Bingo is a popular game, although not one generally considered by professional players. In Australia, bingo is usually reserved for older people in retirement. But still many younger people throughout the world enjoy the game.
This article discusses the realistic prospects of making money from bingo.
What is Bingo?
What with slot machines, there are many different varieties of bingo. Some involve real physical cards, where you mark off numbers with a pen. And sometimes you play on your computer, much like a slot machine.
Some varieties have a different amount of numbers to cross off your list. But essentially bingo involves having a set of numbers you need to monitor. Then numbers are randomly drawn, and you match the numbers on your card. When you have the minimum number of match numbers, you win. At least that the basics, but again there are many variations to the game.
Understanding Advantage Play
The basics of bingo’s mathematics, and how casinos treat the game is much the same as any game – it’s all odds vs payout, and the casino has the advantage. But “advantage play” is the casinos name for legitimate systems that beat casinos, by achieving a viable long-term advantage for the player. Advantage play exists in almost every casino game, which includes bingo.
However, I can’t say I’ve come across professional bingo players. And I’ve known a lot of professional players who focus on other casino games.
Nevertheless, I give you my opinion on how to consistently win at bingo.
The basics of beating any casino game involves understanding the difference between odds and payout. It’s the same case with any advantage play technique. For example, in roulette, there are 37 numbers on the European wheel. But the payout for a win on one number is only 35 to 1. So the payout is below the odds of winning. This discrepancy is called the house edge.
The house edge exists in every casino game, to varying degrees. It’s what gives the casino its guaranteed profit.
In the case of bingo, how the casino consistently profits depends on the type of bingo. If we’re talking about bingo for players at the local pub, then the house edge would be the entry fee for you to play. And besides, the local pub also benefit from any food or drinks you order.
But things work a bit differently with bingo at online or real casinos. And there are a number of ways a casino can get a long-term advantage, otherwise known as the house edge. These are discussed below.
The critical point to understand is that all advantage play techniques focus on increasing the probability of winning. Put another way, they change the odds. This doesn’t mean simply betting more numbers. In the case of roulette, a bet on the random number has a 1 in 37 chance of winning (see odds). But if you apply physics to predict where the ball might land, you can increase your odds of winning to 1 in 15 or so. This is a massive advantage over the casino.
In this example, we haven’t had to increase the amount of numbers we cover. We have focused on the actual mechanism that determines the winning number. In the case of roulette, its the physical roulette wheel and ball.
Consistently winning at bingo applies much the same principle. I’m not specifically talking about physics. I’m talking about the mechanism that determines the winning bingo numbers.
In bingo games where you can choose your lucky numbers, you are in a better position to consistently win. This is assuming that the mechanism that selects winning numbers is not entirely random, and therefore predictable.
Random Number Generators
If you’re bingo game looks much like a slot machine, and doesn’t involve anything physical like a ball, then the winning numbers will be determined by a random number generator. This is essentially software and computer algorithms that determine which number will be drawn next. Predicting the next number of random number generators is no simple task, even if you have the software used by the casino. So realistically, you can forget exploiting a random number generator. And besides, the chances are you can’t even choose your lucky numbers anyway. So if you intend to play bingo online, it should only be for fun, rather than serious intent to profit.
Physical Numbered Balls
Most lotteries use physical balls with numbers on them. They are not unlike ping-pong balls. It is physically possible that some balls develop physical flaws that make them more likely to win than others. However, even with flaws, it’s still extremely unlikely. This is because there are too many random events that occur as a tumbler rolls, and mixes around the balls. But with roulette, the ball only has to roll around the rim of the wheel, then bounce onto the diamonds and pockets. This is relatively few events to model, and it’s quite predictable. Bingo is far more random, and less predictable.
The Best Way To Profit From Bingo
In one word, “perks”. Perks are also known as “casino comps”. They are basically free services, or discounts to products and services you might be awarded for continuing to play.
For example, if you play bingo and a local pub, you might pay a $10 entry fee. You might have a chance of winning a $500 prize for bingo. With a certain amount of other players, statistically you are likely to lose over the long-term. This is because of the house edge. After all, the casino or establishment needs to profit.
However, there may be secondary prizes, such as vouchers for vehicle servicing, or even donated food hampers. These may be marketing vouchers designed to promote particular businesses. But they still have value.
To put it into perspective, one of my older colleagues is over 70 years old. He doesn’t have the stamina for long hours at the casinos anymore. But he still enjoys gambling on random games. He does so just for fun, with the full understanding that is likely to lose money. Although he doesn’t bet or lose much.
However, his constant patronage to casinos earns him a great deal of casino comps. This includes various freebies such as movie tickets, or free meals. To him, it’s free entertainment. In his case, he is earning enough comps to make a slight profit in the long-term. And this is despite him losing at the actual casino games.
The case of bingo is most the same. Realistically, you aren’t going to earn large amounts from bingo, even if you focus on playing professionally. There are some varieties of bingo where you could achieve a long-term statistical advantage. But there are relatively few such opportunities. And even in these cases, you can’t realistically expect to earn large sums of money. If anything, it can become more a hobby that makes a little bit of money, instead of costing you money. But it is certainly not an income you can live on.
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