The thrill in bingo intensifies with each number called, especially when you’re getting close. Waiting on two, waiting on one…house! Depending on the game you’re playing, the ticket price, the number of other players and any guaranteed jackpots, the prizes only make the action even more exciting.

While the taking part is great fun, it’s the winning that counts. Your bingo winnings will vary with different game rules and formats, and of course, whether you’re playing for a line, two lines or a full house.

But are there ways you can roughly calculate how much you might win before buying a ticket, where this is not immediately obvious from the game’s prize structures?

Minimum Guaranteed Jackpot

In most cases, bingo games have a minimum guaranteed jackpot in place, a floor level that determines the minimum possible payout for a winner. This is to protect against games that are undersubscribed for whatever reason, and means you’re guaranteed to get something if you end up with a winning ticket.

However, depending on the number of players who buy into the game, and the total number of tickets purchases, these jackpots can increase to become more substantial.

In some cases, this is published ahead of time, so you know how much you’re playing for. Typically, games with a more expensive ticket price will contribute to higher prize funds, but it’s always worth checking ahead of time to see if you can determine how much you can win. The same applies to games with more players, where prizes are often pushed larger in response to higher game receipts.

Split Prizes

In some cases there’s not one, but multiple winners in the same bingo game. This can occur when there are multiple lines in play, or when players land the same result at the same time.

When this happens between players playing for the same prize, the winnings are split between the tickets equally, which can dilute your potential prize if there are others to share with.

However, it’s also possible for players to win the same game twice or more, across two or more tickets, which could see you picking up a bigger share of the split prize pot.

Considering your budget, it can sometimes be a good idea to play multiple tickets on the same game, giving yourself an increased chance of winning as well a potentially higher share of any jackpot that lands across two or more tickets. Obviously this is an individual decision, but if you’re playing in a game with lots of other players, this might help increase your share of any prize amount.

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Progressive Jackpots

Progressive jackpots occur when multiple different bingo rooms are linked over a network, or as a result of cooperation between bricks and mortar bingo hall branches. Rather than drawing a jackpot from a single bingo game, progressive jackpots link these games together, creating a much larger prize pool to be won.

Of course, there are also more players hoping to land these bigger prizes so the games are usually more competitive, but even landing a split on one of these prize games can still be great news for your bingo balance!

Where bingo prizes are specified up front, you’ll have no problem calculating your potential winnings. In other games, you’re looking for guaranteed jackpots, or at the ticket price and the number of players to get a rough idea of the level prizes might be set at. In any event, your best bet is to cross your fingers and hope your numbers come in.

And if you’re lucky enough to be a big winner, you’ll have plenty of time to count your prize money after the game has finished.

Katherine O'Brien
Katherine is a Bingo veteran. She used to while away her weekends at the local Bingo Hall, catching up with her friends, and winning the occasional prize too. In 2007 she discovered online bingo and has never looked back. Katherine is now an online regular and keeps in touch with her bingo friends though the online chat rooms.
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