Bingo is a fantastic game that has become a world-wide phenomenon since the launch of the internet back in 1991. Thanks to this invention there are now hundreds of sites, like Paddy Power that offer you the chance to play at home and win cash prizes.
Thousands login to play the game every day, but how does it actually work? We take a look at the basic maths behind bingo and the probability of your randomly generated numbers coming up.
Probability of Winning
Like many games it is hard to determine how well you will do as a lot of it is down to luck. However, there are few things you can do to increase your chances and beat out the competition. Both online and offline bingo odds vary depending on the amount of people playing and you can work this out by simply counting the active players, for example 60 players are listed so your chances are 1 in 60.
This method only works in theory as your chance of winning is likely much lower due to some people having multiple cards. Obviously the more tickets you have, the better chance you have, but if the other players have the same tactic working out your odds this way won’t be successful.
What you can do is take a look at your own numbers and work out the mathematical likelihood of completing lines, patterns or full cards. Although no number is likely to appear more than others, it has often been said that to increase your chances buy two cards with completely different numbers. To make this more affordable you could do this by playing as a pair and offer to share your winnings with your partner.
90 ball bingo is the most common game played in the UK with each ticket containing 15 numbers. Arranged in three rows of five, the chances of getting one line (five numbers), two lines (10 numbers), or a full house (all 15 numbers) is pretty low. For example, in a standard bingo game the likelihood of getting a full house is 1 in 45,795,673,964,460,800.
|No. of balls||One line||Twos line||Full house|
|15||1 in 4878||1 in 634,992,301||1 in 45,795,673,964,460,800|
|30||1 in 103||1 in 63,495||1 in 295,232,118|
|45||1 in 12||1 in 603||1 in 132,792|
|60||1 in 3||1 in 27||1 in 861|
|75||1 in 1.26||1 in 3||1 in 20|
|90||1 in 1||1 in 1||1 in 1|
This is extremely low and according to the Wizard of Odds site, the probability of getting bingo right away is only 0.000003. The winning odds continue to stay low throughout the game until the 48th number is called. When the 48th number is picked you have a winning chance of 75%, but so do the other players.
If you are lucky enough to get a line of even a full house the next question on your mind will be about the winning jackpot. Like your chances of getting a full house, the winning jackpot is also affected by the bingo odds with lower odds resulting in higher pay outs. For this most bingo games have already taken this into account and have staggered prizes for each win, such as £10 for one line, £20 for two lines and £30 for a full house.
If you are looking to win a bigger jackpot, you therefore need to play a version with lower odds like the National Lottery. The National lottery doesn’t offer different stages as winning the jackpot is much more difficult. With 90 balls too, the stakes remain low due to the thousands of entries across the country and as more are competing for the top prize its big news when someone is successful.
Are you tempted to take a chance and play a game? Before you do remember to think about the odds and try not to get hung up on winning. Play to have fun, but you can give yourself the best chance by following our top tips below:
- Avoid The Crowds: Try to join games with less players for a higher chance of winning
- Multiple Cards: Buy multiple cards or partner up with a friend to help raise your probability of receiving a prize.
- Choose Non Duplicate Cards: Try to get cards with completely different numbers to increase your chances of winning.
- Hold Your Cards Over: Some bingo halls let you reuse your cards, which many choose to do as they believe it increases their chances.
- Stay Alert: Pay attention as that number you missed may be the difference between winning or losing.
- Keep a Positive Attitude: Good things happen to those who are patient and after all it’s all about taking part.
Let us know how you got on and if these tips came in handy. We hope you enjoyed playing the game and the basic maths was useful.