## Fundamentals

Whether you’re playing live bingo or on a smartphone app, the fundamentals are mostly the same. Every card has 25 squares separated with vertical columns and horizontal rows. The columns each have a letter above them and spell out B.I.N.G.O while each having a distinct color of their own.

The bingo balls themselves will also have a distinct color and number associated with them, and are “daubed” on the board when they are matched.

Ok, enough with the easy stuff, let’s get to the strategy!

## How To Quickly Match Balls To Squares

Beginners will often look at the ball number and then frantically look all over the board for the number, but there is a shortcut. Just look at the ball letter and color and find the associated column. Getting good at this will save you time!

For example, if ball N34 is called and it is green, just find the green column with the letter “N” in the middle and search for one of the 5 numbers in that column. Easy peasy!

## Speed Matters

Strategy is important, and we’ll get to more of that in a bit, but for Bingo Apps you need to remember that SPEED IS KEY! That’s why finding your ball column is so important.

Once you’ve located the letter and number square, you need to daub that thing as absolutely fast as possible. Every single bingo app has speed rewards such as a free daub, choice of 4 balls, free time, point multipliers, and column/row wipes. The faster your daub is, the faster you will accumulate free perks.

Think about it this way, if you’re playing an opponent that has 20% faster daubs than you, they’re probably racking up an extra 5 free daubs by the end of the match. 5 free daubs is an entire extra pattern on their board!

One other thing that helps with speed is to memorize at least 4 numbers at any given time in case a golden ball pops up, or if you need to quickly prevent your bonus stack from becoming full. Usually I default to memorizing the corners, but that will change as the match progresses.

So practice your daubs, but remember, getting a wrong daub has consequences as well and they will hurt your score.

## Best Bingo Patterns

Now that we’ve sped up our daubs, let’s get to patterns. Every bingo game has the same patterns, which are 4 corners, diagonals, rows and columns. Get them all and you have a blackout. Pretty simple.

But, are some patterns better than others? Actually, yes!

This is how you need to think about patterns in general, to get the most out of your board.

How many patterns cross through the number you’re about to daub? If it’s more than two, it’s a priority. This is VERY important!

Here’s what I mean by that. When you look at the middle of column I, how many patterns cross through the middle of it? The answer is two. The column itself, and then the horizontal row crossing it. On the other hand, how many patterns use the bottom corner number in column B? Four! One diagonal, one column, one row, and the corner itself. In fact, it’s generally best practice to prioritize numbers that are in the diagonals as those numbers are used by more patterns than numbers outside of the diagonal path, excluding the corners.

## Power-ups

If you haven’t figured this out already, you should know that point multipliers (such as 2x buttons) should always be left until the last 5 to 10 seconds of the match. You want to maximize all of your points, and you’ll have the most patterns right at the end of the match that can be multiplied.

In terms of free daubs, you want to hold on to these for as long as possible so that you don’t daub a number that might be naturally called in the game. One way to do this is to wait for a number to be called and quickly use your free daub as fast as you can on a number closely associated in a possible pattern. This can occasionally help to avoid free daubing a number that would have been called anyway.

## Probability of Winning

There isn’t a lot you can do about the probability of columns and numbers being called, mostly because it’s only a single ball at a time (unlike multiple dice being rolled, for example). However, when you are picking your matches or even which bingo app to play, there is some control you can have over match probability based on the number of players, and even the entry fee.

Matches with two people will obviously give you a 50% chance of winning, but the probability of you beating everyone else in a match of 10 or more people is much much harder, and that’s because there is a higher chance of other highly skilled players playing the same match. Personally, I always find that I do the best in games with 5 or less people, and I prefer 2 player games over the former.

Entry fees have a bit to do with your chances of winning as well, but mostly because highly skilled players tend to enter matches with bigger payouts, while beginners are more likely to stick to the lower cost games until they become more confident.

## Advanced Bingo Techniques

Now that we’ve covered the basics, lets talk about some techniques you can try once you’re comfortable with the above methods.

### Skipping Numbers

Skipping Numbers. That’s right, we’re talking about purposely refraining from daubing numbers (assuming your bonus bank is already full), and memorizing them instead. How does this work? Well, if you play enough bingo apps you’ll notice that some will count your golden ball towards any remaining balls, and it won’t show up again. Others will duplicate the golden ball, so even after selecting it that number might show up again anyway. That’s where skipping numbers becomes useful, but generally it’s best to wait until you have a points multiplier like a 2X bonus to use before you fill in the remaining balls. In practice it looks like this: play normally until a 2X bonus pops up and all slots are full. At that point you will hold off on daubing anything else that comes up until about 10 seconds before end of match. That’s when you will use your 2X bonus and fill in all of the slots you skipped up until now. The idea is that the 2X perk will multiply the extra daubs that you wouldn’t have multiplied if you had played normally, plus you get the added bonus of not daubing slots that could potentially come up anyway before the 10 second mark.

Now, the thing you need to know is that this works on some apps and not others. The variable that determines whether or not it’s worth memorizing balls instead of daubing is how many missed daubs it takes to complete one bonus reward. In other words, when you finally get to the last 10 seconds and it’s time to daub all the numbers you skipped, will you be rewarded with one extra daub per 3 missed daubs, 4 missed daubs, or more? Empire Bingo, for example, will reward you with one bonus ball for every 3 missed daubs. More than 3 and it might not be worth it.

### Double 2X Multipliers

Yes, it’s a thing. Some bingo apps, most notably Blackout Bingo, will actually allow for a 2X multiplier to multiply another 2X multiplier. It’s rare to see this in the plethora of apps out there, but if you’re ever wondering why that one player got 75,000 points and you got half as many with a blackout and 2X multiplier, that’s probably why.

## Conclusion

Ultimately, practice makes perfect and playing a lot of free matches will definitely help your game. But if you could take away one thing from this article, it should be to try and daub as fast as possible. Fast daubs = more powerups! When you get proficient with speed you can start to better apply the other strategies above.

Have fun!