How to choose the best bingo site
Before jumping in head first and creating an account at the very next bingo site you come across, there are a few things to take into consideration. The following pointers will help you get the most from your time at any one of the best bingo sites that you see here on this page.
Types of Bingo
There are many different bingo games to choose from and the major difference between most of them is the number of balls they use. Games with fewer balls will generally be over much quicker than the others but you’ll find more prizes available with the bigger games.
The fastest version is 30-ball bingo with just 9 numbers to check off your card. This only takes a few minutes, but it will require a complete card to grab a prize. The longest is 90-ball bingo, which uses the full set of balls and 15 numbers on each card. You’ll get 3 chances to win a prize with 90-ball games: 1 line, 2 lines, and full house. There’s a type of bingo game for every sort of player!
Bingo Software & Network
While there may be hundreds of bingo sites available online, there’s only a handful of bingo platform providers working behind the scenes. Bingo sites will decide which one they want to work with and this will affect the games you can access as well as the networked rooms and prizes on offer.
If you are looking for a specific type of game or theme such as Age of the Gods Bingo from Playtech Virtue Fusion, then it might be important for you to know which bingo software is powering your chosen bingo site.
Similarly, different bingo networks provide different offers, network-wide promotions and networked games. For example, sites on the Dragonfish Real Bingo Network offer no wagering bonuses and free spins, whereas sites on the Pragmatic Play bingo network offer access to the popular Bingo Blast and Diamond Dazzle rooms, as well as the slot-themed Reels Room that rotates game every month.
Details of what software and network a bingo site runs on is covered in all our bingo site reviews, but if you want to find a bingo site by the platform it runs on, you might want to take a look at our bingo software and bingo networks pages.
These are the main bingo networks available to choose from in the industry at the moment:
For many, playing bingo is all about the community. Some of the largest bingo sites have a buzzing community and chat rooms with hundreds of players all engrossed in friendly banter and enjoying various mini-games throughout the day.
Furthermore, chat moderators can really bring a game to life and offer excitement and laughs even when you don’t get the full house!
Some bingo sites, such as Mecca Bingo, are well known for their regular bonuses that can bring a little extra credit to your account. In general, bonus money is never yours to withdraw straight away.
Instead, you might have free bingo cards to use and/or bonus cash to spend on various bingo games and other products. This may also include side games, slots, scratchcards and casino games.
Your free gift may be a one-off bingo bonus for signing up and might not need any kind of financial input from you. Alternatively, you might come across the extremely popular deposit match deals where anything you deposit into your account will be matched by the bingo site up to a certain amount.
There are also various promotions available during the month with many of the best bingo sites leading to loads of additional prizes.
Banking options might not be something that you have previously considered in your quest for a fantastic bingo site to play at.
However, it’s worth giving it some thought as not every bingo site has the same payment methods available. Most will allow you to pay by debit card, but e-wallets are also common options.
PayPal is a popular choice and prepaid cards such as Paysafecard, for example, will also feature at many bingo websites. We list supported payment methods in all our bingo site reviews, but you can also choose a bingo site by payment method.
How we rate and review bingo sites
Before we even set off on our quest to pick apart a bingo site and see what it has to offer, the brand must first pass a strict quality control test. This is to ensure that we are happy with the overall offering and it can provide a great experience to players.
Once we are satisfied that it meets our criteria, we dive into our 6-point review process. Here's how we break down a bingo site assessment and present the info to you.
Design & Usability
Some bingo sites are super flashy and promise big things from their product. But it's no good having an overcomplicated site that isn't easy to work with.
We are looking for a logical navigation process that takes you to exactly where you need to be without scratching your head and searching for hours. Obviously, we want a bingo site to be attractive as well but functionality certainly takes preference in this instance.
The best UK bingo sites must also be backed up by some powerful software that lets you move around quickly. Games need to load promptly and we don't want to see any unnecessary buffering.
We love it when a site does its best to explain things clearly and present all the info in straightforward language. We aren't reading a medical journal after all! Players want no-nonsense details at their fingertips.
Finally, not everyone will want to access the best bingo sites using their desktop computer. Mobile gaming is incredibly important and we always make sure that mobile-optimised websites and downloadable apps are up to the job.
We spend a great deal of our review time playing all of the available bingo games. If these aren't up to scratch, then the bingo site is unlikely to score highly overall and probably won’t make it onto our website.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s not only the game types that can make a huge difference to the level of enjoyment – it’s also the software provider behind the scenes too. There are several trustworthy names in the industry and it is always reassuring when a brand is backed up by a reputable software provider.
The number of players at a bingo site will have an effect on the overall prize pool available in bingo games, as well as the social aspect. The more people there are in a bingo room, the more entertainment there will be to enjoy in the form of chat games, quizzes and laughs, while at the same time having the opportunity to win decent prizes.
Finally, we also check out other products on the bingo site such as slots and other side games including scratchcards. Many players love to mix things up and try out something different while they're waiting for their next game of bingo to begin.
Land-based bingo has always been a social game and online bingo is exactly the same! Most online bingo sites have chat rooms where players can interact with each other whilst playing games. Having a good community plays a vital role in providing a positive and enjoyable experience for players.
Naturally, this is one aspect that we review and test for ourselves. We check first-hand to see what the community of a specific bingo site is like and if it holds up to our high standards. There’s nothing better than having a positive and supportive community celebrate your win with you!
Of course, we also look at the chat moderators to see if they engage and entertain the community as well as host frequent chat games such as quizzes and trivia. Everything you’ll need to know about the community of a bingo site will be explored in our thorough review.
Promos are engaging and exciting and give players a reason to return to a bingo site for the chance of winning extra prizes and cash. Having huge promotions is usually a positive, but the lack of them isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker.
What’s important is that whatever promos the bingo site does have are interesting and worthwhile. They need to be easy to understand and straightforward to enter. Furthermore, the prizes on offer need to be rewarding and any terms and conditions need to be fair.
No one likes huge promises of big cash bonuses when you have to jump through hundreds of hoops before you even get a chance to use them. Some of the most popular promos are spin-the-wheel games, prize draws, slot tournaments, loyalty rewards and even just randomly awarded prizes. The prizes on offer usually include free bingo tickets, free spins, reload bonuses, cashback, and even gadgets, cars and holidays!
A reputable bingo site will offer a host of varied payment methods. It will understand that players have different requirements when it comes to depositing and withdrawing their funds.
We will dig deep into the deposit and withdrawal times, transaction fees as well as minimum and maximum amounts that you can transfer at any one time.
Of course, we’ll also list the available deposit methods so you can ensure your chosen bingo site offers your preferred payment option.
To find out how reliable the customer support is at a bingo site we get online and chat to their representatives. We always have questions when conducting a thorough review, so who better to answer them than the bingo site itself?
We try out the live chat, and explore the FAQs, contact form, email and phone contacts, where available. Bingo sites need to be true to their word and offer full support to their players. If we don't think they're up to the task, then we'll be honest about it and let you know.
Types of bingo games
We touched on a few bingo game variations a little earlier. Now’s your chance to see how each one works so you’ll be a dab hand when it comes to playing online.
30-ball is also known as speed bingo due to the rapid completion time. There are only 30 balls in play, so someone will win the prize very quickly. These bingo cards only have nine numbers in a 3x3 grid, and the main prize generally just goes to the one player who completes their card first.
This version is perhaps more popular in the US than it is in the UK. It is played on a 5x5 grid with 24 squares containing a number. Winners need to get a full row of numbers in any direction. There may also be patterns in play that you need to complete to win a prize.
This online special has become extremely popular over the last couple of years and is played on a 4x4 grid. Only 16 numbers are in play and winners have to successfully complete a set pattern that may include all four corners or various lines across the grid.
This is the most traditional game that players know and love, especially in the UK. This version is not only popular online but also in bingo halls and homes throughout the country. Your card will have 9 columns, 3 rows and consist of 15 numbers to check off in total. There are three prizes available for the first person to complete one horizontal line, then two lines and then the complete grid.
You can enjoy this variant of the game with either 75-ball or 90-ball bingo. As the name suggests, the idea is to cover all of the numbers on your card. This style of game is usually associated with bigger prizes as the majority of the pot will go to one person. But there may be prizes for lines and patterns too in some cases. There may also be a jackpot available if the coverall game is completed within a certain number of calls.
If you’ve ever played progressive jackpot slots, for example, then you’ll know just how amazing the payouts can be. There will be a seed prize offered, which is the minimum you can win, and it will keep on growing from there. Each time a player buys a ticket, a portion of the ticket price will go into the pot and contribute to the jackpot total. If nobody wins during the game, then it rolls over to the next. There’s no saying just how big it might grow.
Benefits of playing at online bingo sites
As we have seen, bingo is an incredibly popular game and has been for quite some time. It is a simple game to pick up and appeals to a wide variety of people from grandma to university students! Some players stay true to tradition and prefer to visit local bingo halls in person, but over the years these have been in decline as more and more players opt for the convenience of playing online. There’s a whole world of benefits to be found playing online on your desktop or mobile devices.
Bingo is an incredibly sociable game. Unlike some games found at casinos, there’s a real feeling of camaraderie and everyone is rooting for each other. Nowhere is this better displayed than in the online bingo chat rooms.
Making friends while enjoying a hobby that you love is a win-win situation that proves to be a huge plus for many players. In between the main events, there are also mini-games that can be found in the chat rooms. These include winning prizes when the person above you or under you lands a win during their game, trivia games, quizzes and more.
As we mentioned, playing online offers an extremely convenient solution. You don't need to get dressed up and head out to the high street – you can sit there playing in your pyjamas if you want!
Paying for bingo games is also extremely easy when accessing them via the internet. You simply top up your bingo account and use your balance whenever you need it to buy tickets.
You won't need to queue up to participate at the bingo sites either and you’ll also find that most sites offer games 24/7. So regardless of your other schedules in life, there will always be a fabulous game of bingo available when you want it.
For many bingo lovers, bingo bonuses and promos are extremely important. They can mean a ton of additional bingo credit in your account that allows you to purchase tickets for free. You don't get great deals like these down at your local bingo hall.
Keep an eye out for welcome offers for new customers as these are often the most lucrative. It isn't unheard of to see anything that you deposit topped up by a 100% bonus or more. If you're going to spend a little money on your favourite hobby, then why not feel the instant rewards while you are at it? Although, do note that bonuses usually come with terms and conditions that limit the amount that can be won when using them.
The online realm has opened up a whole new world of bingo games. Where once it was only possible to access the traditional 90-ball version, you can now enjoy many variations.
Beyond the number of balls that are in play, there are also different themes to suit your particular taste. Many popular bingo providers offer TV, game shows and other formats to add a little excitement, so there is no end to the possibilities. PlayOJO Bingo even offers a special bingo room inspired by online slots with the Reels Room. If variety is what you are after, then look no further than the best bingo sites!