Bingo may be the most beginner-friendly game to play in the casino. Most people are familiar with it already, having played it at parties or fundraisers before, but it may surprise you to know that the game has undergone significant upgrades since the days of inky daubers and smoky bingo halls. 

You’ll see these upgrades when you go online to play bingo, as the game selection in online casinos far outweighs what’s available in brick-and-mortar establishments, and the technology behind the game software makes it possible to include a variety of bonus features to play with. At Bovada's online casino, for example, we have 11 different types of Bingo games, ranging from classic American Bingo to foreign flavors of the game, like European Bingo and South American-style bingo. 

If you haven’t heard of the global variety of bingo games before, don’t worry—this online Bingo guide will get you up to speed. In this online play guide, we teach beginners how to play Bingo online by explaining the rules of the game, outlining some basic strategies, and then providing some suggestions of where to start. Players will learn tips to help them win online bingo, and get a run-down of the most popular online Bingo games out there. But before we get there, we’ll take a moment to look back at the origins of this timeless game and see how it evolved from a national lottery to the online casino version we play today. 

History of Online Bingo

Bingo began in 16th century Italy under the name Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia. It was a weekly national lottery that is still run to this day, and continues to provide the government with much-needed budget—just as it did in the early days. Lo Giuoco didn’t look exactly like the Bingo we play today; the casino game underwent changes when the French elite adopted it. They restructured the bingo card to have three horizontal rows, nine vertical columns, and a pool of 90 numbers, which is the same structure used across the pond today. 

Germany had their own use for the game, which was gaining popularity through much of Europe. In Germany, Bingo was used in classrooms as an educational tool for teaching children spelling, history and math.

When Bingo made it overseas, it was first played under the name of Beano in a carnival in Atlanta Georgia. Edwin S. Lowe, a toy salesman from New York, saw the game and decided to invent his own version. With the help of a Columbia University math professor, Lowe created 6,000 unique number arrangements for the Bingo cards and started to sell his game to churches. Eventually, bingo became popular to people of all walks of life, leading to the creation of bingo halls. 

However, bingo halls couldn’t compete with the easy access of online bingo in online casinos. Online bingo started with just one or two casino versions of the game, but has expanded to offer completely new ways to play. Here at Bovada's online casino, you can play bingo online with bonus rounds, progressive jackpots, and a variety of themes; it’s the same concept of the classic game, but given a twist to make it more exciting. 

How Online Bingo Works

Whether you’ve played bingo before, or are now starting to learn how to play bingo online, a quick run-down of how the online game works is useful for everyone. The basis of bingo is the same whether players play online, or at a hall. It’s a lottery-style game with a pool of numbers; a random selection of those numbers is added to a grid on the bingo cards, which players buy.

Once players have the bingo cards ready, a bingo caller draws a certain number of numbered balls from the pool, and players cross the numbers off of the cards as players land matches. Online, the calling is automated, and matches are automatically crossed off your digital card. To win, players must complete a line of matches on a card. 

The Rules of Online Bingo

Online bingo rules correspond with the type of bingo you’re playing, so it’s important to review them in the online play game menu before playing. We’ll go over some of the basic play rules for certain types of bingo games that you’ll encounter at Bovada's online casino

Progressive Jackpots

Three of our bingo games include progressive real money jackpots. To be eligible for them, you must play with four cards per round, and wager at least $1 on each card. To trigger it, you need to win a bingo in the first 30 balls, with no extra balls purchased.



Extra Balls Feature 

Seven of our 11 online casino bingo games include an Extra Balls feature that lets you pay a fee to have additional numbers drawn when you’re one number away from a win. The maximum number of extra balls available depends on the game (at Bovada's online casino, they range from 9-13). Only Go-Go Bingo offers extra balls for free as random real money bonuses. 

Bonus Rounds

Certain bingo games include bonus rounds, which take you to a second screen where you must complete a simple challenge in exchange for money. To trigger the bonus round, you must complete the pattern listed on the real money paytable. Here’s what you can expect from the bonus rounds in our bingo games:

Tribo Bingo: Shoot arrows at three targets to reveal the prizes.

Pesca Bingo: Pick fish and reveal their hidden values until you land three matches.

Bingo Ribeirinhos: Several fish baskets are on the docks. Pick them and collect money until you pick one that says “Collect.”

Bingo Goal: Take a penalty kick at the opposing goaltender in a soccer match; there are six targets to choose from. 

Amazonia Bingo: You’ll be presented with several animals to explore the forest with; choose six and collect their hidden values. 

Cataratas Bingo: Spin a wheel that contains 10 different payout multipliers.


Online Bingo Strategies 

Depending on the experience players want, there are different approaches to playing bingo online. With our classic bingo games, players can opt for bigger prizes at lower odds, or smaller prizes at bigger odds. Simply adjust the number of balls drawn at the start of the round to reflect the players' preferred strategy. For example, with 80-Ball Bingo, players can choose to have 35, 45, or 55 balls drawn.   

Best Online Bingo Games to Start

If you’re just learning how to play bingo for the first time, starting with a simple game that has all the classic elements of bingo included is your best bet. For that, we recommend going with Go-Go Bingo. 

When players first launch Go-Go Bingo, you have the option of taking a “Quick Tour” to get acquainted with the game. This will show you what to press to launch the game’s 30 balls, how to change your bet, and how the shuffle the numbers on your bingo cards if you don’t like the ones you’ve been given. You’ll also see the game’s paytable, which lists Go-Go Bingo’s 12 winning patterns. The minimum payout is awarded to “Any Line” and the maximum to “Full House.”

The tour also shows how winning patterns on your casino card will look once highlighted, making it easy to see when you’ve won. Go-Go Bingo is also one of our seven bingo games that includes an Extra Balls feature; here, you can buy up to nine extra balls after the 30-ball draw is complete and you’re won number short of a win. As a bonus exclusive to Go-Go Bingo, some balls are given free of charge.  

In the online casino game menu, you’ll see a “How To” section that complements the Quick Tour. The How To lists the following six game rules:

    • There are four cards each round, and each card has three rows and five columns.

    • Go-Go Bingo uses a pool of 60 numbers; 30 numbers are drawn randomly from the pool each round. 

    • You may shuffle the numbers on your bingo cards by clicking the card. 

    • As you land matches on your cards, they’re marked automatically.

    • When you land a winning line on a bingo card, you’re paid the corresponding real money payout listed on the casino paytable. 

    • If you’re one number short of a win after the 30 balls are drawn, you get the opportunity to take nine extra balls. Most of the time there is a fee for these balls, but occasionally, you get some as freebies. 


The Different Types of Bingo Online

We have 11 different types of bingo games in the Specialty Games section of our casino, including traditional games and themed bingo with bonus features. Our classic suite of bingo games includes 30-Ball Bingo, 80-Ball Bingo, American Bingo and European Bingo. The most popular ones are our themed bingo, which includes Pesca Bingo, Tribo Bingo, Bingo Ribeirinhos, Bingo Goal, Amazonia Bingo and Cataratas Bingo. The final bingo game in our casino, Go-Go Bingo, is a streamlined game that plays just as smoothly on a smartphone as it does on a computer. This version also lets one customize the interface by offering seven different colours for the backdrop. 

Have you decided which of these bingo games appeals most to you to play? Give them a trial run free of charge on Practice Play, and then switch to Real Play to start winning real money online. Don’t forget to yell Bingo!