Mini Games, Pre-Buy Bingo & Progressive Jackpots
When you visit a bingo site you might be surprised to find that there's usually more going on than just bingo! It's a social game and many rooms will have a chat client so you can converse with your fellow players, let them know how many numbers you need to win and also offer up your congratulations. As well as chat there's also usually some mini games, the opportunity to pre-buy tickets and progressive jackpots.
1. The Bingo Chat
Bingo chat is one of the most important elements of playing online bingo. It takes the game away from being a solitary experience to one that is social. You can chat with fellow players (usually called roomies), the chat host (CH) or chat moderator (CM), and even take part in side games - sometimes for prizes or a bonus. Chat is also a good way to see who's close to winning as many players will post 3TG, 2TG, 1TG (to go) as the balls are called.
You don't have to take part in the bingo chat... and on some sites you can even switch it off.
2. Mini Games
Mini games are games that you can play whilst waiting for the next bingo game to pop up. They're usually played within the bingo client so that you don't have to leave the room. The games tend to be scratchcards, slots and casino table games. They can be addictive and they can be expensive so be warned. If you're tempted by them then you may well find your bingo money runs out quicker than you expected!
3. Progressive Jackpots
On every bingo game they'll be a jackpot prize - this is the prize awarded to the player who gets a full house. On some games you'll also see a progressive jackpot. This is usually a much larger prize and it grows on every game. The progressive jackpot can be won by calling bingo within a certain number of calls. The number varies from game to game and site to site.
4. Guaranteed Jackpots
On some bingo games you'll see the words "guaranteed jackpot" - this means that the prize on offer will be given away in that game. Sometimes, especially on big money games (such as million pound bingo games) you might see "£1million bingo, £1000 guaranteed" - this means that to win the £1million prize you will need to bingo in a fixed number of calls. If no one manages to do that during the game, and it's unlikely to happen, then the prize money on offer will be just £1000.
5. Pre-Buy Tickets
The great thing about online bingo is that you often don't need to be online to play. Some sites, especially when they have a big prize game, allow you to pre-buy your bingo cards. This just means you can get them in advance and that when the game plays your cards will be checked - and if you win, then you'll be notified. Look for the "pre-buy" tab in the bingo lobby for these games.