Online Bingo Variations

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The game of bingo has an irresistible format. It was invented in the early 20th Century, and gained popularity among the ranks of the British military during wartime. Even so, a certain type of bingo (‘U Pick ‘Em’) is similar to the ancient game of Keno, from China. Today, traditional and new forms of bingo are thriving online — big-time!

Where to Play Hybrid Bingo

Before we delve into the subject of online bingo variants let’s take a look at a couple of excellent examples of sites with some exciting options, when you want to play more than normal 75- and 90-ball games:

Cheers

You can play Video Bingo at Cheers. When registering, you’ll get a nice £20 cash bonus, and, a spin on the Cheers wheel for up to a £2,500 bonus prize!

Video Bingo is exclusive to this site, and it mixes in certain features of online slots including:

  • you can play at any time without waiting like in normal bingo rooms
  • instead of paying a bingo card prices, you bet the amount you wish on your card(s)
  • hitting the Play button releases bingo balls instead of making slot reels start spinning
  • there are more ways to have bingo wins, like the paylines of a slot game
  • Video bingo titles have visual themes like hit slots
  • gameplay is automatic like a slot (no daubing)
  • this is a solitary game, without community chats

Wink

Wink Bingo is a huge fave because it is packed with promotions and has a vibrant community of roomies. Its Welcome Wagon is a sure draw, offering 300% cash match and specials for new players over their first week as members.

Wink offers a 5-Line Bingo variant that is known as Swedish Bingo, too. It’s simple, smart and fast for these reasons:

  • cards have a 5-column by 5-row layout
  • there are 5 ways to win (1-4 rows, and a full house of 5 rows)
  • two more ways to win are the two diagonal columns
  • it’s played based upon 75 balls
  • the number of balls are dispersed evenly on the 5 columns
  • Traditional Bingo vs a Variation Game

The growing list of variations of bingo is not easy to keep straight, and their numbers defy any final count. What we can do is outline the basics of traditional bingo games with 75 and 90 balls, and then summarize many common ways that new games can grow from this. We’ll also take one variant, called Flash Fives, as an example.

75- and 90-ball Games

In conventional bingo, there is a card divided into squares, with a number of numbered balls assigned for each column of the specific card:

75-Ball Card

  • 5 columns (each with a letter of the word B-I-N-G-O)
  • 5 rows
  • middle square is free
  • 15 balls per column
  • various patterns can win
  • a Full House win is filling all squares

90-Ball Card

  • set of six 9×3 cards is played
  • 9 columns
  • 3 rows
  • 5 numbers per row are filled in
  • 4 random free square per card
  • balls divided evenly on columns
  • 3 winning stages: 1 line, 2 lines, Full House

Now, whether it is 75-ball or 90-ball, this basic game design is so simple, so flexible, that it can be adapted almost infinitely, as well as mixed with other kinds of games. For example, the winning combinations on rows and columns is a source of unique game rules.

Example: Flash Fives at 888Ladies

At 888Ladies you can play Flash Fives, a smooth, simple variant that simply replaces the numbered balls with 5 playing cards. When you buy a ticket, all fives cards are turned over and that’s called your ‘hand’.

Like a bingo room, each round is shared by a certain number of players. The first who puts a chip on all five cards of their hand(s) wins it. Rounds start every few minutes. As cards are drawn, your hand is updated automatically! It fast and fun.

Why Do We All Love Bingo Variations?

Now that we have had an overview of bingo variations compared to standard games, it probably is easy to see why they’re all so popular.

Bingo has just the right combination of simplicity and the possibility to make the setup more complex, usually tweaking how fast gameplay gets. Web-powered bingo has the added interest of fun graphics, sounds and other online players for endless fascination!