As we all know, gambling has become a huge industry on the internet very quickly with pretty much any game in Vegas available to play online. Some Poker sites offer video play with 3D players and the option to change your player’s appearance – you can even go as far to upload an image of your own face to slap onto your character at the table!
I’m not writing about poker though – it’s Bingo I have a love for. It all started on a Haven Campsite when I was younger, you know the drill, five kids in each caravan, grandparents along for the ride, barbeques outside the awning, all that mullarky! Every night we’d have a go at sinking the balls to win Arabian Nights and depending on how much the adults had drunk the night before, head to the main tent for the cabaret or go sit through a few rounds of Bingo.
Not that my parents may have known at the time, but bingo was my first choice – hands down. I don’t now about you but me and my younger sister weren’t ones for being dragged onto a stage by a sweaty nineteen year old from that afternoons ‘fun club’ – to do the birdie in front of 200 equally sweaty parents boozed up on Budweiser and Vodka Sodas. There was always something magical about blotting the boxes, seeing those numbers line up and losing any kind of childhood shyness, jumping up onto your chair shouting “BINGO BINGO!”. The fact that they didn’t really expect 5 – 8 year olds to be in the bingo hall at 9pm or ever for that matter and consequently the only available choice of prizes ranged from a decaffeinator to a quick-boil kettle didn’t matter. I won and I’d beat the adults. And I was still up at 9pm!
Anyway, that’s where the magic began. Now the question is – now I play online, mostly because my local hall has recently banned smoking and it’s just not very fashionable around here to be playing bingo at 27, do I still want to get up on my seat and rub in into the adults. Well, my answer is yes, but not always. The outcome of this subject is obviously going to be a matter of opinion, but I think half the magic of playing online these days lays in the creativeness and interactivity of the game you are playing.
For me, after having a dabble at the obvious two – Gala.co.uk & Mecca.com, there is now one clear favourite available at Jackpotjoy.com. I stumbled across the game after seeing its factual site being talked about on a forum. The game is based upon a game show, The Price Is Right. For those of you who don’t know of or have never seen the show before it’s quite simple. Contestants go on and guess the price of a number of items, if they get the price correct or closer than the other contestants they start bagging the items. Now there are many game show based bingo games out there at the moment, a large potion being based on Dear Or No Deal but none other I have come across captures the spirit of the show so well and offers so much added entertainment as this one.
Obviously, many of you are probably sitting there asking why bingo needs to be integrated into a game show set up. Well, it doesn’t. People love bingo for what it is, a simple game that anyone can play and one of which obviously carries a decent social scene with it. But I’m 27 years old; I have a Nintendo Wii in the front room (mainly because it’s pretty!), drive a Volkswagen Golf GTI and am very well acquainted with my microwave oven. I want it all and a game which offers a little more than the norm, is well related to some already fond memories and offers extra ‘bonus games’ between my rounds of bingo as opposed to a cheeky fag outside the local Mecca is all very find by me.
These bonus games in The Price Is Right Bingo offer different kinds of opportunities. The games are, for those of you in the know, Way to go Plinko!, Spin The Wheels & Come On Down. These allow you to treble you winnings (or half, up by 75% or lose etc), win some extra cash on top – or a Mini Cooper at the moment or simply be awarded some extra winnings along with two other contestants picked at random. Now winning bingo is good enough, but to take part in these kind of bonus games (or not) is a decent addition in my book. There are of course more ‘usual’ bingo games available at Jackpotjoy but if you want to see them you’ll just have to visit the site.
For me, the answer to my original question is no, Online Bingo has not altogether caused the game to lose its magical appeal – it’s just about finding the right game for you.
I well recommend The Price Is Right game. Enjoy!
By Debbie Reynolds
I’ve been playing bingo for years, and about just over a year online. Thought it was about time I started talking to more people about it and getting them involved since the halls are beginning to die off!