3 Things to Check Before You Start Playing Online

Many people would say that the most important thing to know before you start playing bingo is, obviously, to know how to play. Those people would be wrong. Knowing the rules is nice but it should only come second because online games can be played even before you learn the rules. Your number 1 priority should be choosing a good site because the operators decide on the price of the tickets, the amount of the jackpots and the wagering requirements applied to each bonus. Next, you should consider your winning chances and finally what factors will help you win one of the 3 prizes. And there you have them, 3 things you will find in our article plus a lot of other curious topics.

How to Play 90-Ball Bingo?

A 90-Ball Bingo Ticket PreviewWe’ll start with the ticket and the distribution of the numbers on it. Each 90-ball ticket has 3 rows and 9 columns. Each row has 5 numbers and 4 blank spaces. The first column contains the numbers between 1-9, the second one is for the numbers between 10-19 and so on until the last column where you will find numbers between 80 and 90. The distribution of the numbered and blank boxes is absolutely random, so don’t look for a pattern because you won’t find one. Each line (or a row) has 5 numbers and the ticket contains 15 numbers in total. A strip is made of 6 tickets which contains all the 90 numbers. In the land-based halls it made perfect sense to purchase a whole strip because it was easier to daub it manually. When you know that all the numbers are there, there’s no way you forget to daub one and it’s also easier to find them. Online bingo rooms have the so-called autodaub function which marks the numbers for you so you don’t have to worry about missing a call. However, you can still buy your tickets in strips online or if you prefer, you can hand pick them one by one.

Three Winning Combinations Available

When the caller starts announcing the numbers you will either have to daub them manually (if this option is available) or just wait while the autodaub function crosses off each called out number. First, you will be competing for the 1-line win. In other words you will have to match all the five numbers on any line on the ticket to grab the prize. Usually by the time the 1-line winner is announced, you have more than 5 numbers daubed. This means that when you start playing for the 2-line win, you will already have some of the numbers and may well be 4/3/2TG (2TG means 2 to go i.e. you need 2 more numbers to grab the prize). It doesn’t matter which 2 lines you match, you will grab your prize. And this instantly increases your odds if you won in the 1-line round. The last and biggest prize goes to the Full House winner, or the one that covers all their numbers first. In the land-based halls the person had to yell BINGO right away but in the online rooms the computer claims the win for you so there’s no way you miss it.

And if you prefer to see things done rather than explained in long articles, just watch our instructional video and follow the steps to start playing 90-ball games.

Top 4 Bingo Operators for 90-ball games

Our top offer comes from Wink Bingo where you will find 8 exciting 90-ball rooms. Most tickets are sold at 5p so they are quite affordable but if you want to compete for bigger jackpots there are more expensive cards at £1 or £2. Four of the rooms – The Strip, High 5, Naughty Numbers and Get Lucky are open 24/7. The Bunny Club and Yummy Mummies are open around noon. Wild Winkers and Mixed Balls are open in the late afternoon/evening. So no matter what time you log in, you will be able to choose a room that fits your preferences best. Additionally, there is a 90-ball bingo progressive jackpot that can be won during all games. You just have to cover all the numbers on your card in 37 calls or fewer and the PJP together with the jackpot for the specific game will be all yours. Keep in mind that these progressive jackpots are accumulated over time and they usually reach a 5-figure number. When they are won they start building up from a set amount, say £100, £500 or more, but never £0. You shouldn’t forget that the welcome bonus at Wink is £55. This is not the regular offer, it’s OUR offer and it comes with a special promo code BEST. Deposit a tenner and you’ll be playing with £55 more.

Recommended Bingo Operators for 90-Ball Games
Bingo Operator Year of Launching Welcome Bonus Extras Rooms Tickets Price Range Progressive Jackpots Start at
2008 £55 Code: BEST 12 £0 – £2 £100+ / 37 calls
2005 £30 + 5 Free Spins 8 5p – 50p £100+ / 44 calls
2008 £25 Free Emmeralde Mug 10 2p – £1 £5,000+ / 32 calls
2010 £60 Code: WIN70 10 £0 ‑ 10p+ £300+ / 38 calls
T&C’s apply to each of the offers above!

Although Wink and 888 Ladies are indisputably more generous than the other sites in the table because of our exclusive promo codes, you have to agree that all welcome promos are way above the average. Regarding the bingo rooms and prices of the cards: Wink offer 12 rooms where you can play bingo with 90 balls, Foxy has included 9 of those rooms and the tickets start at just a penny. 888 Ladies offer 10 90-ball rooms organised in 4 tabs – free, penny +, 5p or more and 10p or more. And finally, there’s Gala where you will find the branded Coronation Street, DOND, WWTBAM and Lucky Numbers plus 10 traditional 90-ball rooms.

Lotto, Housey-Housey or Bingo?

There are at least 2 different hypotheses about the origins of this game. Some say it was in the 16th century when a lottery game called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia” (which in English translates to “The Clearance of The Lot of Italy”) gave birth to it. Later on, in the 18th century bingo was introduced to France where they called it “Le Lotto” and used the same ticket as the modern day 90-ball games. During the 19th century another version of the game was used for educational purposes in Germany. It was a game through which children would learn to spell and calculate. There’s another version according to which in the 19th century gambling was illegal for women and they invented bingo as a way to go around the ban because gambling was primarily connected with dice. During the World War II the British soldiers started playing a game they called Housey-Housey in the trenches as a distraction. Back in the UK the name underwent another change instigated by the church and it was renamed to Tombola. This was an attempt to dissociate the game from gambling and start giving out prizes instead of cash. The goal was a noble one, the church was trying to attract more people and raise funds. When the Gambling Act was passed in 1960 and social gaming was legalised the first land-based bingo clubs were set up. They often occupied empty cinemas which were deserted by the audience due to the unequal battle with the modern television. The name BINGO was borrowed from the USA but the ticket and the rules remained the same.

A Record Breaking Winner

People say “love happens when you least expect it”, but we will rephrase that to “luck happens when you least expect it”. Daryl Howe from Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire decided to play bingo for the first time in his life and opened an account at William Hill mostly out of boredom. He didn’t even wait for his game to finish and he shut down his computer. What was his surprise when he found out that his ticket won him the whopping £18,000 jackpot in a record breaking time.

He claimed the Full House in only 23 calls, which is unheard of in the industry and even the biggest bingo fans admit this is amazingly rare to happen. Actually William Hill had some fun with comparing the probabilities of this jackpot to other unlikely things. Like they say on their website, the odds of getting a FH in 23 calls are equal to those of the Natural History Museum to state that dinosaurs died out because of their addiction to cigarettes. In numbers this is exactly 93,400,706,414 to 1. Daryl Howe, who is a gardener, said he believes it was just a beginner’s luck and that he was totally gobsmacked when William Hill told him about his win and how extraordinary it was.

Famous Variations 101

Besides the regular 90-ball rooms there are some sites that offer branded rooms. Games like Lucky Numbers, Million Pound Drop, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Coronation Street, Deal or No Deal and Britain’s Got Talent follow the traditional rules of 90-ball bingo but also incorporate a bonus round or a special feature that makes them more diverse. For example the fans of Coronation Street Bingo will enjoy 3 bonus rounds that are themed on the famous show (The Rovers Return (1TG), Weatherfield (2TG) and Streetcars (BOGOF) ) as well as archived videos from the early days of the show in between the main sessions. The numbers are called out by Reg Holdsworth and Fred Elliot and the design of the room makes you feel like you are on the set of the soap opera. Another game – Deal or No Deal Bingo (or DOND for short) will let you dive into the atmosphere of the hit TV-show. This time the caller is Chris Tarrant and the game plays almost like the TV show. There are 4 prizes – 1 Line, 2 Lines, Full House and the special prize in the bonus round. Whoever wins the Full House qualifies for an extra game where you will be asked the ultimate question by the stingy banker.

Coronations Street Bingo DOND 90
The Coronation Street Bingo Room & The TV-Show Based Deal or No Deal Bingo
Virtue Fusion Developed By Endemol
Golden Cobbles PJP Jackpot Community Jackpot
5p – 15p Tickets 10p – 50p
£10 – £100 Full House £40 – £400
no Networked yes
Coronation StreetBingo TicketDownload now!

Extra activity: Our editorial team is so crazy about Coronation Street we decided to prepare a custom ticket that you can daub while you watch the next episode. First decide on three things that you really want to treat yourself with – this will be your prize fund. Then plop down on the sofa and cross your fingers. Mark off a box each time the characters on screen do what is written in it. You can also have a smaller prize if you are 1TG/2TG like eating a piece of chocolate cake for dinner. Eyes down folks and good luck!

Bingo Probabilities Formula Explained

This table will show you what are the real odds of you winning 1 Line, 2 Lines or Full House (3 Lines) in a certain number of marks (i.e. called out numbers that you have daubed). Although this may seem quite nerdy to understand at first it sure gives you a good idea of how luck is defined mathematically. The chance of you winning a line is expressed in the following function: combin(15,m)*combin(75,c-m)/combin(90,m). The Microsoft Excel COMBIN function returns the number of combinations for a specified number of items. Take for instance the first row of the table. It’s quite unlikely to cover a line when you’ve daubed 5 numbers because they might be distributed randomly on the 3 rows. But if you’ve covered 13 numbers your odds increase dramatically.

Marks 0 Rows 1 Rows 2 Rows 3 Rows Total
5 0.999001 0.000999 0 0 1
6 0.994006 0.005994 0 0 1
7 0.979021 0.020979 0 0 1
8 0.944056 0.055944 0 0 1
9 0.874126 0.125874 0 0 1
10 0.749251 0.24975 0.000999 0 1
11 0.549451 0.43956 0.010989 0 1
12 0.274725 0.659341 0.065934 0 1
13 0 0.714286 0.285714 0 1
14 0 0 1 0 1
15 0 0 0 1 1


Can I play with the same ticket and my lucky numbers in all games?

Unfortunately not. Each ticket is unique and you cannot keep the same one or choose your numbers for the nest session. This is a safety measure to guarantee the random and fair results of the games. But you can pre-buy tickets for the big games so you know you have a chance to win the jackpot. Most operators let you pre-purchase cards up to a week in advance and you can win even if you are not at the computer while the game is played.

Can I ask the Chat Host about the rules if I’m not sure why I won/didn’t win?

Of course, the CH is there to help you with whatever you need. And although it may look like everybody know each other in the room and you are interrupting a nice conversation, trust me when I tell you that no one will be annoyed. Even the roomies can help you with those questions. The thing about bingo is that the feeling that you belong to a community and should help each other out.

What if I have to leave before the game has finished and I’ve bought a ticket?

Well, hopefully if you are as lucky as Daryl Howe you will win a huge jackpot. No matter if you are online or not when the bingo game is played if you’ve bought in i.e. purchased tickets for the session you have the same odds of winning as your other roomies. So if it happens that your connection crashes or you have to leave before the end of the game, don’t worry, next time you log in your cash balance might be significantly bigger.

Why are there so many 90-ball rooms on the sites if the game is the same in all of them?

Because the prices of the tickets are different and there might be some additional features that are not available in all the rooms. For instance, some rooms may host games that reward 1TG winners, others may have BOGOF games and so on. The more rooms there are, the bigger choice you have.