An Overview of Online Bingo

Online bingo -- or bingo as it's played over the Internet -- accounts for several billion dollars a year. Its popularity seems to be growing with each passing year, especially in the United Kingdom (see online bingo UK), or in North America (see online bingo US). Naturally, there are some subtle differences between online bingo and land-based bingo but it's basically the same game.

As you can imagine, the game bingo is a little more "high tech" when played online. For instance, online bingo uses a so-called random number generator to select numbers instead of real balls. On the Internet, much of the gameplay of land-based bingo is re-created online, starting with virtual people walking around the playing area or lounging at the bar as well as other notable details recreated virtually.

As for the conversation among players, which is an important facet of bingo for many players, that is covered by the chat feature. This allows bingo players to chat and interact with other players during games. And unlike land-based bingo where talking to other players during games is considered rude, online bingo allows this interaction, which is a major bonus for more gregarious players. Of course, others who would rather concentrate on the game can simply ignore all the chatting.

One of the best things that die-hard bingo players love is the fact that games go on online throughout the day, non-stop. There’s always a game you can join when the urge hits you. The other advantage of this is that you don’t have to hop into your car and drive all the way to the bingo venue. Why, for all intents and purposes, you can be dressed in nothing but your underwear and dirty socks and still play bingo online.

There are two main types of online bingo games. The first is the one you download through free software before you can play a game. The other uses Java or Flash-based games where players can join a game immediately upon registration.

Online bingo can be played for free (see free online bingo), although cash games have much bigger prizes. As an incentive to attract players, some bingo sites provide free gambling chips when a player registers on the site. The amount of the free chips is usually calculated as a percentage of the initial deposit or sign-up fee. With free chips, you can play online bingo and not worry about losing money. You even have a chance to win some real cash. Meanwhile, playing for free also allows you to learn the nuances of a particular site without risk. It’s important to know all the commands and functions before you play for real money.

While online bingo has a huge following in the USA, Canada, Japan, Europe and South America, it has been absolutely booming in the UK since 2005. It is now the premiere leisure activity for women aged 20 to 25 in the UK. In addition, many men also play online bingo regularly.

Online bingo has been such a hit in the UK that Internet heavyweights like Yahoo!, AOL UK, Virgin and MSN UK now all manage online bingo sites specifically targeted at the UK market. Major TV shows in the UK such as “Emmerdale,” “Coronation Street" and "I'm a Celebrety" also jumped on the online bingo bandwagon and now run their own games.

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