Dear Aunt Bingo:
I would like your opinion on online Bingo.
I have come rather late to trying Bingo on the Internet, but with the
winter weather in my area being so treacherous this year, days and
weeks were going by when it was simply too risky to drive
anywhere—especially in the evening, which is when I play Bingo.
After a while I really began to miss playing, and mentioned this to my
sister-in-law when we were talking on the phone. She is a sometimes
Bingo buddy of mine and I was curious if she was feeling the same way.
She said that although she is not quite the “Bingo Nut” I am, she had
begun to miss it as well and had started playing it on the Internet.
This idea had never occurred to me, so I went online and did a search
for online Bingo. It was amazing how many different Bingo sites were
out there. There were ones for money and ones just for fun. There were
also a bunch of apps you could download and play on your phone. So,
with the snow and ice coming down again outside, I sat comfortably at
my dining room table and took my first tour of online Bingo.
I decided to go with one of the “money” games where you bet and win
actual money, because I thought this would be more exciting and fun
than non-money games. Plus, a number of these that I found started you
off with a pot of money so you could try it out before using any of
your own money. I picked a site and dove in.
It was a little weird at first, but after a few games I got the hang of
it and pretty soon was playing multiple cards and slowly got used to
all the blinking and flashing numbers and images. There was also a
place where players were chatting, but it was mostly silly stuff, which
I thought was distracting.
I played at one site until my “bank” got low and switched to another
one. I did this two or three times. I also tried a couple of the
non-money Bingo games, which I also liked, but felt to me more like
kids games than actual competitive Bingo.
The thing that struck me most about Internet Bingo was how VERY
different it is from Bingo in a real Bingo hall. The way it looks and
feels is different, the way you play is kind of different, and the fact
that you are sitting in your home or could be playing in a booth in
donut shop or on a bench in a shopping mall is odd.
It’s tough to admit it when you’re a stick-in-the-mud, but to be
honest, online Bingo just doesn’t do it for me. Even though there are
other players, it felt like I was playing alone. Plus, the game felt
very automatic/electronic, while I am a traditional dauber and paper
I am certainly glad I tried it, and will probably play again every once
in a while. But it is clear to me that Bingo will never really be Bingo
for me unless I’m sitting in a folding chair with other players around
me in a real Bingo hall.
—Amy C., Indiana, via email
Online Bingo has become hugely popular, which I’m sure you discovered
when you began your search. Many of the games offer free gaming money
at the start to give players an opportunity to test the site and get
used to its operation. Once you get the hang of it, of course, and if
your goal is to win money, you will eventually have to wager your own
money in order to do so.
I have dabbled in Internet Bingo, and from the start realized, like
you, that it has a very different feel from playing Bingo in an actual
For many enthusiasts, that is exactly what they like about it—it’s
private, it’s convenient, it’s flashy and modern, and it has a casino
vibe they find fun and exciting.
While it is fair to say that it is a good occasional substitute for
playing in a Bingo hall, if you are a true social Bingo player—which it
sounds like you are—online Bingo doesn’t come close. But on a nasty
winter’s day when the snow is falling and the roads are a mess,
Internet Bingo can be a godsend.
your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527,
Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at STENGL456@aol.com. Be sure to
include your name and address (you can request that your name not be
published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her