If you're new to the world of online bingo and you're not sure which sites to sign up with or even how to play the game then we can help you with that. Our aim is to help new players find the most suitable site where they can enjoy their bingo experience without feeling out of place or overwhelmed by what's going on.
There are literally hundreds of sites out there all trying to get your attention with various offers and deals and the main thing they want is your business! When you play bingo on a site and deposit your cash everything except the money you end up winning back is profit for them and so they are well motivated to bring in as many new customers as possible. For a player, spending a little money is part of the game but it's important to get some value for that money and so it's important to choose a good site. If you're a complete newbie then this it's even more important to make a good start in the right place.
Our bingo site listings are geared towards beginner players who have little or no experience of playing the game either online or in a club. We've hand picked the best sites for beginners based on our own experiences so that your first time will go as smoothly as possible! Choice is also very important so we've made sure to include as many good sites as possible.
When we review a new site we take in to account important factors such as the software they use, how easy it is to play the game, what forms of payment they take and the different game variants they offer. Equally as important is how trustworthy they are, how their odds of winning stack up and the kinds of prizes they give out to winners. Only after we verify that a site meets our tough standards do we add it to our listings so that you can choose from the best selection.
Way back before people were using the internet, bingo was played in halls in towns and cities all over the country by a large number of devoted fans. The halls were converted disused cinemas and proved very popular venues to host a new exciting and very social game called bingo. Players would sit down with their drink in one hand and their marker pen in the other and check off the numbers on their cards as the caller shouted them out.
The whole experience was great fun for all involved but it would all eventually come to an end as most good things do. This end came with the advent of the internet and resulted in many of the halls closing for good, although some still remain in many towns to this day.
The first online bingo sites started to spring up around 10 years ago and quickly became popular as they allowed people to play the game at home and on their own terms. Bingo is still incredibly popular but the game has shifted almost entirely to an online format and thanks to the chat feature of many sites, still contains a great social element.
Bingo is a very popular game to play for one very good reason; it's great fun and can easily be played by people of all ages. The UK is where it all happens though and in addition to a long history of it being played in bingo halls around the country, the online version of the game is very popular with UK players.
There are a number of variants of bingo played in the UK but the most common is 90 ball. 80 ball makes a regular appearance as well as 30 ball which is sometimes known as speed bingo but American style 75 ball is also quite popular too.
The basic format uses a grid of squares, the number of which varies depending on the game type being played, but is often 9 by 3. The squares are filled with random numbers and players mark them off if they are called either by a live bingo caller or when they show on the screen. If and when a player manages to mark off a line of their numbers, two lines or the entire card then various levels of prizes are awarded. Smaller prizes are given for one or two lines but it's the well known 'full house' that usually pays the most. The prizes up for grabs vary depending on the game and can be as little as a few pounds all the way up to huge multi-million pound jackpots if the game is big enough.
Most of the sites available today offer a great deal more that just bingo which makes them far more attractive to a lot more people. Other games such as slots, scratchcards, fruit machines, video poker and roulette are a nice distraction if players find themselves having a run of bad luck. These games will also offer prizes of various kinds which can often make playing them just as fun as bingo.
The structure of the average bingo site is normally a fairly simple one with the homepage being the place where most players will start off. The registration page is the first place to go if you like the look of what they offer and the process is usually fairly quick. Once you have registered and signed in then you will probably be in the lobby which is where you can choose what kind of game you'd like to play. The basic choices will be bingo, of course, as well as a load of other side games like slots, scratchcards and table games. The other main area of any site is the bingo room itself (of which there can be many) and although they can often look very different they usually contain the basic elements of the game. These include the card that you mark the numbers on, an area where the called numbers are displayed, some info about your current balance and how many tickets you have and the all-important chat window where you can talk to other players and get involved in the friendly atmosphere of the game.
When you first check out a new site there are a few basic things you should be looking for to give you the best chance of enjoying your first time.
Almost every site out there will make frequent use of the word 'free' in their advertising but it's important to know what they really mean by this. The sites will often mention that they will give new players a certain amount of free bingo money or something similar but this is by no means free cash that can be withdrawn. Instead it is usually a kind of house credit that players can only spend at the site on the main bingo games but often the side games too. Because it is not considered real cash the free money amount is often separate from any actual cash that the player deposits and the two balances are usually separate from each other. Some operators also have restrictions on the withdrawals players can make on money they have won when they have been playing with their free money.
Another popular term they use is 'deposit bonus' and is often quoted as a percentage such as '300% on your first deposit of £10'. This simply means that in the example above, if you deposited ten pounds, you would have a total of forty pounds to play with which is your original amount plus the bonus. In other words, 300 percent means you multiply your deposit amount by three and that is what you get as a bonus on top of your deposit.
We aim to make things as clear as possible when we show you what bonuses the bingo sites offer to make it easy for new players. A general rule you should apply to most of the sites is that they will let you play with your free bonus money but will only let you start taking money out once you have spent a little of your own with them.
Unfortunately, amongst the hundreds of sites currently operating there will always be some bad ones that should be avoided and they certainly don't make it on to our list. By 'bad ones', we mean sites that can't be trusted with your money, offer very little or no chance of winning anything, are run by crooked operators or generally provide a poor playing experience. Dishonest sites are thankfully few and far between as word tends to get around quickly about what they are up to and then they are then ignored by the majority of players. However there are a lot of boring ones about that seem to make very little effort in terms of the variety of their games, what prizes (if any) they give away, their promotions and how generous they are with their players. We don't include the dull sites in our lists here and we also do regular checks to make sure the ones that we do include don't take a turn for the worse.
Another very important point to look out for when checking out new sites is weather they are fully licensed to operate and allow you to play bingo for money. For UK players the authority in question is the UK Gambling Commission and they specify which countries are allowed to host bingo companies the can accept players who gamble for real money. On each of the sites this info is often at the bottom of the homepage and as a new player, you should only trust sites that display this information as the ones that don't are probably unlicensed.
A properly licensed bingo site should also have a certified random number generator and this certification should also be at the bottom of the homepage. This is to make sure that they offer their players a fair chance of winning and if they don't have it, they should be avoided.
Once they have had chance to get a feel for the various sites, new players may start noticing a few similarities between many of them as they delve a bit deeper. The layout of the bingo rooms and the rules under which they operate may start looking a lot like they were on the last site. The main reason for this is they are probably based on the same software which itself isn't a problem. However, too many of today's sites are too similar because the operator hasn't put enough effort in to creating a unique playing experience. This is often most noticeable when it comes to the offers and promotions that are available and the similar sites tend to have exactly the same deals on the go with exactly the same prizes.