the one line and full house winning patterns but do you know what a castle pattern looks like? What about a Christmas tree? Some bingo games reward for unusual patterns, which can be seasonal or specific to the operator or simply a novelty pattern.
Familiarise yourself with these patterns to give yourself the edge. Most bingo players, particularly inexperienced ones, will stick to the familiar patterns and can miss more exotic ones, giving you the chance to create that pattern and claim the win yourself.
This strategy was developed by Joseph E. Granville, a financial writer. It is primarily based on 75-ball bingo and works on the premise that balls drawn at random have an equal chance of appearing.
Granville suggested that the way to increase the probability of a win is to choose tickets with numbers that are as different to one another as possible, including an equal spread of evens, odds, highs and lows. The tricky bit comes when Granville recommends choosing numbers ending with a broad range of digits. For example, a player who chose the number 14 should avoid other numbers ending in 4, so 24, 34, 44, etc would be avoided.
This strategy makes sense because every time a ball is chosen, it changes the probability of its opposite being drawn. Let’s say the number 30, an even number, was drawn. That means that on the next draw, an odd number is slightly more likely to be drawn, simply because there are now fewer even numbers in the cage.
While it does appear logical, the Granville strategy doesn’t help players actually choose their tickets. There are simply far too many possibilities to account for and the strategy is not specific enough to result in accurate predictions over time. It’s still a useful strategy but it does have its limitations.
English statistician L. H. C. Tippett developed this simple strategy to improve the chances of a bingo win. He based his theory on a 90-ball game but it applies to any type.
Tippett postulated that during a 90-ball game, the probability that the numbers will be closer to the median (38) increases as more numbers are called. When fewer numbers have been called, the next calls will be more likely to be closer to the extremes of the range i.e. 1 on the lowest end and 90 on the highest.
Players can make an educated guess as to how long or short a game is likely to be and choose their tickets accordingly. Line games, for instance, are usually quick so the numbers between 1 and 75 are more likely to be drawn. Games with more complex patterns are likely to take longer as players need more numbers to form those patterns, so numbers that are closer to the median would be a better choice.
When playing bingo, there are a few things players can do to improve their chances. These include choosing quieter, less busy games, understanding the winning patterns that form a win and employing a strategy when choosing their tickets to utilise the more technical, statistical element of the game.
Like in any gambling activity, no outcome is guaranteed otherwise no one would bother playing. So while strategy and smart play can help you get far, it is important to remember that no win is ever a foregone conclusion.
Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about bingo strategies below.
Are there any bingo strategies that work?
No strategy will guarantee a win, in any game, but there are guidelines that can help players choose their tickets and improve their chances by understanding odds and probability.
Can I improve my playing skill at bingo?
Of course, you can! Practice makes perfect and this is true in bingo as well. Try some free bingo games to get the hang of the rules and to test out card strategies so you can figure out what works best for you.
When is the best time to play online bingo?
Busy periods in bingo rooms tend to be during the weekends and evenings on weekdays so you will have more competition if you play at these times. Try to choose off-peak hours like mornings and afternoons to avoid playing against many opponents.
Should I start with fewer cards?
If you are still new to bingo, it might be wise to stick to playing one or two cards at once. This means you won’t spend a lot on tickets when you might not be able to handle all of them at once. As you become more confident in your skills, you should consider increasing the number of cards in play to maximise your chances of winning.
Does it help to play multiple cards?
In some cases, yes. Having many cards while your opponents are likely to have only a few will tilt the odds in your favour. However, keep in mind that at some point, the cost of tickets can outweigh the size of the cash prize.
Does more experience give me an edge?
Yes and no. If you are more familiar with the rules, winning patterns and possible strategies, you will have the edge over inexperienced or casual players. However, bingo is based on luck, so anyone can get the winning numbers.
Do certain patterns improve my chances?
There is no clear answer to this. While a one-line win might be easier to hit, it will also be easier to hit for your opponents who can get there first. Full house or more complex patterns can be a challenge but because most players might find them too difficult, you can be the only player vying for that prize.
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