5 Ways to Be a Better Bingo Player

Bingo Cards, Bingo Number Balls, Win Icon
Casino gambling games can be broken down into two distinct categories — those based on skill and those based on chance.

The best blackjack and video poker players out there apply basic strategy to guide their decisions. When playing these skill games, the bettor can apply logic and reason to increase their odds of winning.

Of course, blackjack and video poker results are still influenced by random chance, but only in the short-term. Over the long-term, the more skillful players will inevitably win more than folks who fly by the seat of their pants.

Pure games of chance, like playing roulette, however, are wholly reliant on random results. You’ll notice that the game uses randomization to produce a completely unpredictable result. Try out a game of baccarat too and see it for yourself.

And while roulette and baccarat regulars might swear that they can control, or at the very least influence, the final outcome, their actions have zero impact whatsoever on winning and losing.

And then there’s the hybrid game of bingo.

At first glance, bingo might appear to be just another lottery-like game of chance. Players purchase 5×5 cards containing a random set of numbers, and from there, the hopper mixes up numbered balls which are then called out to the crowd. Whoever gets lucky enough to see their card filled up “earns” the right to claim the jackpot prize.

But what if I told you there was a way to increase your likelihood of calling out that magic “Bingo!” — and indeed, several ways?

Bingo isn’t really a pure game of chance. Players can’t control which balls fall from the hopper or the numbers emblazoned on their cards, but from game selection to simple math, the best bingo players out there aren’t just lucky by nature. They create conditions conducive to sustained success.

Read on to learn more about the five easiest ways anybody can become a better bingo player.

1 – Purchase as Many Cards as the House Rules Permit

The central tenet of bingo strategy involves arming yourself with as much ammunition as the game allows.

Four Bingo CardsTo do so, you’ll want to purchase as many bingo cards for a given game as the house rules allow. Every bingo hall out there utilizes different rules and regulations, so be sure to check the program — or better yet, ask one of the staff on hand personally — exactly where their in-house limit lies.

From there, purchase the maximum lot and prepare to get your dauber moving in a hurry.

This basic strategy boils down to simple probability.

Let’s assume you’re playing in a large bingo hall with 100 people holding one card apiece. In this scenario, every player present shares identical odds of 1 in 100 — good for a 1% chance — to wind up winning the game.

But as any bingo regular surely knows, players seldom limit themselves to a single card. Instead, you’ll find players elbowing their neighbors for space as they carefully align 10 cards in front of them.

Let’s see how a 10-card regular player’s gameplay approach influences the final results. With 100 players in the room, and 99 of them playing a single card to the regular player’s ten, we now have 109 cards to work with.

With your lone card, you’ll have slightly less than a 1% shot at winning (1 / 109 = 0.009).

But armed with 10 cards, the regular sees her odds skyrocket to 9.17% (10 / 109).

Obviously, this example has been simplified for the sake of clarity, but I think you get the drift by now.

Whoever owns the most cards in a given game immediately increases their odds of collecting a bingo.

And whenever you’re playing more cards than the next guy or gal, you’ll always have a higher likelihood of winning than they do.

This doesn’t mean you’ll be a shoo-in to win, though. Not by a longshot. Under the last example, even the regular with win odds of over 9% is still up against the combined field of 99 opponents, which collectively hold a 91% chance.

Thus, bingo always represents an uphill battle. With that said, you can get a big head start by buying more bingo cards than the average bear.

2 – Compete Against Fewer Opponents Whenever Possible

Empty Bingo Hall, Joyful Woman Balling Up Fists
On the flip side of that coin, bingo players can boost their odds of success simply by limiting the number of opponents vying to beat them.

Let’s revisit that example from earlier to see how this strategy works.

Facing off against 99 other bingo fans ensures that the regular, even with a 9% shot to win, is still a decided longshot against the field. So let’s carve the field in half and see how a smaller pool of players impacts her odds.

In this case, she’ll still be playing 10 cards while her 49 opponents carry one card each. That puts 59 cards in play altogether, so the regular’s odds of winning climb to just under 17% (10 / 59 = 16.94). Meanwhile, those other players will see their odds climb slightly as well, but only to 1.69% (1 / 59 = 1.69).

All told, by finding a bingo hall with half as many players present, our intrepid regular has nearly doubled her odds of winning. And even when assessed from a “regular player vs. the field” perspective, her 16.94% odds are quite attractive, as she’ll land a bingo right around one out of six tries.

3 – Play in Many Different Bingo Halls

Three Photos Showing Three Different Bingo Halls
Another effective way to boost your odds of winning at bingo involves spreading your action out across multiple venues.

If you only frequent one bingo venue in your area, you’re missing out on all of the other jackpots and prizes up for grabs in other local halls.

While your regular joint is running the usual assortment of casino games, a competitor might just have a huge progressive jackpot, or a similarly worthwhile promotion, in the works.

To be sure you have full access to all of the bingo action in your community, check out the bingo locator database. This website lets you click on any state in the US or province in Canada to pull up a thorough listing of every bingo game near you.

From there, you can call around to figure out where your bankroll will be best served on any particular evening.

4 – Use the Best Tools of the Trade

Bingo Dauber Purple MarkerOne of the most common pitfalls which manages to trip up bingo players using our first strategy tip is the game’s frenetic pace.

Despite what you might think about bingo being a leisurely game, the next number is usually called in short order after the last. Typically, you’ll have between 15 and 30 seconds to scan your card(s) up and down while daubing the previously called number.

That’s plenty of time when you’re using one or two cards per game, but for the folks trying to play as many cards as possible, trying to scan and daub 10 cards or more in that timeframe takes precision, speed, and accuracy.

Think about it for a minute. With only 20 seconds before the next ball is revealed, a player with 10 cards has only two seconds per card at their disposal.

You can see just how quickly a proficient bingo player must move when using multiple cards in this clip from the documentary “Jackpot”. The couple in question are clearly high-volume players, as their daubers flash across the cards without hesitation, even while giving an interview or tipping the attendant.

But for the rest of us mere mortals, attaining the speed and dexterity needed to manage 10 or more bingo cards is all about working with top-notch equipment. And in this game, that means wielding a high-quality dauber.

5 – Only Play When You’re Alert and All-In on Your A-Game

Woman Concentrated with Hand on Chin, Bingo Card, Bingo Ball Machine
This tip might seem obvious to most, but you’d be surprised to see just how many bingo enthusiasts show up fatigued, ill, or otherwise limited in their mental capacity.

To give yourself the highest possible odds of success, you can’t miss any calls or skip any numbers on your card. Doing so is a fatal mistake in this game, so only play when your body and mind are feeling up to it.

Conclusion

Bingo is almost like the “ugly stepchild” of the casino gambling industry, a game set off to the side for specialists to enjoy while the tourists flock to blackjack, roulette, and of course the always popular slot games. Part of that undeserved reputation stems from bingo’s status as a pure game of chance, at least in the minds of many players and casino bigwigs.

But when you know how to approach a bingo session like a sharpshooter, searching for any avenue to help improve your odds, anyone out there can improve their chances of filling the card and calling out “Bingo!” like clockwork.