What Are the Odds of Winning at Bingo?

Do the numbers matter? This way, you'll increase your chances to win. Enter your email address below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter along with other special announcements from The Wizard of Odds! But in the end, don't play more cards than you can comfortably track at one time. How to Play Bingo

Why Play if There’s a House Edge?

Introduction

One of them was entirely convinced that you can, in fact, make a difference by using bingo systems; I argued that you can only increase your chances of winning at bingo by buying more bingo cards.

Isn't bingo just like lottery, in which it makes no difference which numbers you choose because each of them is as likely to come? Therefore, in order to have more chances to win, you need more combinations that can match the winning numbers, or in other words, more bingo cards? I couldn't help but doing some research on the subject once I got home. Have people actually "invented" bingo systems? Is there something I'm missing? How likely are you to win at bingo anyway?

I found out that there are ways you can improve your chances of winning at bingo. None of them, however, have anything to do with selecting a sequence of numbers that would be more likely to win than others.

There's absolutely no way of choosing numbers that are more likely to come than others. There are bingo systems, sure, but none of them give you an advantage any different than if you were to choose the numbers at random. Here are a couple of them:. One of the most famous systems was invented by Joseph E. Granville, a mathematical analyst known for bold predictions in the investment world, and who had 'The Granville Market Letter' that "is at the bottom of the Hulbert Financial Digest's rankings for performance over the past 25 years - having produced average losses of more than 20 percent per year on an annualized basis," according to Wikipedia.

Granville advises you to choose bingo numbers that make the card symmetric and systematic. Here's what a perfectly symmetric card needs:. Granville says that if you truly understand probability, you also understand why it makes sense to choose numbers this way. He reasons that in the long run, you'll get an equal amount of high and low numbers, an equal amount of odd and even numbers, etc.

But this makes no sense. Of course you're going to have the same amount of odd and even or high and low numbers in the long run - in fact, that's exactly the point. Each number is equally likely to come and therefore they're dispersed equally in the long run, however, they're also equally likely to come in your next bingo game.

Every number has an equal chance to come. Tippett suggests that, in a number game for example, the longer the game goes on, the closer to 38 the median number you should go for. So in early stages, you're going to have more numbers closer to 1 and 75, and in later stages the numbers are going to be closer to Tippett instructs you to use numbers close to 1 and 75 in shorter games and numbers close to 38 in longer games.

But even if this would be advisable to do it makes no difference , how can you predict whether the game is going to be long or not? Any system that includes a certain way to pick numbers, a sequence of numbers or any sort of prediction regarding which numbers are going to come or in what order won't work. Even though it's impossible to predict bingo numbers, and there's no skill factor against other players like in poker games, you can still increase your chances of winning at bingo by selecting your games carefully, buying more bingo cards and selecting the right cards.

Using the bingo tips above will help you to win more money. They may sound like simple "how to win at bingo" tips, however, they're about the only thing you can do to increase your chances in a game like bingo in which you're unable to predict or influence the outcome - only the setting. So to wrap-up this article, what are your odds of winning at bingo?

Suggesting all players buy the same amount of bingo cards, each player is as likely to win as the other one. Same goes for the dice game — the average pip sum in 36 rolls where each combo is allowed once and once only WILL be 7. ANY attempt to correlate the balls called in a bingo game with any theories about statistical distributions is just plain wrong, because those theories apply to populations and events where each member of a population and each event has a value which does not depend on whether some other member of the population or some other event has already bagged that value!

In THOSE sorts of distribution, outliers are rare — for instance, if the depth of a pond varies from 1 inch to 90 inches, the 1 inch and 90 inch events would be extreme and very rare, whereas there would be a lot of events in between 40 and 50 inches. In bingo on the other hand, ball 1 and ball 90 are each precisely as common as ball 45 just like green 1, orange 1 being precisely as common as green 3, orange 4.

But remember that we are betting on combinations, not pip totals. The probability of a particular card winning does go up or down after the game starts depending on which combos have already been rolled and whether they were on the card — but since the cards have already been allocated before the game begins this does not help us with card selection well, not without a time machine.

But what happens with bingo? Can the numbers be replaced with letters or pictures without changing the game? The answer is yes and no. But where the numerical values DO come into play is in determining the very large set of possible legal bingo cards. Consider a 90 ball card with 1, 2 and 3 on it — it cannot also include any of the numbers from 4 to 9. Now consider a game where, as it happens, the balls 1, 2, 3 and 4 are first to be called. This sounds very unlikely and it is but in fact it is exactly as unlikely as any other specific combination of 4 balls — such as 1,11, 21 and But there is already an asymmetry — in the 1,11,21,31 game someone could potentially have marked off all 4 numbers but in the 1,2,3,4 game this is not possible because no card can contain more than three of those numbers.

In other words, a game that starts 11,21,31,41,51,61,71,81 is more likely to have the card that does win call full house in sufficiently few calls to win the progressive jackpot or one of the bigger prizes in a sliding jackpot game , than a game that starts 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. The number of possible sets of numbers on a legal 75 ball card is a staggering 81,,,, if the centre square contains a number and 36,,,, if the centre square is blank.

The number of possible 75 ball cards is far greater than that well into the septillions as the numbers in each column can appear in any order and while two cards with different permutations of the same numbers will both achieve a coverall at the same time, this is not the case for a line or a pattern.

As for the number of possible 90 ball bingo cards, it actually varies according to where you play because different bingo platforms use different rules for generating 90 ball cards! The figure of 3. At Dragonfish and Bede Gaming blank columns are allowed and the numbers do not have to appear in numerical order which results in a much larger number of possible cards; again, rearranging the order of the numbers in a column does not make any difference for full house but it does for line wins.

Since each game of bingo must have a winner, the chances of winning do depend on how many other cards out of the ridiculously large number of possible cards are actually in play. It may be possible to have a very, very slight edge over other players by selecting cards with numbers that you think are likely to be rejected by others on the grounds that if you do win, you are slightly less likely to have to share the prize pot with someone else especially in a 90 ball game where there are three prizes.

Now, is it better to buy cards for one game or one card for each of games? Maths CAN help us here. Approximately, because occasionally two or more players get full house at the same time. So in theory, the cards for 1 game does better. But consider these points:.

The upper limit for what you can win in the games is the total of all prize funds which is much larger. In other words, if you win more than once in the games you win more than one prize, but if you win any of the prizes more than once with the cards in one game you have to split the winnings with yourself.

The chance of winning more than once is very small on the order of 1 in 10, to win full house twice in the example above but the double prize makes up for the difference — especially if you play in games where there are 1TG and 2TG winners in addition to the usual.

The smaller the total number of cards sold, the better the chance the one card has of winning but the smaller the prize pot will be apart from in the case of a guaranteed jackpot game. In a strip, none of the numbers are repeated across multiple tickets and in fact all the possible numbers will appear once and once only although in the 75 ball tickets three of the numbers will be obscured if there is a free centre square.

Not all bingo rooms offer the opportunity to buy a strip, however; some just allocate tickets randomly. This is called RTP return to player and is generally expressed as a percentage showing how much you would expect to get back overall if you played hundreds of thousands of times. But what is the RTP on bingo? This information has since been removed it is not known why. Usually it is not possible for the player to make an informed guess at the RTP of a bingo game because although they may be able to see how many players there are in the game they do not know how many cards each player has.

An exception to this is the type of multi-stake bingo game that is one ticket per player. In fact it is not quite as bad as it seems because this calculation does not include the progressive jackpot contribution; in the screenshot the progressive jackpot, which is split between all players if someone wins this 36 ball game in 18 or fewer calls, has grown to times the lowest stake value.

Nor does it include the feature prizes which are awarded after collecting cubes over multiple games. The calculation also assumes everyone is playing with cash whereas in fact it is extremely likely that many players are playing with bonus.

Before you rush off to play slots instead of bingo though, consider this:. So decide how much you want to spend and stick to it, taking advantage of deposit bonuses , free bingo and penny bingo to make your money go as far as possible.

Maximum entertainment value comes from striking a balance between number of cards and number of games. The more cards you play with, the more likely it is that at least one of them will do well enough to be worth watching right up until the end of the game.

One strip of 6 is a good compromise — and if that pushes your budget, go for games with a lower card price. Above all else — have fun!