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The Bingo Caller - How Online Bingo Algorithms Work

Like with auto-umps in Minor League Baseball, traditional bingo players are understandably concerned over whether bingo is losing its human element. The question constantly arises over which bingo sites are legit and if online bingo is rigged. But plenty of winners swear by online bingo, so the odds of winning can’t possibly be approximately …Zero, right?

The truth is that online bingo is heavily regulated, and the random number generators (RNG) at the heart of online bingo are guided by algorithms inspected by an impartial third party. Advanced players can do some probability computations using game variables and Return To Player (RTP) percentages to select only games with a maximum chance of winning, but even then, gambling is never going to be a perfect science. 

For more casual players with a hesitancy to gamble – well, that’s probably a healthy human trait. After all, everyone knows that friend, the “risk taker” whose impulsive behaviour leads them into a world of drama and ever-changing schemes they pin their hopes on.

All this considered, the game of bingo remains a welcoming pastime for friends to come together, relax, and – with a little luck – take home a bit of extra cash. 

Online bingo sites like BingoVillage create a safe space to play with a measurable amount of real fairness. It’s more accessible than ever before since you don’t even have to leave the house. The Cozy Café even has a chat room to socialize, making it a great place to post up with lo-fit beats and a cup of coffee and play online bingo, so long as you’ve got time and a bit of budget for your bingo bankroll.

How Do I Know Online Bingo Isn’t Rigged?

Online bingo has a few factors that determine the results of every game. First, the Bingo Caller – no, not a raspy-voiced old lady with bifocals and a pack of slims – but the random number generator (RNG) we mentioned previously. To make it more fun, a lot of user experience upgrades give you a colourful bingo caller who is backed by the artificial intelligence of your bingo site’s RNG. 

These algorithms are designed to prevent any particular game from becoming monotonous and have been used for decades going back to Tetris and even before. 

In gaming, the complexity of RNGs varies, whether you’re in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) and need enemies to spawn in your region to gain experience points, or playing a relaxed game of bingo. 

Understanding Random Number Generators

RNGs start with a seed number, which is generated at random by the algorithm. The seed number is then used to generate a sequence of random numbers through a complex formula – and it's virtually impossible to crack the RNG. That's where licensing boards like the UKGC and the MGA come in. These organizations oversee the testing of RNGs and publish the results, and if your favourite online casino uses auditors like Technical Systems Testing (TST), eCOGRA or GLI then you can be assured of its legitimacy. 

In a nutshell, these tests show that online gaming sites aren't cheating and are playing fair. The tests reflect whether or not the house edge is correct – and hasn't been juiced – in addition to the return to player (RTP) percentage.

What Is the Return To Player (RTP) in Online Bingo?

Every casino game includes RTP rates, which allow gamblers to know what percentage of their wagers are used to pay out winnings. 

For example, an RTP of 95 would mean that if you bet $100 in online bingo, you can expect to get $95 back. Games with jackpots will score lower – in general, the bigger the payout, the lower the RTP.

The probability of winning a game of bingo heavily considers the number of players involved. For a simple formula to calculate RTP, use this: RTP = (Total Payouts / Total Bets) * 100

Relationship Between RTP and the House Edge

The house edge in online bingo is simply the rate of profitability for the house – and different variants of the game (like 75-ball bingo and 90-ball bingo) may come with different RTP rates. 

If players have an RTP of 95, that means the house edge is 5% – for every $100 spent, the house earns $5. 

Something worth mentioning, comparative to some games like video slots and roulette, the RTP rate for bingo is typically a few percentage points lower while the house edge is typically higher. 

Online Bingo vs. In-person Bingo RTP

It’s true that there are some differences in RTP and a player’s chances at winning online bingo versus if they were to visit their local brick-and-mortar bingo hall. That’s because online gaming sites can go live and start attracting users in a couple of ways: 1) Regulated by a gaming license board, 2) Somewhat unregulated. 

For anyone worried about whether online bingo sites are rigged, be sure to check in the site’s footer for a certificate awarded by a proper gaming license. BingoVillage, for instance, is licensed by Gaming Curacao. 

Site security also plays a critical role in a player’s chances of winning at bingo. Conversely, technical concerns do not factor into the RTP for players of in-person bingo – the caller simply oversees a mechanical bingo machine, drawing balls at random.

Since online bingo utilizes RNGs, these can theoretically be manipulated if someone were to infiltrate the site’s security and hack the algorithm. Always check the security certificate when playing online bingo. Of course, you wouldn’t have any such concern at the local bingo hall, where winning is more about your luck, hearing the bingo caller, and how fast you can daub your bingo cards.

How Do Online Bingo Jackpots Work?

A welcome addition to the bingo community has been jackpot payout rewards, with people sometimes winning in the high six figures or even seven figures. However, they have a lower RTP than traditional games of bingo as the payout totals climb ever higher with more entries purchased and usually just a single winner for the jackpot.

How Bingo Jackpots Are Calculated

Fixed jackpots and progressive jackpots have totally different fundamentals. The jackpot is the same no matter how many play with a fixed jackpot – but progressive jackpots go up in value with more buy-ins, at least until someone wins.

Generally speaking, the RTP for bingo is 70 – 90%, but because bingo is more unpredictable based on the number numbers of cards sold and the number of balls in play, it’s hard to nail down a precise number in comparison to games that are fixed. 

Some games have a higher RTP when they include additional combinations for winning (with various bingo patterns included), while coverall (blackout) games would have the lowest RTP and the best house edge of any online bingo game.

Jackpot Calculator – Also known as Cover-All Calculator

Seeing as how video slots have a higher RTP, you can keep yourself busy playing that throughout certain parts of jackpot bingo games. 

Although coverall (blackout) patterns are extremely hard to score, they’re also required for big jackpots. To determine your chances of winning, consider the amount of numbers that have been called. 

The probability of winning goes up significantly once 30 or 40 balls have been called, at least in a game of 80-ball or 90-ball bingo. If you’re playing a shorter game of 30-ball bingo or 75-ball bingo, it’s harder to achieve a coverall.

Jackpot Calculator

Ball Restrictions

2 - 30 balls called: Good luck… because you’ll really need it to win this early.
31 – 45 balls called: Slim chances, better check out video poker to pass some time.
46 – 50 balls called: OK – if nobody’s won and your card’s got marks, it’s time to get serious.
51 – 60 balls called: Odds are pretty good – hold onto the edge of your seat… 
61 – 74 balls called: Good God Almighty, we’re about to have a winner, and YOU are in it!
Note:  Our Jackpot Calculator is just a fun guide. Online bingo probability computations literally take super computations while servers work all day to ensure all players have an equal chance at winning. Variables like the number of entries, number of players and the amount of balls called all factor into the RTP. The Jackpot Calculator just shows how to think about your chances in environments with single winners and a set number of balls in play.

Your Chances at Winning in Bingo

So what do these algorithms and variations of bingo mean for you, the player? Hopefully, we’ve helped you better understand the implementation of RNGs and RTP and that your chances of winning are equal to other players in the online bingo community. You can trust that the RTP percentage is designed to help the house stay in business, while giving all players a shot at taking home extra cash while having fun in a regulated environment.

Of course, no system is perfect. There's always a chance that an online casino could cheat. But if you play at a reputable casino like BingoVillage that's licensed by a reputable organization like Gaming Curacao, you're in good hands.