Let’s get straight to the point. If you came to this site anxiously searching for the answer to the question: “Is online bingo fixed?” we’re here to put your mind at ease – yes, it is!
“I knew it!” you might think to yourself. But hold your horses – online bingo is fixed by a Return to Player system or RTP, which dictates the percentage of wagered money that’ll be paid out to winners in prizes. For example, if a game’s RTP is 75%, that means three quarters of all money wagered on that particular game will eventually be returned to the players in prizes, while the house will keep one quarter. You can’t cheat, and you won’t be cheated either unless you pick some dodgy, unlicensed venue that won’t allow you to cash out your winnings.
But that’s why we’re here. We’ll walk you through all the ways of determining if a bingo site is fair or a scam. We’ll also explain how bingo balls are drawn.
What Makes People Doubt Online Bingo Fairness?
Bingo in land-based halls seems transparent because you can see the balls rolling right in front of you. Things are somewhat different at online bingo venues. When playing on your desktop PC or via mobile bingo apps, you can’t see the balls being drawn. Instead, an invisible algorithm determines the outcome of each draw. The fact that most players don’t understand how that algorithm works and are just presented with results they don’t know how to verify causes a lot of them to start suspecting that bingo sites are rigged.
However, that’s decidedly not the case. First of all, there’s no need for a bingo operator to rig the results to profit from people playing games on its site. Scammy sites do exist, of course, but they are far more likely to cheat you in other ways. RTP ensures that, in the long run, the operator earns a certain percentage of all money wagered on the site in a completely legal manner. That’s why you should always be aware that bingo not being a scam doesn’t drastically improve your odds of taking home a huge prize. You may win from time to time, but on average, a player will leave the bingo site – or any other gambling establishment, for that matter – with a little less money than they came with.
Another thing that creates suspicion among bingo enthusiasts is the impression that the same names keep turning up as winners. In reality, the explanation for this lies in the so-called “heavy depositor” effect. Players who often win usually buy the maximum number of bingo tickets (96), so the odds of winning at bingo for them are 96 times higher compared to players who purchased just one card. It’s a truth universally acknowledged: Heavy depositing is the only thing that can really improve your odds but comes at the cost of risking larger sums of money. Beware of chasing your losses – one of the surest ways to end up addicted to gambling.
Finding Fair Bingo Sites
If you gamble with real money, you should be very careful in your choice of bingo sites.
For UK residents, it boils down to finding legitimate bingo sites that hold a licence issued by the UK Gambling Commission, which regulates and supervises the entire UK gambling market. To check if a bingo site has a licence issued by the UKGC, most times, you just need to scroll down to the bottom of the homepage. The licence number – provided that the site has one – will be displayed in the footer. Alternatively, it’ll be in the Terms and Conditions or About Us sections. It takes the UKGC up to 16 weeks to review a gambling venue before accrediting it, so you can rest reasonably assured that any site licensed by the commission is a safe place to enjoy a game of bingo.
The UKGC regulates bingo in the UK, but many of these websites cater to an international audience and have additional licences issued, most often, by the Malta Gaming Authority, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, or the Isle of Man Gaming Commission. All these reputable regulatory bodies guarantee transparent transactions and fair gameplay on the websites they’ve accredited.
Another thing to be on the lookout for is a badge from eCOGRA – an independent testing agency that regulates casino sites for fairness and safety. If the iTech Labs logo crops up, you’ll know the casino has been tested using leading software for online gaming systems.
The Outcomes of Bingo Games
Let’s go back to the initial question: Is online bingo fixed? Although our answer is a firm “No,” some of our readers are probably still not 100% convinced. After all, how can a machine ever produce truly random results?
The question is actually quite complex. Those with a mathematical turn of mind might enjoy reading more about it on the iTech Labs website, but the short answer is – by using software called a random number generator. RNGs create strings of random numbers the very moment you hit the Play button, so predicting the outcome of a draw becomes nearly impossible. Always read through the Terms and Conditions section of a new bingo site to check if it uses a bingo random number generator. If it does, you can eliminate the possibility the numbers are fixed.
Another thing that guarantees the games are provably fair is RTP. As mentioned, this abbreviation stands for Return to Player. This fixed percentage shows how much money is paid out in winnings; if the RTP is, let’s say, 80%, the house will retain 20%, and the rest will be returned to players in winnings. Having realistic expectations about how much money you can expect to win compared to the sum you’ve spent is essential for every player. That’s why we advise you to check the bingo RTP on the software developer’s websites. This particular piece of information is indispensable for comparing bingo sites like an expert.
Bingo Strategies for Improving Your Odds
If we’ve managed to convince you that bingo draws really are random, your next question might well be: Is there anything that can be done to ensure better odds when playing bingo? The outcome of each bingo session is random, the percentage players can earn is fixed, and bingo tickets are also randomly assigned to players. So is having a strategy worth it or even possible?
RNGs are there to prevent bingo scams, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to slightly increase your chances. The house doesn’t gamble – it invariably takes its percentage – but other players do. So the only action plan that might work is to play bingo against other gamblers by buying more bingo tickets or to play against as few players as possible – on weekdays, early mornings, or late nights. And one more thing: Always check the wagering requirements. They also play a significant role in determining your odds of winning.
Have Fun and Stay Safe
Answering the question from the title of our article – “Is online bingo fixed?” – took us on a long journey, from gambling licenses and random number generators to wagering requirements, bingo strategies, and RTP. But all things considered, the most important thing is to have fun in a safe gambling environment. To achieve that, check if the online venue is licensed by relevant gambling authorities, if it uses an RNG, take a look at the game’s RTP, and don’t risk more money than you’re comfortable losing. And worry not: Online bingo is not a scam. If you follow the advice we’ve given you, we bet you’ll have lots of fun and perhaps even earn some cash along the way.