Can You Increase Your Odds in Online Bingo?

Bingo is pretty much all chance. For any gambling game to have strategy, you have to be able to make decisions after your bets have been placed. For example, blackjack and poker both allow you to make a multitude of decisions after the bets have been placed. It is these decisions that make it possible to implement any sort of winning strategy.

So the short answer is no, there’s really nothing you can do to gain an edge in bingo. However, there are a few things you can do to increase your odds of winning. I know, that sounds completely self-contradictory. Let me explain.

In bingo, you can increase your odds of winning by simply buying more cards in games that allow you to buy multiple cards. This does increase the likelihood of hitting a winning payout, but it doesn’t do anything to increase your expected value (EV).

For example, let’s say you want to play in a bingo game with $1.00 cards. The maximum payout is $500. If you buy one card and win the jackpot, you’ve just gotten a 500-1 payout. If you buy two cards, your odds of winning have just doubled! The catch is that you have paid $2 to play in this game. The payout is still $500, but you’re only getting 250-1 on your money.

250-1 still sounds great but over the long run, there’s no difference in expected value in these two situations. You win twice as often, but you also pay twice as much to play. If you played through both situations for a million years, your net profits would look exactly the same.

Buying multiple cards increases your odds of winning, but it doesn’t give you any kind of edge. You’re paying more to play, which means your EV remains the same. You could even buy 10 cards in that game and give yourself a 10-times better chance of winning, but you’re still getting the same EV.
A Few Bingo Tips

Something else you can do is turn on the auto-dauber feature. This doesn’t change the odds of the game in any way, but it does reduce the chances of you missing a winning call. If you find yourself playing 10 cards at once, the auto-daub feature is a must-have. You don’t want to miss anything important.

One other thing you can do is play every chat game every time you play. You see, most bingo sites host chat games down in the chat area. The chat moderator might ask trivia questions and give prizes to the first person to respond with the correct answer. This does increase your EV a little, but it doesn’t affect the actual bingo game.

And finally, don’t waste too much time when it comes to picking your cards. Bingo balls are drawn at random and therefore there’s no point in stressing out over picking the perfect cards. If you read around, some bingo strategy websites tell you to pick cards that cover a whole range of numbers. Other websites tell you to pick cards that share numbers.

Both strategies are equally likely (and unlikely) to win money for you. The idea behind picking cards that don’t share numbers is to get as many hits as possible. This may sound good in theory, but the problem is that you still have to get a full line to get a payout. Picking cards that don’t share numbers doesn’t make it any more likely that you’ll complete a line before anyone else.

The idea behind picking cards that share numbers is to maximize the number of spaces you get to fill in when the right calls are made. For example, you might have 5 cards that all go with high numbers. Whenever a high number is called, you get to daub multiple spaces across your cards.

This strategy also does nothing more than picking cards at random. The extra hits that you get from bunching up your numbers are mitigated by all the misses caused by not spreading your numbers. Long story short: the person who spends 2 hours picking the perfect bingo cards is just as likely to win as the person who picks cards at random.

Young People and Gambling Report 2018

Today the Gambling Commission published its Young People and Gambling Report which reveals that over the last year there has been an increase in the percentage of 11-16 year olds who gamble and an increase in the percentage who are classified as problem gamblers. Here, Commission Executive Director Tim Miller sets out how protecting children from harm will remain a top priority for the Commission and how it will strengthen protections for children whilst working with others to make gambling safer.

The report we have published today shows that 14% of 11-16 year olds in Britain gambled in the previous week and 1.7% are problem gamblers. There’s no doubt that these are figures that should make people sit up and pay attention and recognise that there is no form of gambling that is risk free. And we know that young people’s early experiences of gambling can shape their future relationships with it. But whilst discussions about children and gambling might conjure up images of groups of kids being allowed to sneak into the local bookies or sitting alone on their iPads gambling on an online casino, our latest research paints a more complex, and perhaps challenging, picture.

The most common activities that children gamble on are not those that occur exclusively within licensed gambling premises. Casinos, online gambling, bingo and bookies do not feature in the most prevalent forms of gambling in this age group. Instead we found children preferred to gamble in informal environments, out of sight of regulation – private bets between friends or playing cards with their mates for money. We also found them gambling in places where parents were or might be expected to be present – scratchcards from the supermarket or playing fruit machines in pubs.

Just in the last week we found that nearly 90% of the pubs across England that were tested failed to prevent children from gambling on their fruit machines. These are businesses that are not gambling companies but nevertheless have a duty to protect young people from being harmed. Of course, none of this will divert us from our core duty to protect children from those forms of gambling offered by the companies we regulate. We continue to take action when children are not properly protected by gambling companies and keep raising the standards of protections in place.

Earlier this year we set out our proposals to strengthen age verification for online gambling sites, including putting free to play games behind an age check wall. And in October we introduced new rules which mean we can directly take action, including imposing fines, against gambling businesses that break advertising rules (such as advertising that appeals to children or glamourises gambling). But our actions alone won’t stop children being exposed to the risks gambling can pose. Protecting children from harm requires a joined-up approach: a strong, effective regulator; parents and teachers who understand and talk about the risks that can come from gambling; businesses, both in the gambling industry and outside, that act responsibly. It is by working hand in hand that we can help to keep our kids safe.

BitCoin Poker – Is It Really a Thing?

It’s strange for an old-school guy like me to think that a virtual currency is being used to play poker.

I’m used to using what I’d consider traditional payment methods to fund my own action – cash, credit cards, and eWallets. A few months ago, I couldn’t have told you what BitCoin is if you’d sat down and patiently explained it to me for an hour first.

BitCoin poker is, really, a thing. A few poker rooms and other gambling sites are now accepting BitCoin as a payment method.

So what is it? And how is it being used to fund online poker accounts?
What Is BitCoin?

Bitcoin is a virtual currency invented in the year 2008 by a person going by the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto.” The first mention of the currency was in a document sent to a cryptography mailing list made up of just a few people. Not much is known about the person (or people) behind the pseudonym, and they left the project altogether in 2010.

It’s interesting that the project was first mentioned among a small group of cryptographers – BitCoin was invented to exist without the need for a financial middle man. Taking banks and fragile world governments out of the equation produces a more stable and equitable currency, and it means that BTC (the currency’s acronym) are immune from seizure or asset freezing. Or so the theory goes.

So what is a BitCoin? You can’t hold one in your hand, in the traditional sense. It exists in the same way that an email exists – stored in a digital cloud. One important thing to note, for those of us used to fiat money, there is no FDIC or other insurance for your BTC.
Why Use BitCoin?

Here are some popular reasons suggested by blogs and message board posts:

BTC is crypto-currency, which means using it is completely private and anonymous.
Yes, transactions are recorded in a public log, for accountability purposes, but names of people involved in transactions are kept secret, hidden behind a generic wallet ID. There’s a dark side to this – goods can be bought or sold online and authorities can’t easily trace the people involved. That means lots of people are participating in illicit activity (see the story of The Silk Road for a perfect example) using this currency.

BTC allows you total control of your money.
Its value can’t be manipulated by any outside entity. Essentially, using BTC turns you into your own bank. The currency’s lack of physical production costs and non-existent need for storage makes it even easier to handle at the end-user level.

Big companies are bringing it into the mainstream.
BTC wasn’t well known until 2011, when the mainstream press got word of its early and rabid adoption by the Technorati. Now, thousands of businesses all over the world accept it as a mainstream payment method, including some surprisingly big names. You can buy your next Dell laptop with BTC, or shop for a cheaper alternative at Overstock.com. Cities saturated with tech geeks now have ATMs where you can exchange cash for BTC, and the other way around.
How Does BitCoin Poker Work?

The reason BitCoin struck me as so strange initially was simple – I am used to traditional (known as “fiat”) currency. So is everyone reading this – it’s what we’re used to, so any alternative feels a little strange.

The first thing a poker player who wants to use BTC needs to do is exchange their native currency for their new virtual currency.

The popular method of purchasing BitCoin is to deal with an exchange or brokerage. Exchanges are places where buyers and sellers are matched based on their bid criteria, while brokerages hoard large collections of BTC that they sell on-demand at a variable rate.

Exchanges and brokerages are pretty much identical for the end-user. It literally takes a minute or two to complete the transaction.

The BTC are then transferred to you through your unique Bitcoin wallet ID. Think of it as a hyper-focused email address for virtual currency. What’s neat about that is you can send money to anyone in the world using BTC, the same way you can send an email across the globe in a second.

Your wallet ID (BTC address) will be a randomized string of letters and numbers, anywhere from 27–34 characters long. That wallet ID is also the place buyers will send cash – which makes the whole email address analogy easier to understand. BitCoins can be sent or received from anywhere, or even sold among friends or in person.

Now that you’ve got your currency in your virtual wallet, it’s time to transfer it to the poker room of your choice. After confirming that the room you want to play at accepts BitCoin, simply send the appropriate amount to their wallet ID. It takes anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours for the BTC to appear in the receiving account.

As an added bonus for poker players, transferring with BTC is totally free, thanks to the virtual nature of the currency. It costs nothing to send and receive virtual money, so you shouldn’t expect any additional transfer fees from your poker room’s cashier department.