Bingo used to be an occasion for mostly older folks to get together in bingo halls and have a bit of fun sweetened by the chance of making money. Today, bingo is one of the most popular games in every online casino. Online bingo is a smash hit in the United Kingdom and is spreading fast in the rest of the world. Online bingo sites are very generous with prizes so it’s no wonder more and more players are signing up. Now bingo is a game of chance – there’s no way you can influence the numbers that are drawn. So how can you improve your odds of winning? Believe it or not, a few simple but scientific methods can make it more likely for you to win.
By the balls
In traditional bingo, numbered balls spin randomly inside a caged wheel before being drawn one by one. That means it’s possible to predict the following numbers by using the concepts of mathematical probability. When people talk about traditional bingo strategy, a name that always comes up is mathematician Joseph Granville, the bingo number cruncher. Even in a random lottery-style game, the numbers have patterns. For example, at the beginning of a 75-ball bingo game, there’s a 0.013% chance of any number between 1 and 75 coming up. However, because there’s a limited number of bingo balls, the odds change after every number that’s drawn. The question is how bingo players can apply this knowledge. Granville said the best way of winning is to focus on odds, evens, high and low numbers, and numbers ending in single digits from 0 to 9. If these numbers are distributed evenly on a card, then that is a good card to buy.
Another number-crunching method comes from British statistician L.H.C Tippett. He said that as more and more numbers are called in a game of ball bingo, the remaining numbers are more and more likely to be somewhere in the middle. In a short game, if there are 99 bingo balls in play, then go for numbers that are closer to 1 and 99. In a long game, go for cards with numbers closer to 45.
By the book
If you’re playing bingo which uses books or cards instead of the traditional balls, different strategies come into play. The first is to buy as many books as you can actually play. If you buy too many books, the chance of you winning on the ones you don’t play is zero. Now if there are 20 players in a game with one book each, including you, then your chance of winning is 5%. But if the other players have one book each and you buy four books, then you have a 17% chance of winning. To work out the odds of winning a game, just divide the number of books by the number of players. The more books and players, of course, the more difficult it gets, but even an educated guesstimate will give you more of an edge.
Size does count
When it comes to the size of the game, there are two schools of thought. For some people, it’s better to join a game with fewer players, because the fewer opponents you have, the better chance you have of winning. On the other hand, if you’re interested in big wins, you might want to take a look at how the jackpot works. Some venues calculate the jackpot according to the number of cards in the game – the more cards in play, the bigger the prize. Even in the apparently simple game of bingo, it seems that fortune favors the brave.