New to online bingo?
Well, firstly, welcome! You’re joining a huge family from all over the world, and we’re happy to have you!
Maybe you’ve never played bingo before, or perhaps you’ve just played in bingo halls and are looking to explore online? You’ve come to the right place! OhMyBingo is the perfect place to start your online bingo journey. We have everything you’ll need to find the site of your dreams, and if you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got tonnes of super-friendly guides to help you out!
Bingo - The Basics
Let’s kick off with some bingo basics! Very simply, to play bingo, you buy a card (or cards) with some numbers on. A bingo caller will randomly draw numbers (in traditional bingo halls, these are numbered balls from a hopper), and if the number they call is on your card, it gets marked off. When you match enough numbers, this is called BINGO, and you win!
There are a few different types of bingo- some have a different number of balls, some have slightly different cards, but the basic principles are all the same. To find out more about the different types of bingo, see our handy guide, “75- or 90-Ball Bingo?”.
Even if you’re familiar with the rules of bingo, moving to an online site can be new, and to some players, even a little scary! Fear not lovely friends, because OhMyBingo is here to walk you through all the basics, right down to the simple stuff. Even the most seasoned online bingo players were newbies once! Are you ready to get started? You got this!
You’ve decided you want to play online bingo- amazing! But with hundreds of UK bingo sites to choose from, where do you start? First of all, consider what you want your bingo experience to be like. Would you like a friendly, chatty site where you can make friends? If that sounds like you, a dedicated bingo site (rather than a mixed focus bingo and slots site) is probably going to be a good fit for you.
If you’re just joining the online bingo world, you might prefer to start out on a big, well-known site with a household name. Big sites like this are often well-built and easy to use, with a good customer support team. Plus, if you’ve heard of them and seen their ads on TV, you might feel more comfortable that your money is safe and secure.
Many sites will offer something called a Welcome Bonus when trying to get you to join their site.
This means that when you make your first deposit with them, they’ll give you something for free, like bingo bonus or free spins. More for your money sounds great, and it is, but bear in mind that unless the site is cash-only, your freebie will probably come with wagering requirements that might limit when you can withdraw your winnings.
Even better than a first deposit Welcome Bonus is a “no deposit bonus”. This does what it says on the tin- you’ll get a free bonus or some free spins just for signing up, with no deposit required. You might have to add your debit card information, but that’s just to check you’re over 18 and not a naughty fraudster!
If you’re not really sure what kind of site you’d like, there’s no harm in just trying a few out. Pick one with a theme or a name you like the sound of and give it a go! If you look for a site that offers a no deposit bonus, you can try it for free without committing any cash, and if you don’t like the site, off you toddle to try another one.
If you want to know all the dirt on a site you’ve seen, the best place to look is in the OhMyBingo reviews! We’ve explored and tested tonnes of sites so that you don’t have to waste your time on one that just doesn’t cut the mustard.
Hooray, you’ve found a site you want to try! Let’s get you signed up, shall we? Whether you’re playing on desktop, tablet, or mobile, registering to a site should be easy-peasy, and if it isn’t, we’d consider that a big red flag against that site. After all, this is the first hurdle to you becoming a member- they’ll want to make it easy for you!
Registering your details
Visit the site you want to join and look for a button that says “Register”, “Join Now”, or something along those lines. Enter your details, and make sure they’re correct. Although it might seem funny to put a silly name or to list your age as 103, don’t forget that you’re legally agreeing that the details you’ve submitted are correct, and they’ll be checked to make sure. You might also need your date of birth or mobile number later to verify your account or reset your password, so double check you’ve not made any whoopsies when typing them in.
Subscribing to offers
Since 2018, regulations have really tightened up about how companies can contact you. Remember all those annoying “please confirm your subscription” emails? That’s what was happening. Companies are now only allowed to market to you with your consent, so chances are, sites will ask you to tick to allow emails, SMS, and so on. This is entirely up to you and you can always change it later; you might get some good offers through email and SMS, but for some people, they’d rather not be contacted. You’re the boss!
No deposit bonuses
If you’re claiming a no deposit sign-up bonus, you’ll have to enter your card details. “But wait,” you cry, “I thought it was free!” Don’t worry; it is. Companies just have to ask for your card details so they can check firstly that you’re over 18, and secondly, that you are who you say you are. There are a lot of scammers out there trying to rip off online bingo sites! Once you’ve entered your details, your registration should be complete, and boom, you’re in! Time to start playing!
Bingo is just bingo, right? Well, yes and no. All bingo games follow the same principle- numbers are called out, and you mark them off your card if you have them. But lucky for us bingo lovers, there are a whole load of different varieties to explore and enjoy!
Types of Bingo
75- and 90-ball bingo are what most people think of when they say “bingo”. These are your traditional American and British bingo styles, where you might be trying to get a line or a full house.
90-ball bingo is the most popular by far in the UK, and it’s a good place to start if you’re new to bingo! There are also 80-ball and 52-card versions, as well as site-exclusive variations with special bonus rounds or features.
Find out all about the different versions here.
“Free Bingo” is a phrase you might hear thrown about a lot. Free bingo rooms are just that- the tickets in them are free to buy. You’re usually limited to just a few per game, and the jackpots won’t be huge, but hey! Free bingo!
Keep an eye out for sites with “Newbie Rooms”- usually these give you free bingo for a few days after you first join or deposit! Find sites with free bingo in OhMyBingo’s Free Bingo section.
Progressive jackpots are another bingo feature that can make a room more fun. They’re usually presented something like this: “Get a full house to win £10 cash! If you bingo in 40 calls or fewer, you’ll trigger the £1000 progressive jackpot!”
Every bingo game will have a regular jackpot that you can win, but a progressive jackpot runs on top of the bingo game, and basically, it’s like an extra prize you can win. Most progressive jackpots are set up so that if you win the game before a certain number of balls have been drawn, you’ll win the big bucks. Sometimes you’ll get the full progressive jackpot amount, and sometimes it’s split between all the players in the room. Either way, it’s a nice bonus!
Sliding jackpots are another promotional tool that sites use to spice up a game, and they’re often worded like this: “Tonight’s game features a £5000 sliding jackpot! Guaranteed prize £500.” Confusing, right? Why are there two prize amounts listed? We’ll break it down for you.
What this means is that the game starts with a jackpot of £5000. As the game goes on, the jackpot amount will start to drop. As numbers keep being called, it will go down and down, until it hits £500. This is the guaranteed minimum amount the site has promised, so it won’t drop any further. If the game is won quickly in few calls, the jackpot could be huge, but if the game is a long one and no one bingos for ages, it’s likely to be smaller.
Why do sites do this? Honestly, it’s because they get to advertise a huge prize amount, and very rarely have to pay it out. Cheeky? Maybe. But the minimum jackpot is often still pretty good, so as long as you know what you’re signing up for, they can still be fun to play.
You made it to a bingo room! You’ve got your bingo cards at the ready, and the game is about to begin… but when you look at the chat, it’s like everyone is speaking a foreign language! We’re here to give you a crash course in bingo lingo- you’ll pick it up in no time!
Firstly, you might see someone called a Chat Host taking part in the conversation. A Chat Host works for the bingo site, and it’s their job to make sure you have fun! They might run games, competitions, or trivia quizzes in the chat while the games are running, and often prizes are up for grabs if you feel like joining in!
What are all those letters people keep typing? If you’ve only just got the hang of LOL, here’s your quick guide:
GL: Good luck!
WTG: Way to go!
WD: Well done!
CH or CM: Chat Host or Chat Moderator
1TG or 2TG: One to go / Two to go
PJP: Progressive Jackpot
Congratulations, you’ve passed bingo boot camp and you’re ready to play! Joining the world of online bingo is the start of an exciting journey, and OhMyBingo will be there to help you along at every step of the way. Enjoy finding a site you love, check our reviews to find out all the details, and above all, have fun!
This guide is a crash-course, but if you enjoyed it and want to read more, OhMyBingo has plenty of other helpful articles covering all the aspects of online bingo and slots play! If there’s anything that’s seriously got you stumped, and you don’t see it covered, please feel free to get in touch and let us know!