If you are an experienced online bingo player, chances are, you will be familiar with 75 ball games and 90 ball bingo games. But 80 ball bingo is the new kid on the block, despite it being popular in land-based venues for many decades. More and more sites are introducing this fast-paced variety into the mix, and it's an excellent 75 ball and 90 ball alternative, especially if you find 75 ball games too short, and 90 ball games too long.
80 ball is also known as shutter board, and it is still referred to by this name on certain sites. The reason it's called shutter board is because, when played off-line, little plastic shutters are used to cover the called numbers. If you've played the game in a bingo hall, at the fairground, or at the seaside, chances are you'll be familiar with the colourful 4 x 4 plastic cards. When played online, called numbers are covered by shutters, or shades of colours. Each column is distinguished by a different colour, which creates a unique combination of 16 possible squares.
The colours are silver, blue, yellow and red. Ticket numbers range between 1 and 80 and there are no blank squares unlike 75 ball bingo.
Each colour has its own individual set of numbers: the red column has numbers 1-20, yellow has 21-40, blue has 41-59, and silver has 60-80. Calls are announced with a number and colour together, such as red 18, or blue 43.
The beauty of 80 ball bingo is the variety of game patterns on offer. Usually, the game requires a 'blackout' pattern to win – i.e, all numbers must be marked off, similar to a 75 ball bingo blackout, or a 90 ball full house. However, players can compete to cover a horizontal line, a diagonal line, a vertical line, an X pattern, the letter S, or a double line, and many many more permutations .
Ticket prices for 80 ball games can vary from a couple of pence to £1 or so, depending on the size of the jackpot. It must be said that prizes and prices of 80 ball games tend to be smaller, because it's less popular than its 90 ball and 75 ball counterparts. In general, there are less players in each game, meaning you have bigger chance of winning a prize. However, the prize might be smaller than a game playing at the same time on the same site in a 90 ball room. As with all games, ticket price, jackpot, and payout information is displayed in the information bar above the main game window.
Most players nowadays tend to prefer the auto daub feature – click this and the software will automatically shutter off your numbers. This has two benefits – you can concentrate on chatting, gossiping, and earning free bonuses in the chat games, and you can also play side games too. By firing up a side game such as roulette, or a video slot, you can increase your chances of winning, because you are playing two games simultaneously.
If you prefer to daub the numbers manually, go ahead and do this – it's fun, mentally stimulating and it certainly livens up a game. But don't worry if you miss a few numbers, or can't keep up with the pace – if you have a winning card, the software will call BINGO for you automatically.