In Australia and the United Kingdom, 90-ball bingo is far and away the most prominent form of the game. Land-based housie halls and online gaming sites alike offer a wide variety of real money bingo games, many of which feature cash jackpots worth thousands of Australian dollars.
We’ll take you through all the essentials here, including how and where to play the best 90-ball bingo rooms online.
Best 90-ball bingo sites for Australians
Play 90-ball bingo games online
Online bingo is a safe, easy alternative to your local pub, club, or bingo centre. Tickets cost just a couple of silver coins each, and you don’t have to buy huge books of them just to get in the door. The prize money is every bit as good, too, with major weekend draws and big progressive jackpots which pay thousands of Aussie dollars.
To get started, just take a minute or two to register at one of our trusted real cash bingo sites – such as AussieDollarBingo.com, KittyBingo.com, or TrueBlueBingo.com. Then you can add funds to your account using secure deposit methods like POLi, Neteller, EcoPays and Skrill Moneybookers.
Once you’re logged in and cashed up, you can purchase tickets for a wide range of daily 90-ball bingo calls. The best sites run a multitude of very affordable progressive jackpots (PJPs) and special promotions with huge multi-tiered prize pools.
Many of the top-ranked Australian bingo sites also offer no-cost games and freeroll bingo, where you can win tickets and tokens for some of the biggest bingo jackpots on the Web. Some operators, like www.BingoAustralia.com, also run team events where you can join up with family and friends to compete for a share in thousands of bucks.
How to play Housie
There are two common varieties of online bingo: the American 75-ball game and the 90-ball version played in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and parts of Europe and South America.
The two can be distinguished immediately by the make-up of the cards used. US bingo is played on a square 5 x 5 grid, while housie – the Australian name for 90-ball bingo – uses a 3 x 9 layout with 15 numbers per ticket. While there are several blank squares on each grid, none of those are free spaces which can substitute for other numbers.
Ninety-ball bingo games are traditionally played using a hopper filled with – you guessed it – 90 balls, each of which is branded with a number from one to 90. Balls are drawn at random and announced by the caller, while players mark the corresponding numbers off their tickets using a dauber.
In the modern era, many Australian bingo halls have replaced the ball-and-hopper apparatus with random number generators. These work much like the digital systems used to determine raffle winners at pubs and clubs all over the country: the caller or game-runner pushes a button, and a random number between one and 90 appears on a lighted visual display.
Whichever method is used for producing the numbers, the gameplay is the same. The caller keeps drawing and announcing numbers until someone shouts “Bingo!” or “Housie!” to claim a win. The game stops, the ticket is checked, and the win is either confirmed or denied. Often there is only one winner per game, but sometimes there can be two or three prizes for each call.
Different ways to win at Australian bingo
Another big difference between American bingo and 90-ball housie is how wins are determined. In Aussie bingo, there are usually only three ways to win:
Full house – This is where the terms ‘housie’ comes from. The first player to mark all 15 numbers on a single 3 x 9 ticket wins.
One line – Each bingo ticket features three horizontal rows of numbers. Mark five numbers off a single row to complete the line.
Two lines – This is rather self explanatory. The winner is the first to cross out two separate lines of five numbers.
The full house is the default winning pattern in most Australian bingo calls, which is why the game is often referred to as housie. One-line and two-line games are much more common at online bingo rooms, although they sometimes feature in specialty draws at land-based venues as well.
Why Internet bingo is better
The housie hall is an Aussie institution, right up there with Victoria Bitter, Blundstone boots and oversized landmarks. However, there are several benefits to be had when you play 90-ball bingo games online instead:
Play from home – While many folks love the social aspect of the bingo community, some of us just want to play the game in the fastest, most convenient way possible. Internet bingo means easy access to all your favourite games, day and night, with no courtesy buses or post-session small talk required.
No etiquette Nazis – One of the most annoying things for new players is the strict code of conduct enforced by land-based bingo halls. While we appreciate that quiet is essential so everyone can hear the numbers called, some people take their bingo way too seriously and will look for any excuse to chide you. When you play housie online, you don’t have to put up with any of that nonsense.
Let the computer do the work – Newbies are often taken aback by the speed and intensity of the calls at Australian bingo centres. Even experienced players sometimes miss numbers or mistakenly declare a winner, which can be frustrating for everybody – especially if you’re the one who mucks up. Our trusted bingo sites all use an auto-daub system, so you can sit back and relax while the game interface ticks off your numbers for you.