Bingo’s roots can be traced back to the 16th century when an early version was introduced as a lottery game in Italy. It caught on and spread throughout Europe before becoming popular in North America during the 1920s. The basic concepts of the European and North American versions of the game are similar, but there are some differences. The most notable differences are the layout of the bingo cards and the number of balls used. North American bingo cards feature a 5 X 5 grid and a pool of 75 numbered balls while the European bingo card is typically a 9 X 3 grid and the caller draws from a pool of 90 balls. Either way, both versions are entertaining, and players can win a lot of cash or other valuable prizes.
Because bingo is a game of chance involving money, it’s really a form of gambling. However, it is often viewed much differently than other gambling games such as roulette, craps, and other casino-style card games. In North America, the game first appeared at carnivals before churches and charitable organizations adopted the game as a means of raising funds. To this day, many regions with tough anti-gambling laws allow a variety of organizations to run bingo games.
Bingo halls were once a common sight as more and more of them popped up in cities around the world. This trend has reversed over the past couple of decades. While the game remains immensely popular, the number of brick-and-mortar venues has declined significantly. Twenty years ago, approximately 1,200 licensed commercial bingo halls operated in the United Kingdom, but that number has since plummeted by nearly 60%. Many factors including high taxes and smoking bans came into play but the dramatic rise of online bingo in the United Kingdom has had a huge impact too. People are still playing bingo for real money. In fact, there are nearly 2 million monthly players in Britain alone. It’s just that many of them are doing it in the comfort of their own homes on their computers or on the go using their mobile devices.
There are loads of online bingo sites that offer free and real money bingo games. Some of the free games even have real money prizes. On top of that, many online casinos have a full range of bingo variants and various bingo-based slot games like Slingo. One of the best things about playing online is the bountiful bingo bonuses that so many sites have up for grabs. Online bingo buffs can cash in on some great prizes before they even see a ball drop.
In 2009, the mining of the first Bitcoin sparked the cryptocurrency revolution. Many were skeptical of this new virtual currency but it has found its place as growing number of online casinos and bingo sites accept it. Bitcoin’s success led to the creation of other cryptocurrencies like Ripple, Ethereum, and Dash among others. There are many benefits to using Bitcoin. Users enjoy the high level of anonymity that Bitcoin affords them. You need only to provide your Bitcoin wallet’s address when making a transaction. No personal information is required.
Another benefit of Bitcoin is the speed in which online casinos and bingo sites can process deposits and withdrawals. Like most other payment methods, Bitcoin deposits are usually credited to your online bingo account either instantly or within a couple of minutes. Unlike most other payment methods, Bitcoin withdrawals are normally processed and available to you within minutes. Those who use other withdrawal options like eWallets, bank transfers, and credit cards often have to wait for at least a couple of days before they can access their funds. Then there are the fees. Bitcoin transactions are usually free although there are always exceptions to the rule. Some online bingo sites even offer exclusive bonuses and promotions to those who use Bitcoin.
Despite these perks, Bitcoin doesn’t come without a few drawbacks. For starters, Bitcoin isn’t as widely accepted as some other popular payment methods. More importantly, Bitcoin is volatile. In recent years, its value has fluctuated between a high of nearly $20,000 to lows of just above $3,000. It stabilized throughout the first half of 2019 leveling off at about $10,000.
How to Purchase Bitcoin
Purchasing Bitcoin for playing online bingo is surprisingly easy. The first step is downloading a Bitcoin wallet that you use to securely store your Bitcoin. There are a few different types so be sure to find the best one for you. Experts advise Bitcoin owners to use a cold storage wallet that doesn’t need an internet connection. Hardware wallets are the most secure. You can find excellent Bitcoin wallets at reputable Bitcoin exchanges.
After you have found the ideal Bitcoin wallet and set it up, it’s time to go to an online Bitcoin exchange to purchase your Bitcoin. Kraken, Bitstamp, and Coinbase are trusted around the world although there are many others to choose from. BitPanda, Kriptomat, and Paymium are popular in Europe while many North Americans use Coinsmart, Gemini and Bittrex. The choice is ultimately up to you.
Once you find the best Bitcoin exchange, open an account by following the exchange’s instructions. It should take no more than a minute. You will then need to pick a payment method such as instant banking or credit/debit card. Some exchanges accept PayPal, Skrill and other popular eWallets. Some go as far as accepting wire transfers from Western Union and similar money transfer services. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. From there, it’s just a matter of deciding how much Bitcoin you’d like to buy and completing your purchase. The Bitcoin goes straight into your Bitcoin wallet and it’s ready to use.
Find the Best Bitcoin Bingo Site
With so many Bitcoin bingo sites to choose from, finding the right one can sometimes be a daunting task. There are several things you must consider. Obviously, you need to find a bingo site that accepts both Bitcoin and players from your country. You certainly want to pick a site that’s licensed and regulated. Most reputable bingo sites display this information near the bottom of the site’s main page. Licenses from gambling jurisdictions like the United Kingdom, Gibraltar, Malta, Kahnawake, and Isle of Man carry a lot of weight. These gambling authorities hold licensees to the highest standards.
Experienced online bingo players want reassurance that the games they play are on the level. After all, excluding live dealer games, a Random Number Generator draws the bingo balls. A site’s RNG should be regularly tested by a trusted third-party auditor to ensure that all numbers are continuously random and can’t be manipulated in any way. The best Bitcoin bingo sites have this information detailed in a Fair Play Policy or something similar. You shouldn’t have to dig too deep to find it. eCOGRA’s Safe and Fair Seal or GLI certification speaks volumes about a bingo site’s trustworthiness and fairness.
The variety of bingo games and the frequency in which they are held are paramount as is the size of the prizes. The best sites offer the most variants and start new games at regular intervals. This means you can play the bingo variant you want and not have to wait around too long between games. Naturally, sites with higher traffic generally offer bigger prizes. Do you want a shot at a big daily jackpot? A progressive jackpot? Do you want to play for free and win real money? Do you want the freedom of playing bingo on your mobile device when you are on the move? If so, make sure the site you choose offers those options.
There are countless online bingo sites operating and they are all competing fiercely for your business. Dangling valuable bingo bonuses and ongoing promotions is one of the most effective ways of attracting and retaining players. There are some awesome deals waiting for those who take the time to shop around. Make a point of reading the fine print though. A $200 welcome bonus isn’t always a better deal than a $100 welcome bonus. Also, consider the number of regular promotions. A great Bitcoin bingo site lets you take advantage of ongoing offers like reload bonuses and special events. A superior loyalty or VIP program can benefit even the most occasional players.
There are plenty of free and informative internet resources such as Bingoanalyst that are immensely helpful to those looking for the best online bingo site. Read a few reviews to find out what others have to say. If a pattern of negativity emerges, avoid that site. There’s no need to take a chance when there is such an abundance of trusted bingo sites out there.
When you find the Bitcoin bingo site that suits you best, register a new account by clicking on the “Join Now”, “Register”, or similar icon. Once you fill out and submit the registration form, your account will be set up. Some sites send you an email with a link that activates your account when you click on it. You’re almost ready to play.
Bitcoin Deposits and Withdrawals
So, you have loaded your Bitcoin wallet and registered at the perfect Bitcoin bingo site. You are now moments away from immersing yourself in the ultimate bingo experience. You must now make a Bitcoin deposit which takes only a few seconds. Log into your Bitcoin bingo player account, navigate to the banking section, and click on the “Deposit” button. Select “Bitcoin” when prompted for a payment method and then enter the amount of your deposit and your Bitcoin wallet’s address. Have a second look to ensure the information is correct and then confirm the Bitcoin deposit. The funds will quickly show up in your Bitcoin bingo player account and you are ready to go. Oh, don’t forget to claim any applicable bonuses!!
You should know that some bingo sites allow you to deposit using Bitcoin but they convert it into a supported fiat currency. The opposite happens when you make a withdrawal. However, some Bitcoin bingo sites support Bitcoin as a betting currency and no conversions are done. You actually play using Bitcoin.
With a little luck, you will enjoy the thrill of winning and be in the enviable position of cashing out. This process is very much like making a deposit. After logging into your player account, go to the banking section and select “Withdraw”. Choose “Bitcoin” when asked to pick a payment method. Enter the amount you want to withdraw, your Bitcoin wallet’s address, and then confirm the withdrawal. Voila! The bingo site processes your withdrawal request and sends the funds to your Bitcoin wallet. A lot of online bingo sites don’t charge any fees for Bitcoin withdrawals. If they do, they will almost certainly be minimal.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bitcoin Bingo
Can I win real money playing at Bitcoin bingo sites?
Yes, you can win real money playing online bingo. Coincidentally, you don’t necessarily need to spend any money to win real cash in online bingo. It isn’t hard to find sites that offer free games with real prizes. Just remember that bingo, like other forms of gambling, is a game of chance and should be thought of as entertainment rather than a way to make money.
Is using Bitcoin at online bingo sites completely anonymous?
The answer to this question is yes and no. Although Bitcoin transactions are indeed anonymous, most online bingo sites are required by law and the terms of their licensing agreements to verify your age and identity. This means the site has access to your personal information.
Do I have a better chance of winning if I buy more cards?
Absolutely. However, you don’t want to have so many cards that you can’t keep up. Novices should start out with no more than three or four cards only increasing that amount in small increments as they gain confidence. One way to boost your odds of winning is playing against smaller fields of players.
Are there any alternatives to Bitcoin for funding my online bingo account?
Yes, most bingo sites support many popular payment methods. Major credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are commonly used. Be warned that credit card deposits are often treated as cash advances and subject to fees. Pre-paid cards, eVouchers, bank transfers and eWallets such as Skrill, PayPal, and Neteller are also widely accepted.