Bingo is pretty much all chance. For any gambling game to have strategy, you have to be able to make decisions after your bets have been placed. For example, blackjack and poker both allow you to make a multitude of decisions after the bets have been placed. It is these decisions that make it possible to implement any sort of winning strategy.
So the short answer is no, there’s really nothing you can do to gain an edge in bingo. However, there are a few things you can do to increase your odds of winning. I know, that sounds completely self-contradictory. Let me explain.
In bingo, you can increase your odds of winning by simply buying more cards in games that allow you to buy multiple cards. This does increase the likelihood of hitting a winning payout, but it doesn’t do anything to increase your expected value (EV).
For example, let’s say you want to play in a bingo game with $1.00 cards. The maximum payout is $500. If you buy one card and win the jackpot, you’ve just gotten a 500-1 payout. If you buy two cards, your odds of winning have just doubled! The catch is that you have paid $2 to play in this game. The payout is still $500, but you’re only getting 250-1 on your money.
250-1 still sounds great but over the long run, there’s no difference in expected value in these two situations. You win twice as often, but you also pay twice as much to play. If you played through both situations for a million years, your net profits would look exactly the same.
Buying multiple cards increases your odds of winning, but it doesn’t give you any kind of edge. You’re paying more to play, which means your EV remains the same. You could even buy 10 cards in that game and give yourself a 10-times better chance of winning, but you’re still getting the same EV.
A Few Bingo Tips
Something else you can do is turn on the auto-dauber feature. This doesn’t change the odds of the game in any way, but it does reduce the chances of you missing a winning call. If you find yourself playing 10 cards at once, the auto-daub feature is a must-have. You don’t want to miss anything important.
One other thing you can do is play every chat game every time you play. You see, most bingo sites host chat games down in the chat area. The chat moderator might ask trivia questions and give prizes to the first person to respond with the correct answer. This does increase your EV a little, but it doesn’t affect the actual bingo game.
And finally, don’t waste too much time when it comes to picking your cards. Bingo balls are drawn at random and therefore there’s no point in stressing out over picking the perfect cards. If you read around, some bingo strategy websites tell you to pick cards that cover a whole range of numbers. Other websites tell you to pick cards that share numbers.
Both strategies are equally likely (and unlikely) to win money for you. The idea behind picking cards that don’t share numbers is to get as many hits as possible. This may sound good in theory, but the problem is that you still have to get a full line to get a payout. Picking cards that don’t share numbers doesn’t make it any more likely that you’ll complete a line before anyone else.
The idea behind picking cards that share numbers is to maximize the number of spaces you get to fill in when the right calls are made. For example, you might have 5 cards that all go with high numbers. Whenever a high number is called, you get to daub multiple spaces across your cards.
This strategy also does nothing more than picking cards at random. The extra hits that you get from bunching up your numbers are mitigated by all the misses caused by not spreading your numbers. Long story short: the person who spends 2 hours picking the perfect bingo cards is just as likely to win as the person who picks cards at random.