Bingo is a game of chance, and at its heart is a totally randomised game of luck. Many people think that means they just have to cross their fingers and hope for the best – but that is far from the case. Depending on the type of bingo game you are playing and the various bingo patterns available, you may find it easier than normal to complete your card. Or, depending on the pattern, you may be able to play for larger, more sizeable wins. It doesn’t matter whether you play bingo online or offline – bingo patterns are an integral part of the game, and one that you will become familiar with over time as you turn your hand to different bingo games.
Depending on the shape of the pattern, it may be easier or harder to check off all the required numbers. Remember, when playing live bingo, you need to be first to complete your card according to the pattern, and to call house in order to scoop the prize pot. If you play your bingo online, this may be a simple case of clicking a button, and most sites will call for you automatically anyway. If you’re in a bingo hall, it’s all down to you, and how loudly you can tell the rest of the world you have a winner!
Some games will allow you to play for several different patterns at once, with the opportunity to secure any of a number of prizes. These mean you have to be more alert to what’s going on with your bingo card, but can deliver better overall chances of winning as you play.
The Most Common Bingo Patterns
There are hundreds of different bingo patterns you can play, ranging from single lines (one complete line of numbers in any direction) to a full house (every number on the card), and the prizes available for each will vary depending on the number of players and the difficulty of winning that particular pattern. Some patterns are available as ‘Crazy’ patterns, or ‘any way’ patterns – this means that you can win with the pattern in any given direction or orientation. For example, if you are playing a line anyway, it means literally any direction line across your card – from the first column top to bottom, to a diagonal right through the middle of your card. Other patterns are played more strictly, or require only the pattern numbers to win – also know as ‘hard way’ patterns. This means you can’t check off anything else if you want to win – only the pattern that you are playing for, leaving all other remaining numbers uncovered. And in other cards, you will be expected to play through with the same numbers across different patterns, ultimately with the end prize being a full house.
Naturally it makes sense to know exactly which patterns you are playing before you put your money at stake, and all bingo games differ in the exact lines they are playing to win. This helps you better plan your play, and means you can be more assured of when you’re getting closer to the win – by learning the various bingo patterns you’re likely to come across, you can be more informed with the games you play and your strategies for coming out on top in those games.
- Any Line: One of the most flexible patterns of play, ‘any line’ means you can win on literally any individual line – whether that’s a horizontal, a vertical or a diagonal line. So long as the line cuts across the entirety of the card, it shouldn’t matter which direction or orientation your line is forming – just make sure you are ready to call when that last number comes up, so you can be first to complete your line and scoop the prize!
- Any Diagonal: Some online bingo games are often stricter in terms of what they offer to players as winning lines. Rather than any given line, you may be playing for just diagonal lines. This means lines that run through opposing corners of your bingo card. The diagonal line must be complete and must pass through the centre of your card. Of course it can come in any direction, so long as it is a diagonal across your bingo ticket.
- Railroads: Aside from the obvious patterns, some patterns are slightly more challenging. Railroad patterns, for example, are played for with the two outside rows or columns of your ticket. You are looking to secure two complete lines, running parallel to each other at the outer extremities of your tickets. Railroad patterns are traditionally more difficult to secure, and often available on play-through cards where a number of other patterns are eligible for prizes.
- Chevron: As the name implies, Chevron patterns are a two diagonal lines meeting at a centre point on your card. Sometimes these will take place across the entirety of your card. While at other times it will be a case of ensuring you have sufficient bingo numbers covered to form the Chevron shape. With ‘any way’ rules in play, this is a good, flexible pattern to have ready, should you be looking to secure the win on your bingo card.
- Arrow: Imagine drawing an arrow with three lines – a stem and two angled shorter lines at the head. Often fitting into a corner, these patterns can be tricky to get (particularly in Hard Way games), but the payoff can be significant and the chances of being the first to secure this pattern in your game are much higher as a result.
There are dozens of different bingo patterns you may come across, and often several will be ‘in play’ at any given time. The more you play, the more closely you can come to understand how the various different patterns work, so you’ll not be caught out short when the time comes to call. Make sure to take advantage of no deposit mobile bingo bonuses when getting familiar with all the bingo patterns online and you may even win some money without risk.