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Seventy-five ball bingo is played all over the United States and Canada, as well as parts of South America. While not widely available in traditional Australian housie halls, live online 75-ball bingo can be found at several of our trusted AUD bingo rooms – such as True Blue. Find out how to play US bingo in Australia, as well as why and where to get the best American-style bingo games on the Web.
Best 75-ball bingo sites for Australians
About 75-Ball Bingo
US bingo is played using a 5×5 card – five columns and five rows – for a total of 25 spots. There is a letter at the top of each column, forming the word ‘BINGO’. Each space on the card holds a random number, although the numbers in each column are limited to a certain range: from 1 to 15 in column B, 16 to 30 in column I, 31 to 45 in column N, 46 to 50 in column G, and 51 to 75 in column O. The only exception is the square in the very centre of the card, which is a free space that can be used to complete any winning combo (much like a wild card in Australian pokies and video poker).
Numbers are drawn from a hopper containing 75 balls or tokens, numbered 1 to 75. Each number is called along with the letter of the column it falls in – for example, if 7 was drawn, the caller would say “B7”. When a number is called, players mark it off their cards using a dauber – a kind of highlighter designed specifically for bingo. Where reusable cards are involved, which is often the case in more casual bingo games, the numbers are marked using counters or tokens.
Now, the possible methods of victory is where this version differs considerably to Australian 90-ball bingo. Yes, you can win by marking a horizontal line of five numbers; but that is just one of the many combinations that may get you the jackpot. American bingo can use several different ‘patterns’, which will be specified before the game starts. These can be straight lines, diagonals, L shapes, T formations, crosses – there are dozens. Some games will ask you to complete one specific pattern, while others will make several combinations available.
When you hit a winning pattern, it’s the same story as Aussie housie – shout “Bingo!” as quickly and clearly as possible, and the game will halt while officials check your ticket. There may be multiple prizes up for grabs within a single game, and the first to bingo is not always the biggest winner. Sometimes there are big prizes on offer for marking your whole card within a certain number of calls, just like in club-based housie and online 90-ball bingo with progressive jackpots (PJP) or special jackpots (SJP).
There are dozens upon dozens of winning patterns that can be applied to 75-ball bingo. Some are simple and relatively easy to spot, while others can be quite complex and difficult to find on the card. The more common patterns are:
Horizontal line – All five numbers in any single row.
Vertical line – All five numbers in any single column.
Diagonal line – Four numbers and the free space in a straight line from bottom left to top right, or top left to bottom right.
Postage stamp – A 2×2 box pattern (plus the free space) in any of the corners.
Four corners – One number in each of the four corners of the card, as well as the free space.
Small cross (or small diamond) – The free space plus each number immediately left, right, up and down.
How to Play Online 75-Ball Bingo
In essence, playing live Internet bingo works the same as a game of housie at your local club: you a buy your tickets, get ready for eyes down at a scheduled starting time, and hope the right numbers come up. There are several online bingo rooms that give Australians the chance to play US-style games on the Web, including True Blue Bingo – one of our top-rated AUD bingo websites.
Here’s how you play 75-ball bingo online for Aussie dollars:
- Sign up at www.TrueBlueBingo.com and add some funds to your account instantly (this takes just a few minutes all up).
- On the home page, scroll down to the bottom to view the available live bingo rooms.
- Select the ‘Ice Breaker’ option and click ‘Play Now’ to launch the room and buy tickets.
As far as actual game-play goes, the call and the cards more or less take care of themselves. True Blue employs an auto-daub feature, which marks off numbers on your card as soon as they are drawn. That means we can sit back and relax while our automated tickets do the work for us, which frees us up for more important things like sipping a tasty beverage and bantering with fellow players via live chat.
Why Play US Bingo on the Internet?
Interactive 75-ball bingo on the Web offers a number of conveniences we don’t get in brick-and-mortar gaming. For one, the North American version of the game is very difficult to find at Australian bingo centres, which rarely deviate from the traditional 90-ball housie format. So unless you fancy flying to Washington or Winnipeg just to get your bingo fix, the Net is the way to go.
Another key factor in virtual bingo’s favour is that it eliminates the element of human error, which so often slows down land-based games. There are no falsies (mistaken bingo claims), there are no miscalled numbers, and there are no improperly marked cards – everything is automated, so even the newest of novices can’t muck up the game.
But perhaps the biggest plus for Internet 75-ball bingo is that we can all just chill out. For while community bingo is fun and social, there are also plenty of rules and unwritten laws that must be followed – such as no talking during the call, no kids in the bingo hall, and never sit in someone else’s lucky seat. Online bingo gets rid of the sometimes stuffy and cliquy aspects of the live game, allowing us to chat live with other players with the call is in progress, to play while keeping the kids safe at home, and to sit wherever the heck we want to.
American Bingo Variations
Naturally, for such a popular game, there are myriad spin-offs of 75-ball bingo in the United States and Canada – some of which are also played in Australia.
Bible Bingo – Instead of ‘BINGO’, the letters atop each of the five columns on the card spell ‘BIBLE’. And rather than the plain old numbers 1 to 75, we must check off the names of books from the Holy Bible. Riveting stuff.
Death Bingo – This is basically 75-ball bingo in reverse. Instead of trying to mark off patterns, the idea is to avoid hitting any winning combinations. As soon as you mark a pattern, you are out of the game. The last man standing wins.
Buzzword Bingo – This is one of our favourites, perfect for livening up a dull day at the office. Before a meeting or presentation, get some co-workers together and have each person fill in a 5×5 grid with common workplace jargon terms (things like ‘synergy’, ‘actioning’, ‘consumer-oriented’, all that jazz). Agree on rules before you go into the meeting – for instance, whether you’re playing for a single line or whether you have to fill the whole card. Then, cross off the buzzwords as they come up during the presentation. Extra points when the winner has the guts to say “Bingo!” out loud, especially if they manage to do so without raising suspicion (e.g. by hiding their bingo claim within a question to the speaker).
Play online 75-ball bingo for Australian dollars at www.TrueBlueBingo.com.