Bingo, like all gambling, should be a fun pastime, and for that, we need to keep track of our spending! Once you’ve decided how much you want to play with, you want to get the most for your money, right? We’ve put together a handy guide, full of useful tips to help you make the most of your bingo budget and play smarter!
Deciding on the right bingo budget for you can be a bit complex, but it’s an important step to take to start saving money.
When establishing a budget, you should take into account how often you want to play, how much you’re willing to spend, and, most importantly, how much you’re able to afford.
Deciding on a weekly amount makes it simpler to keep track of your spending from day to day and rein yourself in when you’re overspending a little. For example, if you play three times per week, and have a weekly budget of £15, you can spend up to £5 each time. Using this method makes it clear to see when you’re overspending, and helps you spend less the next time you play.
Remember that, as much fun as bingo is, it shouldn’t take priority over any essentials.
Before you play a game of bingo, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. Do you know the differences between the different bingo variants, such as 75-ball and 90-ball bingo? If you’re planning on playing a jackpot game, make sure you check how much the tickets will cost- it’s usually a lot more than your typical bingo game. Reading the fine print can be a pain, but it is worth it in the end; wagering requirements especially can be a nightmare. So, know your stuff!
Almost all bingo sites offer new players a welcome bonus package to take advantage of. They typically look like something like this: “deposit £10 to play with £30!”
These types of offers can be very beneficial for players on a budget—an extra £20 to play with means that you can make a small deposit last a long time!
However, as you probably know, there can be setbacks—namely, wagering requirements. As we discussed last month, once you’ve opted into a welcome bonus, you have to wager the amount a certain number of times before you can make any withdrawals.
For example, a site might be offering this welcome bonus: “spend £10 to play with £30”. If their wagering requirement is 4x, this means you have to spend (bet, not deposit) £120 before you can make any withdrawals. If you think that you’d spend that much in the space of a month, then this could be beneficial—bear in mind, most bonuses have a time limit attached before they expire.
If you’re not going to meet the requirements in time, it would make more sense for you to opt out of the scheme. Otherwise, you face the possibility of losing any winnings you accumulate via the bonus.
If bonus matches aren’t of interest to you, you might find this point more relevant. No deposit bonuses are exactly what they sound like—you get a bonus, without having to spend a single penny. It’s great for players on a budget because you don’t have to spend any money, and you’ll be able to play the game you love without putting your own cash on the line.
To be able to take home any winnings, however, you’ll still have to keep an eye on the wagering requirements.
The bigger the bonus is, the higher the wagering requirement will probably be. It may end up being more cost-effective to choose a site that gives you a small no deposit bonus. That way it won’t take you as long to complete the requirements—which means you can make withdrawals that much quicker!
Now these bonuses are the real gems for players on a budget! These often come as free spins or bingo tickets, rather than a cash bonus. When you play the spins or tickets, you won’t have to bother with wagering requirements at all! You can withdraw any winnings from them whenever you want, with no strings attached! (Just make sure to check the site’s withdrawal policy).
Needless to say, these are pretty great bonuses to take advantage of—although not as many sites offer these kinds of bonuses, which means that finding them is like gold dust!
Most bingo sites offer free bingo games to members. Some sites will only let you play on these free games once you’ve already made a small deposit, but playing on these games gives you a chance to get maximum fun for the minimum cost. Usually the jackpots will be minimal—they might be a pound or two of bonus, or sometimes they’ll just consist of loyalty points—but since the games are free, you’ve got nothing to lose.
If you’d still like to play a paid game of bingo, but don’t want to break the bank, keep an eye out for low value games. Many sites have plenty of bingo rooms where tickets can be bought for as little as a penny. Again, you’re not aiming for huge cash prizes on these games, but, as they tend to attract a somewhat smaller crowd, you’ve got a greater chance of bagging yourself the jackpot.
Games with colossal jackpots can certainly be tempting, but they almost invariably come with higher ticket prices—not to mention huge numbers of players. Playing one of these games every now and again can certainly be thrilling, but sticking solely to these sorts of games is unlikely to provide you with a cash return, and could end up draining your budget fast.
Like most things in life, there are peak times for bingo—the times and days of the week that are most popular for players. If you stick to the less popular times, like early morning or mid-week, your chances are increased. Quiet rooms mean you have less competition, and if the prize is being shared out, you’ll get a bigger percentage. Your wins will probably smaller, but picking up smaller wins more often beats the less frequent, ‘bigger’ wins from jackpot games.
For more information, check out our 6 tips to help you play online bingo!
Most bingo sites have a loyalty scheme, which usually revolves around collecting loyalty points. Typically, you accumulate points each time you make a deposit, play a bingo or slot game, or even take part in chat games. Once you’ve reached a certain number of points, you can start to redeem them for bingo bonuses.
This is great for players on a budget—while these points might not seem like much at first, they build up very quickly, and before you know it, you’ve got a few quid extra in your pocket to spend on bingo. This means that you get to either play more bingo in the week than you would usually, or you get to save up!
Alternatively, on sites such as BingoPort, you can trade in these points for bonus cash, vouchers or prizes—check out our Player Rewards page to see what you could earn!
As well as points schemes, many bingo sites also include a VIP club. These clubs are usually tiered (e.g. levels such as Bronze, Silver and Gold), with those on the highest tiers getting the most exclusive benefits.
Some VIP schemes are invite-only, whilst others are open to all players who meet the criteria. Typically, you climb to higher rungs of the VIP ladder through depositing more. It’s good to be a VIP: you could receive benefits including exclusive bonus offers, more cash back, and VIP freebies.
If you’re on a strict budget, however, you may not have much use for a VIP scheme—access to the higher tiers usually depends on you spending a lot of money each month. Our advice would be to research your favourite bingo site to see exactly how its VIP system works, and whether it would be cost-effective for you in the long run.
A word of caution: don’t be tempted into spending more money just to move up a VIP level because it won’t be worth it—depositing more to earn more cashback (for example) won’t give you an equal return.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution that will perfectly suit all bingo players. If you choose to have the occasional splurge, then you might punt on a big-jackpot game every now and again—after all, there are plenty of thrills to be had and cash to be won!
For those of you on a stricter budget, however, there’s no need to miss out on the action—you just need to play smarter. There are plenty of ways to maximise your budget, with free and low value games helping you to play more for less, and deposit bonuses and loyalty schemes giving you more cash and bonus to play around with.
After all, no matter how much you earn, a true bingo obsessive should never have to miss out on their favourite game. As Jessie J wisely noted, “it’s not about the money, money, money”!
Want more help in the bingo department? Check out our 9 signs of a safe and trustworthy bingo site.