Key differences between bingo in the UK and US
Whether online or offline, bingo is recognised as one of the world’s most popular games, enjoyed by all kinds of people. The advent of online bingo before the turn of the century has helped to deliver the game to a whole new audience and has seen it effortlessly transition into the digital age.
Today, there are an estimated 100 million online bingo players globally, as recorded by Optimove, with thousands of websites across the internet competing to sign-up new players and retain their existing customers, using a combination of games, features and offers.
Take your pick
Many modern casino games are available in different variations, often dictated by region, and bingo is no different. In fact, due to the simplicity of the rules, bingo is one of the most diverse games in the gambling sector, with countless versions that feature more or fewer numbers, different ways of winning, and the various paces at which the game is played.
These days, the majority of websites offer a range of options to players, with providers allowing customers to sort and play online bingo games by type. So, it’s doubly important to understand the different versions of the games available before you decide to make a deposit and play.
Culturally, two of the biggest countries for bingo are the UK and US, and there’s no shortage of differences between the games enjoyed in each. In this article, we will consider what makes the game unique on either side of the Atlantic.
The most popular version of bingo ‘Stateside’ is 75-ball bingo, which is played with cards typically featuring five columns split into 25 squares, including 24 different numbers. The blank space can be ticked off before the game starts.
Each column is allocated a letter and the five letters spell out bingo, which is why you can expect to hear calls prefixed with a letter when you’re playing in America, such as B8 or G51. This can help the player track down where each number is to be found on their card.
75-ball bingo cards are generally independent from one another too, which means you’re likely to be searching for duplicate numbers across a strip, unlike in British bingo, where usually the cards share the same range of numbers.
This can contribute to games taking longer to complete, so if you prefer something a little more slow-paced that can keep you entertained for longer than USA-style bingo might be the best option for you.
UK bingo is typically played with a 90-ball format, with cards on a strip working collectively, making it much easier to track your numbers, as each number will only ever appear once. And although there is an absence of letters, numbers are still grouped in columns, making it relatively easy to track down each one.
Usually in UK bingo, you’re searching for a row, two rows or a full house, whereas in American bingo there are often more interesting formations to aim for. And interestingly, a ‘house’ in the US can refer to the shape of a house on your card, as opposed to matching all the numbers, as is the case in the UK.
The result of all of this is a quicker game where winners emerge far earlier into the process. This makes British bingo a little more appealing to casual players or those with busy lives who don’t have that much free time to invest. And with more players seemingly keener to surf from their phone than their computer, shorter-form games are growing in appeal.
Try for yourself
Of course, the best advice is to trial both regional variations to see which ones you enjoy most. You should also pay attention to other elements of the games, such as themes. The runaway success and international expansion of TV shows like Deal or No Deal have seen them adapted to create bingo games, helping to make the experience more exciting.
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