Most online bingo rooms are going to give their players a choice when it comes to bingo cards. Do they want to play 75 ball bingo, or do they want to give the 90 ball version a try. For those who are familiar with the old, classic television show, Gilligan's Island, this choice is the "Ginger or Maryann" conundrum of the gaming world. Just like the two stranded cuties, both variations of bingo cards have their charms, and deciding which one to play very often comes down to geography and simply what a particular player has become accustomed too.
For those who consider what Darwin had to say about what isolation on Galapagos did to bunch of random tortoises, some sort of breakthrough in thought, the divergent evolution of the bingo game card is probably something of interest. We will not go very deeply into the history of bingo, suffice to say that the bingo card that developed in north America is a bit different than the one that people in the UK are used to. For experienced poker players, the topic of the UK vs. North American bingo game cards is old hat. For the rookie player, this is new information.
The popular UK bingo card has 27 spaces arranged in 3 rows and 9 columns. The details of how bingo is played in the UK can be found in the article on this site entitled, Bingo UK. This version is usually played with random numbers between 1 and 90 printed on the card. While this is the classic version of the game it is not unusual for both live and an online bingo card to have a variation available where the random numbers on the card run between 1 and 80. 15 of the spaces have numbers printed in them while 12 remain blank Obviously it is easier to win in the version with only 80 numbers, but this lower number also tends to speed up the game a little.
This bingo card is the dominant version throughout the UK and the rest of Europe as well as Australia. The 80 ball version notwithstanding, it has basically remained unchanged with very few variations to this bingo card. The same cannot be said for its North American cousin.
Those who choose an online bingo card that is associated with 75 ball bingo are playing the version of the game popular in the United States and Canada. The bingo game cards for 75 ball bingo feature 5 columns and 5 rows for a total of 25 squares. Each column is represented by one of the letters in the word "Bingo". The numbering of this card is as follows:
- The "B" Column will have numbers in the spaces between 1 and 15.
- The "I" Column will have numbers in the spaces between 16 and 30.
- The "N" Column will have numbers in the spaces between 31 and 45.
- The "G" Column will have numbers in the spaces between 46 and 60.
- The "O" Column will have numbers in the spaces between 61 and 75.
On the 75 ball bingo card, all the spaces either contain numbers or there is a free space in the middle. This is a departure from the UK's 90 ball bingo where the card has a dozen empty spaces. Empty spaces on both types of bingo cards are considered filled.
Variations of the bingo card and the game are common in 75 ball bingo. Double Action bingo cards, also referred to as "Dual Dab", have two numbers in each square. There are also cards with a single free space in the middle of the card, or several free spaces throughout the card.
While the bingo cards are different, they are used in the same, simple manner. As the numbers are called off, a player will use a tool called a Dauber to mark off any number on their card that matches the one that has been announced. When playing online bingo, obviously no physical dauber is used (that can do really bad things to your computer screen), but rather a dauber tool will be available on the site that will allow players to use their mouse to mark the numbers.
Most online bingo sites offer both 75 ball bingo and the 90 ball version popular in the UK. They will also offer a number of variations on the game where the very structure of how it is played goes beyond simple variations in the game card. The bottom line is that whether you are a 90 ball bingo fan or enjoy the 75 ball variation, there is a game card and a version for every taste.