Bingo: an eternal classic of the gambling industry
Today, online casino operators aim to offer a wide range of entertainment options, including slots, live dealer games, lotteries, and table games. However, no iGaming website is complete without one classic – bingo. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
The history of bingo
When you hear the word "bingo," what comes to mind? Perhaps a group of seniors playing in a backyard, or a bar filled with locals enjoying a Saturday evening of playing and drinking beer. It could even be broadcast on TV. However, bingo has evolved far beyond these traditional images. So, let's start by exploring the history of this legendary game.
What is bingo?
Bingo can take different forms and be played in various ways, but the principle remains the same: Players have cards with numbers on them, a host randomly selects numbers, and if all the numbers they pick match those on a player's card, that player wins. However, simply winning is not enough; they've got to let the world know by shouting out "bingo!". That's their ticket to claim the whole jackpot.
The roots of bingo
The game's roots can be traced back to the 16th-century Italian game called "Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia." In the 18th century, "Le Lotto" spread to France and became a popular pastime among the wealthy. By the 1800s, it had reached Germany, where it was transformed into a tool for learning history, spelling, and math.
Here's an interesting twist: the name "bingo" itself originated from a mistake. In the past, American players would mark their cards with beans and shout "beano" when they achieved a win. However, one day, a toy salesman named Edwin S. Lowe misheard the word as "bingo" and decided to embrace it. His version of the game became incredibly popular, and the name "bingo" became synonymous with the game worldwide.
The development of bingo
In the 1930s, Edwin S. Lowe's version of the game gained popularity across North America. He then tasked Columbia University professor Carl Leffler with creating new cards that had 6,000 unique combinations. This was done to decrease the chances of multiple wins in a single bingo session. (In addition to successfully producing bingo cards for many years, Lowe's company introduced the dice game Yahtzee. Eventually, Lowe's company was sold for $26 million in 1973).
Bingo has proved to have enduring popularity becoming a staple in almost every casino. Both online and offline bingo provide a great experience, but online bingo offers more gameplay diversity.
Standard types of bingo
Bingo's popularity has resulted in the creation of several variations.
These variations not only differ in the number of balls used (30, 75, 80, 90) but also redefine the average game length and the winning patterns. In some cases, they even modify or completely change the rules while still preserving the core lottery-style gameplay. Here's a quick overview of different types of bingo.
The classic version of the game is popular worldwide. The 5x5 cards used in the game have 25 fields, with only 24 containing numbers. The center square is left empty. The 75 numbers in the game are divided into 5 groups of 15, with each group corresponding to a letter in the word “Bingo”. Under each letter on the card, 5 of the 15 numbers are displayed.
This variant of bingo is commonly known as "speed bingo" due to its fast-paced gameplay and shorter duration. It’s perfect for people with packed schedules and limited time availability. With only 30 balls and a compact 3x3 bingo card, the action is non-stop and every moment counts.
This type of bingo is most popular in the United Kingdom. This popular version utilizes 3×5 cards, each containing 15 numbers. What sets it apart are the unique rules that introduce additional winning combinations. Players can aim for two lines, four corners, and the coveted full house, adding an extra layer of excitement to the game.
This 80-ball variant of bingo brings an exciting twist to the traditional UK version. Played with compact 4x4 cards, it offers quicker gameplay. With the ability to form winning combinations through horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines, as well as unique patterns like the "square" formed by the central 4 numbers, this variant adds a delightful level of strategy and anticipation. Players can also aim for two- and three-line combinations, as well as the ultimate achievement of a four-line full house.
Variations of bingo
Bingo has evolved and gained popularity worldwide due to its simplicity and endless entertainment. It has expanded beyond gambling and now has various forms that captivate players from different backgrounds. Here, we’ll highlight the seven most popular variations of bingo known in the world, although this list is not exhaustive.
Similar to Italian lotto and Chinese keno, this variation of bingo places fortune-telling at center stage. Instead of receiving a pre-printed card, players can personally choose their own numbers. This adds anticipation and personalization to the game, making it more captivating.
Death bingo adds a thrilling twist to the table: the winner is the last person to have all their numbers called. This change in winning conditions extends the duration of the game, providing prolonged excitement compared to traditional bingo.
Bonanza is a fast-paced variation of the classic 75-ball bingo. Instead of starting from scratch, players are given 43 numbers at the beginning. The jackpot increases as the game progresses, adding more anticipation and excitement to the gameplay.
Blackout, also known as a coverall, is a variant of bingo where players are challenged to cover all fields to win. These games tend to last longer, and the jackpot usually increases with each round that doesn't have a winner.
Horse racing bingo
This is a unique combination of horse racing and traditional bingo. This variant can be played by up to 15 players, with each player assigned a card similar to a bingo card. But here's the twist – instead of numbers, each square on the card represents a horse racing scenario waiting to be fulfilled. Once a scenario is fulfilled, the corresponding square is marked off.
Bingo outside the gambling industry
Interestingly, what is today considered a part of the gambling industry started out as a popular social game.
Bingo has become a popular method for churches and charity organizations to raise funds while providing their communities with an entertaining and social pastime. (Interestingly, it was a local Catholic priest who suggested Edwin S. Lowe use bingo for fundraising). By 1934, the number of individuals regularly playing bingo in churches had already exceeded 10,000.
Charity bingo is an interesting activity from a legal perspective. In some countries, gambling is prohibited, but bingo is often allowed if organized by non-profit organizations. In these cases, even individuals under 18 years old can participate, and a special license is not required for its management. However, charity activities are still subject to strict regulations. For instance, the UK Gambling Commission establishes limits on prize payouts and the maximum amount that players can be charged per day.
Moreover, bingo is used by nurses and retirement home personnel for recreational therapy and fostering socialization. Its ease of organization and nostalgic appeal make it a beloved activity among the elderly, as many of them grew up during the golden age of bingo's popularity.
Top online bingo providers available through Slotegrator
In this section, we’ll cover developers from our partner network with online bingo games in their catalogs.
Red Rake Gaming
Red Rake Gaming is a Spain-based provider of online casino gaming products with ten years of experience. The studio has a strong reputation and is licensed in two prestigious jurisdictions: the UK (UKGC) and Malta (MGA).
Red Rake’s portfolio includes over 95 games, covering slots, video poker, roulette, blackjack, and video bingo. These titles are available in 16 languages and support both desktop and mobile devices, having been developed using HTML5 technology. What is more important, Red Rake offers various marketing tools and expands its collection with 15 new games every year.
The developer provides six highly engaging video bingo games: Disco Nights, World Football, Muertitos, Extra Money, Planet 67, and The Gold of Poseidon. These offer various patterns, bonus phases, multipliers, and extra balls.
Evolution has over 15 years of experience in the development of both live dealer titles (roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker, lottery, and video bingo) and RNG-based games (like slots). This industry giant is licensed in many respected jurisdictions, including Malta, Alderney, the UK, the USA, Belgium, Romania, Latvia, and Canada. The company has collected multiple awards over the years for its innovative gaming products.
Mega Ball is Evolution’s best-known live dealer bingo game. Players have bingo cards with up to 12 lines; in total, 20 numbers get drawn, followed by a 21st number that comes with a randomized multiplier, making the game even more engaging.
Wazdan has been developing video slots, poker, and bingo titles since 2010. This award-winning iGaming provider is licensed in several major jurisdictions: Curaçao, Malta, the UK, Romania, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. Besides an extensive catalog of online casino games, Wazdan offers many promotional tools for operators, including bonuses, tournaments, and more.
Wazdan’s Extra Bingo is a minimalistic, classic bingo game with 80 fields. The gamble feature allows players to double the win, requiring at least four numbers to match.
BELATRAis a Belorussian studio that has been operating on the iGaming stage since 1993. This industry veteran demonstrates that remaining successful for decades on end is actually feasible. The company, among other games, offers various bingo titles. All the games are available in multiple languages and support both fiat and cryptocurrencies. BELATRA provides operators with marketing tools such as jackpots and tournaments.
Caleta Gamingis a Brazil-based iGaming developer with slots, video bingo, keno, and video lottery games in its catalog. A licensed supplier with worldwide reach, the studio releases one or two new titles per month, constantly providing online casino operators with original content.
On top of a diverse collection of quality multi-platform games, Caleta offers marketing tools like free spins, extra balls, bonus wheels, and bonus games. Some of Caleta Gaming’s best-known video bingos are Catch a Fish, Bingo Fada da Fortuna, Bingo Betina, and Bingo Samba Rio; in total, the studio has 20 video bingos in its catalog.
Boldplayis a premium online casino game developer founded in 2019 and headquartered in Gibraltar. They offer a diverse collection of over 80 high-quality online casino games, including branded slots, jackpot slots, scratch cards, table games, and mini-games. These games are developed with HTML5 technology for excellent performance on various devices.
Boldplay's games are certified in multiple regulated markets and support 24 languages and 267 currencies, making them accessible to players worldwide. They provide a user-friendly back office for operators with marketing tools and demo games.
Pragmatic Play is a premium provider of slot, table, live dealer, scratch card, bingo, and virtual sports games and holds licenses from the MGA, the UKGC, Romania, Gibraltar, and the Bahamas. Though the company was only founded in 2015, it has already collected plenty of awards and offers a catalog of over 200 titles.
Pragmatic Play offers nine modern bingo variants that give players a traditional gaming experience with a fresh touch. The studio provides operators with marketing tools and cross-selling features such as fixed and progressive jackpots.
Skilrockproduces gambling equipment for brick-and-mortar establishments, online casinos, sportsbook platform solutions, and titles for the iGaming industry. The brand is a branch of the Sugal & Damani Group, which has almost 50 years of experience in the gambling industry.
The provider’s 70-game catalog includes bingo, with support for various languages and currencies. Skilrock is also able to develop a brand-new game according to a client’s specifications and demands.
Eurasian Gaming, founded in 2018 by industry veteran Saverio Castellano, is a Malta-based software provider quickly gaining recognition for its high-quality games, including slots, bingo, and fish hunting. Their unique features include portrait mode, gaming on smartphones, a "buy bonus" for instant free spins, and a "fast play" option. They're certified for several markets, including Italy and Spain, and hold a Curaçao license.
Popular titles include Hot Fruits, Lady Hawk, Horus Eye, and Chilli Hunter, with OngBak winning Slot of the Month in April 2021.
Greentube is an experienced online casino games provider. They offer a wide range of 400+ titles, including slots and table games. Greentube's Omni-channel technology connects online, mobile, and land-based gaming. They prioritize player well-being with tracking tools for time and spending. They are licensed for Western European markets, ensuring a safe gaming environment.
For online casino operators, Greentube offers over 250 games, including industry classics like Book of Ra™ Deluxe and Lucky Lady's Charm™. They also provide the NRGS suite for bonus campaigns, player retention, and more.
Salsa Studio is a leading game developer in Latin America and Europe. Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the studio offers a wide range of games designed to suit local preferences. Their games have impressive design, engaging animation, and user-friendly interfaces.
Salsa Studio's games feature impressive graphics, immersive sound, and innovative mechanics based on player behavior research. Salsa Studio's games are known for their multi-currency and multilingual support, fast loading speeds, and responsive HTML5 content.
Why integrate bingo into your online casino platform?
For an online casino, catering to the latest trends is obviously important, but here at Slotegrator we strongly recommend complementing your offer with a selection of classic games. Bingo went through decades of evolution before appearing on online casino platforms, and it can now bring diversity and engagement while doubling as a great cross-selling tool.
Each online casino caters to a unique audience of players with different preferences. With a wide variety of features and gameplay options available, it’s easy to find a bingo game developed by a reputable studio that perfectly suits your player base's preferences.
How can Slotgrator help?
Slotegrator offers everything a new casino needs — including an expansive portfolio of games. Our APIgrator solution has over 15,000 games from over 100 certified game developers, including slots, casino games, live dealer games, lotteries, and — of course — bingo.
To get a free consultation on how APIgrator can help your online casino, get in touch with our sales team.