Monday, February 13, 2012

Playing Online Bingo Vs. Offline Bingo

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By James White

Online Bingo is very similar to Bingo played in halls. Bingo itself is a very simple game, in which the player uses one or more cards which are blocked off with squares, each containing a random number. Numbers are drawn, and if your card(s) has that number, you place a chip on it. The object of the game is to get enough squares filled to have a complete line across the card - vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. When you achieve this, you have "Bingo!" The winner is verified and then receives a prize. Often, the competition then continues. Bingo is strictly a game of chance, not unlike picking winning numbers for a lottery (although your odds are much better!) Despite Bingo's reputation for being popular with the elderly, it can be quite a fun and entertaining game, and the participants are often very passionate and lively.

There are some marked differences, however, between hall Bingo and online Bingo. Obviously, playing the game online is a less personal experience, and for those used to hall Bingo they may feel a lot of game excitement is lost. However, live chat and forums are often available for online Bingo players to interact and mingle. Socially, something is definitely lost in the translation, but this feature is what keeps online Bingo sites popular among shut-ins and adults in foster care. For those who find it difficult to attend live Bingo, this is a fine substitute.

Online Bingo games also offer some features that traditional halls simply cannot - such as having cards automatically marked for numbers, or allowing others to have cards that are dangerously close to "Bingo." This makes the game even easier for players who can now interact with others in the game, take phone calls, do chores, or eat dinner without interrupting the game action. Friends can also meet each other online and play against each other - a rare time when interaction between players is encouraged, since cheating in online Bingo is pretty much an impossibility.

There are two basic versions of Bingo - the North American version, and that of the U.K. and other parts of Europe. The North American version uses 75 balls and a 5x5 cards, while the European version uses a 9x3 card and 90 balls. The North American version can also use a variety of winning combinations, varying from just a straight line to more complex patterns. The European version is played in three stages: one line, two lines, and a full house. A full house occurs when all the squares on the card have been called. You can readily find both versions of the game online.

The first known online Bingo site was "Bingo Zone", established in 1996, and continues to this day. Later, in 1998, Uproar created "Bingo Blitz". Today, there are thousands of online Bingo games, some with dedicated sites - others as part of a larger online gaming site. The free sites work by giving out prizes that are basically paid for by sponsors/advertisers.

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