What important parameters should I check in online Bingo sites before playing?
Before signing up to a bingo provider there are some things that need taking into consideration. After all, we are talking about a place that you give your bank details to and expect money from eventually (all being well).
Firstly, you need to ensure that it is a reputable company. This means a track record of successful payments, both in and out, adequate security for transactions and customers that are happy. You can get this information mostly from googling the game you are looking at. You will find a plethora of reviews for any of the well-used ones online from real customers with real experiences.
A tip here when evaluating reviews – and this goes for most things not just your bingo site – is that you need to view the overall consensus rather than focus on individuals. The nature of the internet means that everything that goes even slightly wrong is a) never the person's fault and b) the worst thing to happen in the world, ever. So if you see 20 or so reviews of a great game with good payouts and so on, and then one review decrying it as manufactured by the devil to steal your soul, you can probably take the view that the site has a reasonable chance of being a good one.
Security wise, you'll want to check on how the website handles payments. Is it through a known gateway? Are they approved by Visa and MasterCard, PayPal and so on? Approval from these companies requires a level of security to be met so this can give you wider peace of mind. Also make sure the site has the padlock icon to indicate a secure connection. This is vital for security.
You can find more information about card security from Visa and Mastercard directly.
Keep an eye out for deals offered by bingo sites. Opening offers will always have restrictions attached. For example you may be required to gamble a set amount of money before you can withdraw any. It's still worth your while reviewing the options on offer when you're looking to set up an account.
What do online bingo sites offer?
The obvious answer is, of course, a game of bingo! There is more to bingo sites than first appears however. While there are many free bingo games available on the internet, most people move towards paid for games at some point. The advantage of paying to play is, naturally, getting money if you win.
Sites vary on how much you can win. Most have tiered games with cost per play and prize funds rising in tandem. The more you pay in, the bigger the prize you can potentially take out.
In that respect, bingo sites can offer a fun game with potentially a nice windfall at the end of it, Bingo is not going to make anyone rich, but it can provide some unexpected "fun" money now and again as a bonus to the entertainment of simply playing.
However, it isn’t just money at play here. The more established bingo sites have additional features that can bring something new to players. Comprehensive and moderated chat systems allow players to make new friends on bingo sites. In fact, the site staff running the chat systems actively encourage players to engage with each other during games. It isn't quite the same as meeting up in a bingo hall of course but in the digital world where location is meaningless it is a good approximation.
Many bingo sites also include other small games of chance and prize draws during the day as well to add to the community feeling for players. Put it all together and you have a game of bingo, a chat with friends and the chance to perhaps win a bit of money. It's a fun night out without even having to leave your home!
Online Bingo site reviews
1. Ruby Bingo
Ruby Bingo catches the eye with a bright color scheme and a big banner showing the current sign-up deals on offer. Looking closer at the site, we see that the major bookmakers William Hill is behind this site. They're a reputable high street company and their ownership lends instant credibility to the site.
Down the page we see that this site is verisign approved so the payment system is known to be safe and secure. The payment methods supported are also very extensive covering not just the usual credit cards but also PayPal and a host of other payment solutions.
Now that we've have assured ourselves we're dealing with a genuine and safe site, we can move on to looking at the joining offers available. Ruby Bingo has a solid offer here with an initial £5 bet available without any deposit required.
In addition, once a player makes their first deposit there is a bonus up to 300% of the deposit in bonus available as well. It's worth noting that these offers always come with stringent terms and conditions. In this case, you are required to play a total value of four times the bonus value before you can make a withdrawal. This may sound excessive but in fact it's on par with most other similar offers.
For games, Ruby Bingo has several types of bingo available, including 90 Ball, 75 Ball and 80 Ball bingo games. Variations including quickie Bingo, lucky numbers and Patterns and several large jackpot games are also on offer. In addition to the bingo games, Ruby Bingo has slot machines of various types along with scratchcards, Blackjack card games and Roulette.
Overall, Ruby Bingo is a comprehensive, well laid out site. It's bright and easy to navigate and the games section is well stocked with enough varieties of bingo to keep anyone going for a long time. The extra games on offer also make the site well worth a visit.
2. Betfair Bingo
Betfair Bingo is part of the Betfair online betting company and shares its parent company's corporate image. It's not as bright as the previous site but is clearly laid out and easy to navigate.
Looking around the site, we can see a variety of payment options and a privacy statement prominently displayed on the front page. These policies are often hidden deep within commercial sites so seeing this one up front and centre makes a good impression as far as security and safety are concerned.
Along with the usual credit cards, Betfair Bingo also accepts PayPal, Neteller, Western Union, Moneybookers, bank transfers and several other payment methods. The site includes a full rundown of not only the methods and fees applicable to each payment method but how long you can expect to wait for processing of both deposits and withdrawals. This type of clarity is always welcome when talking about our money.
Moving on to the site's offers and promotions, the offer at the time of writing isn’t quite as spectacular as the previous one. They offering a £30 bonus for a £10 deposit with no scaling up options. The terms and conditions show that you need to play games to the value of four times the deposit before you can withdraw money, similar to the previous site. As should have become clear by now, with all the restrictions the deals are a double edged sword. The bigger the offers are, the more money you have to play – and risk – before you can withdraw anything. In this respect, keeping things small can help a new player not get overwhelmed by betting requirements that can sometimes feel like obligations for the inexperienced.
In terms of games, Betfair covers 90 and 75 ball bingos in traditional, pattern, quickie, lucky ball and a millionaire bingo with a £1 million jackpot on offer as well. In addition, the bingo site offers slots and scratchcards, card games and roulette. Due to its integrated nature with the rest of the Betfair products, you also have access to casino games of all kinds and sports betting as well. Whether this is a good thing or not is a matter of perspective. Variety is good but there is a big leap between games of bingo and sports betting and it could be all too easy to get carried away.
As a complete portal for pay-to-play games of chance and gambling, Betfair is very good. It may lack some of the options of other sites in terms of bingo variety and huge signing up bonuses but it has huge jackpot bingo games and gives you the ability to try all sorts of other forms of online games should you wish.
3. Dream Bingo
Dream Bingo is a bit of a change in terms of looks, eschewing the more modern look of the two sites discussed so far. It even includes a nice green field as a background. The site is very easy to get around though. There's a lot to be said for a nice obvious menubar in an understated color.
The security information here isn’t as easy to find though. Unlike our previous two sites, there is no mention of payments at all on the front page. You have to go into the "Banking" section to find the list of accepted payment types. The options here are extensive, cards and pretty much every single online payment system out there are all supported.
Moving on to the sign-up bonuses, there is a double award strategy here: £15 to play for free with no payment required and then a further bonus of 300% of your first deposit. This is actually the most generous offer we've covered to date. A per usual,the withdrawal restrictions of 4 times the bonus amount apply.
In terms of games, Dream Bingo offers 75 and 90 ball games with normal varieties plus a pattern game. Other options include slots, scratchcards and various casino games including blackjack, poker and roulette.
Dream Bingo initially appears to be a smaller, lower budget site than the other two. It has a less modern, slightly dated design and less choice of games available. However, it does have all the features one could wish for and a very generous bonus deal to get you started.
Personal preference will obviously come into play but, all things being equal, when it comes to pure bingo the best site is probably Ruby Bingo. It has a nice introductory bonus and by far the widest range of bingo games on offer. However, if your interests are wider than just bingo, Betfair offers the best overall package for playing games for money online.
Playing Online Bingo
Bingo is basically a game of elimination. It consists of a way of calling random numbers, usually using individually numbered balls, and players use cards with a series of numbers on them. As each number is called, the player crosses them off their card if it appears. The first player to gain a full line, or cross all numbers off, wins a prize.
In online bingo, the cards appear in a pop-up window and the balls are simulated but the game works in the exact same way. You cross off any numbers called that are on your card until someone completes the line or matches whatever the winning conditions are.
It is essentially a game of chance but you can shift things a little more in your favor with the following tip. Your card is the only thing you actually have control of in a game of bingo and you get to pick from a number of cards before a game. Never just take the first one. This can make a real difference and mathematics is on your side here.
Because there is a wide spread of numbers, the chances of all numbers ending in 1, 2, 3 or 4 and so on coming out together over the course of 50 or 60 balls called is slim. Avoid cards that have all numbers ending in 1 or 2 and go for one with a wide spread of numbers on it.
As we can see, online bingo sites are not all the same. Some have much more to offer beyond the basic game of bingo including community building and a variety of other games.
The security considerations of the sites we examined are very important but all of the sites reviewed were obviously genuine companies. It's always worth doing your due diligence in this regard and checking up on who is operating the site you're considering using.
Bingo sites and the games they operate are great fun and you can sometimes even win a bit of money from them. With Betfair there is even a very small chance of getting life changing. For those new to online bingo, check out the video below for an introduction to the game.