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- Online bingo strategies -

Much has been written regarding bingo strategies and how to increase the odds of winning at bingo. To get an idea of the scope of information available just go to any internet search engine, type into the search box bingo strategies and press the [Search] button. You will find dozens and dozens of pages with advice generally with the same information. Many are excerpts taken from the book How To Win At Bingo, by Joseph E. Granville and the English statistician, L. H. C. Tippett. Much of what they say is fascinating reading about number theory but may be of little practical use while playing bingo.

Does it make a difference which bingo card is chosen?

The important question many bingo player have about card numbers are:

  • Are there good cards or bad bingo cards?
  • Are there good or bad bingo numbers?
  • Is there such a thing as good or bad number symmetry on the card?

If the above three questions can be proven to be no, then it can be said that it makes no difference at all what card you choose, what numbers are on the card and what positions the numbers are on the card.

Random numbers are a listing of numbers which is non repetitive and satisfies no algorithm. A bingo card has numbers from 1 to 75 so our random numbers are within that range. The 75 bingo balls ejected from the machine should have the following tendency toward the following patterns:

  1. There should tend to be an equal number of number ending in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 0
  2. Odd and even numbers must tend to balance
  3. High and low numbers must tend to balance

These are the three accepted tests for randomness. Unless the issued numbers achieve these criteria, then a bias exists and consequently, it is not a random distribution.

The author of How To Win At Bingo suggests that when you choose your bingo cards, look for cards with no bizarre sequence of numbers. Look for cards with a random distribution of numbers. The following illustrations shows two columns of numbers under the "B" of a bingo card. The first one would be considered bad symmetry and the second excellent symmetry.

Card (A) Bad symmetry? Card (B) Good symmetry?

B
3
2
5
7
6

B
8
4
1
15
12

The numbers permitted under the "B" column on a bingo card are 1 to 15. If you examine the first column you will notice that the numbers are squashed down at the smaller end of the numbers scale.

Card (A), Bad symmetry

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

The numbers under the second column reflect "good symmetry" and are well distributed over the entire range of numbers.

Card (B), Good symmetry

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Let us call the cards with a "B" at the top and 5 numbers a complete bingo card. Now play a game of bingo, five in a row wins. Let us assume that card "B" the card with "good symmetry" wins the game.

We know that when random numbers are called, they will tend to be well distributed over the entire range of numbers. Common sense tells us that selecting numbers that follow this trend sounds reasonable but... in reality card "A" has the same winning chance as card "B". Proof if this is offered by Mr. Jim Loy at his web site at http://www.jimloy.com/ more specifically under the category Gambling is his How To Win At Bingo? web page.

Now we are going to disguise all the numbers on card "A" and "B" by topping each number with masking tape and substituting a new number.

Card (A)
3 to 8
2 to 4
5 to 1
7 to 15
6 to 12

Card (B)
8 to 3
4 to 2
1 to 5
15 to 7
12 to 6

The same table must be used to disguise the numbered balls in the machine.

We now have disguised cards that look like this:

Card (A) Card (B)

B
8
4
1
15
12

B
3
2
5
7
6

If you have not as yet noticed, you can see that the disguised card "A" looks just like the original card "B" and the disguised card "B" looks just like the original card "A". Under the masking tape are the valid original numbers and the fake numbers are marked on the tape.

If the game had been run with the disguised numbers card "A" with bad symmetry would have won the game. This is valid proof that it makes no difference which cards you choose and card symmetry has no influence at all on the outcome of a game. If you need more proof, visit Mr. Jim Loy's Bingo page.

Will playing more cards increase your chance of winning?

Playing more cards will increase your chance of winning. If you are able to see the number of persons that are playing bingo you should play more cards if the number of players is low. Your winning percentage will be higher. You can always play more cards and win more but each game costs you more to play with more cards and offsets any winning. If you are playing a huge jackpot which attracts many players and your winning odds are low, you should play few cards. Your money will also go further.

What the bingo player should know about the Gambler's Fallacy

The gambler's fallacy can be described as the following misconceptions:

  • A random event is more likely to occur because it has not happened for a period of time
  • A random event is less likely to occur because it has not happened for a period of time
  • A random event is more likely to occur because it recently happened
  • A random event is less likely to occur because it recently happened

Past events have no influence over future events. Flipping a coin is a good example because a coin has no memory. If a coin is flipped once, we know that the chances of it coming up heads is 50% and tails 50%. Every time you flip a coin it is an isolated event and your chances are 50-50. The gamblers fallacy is thinking a series of events are connected. He may think 5 heads in a row is a single event that has influence on the next flip.

If you were given two quarters, and you were told that the first quarter has never been flipped, and the second quarter has been flipped 5 times and came up five times heads. Do you really believe that one of the coins chances are not 50-50?

The gamblers fallacy can be applied to bingo. The bingo universe is 75 numbers and they all have an equal chance of being called. If you notice patterns or special numbers showing up, this does not violate the concept of randomness. The more you play the closer will be the equal distribution of numbers.

Use the Simulated Experimental Coin-Toss to prove that the more you toss a coin the closer will be the equal distribution. First enter small number of coin tosses such as: 5, 10, 100, 200 and divide the resulting large number with the smaller. Then enter a large number of tosses such as 1000, 10000, 100000 . Then divide the larger number with the smaller and you will notice the resulting number comes closer to "1" or equal distribution.

Lady Luck

For many, luck is the chance happening of fortunate or adverse events. It is an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that leads to a favorable or unfavorable outcome. A religious person may believe that the will of a supreme being rather than luck is the primary influence in future events. In the past, some religions practiced human sacrifice to please the gods an improve their luck. Many culture have strong believe in lucky or unlucky numbers. Many bingo players today have rituals that they practice before playing bingo, have lucky objects, lucky clothes, lucky dobers etc.

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