In recent years, bingo has earned a huge number of fans. It now boasts 100 million players online—and with this popularity has come innovation. A 5 lines game is the latest variation on the bingo landscape.
The Italians call it lotto and have been playing it for five hundred years, but it was New Yorker Edwin S. Lowe who was responsible for bingo as we know it today. At a county fair in Georgia in 1929, Lowe came across lotto players using beans to mark off their numbers. When they got a win, they shouted “Beano!”.
Lowe took the idea back to Brooklyn and invited his friends to play. Giddy with excitement, the winner of the game shouted, “Bingo!”, by mistake—and the rest is history.
The popularity of the game since its initial boom has fluctuated and in the latter part of the 20th century it seemed bingo might fade into obscurity. But the meteoric rise of online bingo and an unprecedented resurgence of the bingo hall has heralded a new golden age for bingo.
The success of online casinos brought millions of new players to the digital world of cash prizes. Investment flooded into the sector and some shrewd entrepreneurs saw the opportunity bingo had to offer. Nowadays every major gambling company in the UK runs a bingo service. Worldwide there are up to 100 million online bingo players.
Bingo in traditional venues can be a big event—meeting friends, getting dressed up and enjoying the social aspect of the occasion. Online bingo offers a less committed alternative for on-the-go enjoyment of the game to complement a change in consumer trends.
And the social aspect of online bingo is not lost. Providers offer chat rooms and forums for players to interact while the balls are being called.
As the game continues to reinvent itself, new variations emerge. The latest of which and one causing quite a stir is that of 5-line bingo.
This 5-line game is also known as Swedish bingo and is most similar in nature to 75 ball bingo. It’s played on the same 5×5 grid with 75 balls being announced at random by the caller but there is no free space in the centre square of the 5-line card.
Each column on the card is represented by an initial of the word B-I-N-G-O, with the first column containing numbers between 1-15, the second column, 16 -30 and so on.
Rules and win lines differ between providers so it’s important to know the rules before the start of play. Most commonly there are five chances to win. Winners are the first to achieve one line, two lines, three, four and then full house but these lines can often be diagonal, vertical, or horizontal.
Sometimes wins are offered for four completed corners or even letter shapes like an ‘X’ for two completed diagonals. Furthermore, there are operators that set a maximum number of called balls within which a full house must be called.
Other bingo variations include:
- 30 Ball
A quick-fire game with only 30 balls played on a 3×3 card.
- 75 Ball
The most popular version played in North America, 75 ball bingo is played on a 5×5 card with the centre square declared ‘free’.
- 80 Ball
Also known as ‘Shutter Bingo’ is played on a 4×4 card with winners achieving different patterns on the board—from corners to vertical lines to centre squares.
- 90 Ball
Played on a smaller 3×5 card. The winner is the first to achieve a full house and the runners-up, one or two complete lines.
There is some debate as to whether a 5 lines game is easier to win than other bingo variations. On the one hand there are five possible win lines (sometimes more depending on the house rules) but on the other, there is no free square in the middle, so compared to similar 75 ball varieties a full house requires the full 25 matches.
Ticket prices and total number of tickets bought will determine prize values for each round. Also keep in mind that more people participating in a round will equate to higher jackpots but will also mean a lower probability of winning.
A recent study into the win probability of 5-line bingo calculated that fifty cards is the golden number to maximise your chances before your returns begin diminishing but daubing fifty separate bingo cards is quite the challenge.
5-line bingo is one of the latest inventions from a constantly modernising industry. For decades bingo remained unchanged and as a result attracted very few new players. Nowadays, with most bingo being played online, providers are devising exciting ideas to pull in first-timers and captivate seasoned pros alike.
Make sure to take advantage of special offers and bonuses. With competition for your custom at the level it is, bingo websites consistently offer perks to attract new players. These can include free cards and deposit matching promotions.
5-line bingo is the latest update to a 500-year-old game that adds renewed excitement to a winning formula. Try it for yourself today.