What Are the Odds of Winning Online Bingo?
A big part of the fun of bingo is just playing the game. The relaxing atmosphere and the opportunity to shoot the breeze with like-minded people and engage in lighthearted competition all play into the experience, no matter how you take part. Of course, winning isn't bad either, but this is where things get more complicated.
So, what exactly are the chances of winning in online bingo? On this page, we investigate how the odds work and how to win at online bingo tables.
A Game of Cards
Because bingo operates with a system dependent on random ball draws, we tend to think that the odds of winning in online bingo are more complicated than they are. While we need the balls to mark off a winning ticket, the odds come from the ticket itself.
For a better illustration of what we mean, all you need to understand is that bingo continues until the game is won, no matter what numbers are given out and how many cards are in play. If 2 people were playing, then bingo would continue until 1 of the 2 people won. If 50 people were playing, then bingo would continue until 1 of the 50 people won.
In other words, the odds of winning each bingo game come from the number of cards you have divided by how many cards are being played in total. If you have 1 card and there are 50 in play, you'll have a 2% chance of winning. If you have 4 cards and there are 50 in play, you'll have an 8% chance of winning.
Winning at bingo is about maximising your odds, and like entering a raffle, the most statistically reliable way to do this is to buy more entry tickets. That's why some players invest in buying a huge number of tickets at once. Such an approach, however, can introduce issues of player oversight in games that require manual player marking.
Time to Win
Aside from plain direct winning odds, how you win at bingo and how long it takes will also depend on the variant of the game being played. Bingo comes in many forms and 90-ball and 75-ball are among the most popular. The different games can take different amounts of time to play out, which can be complicated further when factoring in player count.
The more possible numbers on a card, the longer it will tend to take to win a game of bingo. The more numbers, the more combinations can appear, so the odds of winning online bingo quickly will decrease. Note that this won't change the actual odds of winning, it will just modify how long it takes for a player to collect lines and bingo.
While this reality will tend to hold if the number of players in different games is the same, the time to win can shift when adding more people or cards into the mix. A 70-ball game with 5 players with 1 card each, for example, can take a long time for 1 card to be filled. On the other hand, a 90-ball game with 50 players with 5 cards each will have many more opportunities for bingo, so the game is much shorter.
Tactics and Strategy
As a game of chance, there are no guaranteed ways to win in bingo. Looking at the explanations above and a little statistical analysis, however, you can change the way you play.
Buy More Cards
Each card you possess will increase your chances of winning. Bingo is a numbers game, in every sense of the phrase, so the more you're in, the better you can potentially do.
One thing to keep in mind with this approach is that with each card you buy, the profit you can win from a successful game will decrease. It also means that if you don't win, you'll experience a greater loss.
Look for Emptier Games
The opposite side of the buying more cards strategy is to simply look to games with fewer players. With fewer players, fewer cards will be active, so you'll have higher odds.
Such an approach can be complicated by how fewer players can mean a smaller pot, but this isn’t always the case. Some bingo games can have guaranteed minimum prizes, and if you can find games like these with fewer players, you’ll be able to get more from your better odds.
Direct from mathematician and investor Joseph E. Granville, this system of bingo betting relies on the player being able to select their numbers on the card. The Granville method is based on balance, in achieving an equal spread between even and odd numbers.
The idea behind this concept is that thanks to the random nature of bingo, it would only be natural that winning numbers would even cover the full spectrum of possibilities. This means just as many odds and evens, and high numbers and low numbers. Creating a spread in this way, according to Granville, would be the best way to cover for the law of averages.
The Tippett System
Named after statistician Leonard Henry Caleb Tippett, this style of play is again based on mathematical concepts as understood by the creator. Tippett's idea was that the longer a game went on, the more likely it would be that the landed balls would be closer to the median number. This means 45 in 90-ball bingo, and 38 in 75-ball.
Using this system, the player still has to guess whether the game will be a long or a short one. If they think it will be long, then the odds of winning in online bingo should be better if numbers that tended closer to the median were selected. If shorter, it would be more random.
Chance and Choice
No matter what your approach, players need to understand that bingo’s odds, just like the odds in any casino and betting game, are in the hands of fate. Find what works for you, remember not to chase losses, and most of all, remember that players who have fun are the real winners.
To put this knowledge into action, remember you can head here to see what works best for you!