Time to get your calculators out! Whilst it can be easy to work out the probabilities of something like a roulette wheel or a hand of blackjack, bingo is a different kettle of fish. Because the numbers you deal with are so huge, and the variables so numerous, it seems like it’s a fool’s errand to try and work out the odds, you might as well just sit back and enjoy the game.
That’s definitely an option, but just because it’s incredibly difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
That’s why we’ve taken the time to really dissect the odds and work out the probabilities you’re going to be dealing with in bingo. Whether you play at your local bingo hall or you’re more into the online experience of playing Paddy Power bingo, these odds should hold fairly true no matter what version of the game you play.
The Raw Maths
The actual mathematics involved will vary from game to game, there’s a colossal difference between the 90 and 75 ball games as well as whether you’re going for a single, double or triple bingo line.The odds are so variable that it’s almost impossible to give you a detailed breakdown of them all, but fortunately a well-known statistician on the internet, the famed Wizard of Odds, has given a comprehensive breakdown of the odds and probabilities involved for both the 75 ball and the 90 ball games.
The probabilities aren’t all that surprising, as every time a ball is dispensed you have another chance to win so, by the time all the balls have been called, the probability approaches 100% right up until the last ball. As long as the game goes on long enough, it’s absolutely guaranteed that someone will win and the game will end.
Incidentally, if you’re playing 90 ball bingo, the odds of getting the five balls you need to win as the first five balls is 1 in 14,649,756.
So… you’re probably not going to be seeing a winner until around the 20th call at the earliest.
The ACTUAL odds
Whilst this makes bingo look terribly intimidating, it doesn’t really have an effect on your odds of winning.
In fact, your odds of winning can be as good as a 99% certainty if you follow the right tactics, though you’re not likely to see much money doing this.
Remember earlier when we said that the odds of someone winning becomes 100% if you wait long enough? Well, when working out your odds of victory the actual numbers you have and how many balls have come out doesn’t really help you.
Because it’s all so randomised, the only thing that matters is how many other players there are.
If there are three other players your odds of winning are, pretty simply, 1 in 4. No matter what calculations of numbers and probabilities you follow, when you’re likely to win is fairly immaterial.It’s all down to when you or your fellow players finally get the winning draw.
But how do you get your odds higher than that? Simple, get more tickets! This works better online where they get marked for you, but if you have multiple tickets then you effectively double your chances of victory with every ticket.
Of course, you can never actually guarantee a win.
It’s always going to be a percentage chance and you never know if one of your fellow players actually has managed that 14,679,756 to 1 chance of getting all five at the start. But it’s a good way to boost your chances of winning the prize (though if you buy too many, you’ll probably offset any gains from winning the prize.)
What do you think? Is the only important stat how many players are at the table or are the odds of winning on a certain number more important? Let us know in the comments below!