You like the game bingo. In fact, you love it. You enjoy checking the cards for any number called, you enjoy marking the cards, you relish the shuffle between cards to check multiple ones, and you’re ecstatic when you get that chance to should out ‘Bingo!’. What’s more, you certainly appreciate the thrill of collecting the prize.
However, you’re also interested in the mathematics – more specifically, the statistical possibilities – of the game, and you’re wondering how many cards to buy in order to maximise your chances of winning the top prize. And this can be a little complicated. So here are some simple answers to your top questions: how many cards should you play with in bingo?
The math is real
You don’t need to draw endless matrices or list down every possibility to get an idea of your odds – mathematically inclined authors have given us those formulae already. It can get pretty complicated if you deal with multiple cards and different variations of the game. But rest assured: the number of cards you play bingo with, the number of cards that are for sale, and the choice of numbers when picking cards based on psychological phenomena – they all matter.
The odds and the pot
Is it better to buy ten cards for one game, or is it better to play ten games with only one card per game? Statistically speaking, your odds of winning are more favourable when you play with ten cards in one game; but you only have the possibility of winning once and there’s no guarantee of a big pot. Playing with one card per game gives you less chance of winning the pot, but affords you more opportunity to try.
When the prize is bigger
When the jackpot is big, when the room seems quiet and there are just a few players, and if you feel Lady Luck is on your side, play one game with as many cards as you can handle. It’s then that you can increase your odds. If you play for smaller prizes, better spread your cards over multiple games.
Not all bingo locations or sites offer you the choice to buy strips – strips are different number combinations that only appear once in the whole set. If you can, buy as many different strips as possible.
Bear in mind, when you decide to apply the mathematics and play according to those rules, you still have no guarantee that you will win – the only thing you’re doing is placing the odds in your favour. At the end of the day, it’s still Lady Luck that rules. But still, why not play the game the smart way and put yourself in a favourable position? If you enjoy the thrill, the mechanics only up the ante.