Bingo used to have a reputation of being a bit of an old-fashioned game. If you asked anyone to picture a game of bingo, they’d inevitably think of a crowded bingo hall with lots of OAPs, all hunched over their playing cards, dabber in hand, ready to mark off the numbers that matched the calls being made by the bingo caller at the front of the room. Anyone chatting was quickly hushed by other players and concentration levels were intense.
Today, however, you will find people playing bingo on their smartphones, online on laptops and PCs, at home, at work, wherever, really. Online bingo has been around since the late 1990s but, in the last few years, it has really taken off and is one of the most popular online games around. No longer the domain of retirees, bingo is now played by different segments of the population and it is an all-embracing game. You do not need to have any special skills to play bingo – you don’t even have to pay attention as the software marks the numbers for you, unless you choose to switch the auto-daub feature off.
Another big change in bingo since it went online is the huge bonuses that have become available for signing up as a new player. There are so many sites – Tidy Bingo, 888bingo and bgo, to name but a few – that it’s become a really competitive industry. It’s so easy to get a bingo bonus nowadays Most sites will even give you a no-deposit bonus when you first register. You don’t even have to put any money in. But if you do decide to, then you’ll qualify for a welcome bonus of up to 500%. Even the smallest deposit on a bingo account will go a long way as games cost so little to play, even though some of the jackpots you can play for can be life-changing amounts. But as online bingo is as dependent on chance as the land-based version, the best approach is to play for the fun of it, rather than in expectation of any big win. Then, if it happened to you, it would be all the sweeter.
Apart from the fact that it’s easy and so cheap to play, what else makes so many people (100 million and counting worldwide) choose to play online bingo? Well, a big draw is the fact that it’s a sociable game – much more so than the original version as each bingo game is linked to an online bingo chat room. That means you always have someone to share the excitement of the game with, even if you don’t know them by anything but their username. There are many bingo players who are there on the sites for the social nature of the game more than to play the game itself.
In fact, some physical bingo halls now offer players the chance to play with electronic bingo tablets, in a separate part of the hall, so that they can chat rather than concentrate on the numbers. Others, meanwhile, still play the old-fashioned way. It’s interesting to see this technological development in the land-based bingo halls – it seems as if the game is turning full circle once again.
Photograph by ElizaIO