Bingo Strategies

Bingo Strategies – Do they really work?

Most bingo experts agree that bingo is a game of pure chance, based upon random numbers. However, some bingo players still wonder if there’s actually any strategy that may be used to win at bingo. In this article we’ll explore through some of the most popular strategies of winning at bingo and see if they really are as effective as they claim to be. Come, let’s find out!

The concept of bingo is so simple that there is hardly any room for strategies or tactics. If gambling experts are to be believed, there is in fact no strategy that would improve your odds of winning. Bingo is a game of chance, where every player gets an equal opportunity to win.

Although there is one very simplistic way a player can beat the house and make winnings. That is to play in a game with fewer players. But again, since most bingo jackpots are not fixed and are based on percentage of profits collected from player participation, this strategy loses its attraction to many. Another simple strategy is to play with as many bingo cards as you can. I repeat, play with only as many cards 'as you can' manage. If you play with more cards than you can handle, this strategy becomes futile too.

While these are the simple strategies based on players’ general observation and experience, some researchers have suggested more complex theories based on the laws of probability and mathematical odds. One such strategy was developed by the noted mathematical analyst Joseph E Granville, who also has to his acclaim a series of successful strategies for the stock market.

Granville's Theory

Granville, after the years of research on bingo games and patterns, has come to the conclusion that every bingo game follows a predictable pattern, given that one studies it closely. He said that there is a vital relationship between winning bingo numbers and the call board and that the card selection plays the most important role in turning the odds in your favour. He proved that even in games where players aren't allowed to choose their cards, they still could win by improving their odds in other ways. Contrary to the popular belief that playing several cards simultaneously improves one’s chances of winning, he showed that players can still improve their chances of winning by playing fewer cards at many times. According to Granville, winning at bingo largely depends on the player’s understanding of the term ‘random’.

Considering that, let us first understand the concept of ‘random’ in context of 75 ball bingo. We know that there are 75 balls in the machine, numbered from 1 to 75, and that the likelihoods of each ball coming up in the first draw are equal i.e. 1 in 75. Now, given that the balls will come out of the machine at random, there is a strong tendency of three things to happen:

  1. There will be an equal quantity of numbers ending in 1's, 2's, 3's and so on.

  2. There will be a balance between the odd and even numbers drawn.

  3. There will be a balance between the high and low numbers drawn

These are the three accepted tests of randomness by Granville. If the selection of numbers fails these tests, the selection is considered biased and non-random.

Now, let's assess the utility of this in test in a real bingo game.

While playing bingo, you might have observed that the first 10 numbers called in the game tend to have different ending digits. Since most bingo games wind up within first 10 to 12 calls, paying attention to the numbers called will help you predict the numbers that might be called in the subsequent games and eventually help you pick the right card/s for yourself.

Now, according to the Test 1, there will be an equal quantity of numbers ending in 1's, 2's, 3's etc. In this case, when we are talking about the first 12 balls to be picked, there is a strong possibility for a number ending in 1, then one ending in 2, another ending in 3 and so forth to come out (according to the law of probability). Say for example, the first number drawn was B11, then the odds of next number ending in 1 is less, as there are less of those left in machine.

Ultimately, after a few sessions of games, the quantity of each number called will come to equal, hence holding the first test true.

Accordingly, if the first game is won by a card with digits ending in 3's or 1's, the probability of next winning card numbers with the same pattern of numbers is rare. Likewise, if the second game is won by card featuring numbers ending in 9's and 5's, the chances of next game being won by the card with same ending digits is remote. Simply put, one can say that for the subsequent games, you must vary your strategy seeing what numbers have been claimed in the earlier games.

Tippet's Theory

Another popular strategy that may help you better your winning odds is 'The Tippet Theory', invented by the British statistician L.H.C Tippet.

According to the Tippet's theory, in the game of 75 ball bingo, 38 is the median number. The more bingo numbers that are drawn, the more likely those numbers will be nearer to 38. So, if you're playing a short game and are allowed to choose your cards, it is best to choose cards with numbers nearer to 1 and 75. Alternatively, if you choose to play a longer game, then the best card to choose would be the one with number closer to 38.

How do I differentiate between a long and a short game, you may ask. Well, you can make this out easily. Just see the pattern being played. For example, complex patterns like U, 4 postage stamps, among others usually take a lot longer to win as compared to a straight/diagonal line in 75 ball bingo.

Yet, in the absence of the real statistics and records, we can't really say if Tippets theory holds true to its conviction.

To conclude, while bingo is a game of pure chance or is there any way to win at bingo remains a mystery to everyone. Players may use these strategies and see if they indeed work. However, we at 123Bingo don't recommend any of these strategies, since we believe that bingo is a game of pure chance, based upon random numbers and there's no way to predict who'll win.