If you are looking for an absorbing and exciting yet not particularly taxing game to while away your free time, then online bingo could be the computer based activity for you. It is essentially similar to real life bingo, except that everything is represented on-screen, and the other players could be hundreds of miles away. The social aspect of the real life bingo experience is recreated through the use of instant messaging chat rooms.
The first thing you have to do before you can use any bingo website is register. On some sites, this will not involve entering your credit card details, but you will still have to give them your name and contact details. However, if you want to be able to win real cash prizes then you will have to sign up with a website that requires your credit or debit card details, and charges you by the game. Usually these sites will offer you a certain amount of games for free in an effort to encourage new customers, and will offer discounts for more frequent players.
Online bingo happens in real time, as you are playing against other human opponents over the internet. Therefore, when you enter a bingo room, you usually have to wait a certain amount of time before you can start playing, which you do by purchasing a strip of virtual tickets. These tickets usually consist of five bingo cards arranged in a strip with various numbers printed on them.
None of the cards in a strip can have the same number on them. When the game begins, numbers appear on the screen, sometimes accompanied by sound samples. When a number comes up that matches one of the numbers on your strip of bingo cards, you have to click on it to cross it out. Prizes will be given out for the first person with a complete line on one of their cards, the first person to complete two lines on one of their cards, and the first person to have a whole card crossed out, which is known as a 'full house'.
While it does rather take the fun out of it, most sites provide an 'auto daub' mode, that marks your cards for you automatically. These can be handy if you need to take a break but don't want to leave a game. The size of the prizes dished out depends largely on the cost of the tickets and the number of players. If you fancy playing a bit of online bingo, why not head over to the 32 Red website, where they offer you £10 worth of free tickets when you sign up.
Bingo has been around since the 1930s, although similar games have been played for centuries. It was originally called the slightly less catchy name of 'Beano' until one day somebody called out 'Bingo' by accident, much to the amusement of the other players. This became a running joke, and before long everyone was calling it by the much catchier name of 'Bingo'.
If you have never played bingo before, here is a rough guide to how it works. A number of players will congregate in a large room, and fill out cards with a series of numbers on them. At the front of the hall is the bingo caller, who will pull numbered balls one at a time out of a large container and then call out the numbers. The players have to mark their cards any time that a number that matches one of the numbers on their cards is called out. Once all of the numbers on a card have been crossed off, the player shouts 'Bingo' to signify that all their numbers have been crossed off. The first person to call out 'Bingo' wins the game, and a new game begins.
The online version of bingo is essentially similar, except that it takes place on a website rather than in a bingo hall, the human bingo caller has been replaced by a display board, and the cards have been replaced by onscreen representations. As with real life bingo, the prize money is determined by how many tickets have been sold for that game. As a result, games with lots of players tend to have higher jackpots, but are much more difficult to win than games with low jackpots and not too many players.
Most online bingo websites have a chat facility that allows you to communicate with other players using your keyboard. This helps to recreate the social element of the real life bingo hall, and can be a great way to pick up hints and tips from other players. Also, most bingo websites offer a no deposit bonus as an incentive to join up. These entitle you to a number of free games upon registration. For example, the 32 Red Bingo website offers a £10 no deposit bonus when you sign up for their online bingo service.