Bingo has always been a perfect match for online gambling. In fact, the online casino industry took the game and ran with it early on, spicing it up with generous promotions and infusing it with new customizations and options, made possible by the digital nature of iGaming.
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Why Online Bingo?
To begin with, online bingo doesn’t require any kind of a physical infrastructure. There’s no need for an actual B&M hall to host the games, and while there are chat managers, whose job it is to keep people engaged with various side-games as the numbers are drawn, the actual game is handled automatically. A random number generator (RNG) draws the numbers and the daubing is done by the software, giving players plenty of time to focus on chat.
Because running an online bingo room is much cheaper than working a live bingo parlor, online operators can afford to significantly lower the prices of their tickets compared to their live counterparts.
The generosity and sheer diversity of the promotions marketed by online bingo operations is astonishing. No live bingo hall could ever match the value offered through these types of giveaways, which can include nightly happy hours, free spins, and various deposit bonuses and welcome packages (which usually consist of free bingo tickets).
Accessibility and speed are also major advantages for online bingo. To access an online bingo hall, all players need to do is to fire up the computer and click on a couple of icons.
Some say that online bingo lacks the very essence of the live bingo experience, which is the social aspect. But while that may be true to a certain degree, for most people, the chat feature of the online game more than makes up for it.
90 Ball Bingo Basics
If you play online bingo in New Jersey, that means you’ll be playing the 90 ball variant, which is the only one available for the time being. Playing bingo at one of the state’s online bingo rooms – like Pala Bingo or Virgin/Tropicana – is extremely easy, since the games are all automated.
While players don’t actually have to understand any of the rules – they can win just fine without knowing what’s going on – the game is much more enjoyable if one actually knows why things happen and just how close they are to winning at any given moment. In addition to that, 90 Ball Bingo rules are very simple.
It all starts with the bingo cards that players purchase before each round. Up to 60 such cards can be bought per game – the more cards one purchases, the better their winning odds shall be.
Bingo games begin at previously determined times. A countdown timer in the lobby shows when the next game is set to begin. Once the action starts, the numbers are drawn automatically by the random number generator, and they are daubed on players’ tickets automatically.
How to Read Your Bingo Card
Each card features 15 numbers arranged into three rows and nine columns. Obviously, not all the available 9 x 3 grid slots contain numbers; some of them are empty. Each horizontal line has exactly five numbers, dispersed in a seemingly random manner, for a total of 15.
The first column of the card always features numbers from 1 to 9. The second column holds numbers from 10 to 19 and so on, wrapping up with the last column, which features numbers from 80 to 90.
Three Chances to Win
An actual 90 Ball Bingo game offers three chances to win, and these chances define the three stages of the game. First, players are looking to fill out a line, then two lines, and then a full house. To win, one needs to be the first to fill any of the above said patterns. If two players hit a winning pattern at the same time, the prize is split between them.
The one line and two line patterns can be marked off anywhere on the card. The full house is about filling out every one of the numbers featured on a card.
To play 90 Ball Bingo at any of NJ’s legal operators, players first need to make a deposit into their online casino/bingo accounts. When the online bingo room of one’s choice is open, you will see games running non-stop. The interface displays the games in progress as well as information regarding the start of the next game.
As soon as an actual game starts, all the essential information about it is displayed in the bar at the top of the ticket. This covers the number of participants as well as the prizes available for the winning patterns and the size of the jackpot. As the numbers are drawn by the RNG, they are called out loudly, and displayed in the upper left corner.
In addition to auto-daubing, the software reorders player tickets during play, so the one closest to landing a winning pattern is at the top and most visible.
Whenever someone lands a winning pattern, the game takes a short break to announce the deed and to allow fellow players to congratulate the winner.
As far as live bingo is concerned, the 75 Ball variant of the game is the most popular. Unlike 90 Ball Bingo, it uses 5 x 5 cards, with an empty square in the middle, and 75 balls are used for drawing the numbers.
To win, players have to complete various patterns, such as five numbers in a row, four corners, a block of nine or a round robin (filling the numbers around the perimeter of the card).
80 Ball Bingo is based on the same rules as the 75 Ball version, but it uses 4 x 4 cards and obviously, 80 balls for the draw.
Licensed New Jersey Online Bingo Operators
For years, US residents couldn’t play bingo online in a safe and regulated environment. That changed in the spring of 2015, when the New Jersey Casino Control Commission issued its first online bingo licenses.
The very first operators to launch legal bingo in NJ were Virgin Casino, and its sister-site, Tropicana. The two online casinos added Gamesys’ 90 ball online bingo game to their lineup. The sites offer free games every 30 minutes and sell their bingo cards for $1, $2 and $5.
The Virgin/Tropicana free games do in fact offer real money prizes, but these prizes are delivered in the form of bonuses, subject to the bingo hall’s bonus redemption terms. The maximum one can win on these free games is thus a $12.13 bonus.
Prizes are delivered in real money in the paid games however, and in addition to that, Super Jackpots can be won too.
On the Gamesys bingo games, there are three winning patterns: line, two lines and full house, each boasting progressively bigger payouts. On the $1 game for instance, a line pays $40, two lines pay $80, while a full house is worth $194. The super jackpot on this stake-level is $200.
Pala Bingo/Scores Casino
Tropicana/Virgin bingo may have brought the first legal US online version of the game, but it is not the only one available in Atlantic City. A year after the launch of those two rooms, Pala Casino hit the online bingo scene with its own in-house developed software. The effort was deemed worthy of a dedicated website, separate from the online poker and online casino offerings of the operator. Scores Casino, a skin of Pala, offers an identical version of the game.
Pala Bingo is hosted at palabingousa.com and it too is based on the 90 ball variant of the game. The rules and winning combinations are the same as described above, meaning that players are offered three possibilities to win in every game.
At Pala Bingo, players can buy strips of six cards, with every card featuring 15 numbers, at ticket prices start from only $0.10. The maximum number of tickets one can buy for a game is 60. The Pala Bingo payouts are determined by the attained winning combination, as well as by the price of the ticket and the number of players involved in the game. Jackpots are also awarded throughout.
The Pala Bingo user interface and game options can be customized through the “Options” button in the upper right corner.
Simple Tips for Winning
- Bingo is a purely luck-based game, meaning that it does not accommodate strategies that can actively improve one’s odds. The name of the game is chatting and having fun.
- Just about the only measure one can take in this regard is to pick a licensed/regulated room to play at, and to make full use of the promotions offered by his/her online bingo hall.