What Are Bingo Side Games?

No matter how much you love bingo, sometimes it’s great to switch things up a bit. Perhaps you’ve just played too much lately, or maybe you’re in between games and don’t know what to do.

Whatever your situation, bingo side games can make a great diversion—or they can just be brilliant fun in their own right. There’s plenty to choose from across the wide array of UK bingo sites, and we can see that this might be a bit overwhelming. So, we’ve put together a guide to the most popular bingo side games and how to play them.

What are bingo side games? Here's a selection from Slingo.

A selection of bingo side games at Slingo.


The first slot machines were invented in early 20th century America, and since then they've been hugely popular amongst gamblers. The original machines were fully mechanical, and, despite the fact that they were illegal in many states, they became almost omnipresent across the United States.

A mechanical slot machine

Slots are now a widely accepted form of gambling, and their lasting popularity has transferred over to the digital world. To this day, they’re one of the most-played forms of online gaming.

So, how do you play? Well, it couldn’t be simpler to play slots online, and if you’re reading this we’d be surprised if you’d never had a quick flutter! Still, we’ll run through the basics for the uninitiated amongst you.

First of all, you need to pick a slot to play.  Once you’ve done this, make sure you know what the payout system is going to be. You can find this on the pay table.

Then, choose how many credits you’d like to bet per payline. Of course, you’re more likely to win if you bet on more paylines, but you’ll also burn through your hard-earned money more quickly.

Some players prefer to gamble big to try and win the biggest amounts, whereas others like to eke their money out over a long period of time—it’s really up to you.

Then, it’s time to get those reels spinning! You can do this manually, or choose to use an ‘Autoplay’ feature. This will either keep the reels going for a set number of spins, until you've won a certain prize, or until you're out of available funds.

For a full guide to playing online slots, including what the different symbols on each slot are likely to mean, why not check out our handy guide?

Well, that was easy! We’ve picked out a few of our favourite slots below to get you started:

Shaman’s Dream

Shaman's Dream slot game

Shaman’s Dream is a well-loved 5 reel, 25 payline slot from Eyecon. There’s a good reason why it’s a staple of our free slots selection!

This slot takes you back to the time when the Native Americans ruled America, to a primal wilderness of prairie dogs, eagles and totem poles. It’s one of the most impressive-looking Eyecon slots we’ve seen.

The symbols you most want to keep an eye out for are the tribe chief and the warrior. Each of these gives you the opportunity to pocket 38 times your stake per payline! You might be pinching yourself, but you’re definitely not dreaming!

Play Shaman’s Dream here.

Atari Black Widow

Atari Black Widow slot game

Black Widow was an early Atari arcade game, in which a spider crawled round a web defending itself from insects. Pariplay have loosely adapted this concept into this great-looking slot game—though there’s no 8-bit graphics here!

The gameplay itself is fairly simple—just watch out for the Free Games, Seek & Destroy, and Exterminator symbols, as these will take you to the bonus features. With an RTP of over 95%, there’s no need to be afraid of these spiders—why not have a flutter today?

You can play Atari Black Widow at Aladdin Slots.

South Park

South Park slot game

They might be a bit rude and lewd sometimes, but who doesn’t like following the adventures of Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny in South Park? Anyone who’s seen just a few episodes of the classic cartoon will love this video slot from NetEnt, which touches on several key aspects of the show’s storyline.

There’s a myriad of extra features in this slot, which makes it hugely exciting to play. The one to look out for, though, is the Cartman Bonus. If those 5 reels fall in your favour, you could win a massive 5,000 times your stake!

You can play South Park at 888.

Scratch games

Scratch games, also known as instant win games, are even more simple to play than slots. As the name suggests, you simply ‘scratch’ away the surface to see if you’ve won.

Online scratch games follow exactly the same principles as the paper scratchcards you might buy in a shop, but you have the option to choose your stake when playing online. This is great, because it allows players of all budgets to enjoy the fun of scratchcards.

Some games offer the chance to win fairly modest amounts, whereas others give players the chance to win up to £150,000. Other than this, the primary difference between different instant win games is the design.

Our favourite place to play scratch games online is Slingo. Here you’ll find a wide variety of themed games, such as Britain’s Got Talent Multiplier and X Factor 7x7.



A Keno ticket from Poland

Keno’s one of the lesser-known bingo side games, but it’s great fun all the same! This online game is adapted from the original version, which used paper tickets. The basic principle is that you pick between 1 and 10 numbers on a board. You then decide how much you want to bet, and a machine will pick winning numbers at random. It’s sort of like a cross between bingo and the National Lottery!

As well as just letting you make a basic selection, some Keno games allow you to gamble on different variations or sequences of numbers. For instance, Balls, which is exclusively available at Ladbrokes, lets you wager that the 6 numbers drawn will increase or decrease in value each time.

You can also bet that all 6 numbers will be even or odd, which adds some really interesting variation to a simple game. Don’t take our word for it though, why not join Ladbrokes today to see what the fuss is all about?


Video Poker

A video poker machine in a casino

Video Poker is ideal for those who want to play something a little bit more tactical, but are perhaps intimidated by the atmosphere that surrounds conventional online poker.

Unlike other means of playing online poker, video poker is completely computerised. The odds of winning are generally quite high, and you can still get the rush of playing this prestigious game—without the risk.

It’s not difficult to learn video poker, but it definitely requires a little more concentration and determination than the slots. Perfect if you want to give your brain a quick workout in between games of bingo!

You can play Video Poker at many of the big bingo sites, but naturally, us aficionados at BingoPort have got our favourite places. For us, it’s Coral Bingo that offers the best selection of Video Poker.

Here you've got the choice between the classic Jacks or Better game, in which anything higher than a pair of jacks counts as a win, and some more unique varieties of poker such as Aces and Faces or Caribbean Stud.

Want even more ways to have fun on your favourite bingo site? Check out our guide to the best bingo chat games.

Join BingoPort today!