You can now play online bingo on table or desktop in California. Free-to-play sites let you win credits instead of cash by playing 75 Ball Bingo.
At new sweepstakes sites, you can turn “sweeps cash” into real money. It’s completely legal, safe and fun.
Bingo halls have been around the Golden State for decades. However, online bingo rooms are becoming more popular.
Let’s explore the best ways to get started.
Current bingo laws in California
Bingo halls are hugely popular in California. Bingo games are legal if provided by nonprofit and charitable gaming organizations.
Under the California Penal Code, some nonprofit organizations can run bingo games, but it differs from city to city. Players must be 18 or older to play.
Land-based bingo halls can run generous competitions. Buy-ins can go as high as $100 for 50 games and there might be added cash and bonus prizes, too.
The California Lottery also sells a “scratcher” game based on bingo. In Fast Play Bingo, you get a chance to win $20,000 by playing a special bingo-style scratcher.
Currently, there is no legislation governing online bingo games in California. However, there have been numerous attempts to push through regulated bingo sites.
In 2014, the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel Tribe attempted to launch the Desert Rose Bingo site. The tribe argued that because its gaming servers were located on reservation land, the bingo site should be allowed.
However, after a lengthy legal battle, the Iipay were found to be in contravention of federal gaming law and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
How to play online bingo
You can play online bingo in California at most free to play sites.
Games come in various flavors, but the idea is the same: If you are the first to mark off numbers from your ticket, you win a prize.
You win prizes for filling lines, patterns or the entire card. The best bingo sites offer jackpots on their big games.
To play, you select a game and press the “purchase tickets” button. You can typically purchase one to six strips for a game, but that can vary. Each strip may contain five to six tickets.
At the start of a game, numbers are drawn at random from the total available. The numbers one through 90 are available in a game of 90 Ball Bingo, for example.
If you match numbers, you can use the virtual dauber to mark numbers your tickets off. There is also an auto-daub function that lets the computer do it for you.
In online bingo, prizes are pooled from all possible entries and shared accordingly. The more players, the more you can win.
Winning a bingo game prize
- Any line: The first player to cover any single vertical, horizontal or diagonal line wins the prize.
- Columns: In most online bingo variants, you win a prize if you are the first player to fill two vertical columns.
- Full house/coverall: You get a full house or coverall by filling all numbers on the card. There is usually a special jackpot for the Full House. If you hit a full house, you may have the option to call “bingo.” The computer can also auto-call “bingo” for you if there is a delay.
- Pattern: In some bingo games, you can win a prize for covering a specific pattern, such as an X-shape of numbers.
Popular bingo games online
If you have been to a land-based bingo hall in California, you have probably seen 75 Ball Bingo. Many online bingo sites may feature several other variants.
75 Ball Bingo
75 Ball Bingo is the most popular type of bingo found in the US. The 75 Ball Bingo card features a 5×5 grid of numbers with a free space in the middle.
Every possible number from one through 75 is used. Each column is headed with a letter from the word bingo.
You win prizes by being the first player to fill designated patterns on the card. Patterns are horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines. You can also win a prize by being the first to fill in the four corners.
You can win a separate jackpot by being the first player to fill the entire grid. The “coverall” pattern triggers a jackpot worth hundreds of times your original card cost.
80 Ball Bingo
In 80 Ball Bingo, the strip is made up of 16 numbers in a 4×4 layout. Every possible number from one through 80 is covered.
You win a prize by covering any line, column or house. You can also win a prize by being the first player to fill the middle four squares.
90 Ball Bingo
90 Ball Bingo is played on a ticket with 27 squares in a 9×3 formation. Every number from one through 90 can be used.
Each row on the ticket contains five numbers and four blanks. You only get 15 numbers on each ticket to hit.
In 90 Ball Bingo, you win prizes by being the first to fill in one line or two lines or get a full house.
Playing sweepstakes bingo online
Sweepstakes bingo sites are beginning to appear online. They are hugely popular and accept Californian players. Sweepstakes games are free to play, but you can win real cash.
When you register at a site like Chumba Casino, you purchase “gold coins,” which carry no monetary value by themselves. You also can’t withdraw gold coins as you would US dollars.
However, when you purchase gold coins, you can also acquire free “sweeps cash“ (SC). You use sweeps cash to play bingo games. Additionally, you can win SC prizes, which you can convert into real money.
Chumba Casino is a new social gaming site that awards sweeps cash instead of real money.
The casino offers one bingo variant: Flambingo.
Flambingo is a traditional 75 Ball Bingo variant. You can purchase up to 10 cards with your gold coins. There is also an option for “fast play” to move through games quicker.
Cash prizes in Flambingo can be as high as SC $25,000. You can convert sweeps cash into real money so you can withdraw it to an e-wallet or US bank account.
Find a top bingo site in California
Live bingo is big business in California. There is a vast selection of charitable bingo halls to play at, and you can win real cash across the state.
You can also try free bingo online. Some free to play bingo sites offer real money as well. You can play classic 75 Ball Bingo with gold coins and exchange sweeps cash for big money prizes.
It’s eyes down for a full house at Californian bingo rooms in 2019.