Ultimate Bingo Guide

How to Play Bingo: The Ultimate Guide

Introduction

Welcome to the ultimate bingo guide! From tips & tricks to staying safe online, this handy little guide is here to answer all your burning questions, walk you through the rules of bingo and break down the different games that Gala Bingo has to offer.

These days, bingo is enjoyed both online and offline by millions of people worldwide. Would you believe that bingo has been around since the 16th century?! That’s right, it was thought to have been a lottery game first played in Italy, then in wider Europe, but it didn’t become hugely popular until the mid-1900s.

So, if you’re looking to Bingo Like A Boss then this guide is your go-to! Already a keen to get started? Then go check out our cracking games, Gala Bingo’s got ‘em all.

  • How does Bingo work?
  • The Different Types of Bingo
  • Bingo Rules
  • Online Bingo vs. Bingo Halls
  • Get started with Gala
  • Online Bingo Games
  • FAQS
  • Glossary of Terms

How does bingo work?

What's the aim of the game?

Now this bit is pretty simple. Whether you’re playing online or in a club somewhere, there’ll always be a caller – a person (or a bot) who reads out a random sequence of numbers.

The sequence of numbers depends on which type of game you want to play. For example, in 90 ball bingo the numbers are between 1 and 90, whereas in 75 ball bingo they’re between 1 and 75.

The aim is to is to be the first player to mark every one of the called numbers on any 1 line of the bingo ticket. In some games, completing one or two lines is considered a win but in you might need to cross out every number on your card before you can shout “bingo!”

bingo-balls

How do you play the game?

  • The first step is to join a bingo room of your choice, then purchase your bingo tickets which will have your bingo balls number on it. The type of bingo your play will determine the size of your bingo card. For example, a standard 90 ball bingo card has 27 squares, made up of three rows of nine. The game starts when the caller begins to read out numbers.
  • In our bingo rooms, you can buy several cards for the same game, just as you can in a bingo club. This increases your chance of winning significantly, although you’ve got more grids to keep an eye on!
  • In online bingo, the numbers on your card will be marked off automatically when they’re called out, but in a club, you’ll need to use your dauber to cross them out yourself. Things can get a bit fast-paced here, so it’s worth paying close attention, or you could miss your chance to win.
  • As there are several ways to win a game (e.g. completing one line, two lines, or getting a full house), each game will have multiple winners. If you’re playing online, you’ll be notified straight away that you’ve won, whereas in a club, you’ll need to shout “bingo!” and then the caller will check your card to make sure.
bingo-balls

The Different Types of Bingo

So many games, so little time! While the principles of play are the same across the board, there are some differences according to what type of bingo you choose. We’ve highlighted these for you in the list below.

40 Ball Bingo

A Gala favourite, 40 ball bingo is played on a 2 x 4 grid, containing eight numbers between the value of 1 and 40.

As these grids are fairly small, 40 ball bingo games tend to be quite speedy, and almost everyone in the bingo room will be playing with multiple tickets to increase their chances of winning. Rainbow Riches is our most popular 40 ball game, and this offers two different ways of winning: one when you mark numbers off in the shape of a clover, and one when you get a full house.

50 Ball Bingo

This game is exclusive to Gala and this nifty fifty games is played on a 2 x 5 grid, which contains 10 numbers between 1 and 50.

Just like there are with 40 ball games, in 50 ball bingo there are two different routes to winning. The first is by getting a horizontal line marked off before anyone else, and the second is a full house.

75 Ball Bingo

Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire! You don’t need to head to the U.S.A anymore to enjoy the hottest 75 ball bingo games. This game is played on a 5x5 gird that’s filled with numbers between 1 and 75, except for the central square, which is usually labelled “FREE”.

75 ball bingo is fast paced, punchy and no two games are ever the same thanks to each game’s unique pattern. For example, you can win by getting a line (horizontal, vertical or diagonal) and by getting a full house or making off a specific patter like a flower or a butterfly, and in some games, you can even win for completing just half of those patterns.

80 Ball Bingo

Take the bingo party to a whole new level with a trip to an 80 ball bingo room!

80 ball bingo is the new kid on the block, using 80 balls to give the bingo tickets a unique look. Each ticket is played on a 4 x 4 grid, which features 16 random numbers between 1 and 80, so every square is filled.

Even though 80 ball bingo has a fresh face, there a plenty different type of games to play. From single line games and house games, where you can win via marking off one line or a full house, and a house game, which you can only win by marking off all your numbers.

90 Ball bingo

If you’re looking for the boss of all bingo sites, then 90 ball bingo is the top of the house! This classic is played on a 3 x 9 grid. This grid contains 15 numbers between the value of 1 and 90, as well as 12 blank spaces.

In 90 ball bingo games, there are usually three different ways to win – for example, a win for the first line of consecutive numbers marked off, a win for getting all four corners and a win for a full house.

 

Bingo Rules

The rules for both online and land-based bingo are fairly easy to understand – we’ve broken them down for you in the list below.

  1. After you’ve chosen a bingo room and a game, you need to buy your cards/tickets. The number of tickets you can buy per game is limited, so that everyone has a chance to win.
  2. The game starts when the caller draws the first number - you can’t cancel your play after the game has begun.
  3. Use the auto-dauber and watch as your numbers are marked off, or cross the numbers off yourself if you can keep up!
  4. All Gala games are won on a ‘first past the post’ basis, so they’ll end as soon as one player gets a full house.
  5. If you win a game of bingo, you’ll be automatically notified (unlike offline bingo, where it’s up to you to claim a win), and your account will be credited within 24 hours.
  6. If you’re playing online, and there’s a disconnection at any stage of the game, all tickets will be auto-daubed, and the winner will be credited automatically.

Online Bingo vs. Bingo Halls

Bingo has come a long way in the last hundred years, and is enjoyed in clubs, halls and online every day, all over the world. The aim of the game might be the same, but there are some major differences between online and traditional bingo which are worth bearing in mind.

online-bingo-vs-bingo-hall

Get Started with Gala

Signing Up

Ready to find your bingo balls? It’s time to create an account! Sign up today and boss it big time with £50 Free Bingo when you spend £10 on bingo tickets. You’ll be hard pushed to find a better welcome bonus elsewhere…

Once you’re a part of our Gala posse you can be assured of a warm welcome. If our ‘New Player Deal’ isn’t enough, then the all-inclusive Gala Rewards Scheme is sure to whet your whistle… As soon as you step through our door you’ll get to dive right into regular rewards, regardless of your budget. Fab rewards include the Cash Wins Wheel, Free Bingo, Gala-versary Gift and Weekend Cash Boosts, to name but a few.

Security Considerations – Password

Your password should be personal to you and kept private. To keep your account safe and secure, we ask that your password meets the following criteria:

  • Between 6 – 20 characters total
  • Contains at least one capital letter
  • Contains at least one special character

Which deposit option should I choose?

Gala accepts a range of different payment methods, including VISA debit, PayPal and a variety of e-wallets, so making your deposit is super convenient. These options vary in terms of the minimum deposit required, but you can see a full breakdown of available payment methods here.

Deposit Limits

Setting a deposit limit is a great way to stay on top of your spending and make sure you’re gambling responsibly. Depending on how often you play, we recommend putting a daily, weekly or monthly deposit limit in place, all of which are quick and easy set up over on your account profile.

Our customer service team can’t override any deposit limits you set yourself, but they’ll be happy to help you with any queries by email.

How to Pick a Bingo Room

It can be tricky to know where to start, but the good news is, you’ll be spoiled for choice! Here are a few things to bear in mind when you’re choosing a bingo room.

  • Which kind of game (e.g. 75, 80 or 90 ball) do you want to play?
  • Would you rather play a slow or speedy game of bingo?
  • What sort of graphics and characters do you like to see?
  • Would you rather play for a large jackpot or have more chances of winning?

Answering these questions will help you narrow down your choices. For example, the Coronation Street bingo room offers a bigger jackpot than penny bingo rooms like Castle.

How many tickets should I buy?

Buying multiple cards is a sure-fire way to increase your odds of winning, and you’ll probably find that most other contestants in the room are playing with more than one card too.

Once you’re in the bingo room, we’ll tell you how many players there are in each game, as well as how many cards are being played, so you’ll get a clear sense of your odds before you purchase. If there aren’t that many players or cards, it may not be worth buying several cards, as you already have a good chance of winning.

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Staying Safe Online

Gala has measures in place to ensure that you can play securely and responsibly with us, but here are some precautions you can take to make sure you stay safe when you play online bingo:

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Online Bingo Games

Not to boast or anything but Gala houses the UK’s largest selection of bingo games! We’ve got over 20 wicked rooms and all on offer – 40, 50, 75, 80 and 90 ball – Gala’s got ‘em all. What’s great is, every type of bingo game that Gala offers works in a similar way – you need to cross off numbers to win. Every bingo game offers a different experience, so we’ve outlined them all in a handy list below.

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games

Emmerdale Bingo – 90 Ball

Emmerdale Bingo – 90 Ball

This 90 ball game is set in the home of your favourite soap opera! Try your luck at winning a game in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales and enjoy fun in-game features, all themed around the characters and iconic scenes of Emmerdale. Tickets start at just 10p and bingo calls are made in true Yorkshire style…what’s not to like?

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Coronation Street Bingo – 90 Ball

Coronation Street Bingo – 90 Ball

Set at the Rovers Return, you can pick up a ticket for this 90 ball bingo game for as little as 5p! You’ll enjoy character clips while you wait for the game to start, and the numbers themselves are called by Fred Eliott, played by John Savident. A major perk of this game is the Golden Cobbles Jackpot, which is awarded at the end of each round.

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games

Rush Bingo – 90 Ball

Rush Bingo – 90 Ball

Perfect for those with a need for speed, the Rush room runs a game every two and a half minutes! Rounds are fast-paced, and you’ll need to pay attention, but you can also bet on which ball will trigger a full house, so there are multiple ways to win.

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Rainbow Riches Bingo – 40 Ball

Rainbow Riches Bingo – 40 Ball

Gala’s most popular 40 ball game, Rainbow Riches is fun and colourful bingo led by the resident leprechaun, Lucky O’Leary! There are four different prizes to get your hands on: one for a clover, one for a full house, a Wishing Well prize and a Rainbow Riches Jackpot – but in this game more than one person can share a single prize.

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games

Deal or No Deal Bingo – 75 Ball

Deal or No Deal Bingo – 75 Ball

Based on the gameshow, this 75 ball game is a super exciting one. Tickets start at just 5p, and if you win a full house you can even ask the banker to offer you a deal – you might get to double your money! Open 24 hours a day, this room has all the suspense of Deal or No Deal, and a huge progressive jackpot to be won too.

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Metropolis Bingo – 90 Ball

Metropolis Bingo – 90 Ball

You can join this bustling city-themed room 24/7 for a glamorous game of 90 ball bingo! With huge prizes up for grabs, you won’t want to miss out on the action – including giant jackpots like £1,000 twice a week, as well as a whopping £10,000 Money Mix-Up on the final Sunday of every month between 10pm-11pm.

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Allsorts Bingo – 90 Ball and 80 Ball

Allsorts Bingo – 90 Ball and 80 Ball

There are plenty of freebies in this room, with buy one get one free rounds and heaps of other complimentary perks to enjoy too. You can win with one line, two lines or a full house, all while you chat to the other players. Plus, you can trade in your tickets for Superbooks bingo, which is home to even bigger prizes!

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games

1980 Bingo – 80 Ball

1980 Bingo – 80 Ball

A bingo room set back in the 80s glory days, this game has to be an 80 ball! Think Bowie, big hair and neon everything, this is a big bold game with prizes to match. Between 9am and 9pm, you can win 1980 Bingo with horizontal, vertical and even diagonal lines, so there’s no shortage of success.

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games

Coconut Island Bingo – 50 Ball

Coconut Island Bingo – 50 Ball

Things are heating up in paradise! Join us in this tropical bingo room for a 50 ball game where numbers are revealed each time a coconut falls. Features include a progressive jackpot called the Treasure Chest, and you can win with a single line or a full house, but remember some prizes might be shared.

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games

City Bingo – 90 Ball

City Bingo – 90 Ball

Bright lights…big winnings! Enjoy this 90 ball game against the backdrop of the big city, in a bingo room where you can play around the clock. There’s a Super Spotlight progressive jackpot which is played every 15 minutes, so there’ll be plenty of chances to get lucky.

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Castle Bingo – 90 Ball

Castle Bingo – 90 Ball

Escape the everyday and visit the grand Castle bingo room! One of our most popular 90 ball games, tickets for Castle bingo start at just 1p, so you can spend a little and win a lot. Open 24 hours a day, there’s plenty of time to chat to other players and enjoy great features, including BOGOF games and Super Links.

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The Chase Bingo – 90 Ball

The Chase Bingo – 90 Ball

Based on the iconic British quiz show, this 90 ball bingo game is great fun for those with a more competitive streak! There are five different prizes to get your hands on, but if you’re lucky enough to win with a full house, then you can play The Chase feature game for a chance to up your takings.

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games

Cashpot Bingo – 90 Ball

Cashpot Bingo – 90 Ball

One of the latest additions to the Gala offering, Cashpot bingo is a 90 ball game like no other. Tickets cost between 1p and 20p, and the community jackpot is £500 – plus if you win the full house prize, you can spin the wheel for the chance to get your hands on even more goodies to spend on the Cashpot slots.

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games

Interstate 75 Bingo – 75 Ball

Interstate 75 Bingo – 75 Ball

Hit the highway for this classic 75 ball game in the Interstate 75 bingo room! Cruise along the open road and enjoy buy one get one free games from 10-11am and 4-5pm, so there are plenty of opportunities to get more for your money.

Regulations

How is bingo regulated in the UK?

  • In the UK, bingo is classed as a form of gambling, so it’s regulated by an independent body called the UK Gambling Commission. This applies to both online bingo and bingo played in clubs or halls.
  • The UK Gambling Commission is responsible for monitoring the licenses of bingo providers, creating the rules of best practice to make sure bingo games are fair, while keeping an eye on industry habits.
  • All bingo in the UK is subject to the gambling acts of 2005 and 2014, which state that gambling sites must be crime-free, fair and protect underage people.

Want to know more? A full breakdown of Gala’s rules, as well as terms and conditions of play, is available on our website.

How is bingo regulated in the EU?

The regulation of online and offline gambling in the EU varies from country to country. Here are the big hitters:

  • France – online gambling is regulated specifically by an independent body called the ARJEL, and all offline gambling has to comply with the French Gambling Act.
  • Spain – has specific iGaming laws to prevent money laundering online, and any offline gambling providers must have certification or a license from Spain itself, not another country.
  • Italy – the birthplace of bingo! In 2018, gaming legislation was updated to be more inclusive of online bingo – all games are now run by operators registered with the Italian Gambling Authority.
  • Germany – iGaming laws around online gambling in Germany are still in the early stages and there are minimal restrictions, but land-based bingo is monitored closely by the authorities.

Want to know more? A full breakdown of Gala’s rules, as well as terms and  onditions of play, is available on our website.

How is bingo regulated in the US?

The regulation of online and offline gambling in the EU varies from country to country. Here are the big hitters:

  • Due to state laws, the regulation of bingo is a little more confusing in the US, but if there’s a cash prize, you can safely assume that bingo is considered gambling in America.
  • Gambling, especially online, is illegal in several states in the US, so if you’re an American consumer or planning to play while abroad, it’s worth checking which states permit it.
  • Bingo in America is subject to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act (UIGEA). This is chiefly in place to stop money laundering and prevent fraudulent activity, and focuses mostly on internet gambling.

FAQs

Is online bingo safe?

Playing online bingo is perfectly safe, so long as you play on an industry-certified website, follow chat room rules and gamble responsibly.

How do bingo slots work?

Bingo slots are just like other kinds of bingo, in that you’re looking for a specific combination of numbers. To get your hands on the prize, you want all the columns to line up in a winning combination.

Is bingo just luck?

While there are things you can do to increase your chances of winning, like buying more than one ticket for a game, bingo is always a game of luck, as the numbers are randomly generated.

How long does it take for Gala to pay winners?

This depends on your method of withdrawing money from your account. If you’re withdrawing with a credit or debit card, payments are made in 1-3 working days. Find out more here.

What does a wager mean in bingo?

A wager, also known as wagering requirement, is the amount of cash a player must spend to be eligible for a bonus.

What is a wagering requirement?

A wagering requirement is the amount of money you need to spend in order to qualify for a bonus – this figure is imposed by the website you’re playing on.

What kind of game is bingo?

Bingo is a game of luck, played to win cash or other prizes. Random numbers are called out, and the game is won when the first player crosses off all the numbers on their bingo card.

What is cash bingo?

Cash bingo is the standard form of the game which is played offline in clubs and bingo halls, during which the main prize is a cash jackpot.

How long does it take to play a round of bingo?

In a live bingo hall or club, the average duration of a bingo game is 10 minutes, but there’ll be several games staggered throughout the evening. Online games tend to be much faster, and can be over in as little as a minute.

Is online bingo legal?

Yes, online bingo is completely legal, so long as you follow industry rules and play on a certified website.

How many games are in a bingo session?

In live bingo, taking place in a bingo hall or club, there can be as many as 30 individual games played over 3 hours. Online bingo is a lot more flexible, and you can dip in and out of different bingo rooms for one or more games.

What are the odds of winning at bingo?

The odds of winning a game of bingo depend on how many cards you buy, and how many cards there are in the game as a whole. The more cards you purchase, and the fewer players there are in the game, the better your odds of winning.

Can you make money from online bingo?

You can win money if there’s a cash prize, but bingo should only ever be played for fun, rather than as a means of generating income.

Glossary of Terms

Admission

This is the minimum number of bingo cards you need to purchase in order to enter a specific game online, or a bingo hall if you’re playing offline.

Auto-Dauber

The tool which automatically strikes through the numbers on your card as they’re called out, so you don’t have to do it manually.

Bingo Caller

A person (or bot) who reads out the numbers which are issued by the random number generator.

Bingo Card/Ticket

The virtual or physical card which contains a game grid (or grids). This is where your numbers appear and also where they should be crossed off. There are several different kinds of bingo card, and they usually vary according to which type of bingo you’re playing. See our section on The Different Types of Bingo for more.

Bonus

This usually refers to a promotion. For example, with online bingo, your initial deposit might be multiplied – this is a deposit bonus. With Gala’s ‘New Player Deal’, you get £50 Free Bingo when you deposit your first £10!

Chat Room

A chat room is a virtual space where you can talk to other players, and even have social games of bingo, which take place next to the standard bingo games.

Chat Moderator (CM)

The chat room moderator hosts chat room bingo games and keeps the atmosphere light and fun. The CM also monitors the language and interactions of players in the chat room.

Coverall

Another way of saying a full house, when you win with a coverall it’s because every number on your bingo card has been marked off.

Dauber

The most crucial piece of kit in offline bingo. Your dauber is the blotter you use to mark off the numbers which have been called out on your bingo card.

Deposit

This is the monetary payment you make to your online bingo account, which enables play. At Gala, we accept several different deposit payment methods – you can find a full list here.

Face

Each individual game grid on a bingo card is called a face, so a card with 3 grids has 3 faces, and so on.

Feature

This is an additional prize or side game which some bingo rooms may offer in line with the theme.

Flimsy

Used in offline bingo, a flimsy (AKA a throwaway) is a disposable bingo card printed on a thin piece of paper, usually with more than one face on each sheet.

Four Corners

A winning pattern in a game of 75 ball bingo, where all four corner squares must be covered.

Full House

Another way of winning bingo, when you mark off every single number on your grid.

Jackpot

A jackpot is a cash prize, bigger than the standard bingo game prize, and won by achieving a full house. There are various different kinds of jackpots, which you can find throughout our glossary.

Lines

A way of winning a prize in bingo which only requires you to complete one horizontal or vertical line. There are often prizes for completing 1 or more lines too.

Lucky Jar

Also known as a cookie jar, this is a specific kind of jackpot available in some games. The first number called becomes the lucky number, and so each time it is called, money goes into the lucky jar. If someone gets a full house on the lucky number, they also win the contents of the jackpot.

Minimum Buy-In

This is the smallest amount of bingo tickets you can purchase in order to play a game.

Patterns

These are shapes within games which will also enable you to win, on top of lines and a full house – for example, the clover pattern in Rainbow Riches bingo.

Payout

The amount of money which is withdrawn from your online bingo account.

Progressive Jackpot

This is a jackpot which increases with every game until somebody wins it. Usually a more complex win is required to get your hands on it, seeing as the takings are so much larger, like a pattern or winning a full house on a specific number.

RNG (Random Number Generator)

Used in online games by all bingo sites, the RNG is a computer program which spits out bingo numbers to be called, completely at random.

Side Game

This is a separate game which might take place in the chat in a bingo room, either alongside the main game or in the breaks between rounds.

Split Pot

This is a prize pot which is split between winners according to how much they paid into the game when it began.

Withdrawals

Any amount of money which you take out of your online bingo account is called a withdrawal. The amount of time the money takes to reach your account will vary, depending on the withdrawal method you choose – find out more here.