Online Bingo Games

Online Bingo Games: How to Play Bingo

Bingo is a popular game whether you play for money or not. It’s also much more than just a game for senior citizens. In fact, it can be a lucrative game for all players. Playing bingo online with friends is now big business. Legal bingo online USA sites are now available across the country. Consequently, there’s now more bingo site options out there for players than ever before.

Playing bingo online is a bit different from what you might find at a retirement home. It’s a bit more fast-paced. Occasionally, there are big jackpots on the line too. There are lots of sites in the United States offering free bingo win real money. New Jersey is one of the biggest US states in terms of its online gambling industry. This state legalized online casino play back in 2013. Presently, there are several NJ online casinos which offer bingo games online. You can legally play online bingo real money at these casinos. However, every player must be over the age of 21 and located inside NJ state lines to play at an NJ casino site. Some casinos even offer free bingo games to play.

Outside of New Jersey, US players do have some other site options for playing bingo. However, this will vary by state. Every US state makes its own laws. Below you’ll find information on online bingo in every US state including New Jersey. If you’re wondering how to play bingo online, then you’re in the right place!

Play Free Online Bingo & Play Bingo for Money

Bingo for Money

New Jersey legalized online casino play back in 2013. At that time, internet casinos became legal. Many of these sites launched in NJ over the following years. However, the state did not fully legalize online bingo until 2015.

Today, online bingo is big in the Garden State. In fact, online bingo makes up about 80% of all real money bingo games in the state.

If you’re located in New Jersey, you can play online bingo at licensed online casinos. Presently, there are three casinos in NJ that offer internet bingo. Every one is reputable, safe, and fair to all players. Each site also has a dedicated bingo section that’s easy to find.

Bingo is a relatively simple game on the surface. However, the internet version is a bit different than the live version of the game. Some of the rules have changed, and the game works a bit differently. Overall, the basic concept is still the same.

When playing online bingo, you don’t just buy one card at a time. Instead, you typically buy a “strip” of six cards. Players can play multiple cards at a time in internet bingo.

One of the great benefits of playing online bingo is that the computer marks your numbers for you. That means you’ll never miss a number if you’re using a bunch of cards at once. Once you’re in the game, you can pretty much just sit back, play and watch.

However, online bingo does get exciting. That’s because internet bingo games can play with large numbers of players at once. You’ll never find a live bingo game larger than the biggest internet game of bingo. Online bingo isn’t limited by tables or room space. Consequently, it’s possible to have thousands of players in a single online bingo game.

Free vs Real Money Bingo Games

Free Bingo Games

The main benefit of playing internet bingo is that the jackpots can be massive. Even games with small drawings can give big payouts. Usually, a single payout will be in the thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s become so popular among players.

However, players looking for free bingo games for fun can still find plenty of legal options. In New Jersey, both the Tropicana and Virgin online casinos occasionally let you play bingo online free. They’re offered randomly throughout each day, so make sure to check those sites often.

Totally free bingo games online won’t give the same big payouts of real money bingo games. However, they’re a great way to get into the game. For new players, this is the best way to learn the ropes.

Players looking to play real money bingo in NJ have plenty of choices. Usually, buy-ins range from $1 to $5. Players can spend only a small amount of cash to enter a game. Even a $1 buy-in can result in a big jackpot win. However, your chances at a major jackpot will increase as you play more and buy more tickets.

NJ Casinos with Online Bingo Games

Three of the largest online casinos in NJ offer legal online bingo games. At each of these casinos, the bingo type offered is 90-ball bingo.

Players located in NJ should check out these casinos for online bingo:

Tropicana Online Casino

The Tropicana Online Casino in NJ was the first New Jersey online casino to offer online bingo. It launched daily online bingo games in 2015 just after the game was legalized online.

At Tropicana Online Casino, players have a few buy-in choices. None of them are too expensive. Players can buy-in at $1, $2, or $5. Regardless of the buy-in, every online bingo game at the Tropicana gives players a chance at winning a Super Jackpot. Just keep in mind that these jackpots vary for every game.

Tropicana Online Casino does let you play free bingo game about every 30 minutes. In these free games online, players can still win big jackpots!

Tropicana Online Casino does have a great offer for new players. Players can get $20 in free cash when making a new account. Just use code PLAY20 during signup. You can use this free cash to play bingo online for money.

Virgin Online Casino

You might recognize this worldwide brand name from some of Sir Richard Branson’s other business ventures. It is in fact the same Virgin brand as Virgin Airlines, Virgin Galactic, etc.

Under NJ state laws, NJ internet casinos must partner with land-based casinos. Virgin Online Casino in NJ has actually partnered with the Tropicana. That’s the same casino we just discussed above, meaning Tropicana offers two online casinos. This is legal under NJ laws. The Tropicana brings in solid internet gambling revenues thanks to this partnership.

Virgin Online Casino offers 90-ball bingo games. The casino offers free games about every half hour, just like Tropicana. Players looking for ways to play bingo for real money will find a few options at Virgin too. Players can buy-in to real money online bingo from $1 to $5.

Virgin Online Casino also offers new players some free cash. All you need to do as a new player is create an account at the casino. Use code 30BUCKS during signup to get $30 free in your player account.

Pala Bingo USA

Pala Bingo USA is part of the Pala Online Casino in NJ. This online bingo site offers legal online bingo to players located inside NJ. Just like the other NJ internet bingo options, this one only offers classic 90-ball bingo.

The main difference between Pala Bingo USA and the other NJ online bingo options above is the variety of casino games online. Pala Bingo USA focuses only on internet bingo. The company noticed a gap in the market and launched this site to try and fill it. You won’t find other casino games at Pala Bingo USA.

Pala Bingo USA is unique as NJ’s only bingo-specific gambling site. Additionally, the site does offer some bonuses for new players. You can get free bingo games tickets and bonus cash when you create a new player account at Pala Bingo USA. Make sure to use code OVBONUS upon signup to maximize your free cash.

Pala Bingo USA is dedicated to internet bingo. For players serious about internet bingo, we encourage you to check it out.

How 90-Ball Bingo Works

Every NJ internet casino site with bingo offers only the 90-ball variant. It’s a bit different than the classic 75-ball game you’ll find in retirement homes. Overall, the concept is the same. However, the way 90-ball bingo is played differs slightly. You might already have guessed that this version uses numbers from 1 through 90.

Overall, you still need bingo cards. A 90-ball bingo card has 27 total squares on it. They are arranged in a 3×9 grid with 3 rows and 9 columns on the card. Each card row has five squares with numbers in them and four blank squares.

Every column on the card (9 in total) corresponds to a different group of numbers that might be called during the game. For example, column 1 will have only numbers from 1-9 and column 2 will have number from 10-19. It continues like this for each column of numbers on the cards. The key here is that no more than 3 numbers from any batch can appear on any single bingo card.

In 90-ball games, players can’t buy individual bingo cards. Cards can only be bought in strips of six at a time.

Outside of these differences, play continues in the normal fashion. The online bingo caller will announce numbers as they are drawn at random. Since it’s 90-ball bingo, numbers on cards will range from 1 to 90. Each time a number is called, the software with automatically mark the square on the player card. You don’t need to be hovering over your cards, the software will help make sure you don’t miss any numbers.

How to Read an Online Bingo Card

How to Win Bingo

Wondering how to win bingo? The objective of any bingo game is to fill up a single line of numbers before any other players do.

In a classic 75-ball bingo game, there is usually just one winner. That’s the first player to line up a row or column of numbers. However, there can be multiple winners if players call bingo at the same time.

In a 90-ball bingo game, the concept is the same. However, these cards also have blank spaces – they count as wilds.

Players can win at the 90-ball game variant in these ways:

  • Fill Any Line: mark 5 numbers in a single card row
  • Fill Any 2 Lines: mark 5 numbers in two card rows
  • Full House: mark 5 numbers in all three rows of the card

Overall, prizes increase as players win with more card rows filled in. Usually, full house winners will get the biggest prizes. It’s also possible for a single player to win a game with all three methods. If players win simultaneously, then prize pools are divided equally.

Online Bingo in Pennsylvania

New Jersey’s close neighbor Pennsylvania is also home to many legal internet casinos. PA legalized online casino play in 2019. Its online gambling industry has taken off like a rocket in the years since then.

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania does not offer legal internet bingo. However, PA players have access to virtually all other types of web-based gambling. Online casinos, sports betting, horse betting, and lottery are all legal to play online in PA.

It’s possible that PA might legalize internet bingo in the future, but we can’t say for sure. Presently, we have not heard of any upcoming bills to legalize the practice.

Online Bingo vs Electronic Bingo

New Jersey is the only US state with fully legal internet bingo. Other US states like PA which do offer legal online gambling just don’t have bingo. Additionally, most other US states do not allow any form of online betting.

However, many states do allow electronic bingo. This form of the game is similar to internet bingo, but it’s really not the same thing.

Electronic bingo can’t be done online. Instead, electronic bingo uses dedicated machines. Usually, these are located in live bingo halls.

Electronic bingo machines are typically handheld devices. They are essentially just a way for players to participate in live games. Electronic bingo machines are just another method for playing live bingo games.

Instant bingo is another common variety of the game. However, this version isn’t online either. Instant bingo is actually a paper-based game. These games are also commonly called “pull tabs”.

Laws for bingo will be different for every US state. Check your state’s laws to learn more. Presently, New Jersey is the only US state with fully legal online bingo.

Bingo Laws in the USA

Bingo exists in a strange area of the law. That’s because this game has traditionally always been a family activity. However, when real money was introduced, gambling laws took over governing the practice. This caused people to ask, is bingo gambling? Consequently, bingo was seen as gambling and generally outlawed.

The Wire Act of 1961 is mainly responsible for this. This act effectively outlawed all betting across state lines. Most legal professionals believe that this law also applies to bingo.

However, the Wire Act of 1961 is a federal law. Individual US states are still allowed to decide for themselves whether or not gambling is legal. Some states have decided to legalize live and internet bingo, while others have outlawed all of it. A few US states get around these laws by allowing bingo only for charity.

Below you’ll find the current status of bingo in every US state:

States starting with A through C:

  • Alabama: Overall, this state allows live bingo games but only for charitable purposes. Electronic bingo exists, but it’s in a bit of a grey area under the law. Alabama is home to some traditional bingo halls, but these are often raided by law enforcement.
  • Alaska: This state only allows legal live bingo events when they’re held for charity. There are also restrictions on where charity games in the state can be held. Games can be held at certified charities, or on tribal lands.
  • Arizona: Arizona only allows live bingo when it’s done for charity. Additionally, this state has some specific rules concerning how much bingo a single person can play. Players are limited to 12 hours per day and 5 bingo sessions per week.
  • Arkansas: In this state, bingo games can only be run by certified charitable organizations. These include religious, educational, veterans, medical, volunteer rescue and fire, and service organizations. These organizations must be certified nonprofit tax exempt in the state for at least 5 years before they can legally host these events.
  • California: In California, live bingo games can only be hosted by select nonprofits. In these games, any single prize cannot be larger than $500.
  • Colorado: This is another state where bingo games can only be run by nonprofit organizations. A nonprofit in CO must be in operation for 5 years before it can apply for a license.
  • Connecticut: Only select approved nonprofits organizations can hold bingo games in CT. This state actually offers three different licenses for nonprofits. Each license has different restrictions on what days and times the game can be played.

States starting with D through H:

  • Delaware: In Delaware, charity organizations are the only ones that can run live bingo games. Additionally, in this state, the organization hosting the game cannot own the venue in which it’s held.
  • Florida: Florida allows charitable organizations and homeowner’s associations to hold live bingo games. That means most retirement communities can legally hold these events in FL. However, state laws dictate that any single prize cannot be greater than $250. Additionally, games can only be held on two days per week.
  • Georgia: Georgia doesn’t offer a lot of legal gambling options. However, live bingo games for charity purposes are legal. State laws say that prizes in GA must be capped at $1500 per game session and $3000 per week.
  • Hawaii: Hawaii is actually one of just three US states that offer no legal bingo games of any kind.

States starting with I:

  • Idaho: Idaho is a bit strict with its laws. Bingo games are the only charitable gambling games that are allowed in the state. Other charity events like casino or poker nights are outlawed.
  • Illinois: In this state, bingo games can be held legally for charity purposes. However, anyone involved with running a bingo game cannot be paid. All bingo workers in IL must be volunteers.
  • Indiana: Only a select few “qualified” organizations can hold legal bingo events in Indiana. Usually, these organizations are nonprofits or charities. In some cases, the qualified organization might not even need a license to host charity games.
  • Iowa: In Iowa, certified charities can apply for bingo licenses to hold legal bingo games. However, there are some additional rules in IA as well. Games can only be held three days per week and no more than 15 times per month.

States starting with K through L:

  • Kansas: Kansas allows charitable bingo games. Additionally, the state allows instant “pull tab” games.
  • Kentucky: In this state, organizations can hold bingo events only as fundraisers. Tax laws on these fundraisers differ based on the amount of money earned. Usually, these fundraisers are exempt from tax but this isn’t always the case.
  • Louisiana: Louisiana allows charities to hold legal bingo games. Additionally, the state has mild restrictions on these games. Prize values are higher than in most other states and electronic bingo is legal.

States starting with M:

  • Maine: In Maine, only nonprofit organizations can host live bingo games. A single prize must not be greater than $400. A single game session must not distribute more than $1400 in prizes.
  • Maryland: Maryland does allow charities to hold legal bingo events, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. In this state, laws surrounding the game are made by county. That means specific counties might allow the game while others don’t.
  • Massachusetts: In MA, charity organizations can legally hold bingo fundraisers. Under state law, individual prizes up to $3000 in value can be offered.
  • Michigan: Michigan allows nonprofit organizations to apply for bingo permits. There are three types of permits in MI. Each one has different rules concerning frequency of games and prize values.
  • Minnesota: In this state, bingo is not limited to just charitable organizations. However, any organization that wants to hold these events must apply for a license.
  • Mississippi: Nonprofit charities can legally hold bingo games in MS. However, licenses from the state are required. Mississippi offers three types of licenses. Each one has different rules governing the minimum amount of hours that must be played in a game session.
  • Missouri: Missouri does allow charitable organizations to hold live bingo. These organizations must have state-issued licenses. Licenses are available for traditional bingo and pull-tab games.
  • Montana: This is one of the few US states that allows live bingo games for profit. More than just nonprofits can host these events in MT. In fact, licensed Montana casinos can offer bingo under their existing licenses.

States starting with N:

  • Nebraska: In Nebraska, only charitable organizations can legally host live bingo games. The state has two classes of licenses for these games. They differ based on money earned annually from these events.
  • Nevada: Despite the gambling reputation of this state, bingo is limited. Only charity organizations in NV can offer these events. A special state-issued license is required.
  • New Hampshire: This state only allows charities to host bingo games. Those charities must have state-issued licenses. Players in NH need to be at least 18 to play bingo. However, those under 18 can legally play if they’re at a carnival.
  • New Jersey: New Jersey is the only US state to offer fully legal online bingo games. The state also offers some live bingo options. However, there are some specific rules. NJ live bingo prizes can’t be greater than $250 each. A single prize purse cannot be greater than $1000.
  • New Mexico: In New Mexico, bingo events are limited to charities only. Any charity that wants to hold one of these events in NM must be in operation as a nonprofit for at least 2 years.
  • New York: New York only allows charitable organizations to host bingo games. Players must be over the age of 18 to play.
  • North Carolina: Bingo halls in this state can legally offer games as long as they benefit charity organizations. Additionally, NC allows the unique “beach bingo” game. In this variant, prizes can’t be worth more than $10 each.
  • North Dakota: This is another state that only lets charities host bingo games. However, state laws are unique here. You can play regular bingo if you’re 18 or older, but you need to be 21 or older to play pull-tab games.

States starting with O through T:

  • Ohio: In Ohio, charitable organizations can apply for licenses to host legal bingo events. There are three levels of Ohio bingo license. The highest level allows play for up to 12 hours a day.
  • Oklahoma: Oklahoma allows both nonprofit and for profit bingo. The state’s casinos can legally host real money bingo. Charities in OK can also host these event. Oklahoma also allows a unique bingo version called “U-Pik-Em” where players write their own bingo cards.
  • Oregon: Oregon only allows charitable organizations to host live bingo. State laws limit the amount of handle that individual events can generate. Handle is the total amount paid by players in a single event.
  • Pennsylvania: Despite this state’s large legal online gambling market, online bingo is not allowed. However, live games are legal. The state offers a few different permits. Depending on the permit, games can be run twice a week, or three or ten days consecutively. Free bingo is also legal.
  • Rhode Island: In Rhode Island, charity organizations can host their own bingo events. Nonprofits hosting these games can legally hire outside personnel to run these events.
  • South Carolina: South Carolina is known to be strictly against gambling. However, the state does allow for charity bingo events.
  • South Dakota: Nonprofit groups in this state can legally host bingo events. However, they must notify the state about these events at least 30 days in advance. Under SD state law, political campaign groups can host these events too.
  • Tennessee: Overall, this state is one of the most hostile towards gambling in the entire USA. Bingo is illegal even for charity purposes.
  • Texas: In the Lone Star State, charitable bingo events are legal. State laws restrict prize offering to just $750 per prize and $2500 per event. However, these caps don’t apply to pull-tab games.

States starting with U through W:

  • Utah: Utah is another fiercely anti-gambling state. All forms of gambling, including bingo, are illegal in the state.
  • Vermont: Vermont allows charitable organizations in the state to host bingo events. State laws limit individual prize values to $400. However, there are a few exceptions in VT which allow for larger prizes.
  • Virginia: This is another state that allows bingo games for charitable purposes only.
  • Washington: Washington permits charitable bingo events. Nonprofit organizations can even host these events in WA without a license. However, the state does limit the number of events that can be held annually without a permit.
  • West Virginia: Bingo for charity purposes only is allowed in West Virginia. Charitable organizations in the state can host no more than 2 events per week. These events in WV also cannot last longer than 6 hours.
  • Wisconsin: Charitable organizations in Wisconsin can legally host bingo events provided they follow state laws. Total prize purse for a single event cannot exceed $1000 even if multiple organizations host the event.
  • Wyoming: Wyoming does allow bingo for charitable purposes. However, anyone working these events must be a volunteer.