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Bingo Odds - Bingo Payouts

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Unfortunately, there is no one formula that can help you win bingo. Although it is a simple game it is dependent on a lot of subtle factors. However, the main thing to remember about bingo  odds and bingo payouts is that the odds of winning at bingo  are proportionate to the number of people playing the game.

In theory, playing a game where no two numbers are the same and where the number of unique bingo cards is infinite creates massive odds against winning.

Bingo Myths

Some people believe that the odds of winning increase when certain patterns are in play. This is a myth because in every bingo game, no matter what the pattern, numbers are drawn until someone wins. As all players are playing the same pattern, your odds of winning are the same as anybody else’s.

Bingo Odds - Bingo PayoutsBingo is really a game of skill rather than a game of odds. Your odds of having a number called out in bingo that will fit on your card are the same as just about any other binary (yes or no) activity – 50/50. To understand why bingo is more of a game of skill than a game which allows you to manipulate the odds in your favor you might want to understand a bit more about how the game is played.

How Bingo Is Played

Each bingo player is given a card marked with a grid containing a combination of numbers and, in some countries, blank spaces. Before the start of the game, a winning pattern is established. This is a pattern that must be played out on the card by blocking out selected called numbers as they are drawn or announced.

The bingo caller randomly selects a numbered ball from a vessel or hopper in which numbered bingo balls are blown around and it calls the number out loud. Each player then locates the number on his or her card and marks it if it exists. Once the ball number is called is then set aside so that it cannot be chosen again.

The element of skill in the game is the ability to be accurate by filling out the called number in the brief time before the next number is called. To test this skill bingo callers may call the numbers in bingo slang or call the numbers very fast in order to confuse you.

The number of cards you play also affects your odds of winning, but in a way that you may not expect. Although it is natural to think that your chances of winning are increased by playing as many cards as possible, most people neglect to factor in the fact the number calling in most bingo games are called at a fast pace.

One mistake that many beginners make is buying a lot of cards and then missing potentially winning called numbers because they can’t keep up with the bingo caller. Of course the most embarrassing thing about making inaccurate marks on a card is calling out a false “bingo”.

Bingo Odds

So just what are your odds of winning at bingo? Unfortunately this is a value that is dependent on too many factors to be explained in one neat mathematical formula.

However there are some things that you can do to increase your odds of winning.

For one thing it is important to note that the fewer people that there are participating in a game the better your odds are of winning. Unfortunately, as most bingo parlors and halls are required to set their jackpot according to admissions, the better your odds are the lower the amount of your potential win. For example, if there are 100 players in a room and each is managing four cards, each person has 1 chance in a 100 at winning.

However, if each of these people paid two dollars per card then the total of admission is $800. However not all of that money is available to be dispersed as the jackpot. In both the United States and Canada the bingo hall operator is required to turn approximately 30% of that money over to charitable causes, about 20% for administrative costs. Only 50% of that $800 is available as prize money. Keep in mind too that the $400 will be divided into parcels to be distributed over the course of many games. So if 20 games are played in a session then the jackpot for each would only be 20 bucks per game.

The Magic of Online Bingo

The reason that online bingo is so popular is that the number of people playing is not limited by the amount of people that can fit into a bingo hall. Therefore, the jackpots can be huge. Online you could have as many as 1000 people playing those four cards each. That means that there are 4000 cards in play. This lowers your odds of winning to 1 in 1000 (or to put it another way 4 chances in 4000.)

In Summary

So what is the upshot of the mathematical story explained above? In a nutshell, your odds of winning are better if you play in a bingo hall or parlor that is not crowded. However, the prizes will be much lower.

As no two bingo cards are alike, this game has a randomness that is hard to calculate as odds mathematically. In fact you could say that the random factor is what makes bingo so exciting.

Bingo is also one of the fairest of the gambling games that you can play either online or in real life. Its lack of complexity makes it difficult for corrupt types to manipulate. It is also a game where two people are capable of winning at once in which case the jackpot is usually split between the two victors. If two people call bingo  at the same time, it is a matter of pure chance and the jackpot is always split as is typical of par-mutuel games (games that have jackpots that are based on admissions.)

The Wizard of Odds also has a great section you can read about bingo odds. The guy's an actuary, and possibly the most respected expert on odds in gambling on the Internet, so it's worth checking out.

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