Bingo Odds and Probabilities
Online bingo has exploded into a gambling game with global earnings of over $500 million. The combination of bingo game play and the ability to chat online with people from around the world has proven to be a huge success. Like any other gambling game, bingo revolves around odds and probabilities that determine every win and loss. However, bingo odds and probabilities are not as simple as the game play.
Bingo Game Play
The game play structure of bingo is extremely simple. Players are provided a card with a set of numbers separated in columns. The most standard types of online bingo are the 75 and 90 ball styles. Online bingo sites offer both formats as well as the ability to play more than one bingo card at a time.
Each column will have a set of numbers. For example, the first column may have numbers 1-9, the second column will have 10-19 and the third column will have 20-29. This may continue until the number 75 or 90. Not every column will have all of its designated numbers because a traditional bingo card only has 24 spaces. This means that 24 out of 75 or 90 numbers will be randomly assigned to each bingo card.
A random number generator is used to select each number during a bingo game. Players will mark the designated number that is called if the number is on their card. The game continues until a player has achieved a specific winning pattern on their bingo card. Certain bingo games may continue until multiple players have won.
Bingo games ensure that the house will always receive a large portion of the buy-in as a necessary profit. The general house edge of an online bingo hall is 40%. This means that only 60% of the buy-in amount for any given bingo game goes back to the players. However, the house edge will vary greatly depending on the number of tickets in play, the cost of each ticket and the available prize pool. Certain bingo games may only carry a 20% house edge because of the aforementioned factors.
Bingo is a game entirely based on chance. It contains no worthwhile strategies that can be implemented in order to consistently improve the odds of winning. The fact that it has no significant skill or strategy involved makes it a game that is entirely dependent on the odds and probabilities of the available numbers being called.
Online bingo halls utilize a random numbers generator to randomly select a number up to 75 or 90. The generators used are absolutely random. There is no specific re-occurring number or number combination that has a greater chance of being called. The odds of a certain number being called are exactly the same as any other number at the beginning of a bingo game. As the number of calls begins to increase, the odds of a certain number being called improves.
For example, a 75 ball bingo game will only have a maximum number of 75 total calls. The odds of winning with any accepted pattern reach 1:1 by the time the 75th call is made. Here is a quick rundown of the odds of earning a traditional bingo win based on the number of calls:
- Call 10: .0008
- Call 20: .0228
- Call 25: .0531
- Call 40: .4456
As noted, the odds of hitting a bingo win in a 75 ball game in under 10 calls is extremely low. By the 40th call, the odds of hitting a bingo win beings to approach 1:2.
Winning in other patterns such as four corners or creating a large X follows the same odds format. The general rule is that the more complex the pattern, the worse the odds are initially. For instance, the odds of winning with a traditional bingo pattern in the 17th call is the same as the odds of winning with an X pattern in the 44th call. This means that the more complex winning patterns require more calls to reach the same odds of winning that the simple patterns have.
Unfortunately, bingo games do not have cards with 75 numbers on them. Instead, cards will have a specific set of spaces. A traditional bingo card will have 25 spaces with 24 of them being numbers and one of them being a free space. This means that there are only 24 spaces where a number from 1-75 can be placed. Every time the random number generator selects a number, there are 24 chances of getting a number out of 75 outcomes. The probability of this turns out to be roughly 1 in 3 for any given call.
All online bingo sites offer players the ability to purchase more than one bingo card for a specific game. The important aspect of this option is that players can purchase non-duplicate cards. This means that a player can play two cards that may feature a completely different set of numbers. This will improve the total probability of having a number appear at least once during a game.
The specific probability of a number appearing in a 75 ball game with two 24-space cards depends on how many duplicate numbers are on the bingo cards. However, each bingo card is played individually. Players are not allowed to combine cards to essentially mix and match a winning combination. The end result is that the odds of winning do not improve; however, the probability of a number showing up on one of the cards does improve.
While there are no guaranteed methods for manipulating bingo odds and probabilities, there are certain tips that can help bingo players maximize their time and money. As previously mentioned, when playing more than one card in a bingo game, it is important to purchase non-duplicate cards. This is particularly important when looking for the best bingo game to join. The odds of winning a bingo game decrease as the number of competing cards increase.
A bingo game with the maximum number of allowable participants has worse odds compared to a less popular bingo game. Joining a less populated bingo game and purchasing non duplicate cards can be the difference between winning and losing.
The simplicity of bingo is based on the importance of chance and the absence of skill. Online bingo games feature the highest house advantage in the gambling industry, but this has not hindered its popularity. The game features modest probabilities and odds that are certainly not as bad as other games based on chance.
Ultimately, there are no real direct ways to affect the winning odds of bingo and there is no special skill or strategy formula that can achieve a desired result. Hence why the game can be so fun and can go on for hours both online and in a brick-and-mortar casino!