Bingo is a game that is both fantastically simple and remarkably complicated. Many people argue that there’s nothing to the game aside from sheer luck, and yet have to reconcile this belief with the fact that certain players seem to win more consistently than others, regardless of whether it’s in free online bingo from the likes of Costa Bingo or money games in their local halls. Is bingo sheer luck, or is there more to it than that?
Falling on the luck side of the argument is the fact that the most unusual people tend to be winning big. The ones that make the news don’t seem to have any particular skill, and certainly aren’t professional gamers (largely because the professionals keep a lower profile). On the whole, they’ve also been going to bingo halls for years, and never really won big, and almost always, share their prize with someone else (a partner with whom they always play, for example).
All of which suggests that it’s a game of luck because if you play a game for long enough—and double your chances by playing with someone else, sooner or later your horse is going to come in.
Then there’s the fact that there are 75 balls (in most versions of the game) and most games are finished before 20 balls are drawn. Which isn’t really a huge amount of time to implement a strategy.
Finally, nearly all regular bingo players believe in luck, and bingo strategy (such as it is) is rarelytalked about, if those who play the game most often think it’s luck, surely it is. Take a look at the for free bingo, where you’ll find a great choice of free games and paid games to choose from. Game village Bingo doesn’t just have bingo on offer either; you can play all kinds of casino games there too.
Bingo is a game of numbers, and whenever you’re talking about pulling a certain series of numbers blindly from a bag, what you’re actually dealing with is number theory rather than with blind luck. Probability dictates what’s going to come out of the bag, rather than luck.
Accordingly, it stands to reason that you can affect those probabilities. Even with all the luck in the world, you’re not going to see someone win with only the number 1 to 15, it would require too much luck, or, in other words, it’s so vastly improbable it will never happen.
So if you can lose a game because of improbability, surely you can win it because of probability?
Returning to the issue of probabilities is where the answer lies. At the start of each game, regardless of whether it’s a big bingo company like Costa Bingo or a small school hall, every ballhas an equal chance of being drawn, and so on and so on, so, all things being equal, every ball’s primary probability of being drawn is the same.
If you happen to break the 75 numbers down into smaller groups, however, the probabilities change quite drastically. Start off looking at odds and evens, to begin with, you’ve got 38 odds and 37 evens, so the ratio is a clear 38:37, basically the same, although with a fractional favouring for odds.
Now, imagine ten balls later, 3 odds had been drawn and 7 evens, the ratio now is 35:30. What’s likely to come out next, an odd, or an even? Well, we still don’t really know, but you’re more likely to say an odd than an even. There’s not a huge disparity between the two, but enough that, played enough times (65 to be precise) more odds should be drawn than evens.
This applies for other sub-groups of the 75, but in a more pronounced way. Say the first number out of the bag is 12. This affects no less than three subgroups. First of all, it’s even, so the probability of the next ball being odd is slightly higher, secondly, it starts at 1. Numbers starting with 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 have a 10:64 chance of being drawn, numbers starting with one have a 9:64 chance of being drawn, again a slight difference, but it could be significant.
The third group are numbers ending with 2, of which there are 8 overall. So the chances of the next ball ending in 2 as well are 7:67, whilst the chance of ending in 1, 3, 4, or 5 is 8:66. A big difference? No. Statistically significant? Possibly.
The final aspect of these numbers is that if the game ran through to its natural conclusion, the average of the whole lot would be 38. The more numbers are drawn, the more likely their average is to focus in on 38. This means that statistically, an even spread of numbers above and below the number 38 is statistically more likely to occur than a grouping around the bottom or the top.
So, all in all, the reason why bingo appears to be a game of luck is that the statistical differences that dictate the likelihood of certain balls coming out are quite low, so if you play regularly (but not that much) the possibilities won’t even themselves out. Play enough, though, and those fractions of possibilities start to make a surprisingly big difference. Maybe not always enough for people to make a living out of it, but certainly enough for people to be able to afford a nice holiday in the Bahamas every year.