Just like fast food, 75 ball bingo originated in America, and it's fast bingo at its best. Games don't last as long as 90 ball games, which is great if you want to increase your chances of winning. This is because it gives you more chances to win – the faster the game, the more cards you can work through.
It's called 75 ball bingo, because the numbers 1-75 are played.
The card has five vertical rows with five horizontal rows, and the word BINGO is displayed prominently across the top. Each letter represents a different column on the card, which makes it easy for a player to mark off a number once it has been called. The caller announces the numbers as such...'B15, N40, O63.' Each 5 x 5 card has up to 24 spaces, and one blank space, known as the Free Space.
Certain numbers only appear under certain letters, making it quick and easy to remember where the digits are. If you're playing in a land-based bingo hall, this is a godsend – it means you can play lots of tickets simultaneously. However, if you're playing online, the stress (or pleasure, depending on which way you want to look at it) is removed, as the bingo software is able to mark it off for you.
-B column contains numbers 1-15
-I column contains numbers 16-30
-N column contains numbers 31-45
-G column contains numbers 46-60
-O column contains numbers 61-75
If you like to add variety to your playing day, then 75 ball is perfect. Instead of following the rigid three-line structure of 90 ball games, 75 ball games can vary greatly. However, there are three main winning variations. You need to cover all 24 numbers, a.k.a. a blackout, or a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line of numbers. Sometimes you must cover a specific pattern. If you're the first player to do this, then you can shout BINGO and collect your winnings.
In one line games, be the first player to cover either the vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line. The game can end here, or continue to the full house.
Players must cover 25 squares, a.k.a. the blackout pattern.
This is where 75 ball gets interesting. Players must cover the pattern on the ticket. The pattern changes every game, with certain sites rotating hundreds of variations . These games can be exceedingly quick – sometimes you only need to cover four numbers to win. Patterns are often used to celebrate special events – for instance, on Valentine's Day, you may need to cover a heart, and at Christmas, it could be a sprout or snowman. Alternatively, random patterns can be replaced with letters or numbers.
As with most games, the more a card costs, the bigger the potential jackpot. The amount of players in a game can also affect the jackpot. To increase your chances of winning, you may want to play in a quieter room with less players. However, this can mean a smaller prize fund. Some 75 ball games have huge prizes – I can recall a £10,000 game, where one winner walked away with the lot. 75 ball games are also popular when it comes to giving prizes like cars and holidays – usually, only one player wins.
Getting to grips with 75 ball can take a while, especially if you're used to 90 ball games. With that in mind, you'll be pleased to know that bingo software will automatically mark the numbers off you, thanks to a feature called autodaub. If you fancy a fast-paced thrill and the software allows it, mark the numbers off for yourself. And don't worry if you miss a call – if you have a winning ticket, the software will notify you, no matter what.