First, let’s make this clear: there’s no easy way to calculate your expected value when playing bingo. There is just not enough information available from the bingo rooms, however after some rough calculations, based on the bingo room’s house advantage, playing just straight up bingo no matter what type of game or with the amount of players, you’re playing with a negative expected value.
However, like online casinos, there’s ways to increase your expected value so it is positive, and in bingo it is utilizing the bingo bonus bucks.
First of all, in bingo you have two amounts: your real money, and your bonus money, or “bonus bucks”, as they will be referred to in the rest of this article. As you might expect, real money is withdrawable, while bonus bucks aren’t. At the majority of bingo rooms, when you withdraw, you also lose all bonus bucks. When you play games, your real money is used first, then your bonus bucks.
You can earn bonus bucks by depositing, and by playing in “chat games”, which will be discussed later in this article.
Choose a site which has the following:
[a] A large progressive jackpot
[b] constant chat games where you earn bonus bucks.
The progressive jackpot obviously gives a higher positive expected value(or a lower negative expected value), however the chat games are the key to being a successful bingo whore. Chat games usually run 24/7, and some examples of chat games are; “Wahoo”, where you pick a number from 1-75, and if that number comes up on the board, you type Wahoo 23(for example) in the chat, and you get bonus bucks; “Trivia”, where you answer trivia questions and can receive bonus bucks for answering the question first. There are also other chat games like “poker”, where if you win a game, you are randomly given a poker hand, and the higher in value it is, the more bonus bucks you earn.
Most bingo sites make available a list of the chat games they run on their website. If they don’t, be sure to e-mail the bingo room and ask for a list of chat games. Generally, you want to be playing a bingo game where you’re guaranteed bonus bucks in the hour(s) that it is played. For example, there’s a game called “Nabors”, where the two “neighbours” of a winner in the chat room will get bonus bucks. However, if the person isn’t in the chat room at the time, there’s no winner. Also, some people win a lot more often than others due to the amount of cards they purchase, which can drastically decrease your odds of earning bonus bucks. Avoid games like these.
For the sake of this guide, I chose Bingo Gala to play at, who had a $5500+ progressive jackpot(when average payout was $3,000), and 24/7 chat games, the majority of which it is easy to earn bonus bucks at. They also have a lot of $0.10 games.
I deposited $50, for a $50 match in bonus bucks.
With my $100, I immediately started playing 8 cards a game, at no higher than $0.25 a game. I only played in progressive jackpot games, and I also participated in any chat games. I managed to increase my bonus bucks by about $30, although that wasn’t important in that case, more a fallback if variance is not my friend in the games.
My goal was to get +$20 on my initial deposit. By that, I mean my real money amount would be $70. I went through most of my $50, however also had enough bonus bucks and was collecting more, so that I was still at a comfortable bankroll at the site. I also continually earned bonus bucks.
If I ever got low on money, ie: less than $30, I would have switched to the minimum amount of games, which at Bingo Gala was 3, and stick to the $0.10 games, working on building up bonus bucks to generate my money back. The theory is that you will never run out of money at the site, as you will always have enough bonus bucks to keep you going. Also when you win a game, you win real money, even if you spent bonus bucks to enter the game.
I eventually managed to pick up two nice wins in a row . At this stage, I had $73 in my account, so I withdrew $53, leaving me with exactly $20, and essentially freerolling on the site. While I have lost all my bonus bucks(as you lose either all, or a large percentage of them when you withdraw), I will start playing only $0.10 games, and build up my bonus bucks only playing 3 cards at once. Once I have enough in my account to feel comfortable, I can start doing the 8 cards again, waiting for yet another win. When I get that, I can withdraw a certain amount, retain $20 or whatever in there, and just start again building up the bonus bucks. With the bonus dollars, it is virtually impossible for you to go broke playing online bingo.
Just be sure to read the terms and conditions before signing up at a site. Some sites will lower your bonus bucks “cap” every time you withdraw so that eventually you cannot get any bonus bucks until you deposit again, but by that time it’s time to move onto a new site.
You might have noticed that lots of bingo sites offer free money. While this is a risk-free, great deal and it’s highly recommended you take advantage of(and play a very aggressive strategy with them, buying as many cards as you can in hopes of a quick double up), you cannot earn bonus bucks at any of the bingo rooms until you deposit, so this strategy guide does not apply for the free cash deals. Please note that while you may lose your initial deposit, you will still have bingo bucks to play with, so it is not like you are going busto.
Additional Bingo Bankroll Building Questions:
The answer to the question How to Build a Bankroll Playing Online Bingo is also applicable for the following questions: