Bingo is a game that truly needs no introduction. A familiar favorite of places as diverse as casinos, retirement homes and charity drives, bingo isn’t just a beloved pastime, but is one of the few games of chance that gets a free pass even in places that outlaw gambling. It can be played for cash or for prizes; in friendly games or in more competitive settings.
This simple game of matching numbers on a card to those that are called out until someone forms a line and calls “BINGO” is popular for many reasons. It’s simple. It can be quite fast paced. And there’s the excitement involved in all gambling games of waiting with baited breath to find out if you’ve won a prize.
Bingo: The Social Game
The biggest reason for bingo’s popularity, though, comes down to how social an activity it is. When you think of bingo, you don’t think of a solitary person sitting in front of a machine waiting for their numbers to come up, but of a crowded hall with dozens of people, each carefully marking off their bingo cards until they’re ready to shout out bingo and claim their rewards. It’s anything but a co-operative game – it can be fiercely competitive – but it’s certainly social.
Can this possibly be replicated online?
Two Kinds of Online Bingo
Though it’s absolutely impossible to replicate the feel of a real, honest to goodness bingo hall and the excitement and sociability found within, some versions of online bingo can actually be played with friends.
To understand how this works, though, we first need to distinguish between two kinds of online bingo games. The first is where you play against a machine in what is basically a video game that is played for money. Numbers are created by a random number generator and it only ever looks like you’re playing bingo, whereas underneath the hood, you may as well be playing online slots.
The second kind of online bingo, though, is much more promising. In this kind of online bingo, players actually play bingo alongside other players by logging onto a live bingo game that they view via livestream and mark off their virtual cards, buy cards and claim their winnings, all online from the comfort of home.
Online Bingo with Friends
With this in mind, it’s clear which version of online bingo can actually be played with friends or even with strangers. Though some developers of the completely computerized online bingo games do work in “social” aspects to the games by allowing for certain community and communication functions, people playing these games are always actually playing alone.
Online virtual bingo, though, is something else entirely. Whether joining bingo games hosted by casinos or hosting your own virtual bingo game online with actual friends, there are numerous virtual bingo games through which you can come as close to replicating the real thing as possible. It’s not quite the same thing in the way that nothing in the virtual world can ever fully replicate a physical experience, but it’s still unquestionably the next best thing.