How to Host a Virtual Bingo Night
2020 has been one of the craziest years yet and with everything going on, no one has been able to get down to the bingo hall! If you are one of the people missing out on your favourite weekend activity of bingo or maybe you’re simply looking for something else fun to do whilst staying home more, then a virtual bingo night could be the ideal activity to keep you entertained and offers a safe way to catch up with friends.
Some bingo sites operators are organising live bingo streams, but the best part about a virtual bingo night is that they are super easy to organise and you can do this yourself to suit your own schedule rather than working around set times. You can do this without having to leave the house, ensuring everyone is completely safe and sound.
All you have to do is get either family or friends involved which shouldn’t be hard to do as who wouldn’t want to get involved in this terrific game? Plus, you’ll have to follow these simple steps below to ensure you get the most out of your virtual bingo night.
Finally, another big pro to hosting a virtual bingo night is that it won’t cost you or any of the participants a penny! We understand that funds might be tight at the moment but everyone still needs to destress and this is the perfect way to do so.
Ready to get started? Here is a step by step guide for you to follow when setting up your own virtual bingo night.
1. Get Friends and/or Family Involved
The first step in organising your virtual bingo night is to get your family and/or friends involved. Although meeting up with multiple households is not possible at the moment, there are still ways that you can do this virtually and allow you to all get together without leaving the comfort of your own couch! There are so many different video call options to choose from now that you will definitely be able to find the right one for your virtual bingo night. Some of these you may already be familiar with if you have been working from home more in recent months, but below we have listed the full list of options and who we would recommend each of them for:
- Zoom – This is an incredibly popular video call option for many reasons. You can use it on a wide range of devices including laptops, desktops, tablets and mobile phones and the best part is that it won’t cost you or your friends a penny to use. Zoom allows up to 100 people to be in a video call, which should be more than enough even for the biggest of virtual bingo nights and everyone can customise their background which provides even more hilarity to the night. The only downside of this option is that you can only be on a video call for 40 minutes unless you want to upgrade to a paid version.
- Skype – This is probably the video call software that most people will recognise and already have installed on their computer. What people love about Skype is that this is another option that is completely free to use and it can be used across all devices including mobiles, laptops, desktop computers and tablets. For those lucky enough to have a USB webcam, this may be able to be connected to your smart TV and you can use skype from here too which is perfect for any virtual bingo on the bigger screen! This is another option that will be suitable for most players as you can host up to 50 people on one video call and there is no time limit.
- Facebook Messenger Rooms – Did you know that there is a new feature on Facebook Messenger where you can host a video chat room? With this new feature as many as 50 people can be added into a single room and they are even looking at adding this feature to Whatsapp and Instagram too which would make it even more convenient, so look out for that! Plus, even if you have some friends that have never jumped on the Facebook bandwagon, they can still use the Facebook Messenger Rooms app to take part in your virtual bingo night.
- House Party – During the lockdown, you may have heard of the exciting new-ish video call app called House Party. This app has been all the craze during the lockdown and for good reason! This is a good option for smaller virtual bingo nights as up to 8 people can take part in a single call. This app is best used on mobiles but there is the option to download it on the chrome browser extension, although we understand that this may not be right for everyone. What makes this app different from the rest is that it also gives you the option to play games with each other during the video call, however, you may not actually need this as you’ll, of course, be preoccupied with your game of bingo, but it is a nice touch.
- Discord – Our last option for you is Discord and it allows up to 10 people in one video call plus there is the option for screen sharing. With this video call app, you can set up a server and then invite your friends to it for your virtual bingo night.
Out top recommendations would be Skype, Zoom and Facebook Messenger Rooms as each of these are easy to use and lots of your friends and family will probably already have these installed on their mobile or tablet devices which makes the process simple for everyone. You won’t have to worry as much about technical difficulties with each of these options. Choose Skype for longer virtual bingo nights, Facebook Messenger Rooms for convenience or Zoom to use the funny backgrounds that add hilarity to the game.
Once you have your video call software sorted, the next step is…
2. Who Will Be the Bingo Caller?
The bingo caller is arguably the most important person in the game as they keep everything organised and stop the game from descending into absolute chaos. The main role of the bingo caller is to draw the numbers and check the numbers of winners to ensure there is no cheating going on. If they have the gift of the gab, then that’s even better!
It is also their job to decide what the prizes will be for the game. You can use your imagination here for fun prizes or be more practical with cash prizes. Having a bingo caller guarantees a smooth virtual bingo night that everyone will enjoy and get the most out of. Remember, most virtual bingo nights include multiple games, so you’ll need more than one bingo caller to make it fair.
3. Make the Bingo Tickets
The third thing you’ll need to do is create the bingo tickets for your virtual bingo night. If you were to play at a normal bingo hall, you would receive bingo tickets that had random numbers on a grid, however, you’ll need to do things a little bit differently when hosting your own bingo night.
Don’t worry, this is much easier than you think! The secret here is to use a random number generator which you can simply Google and find online within seconds. Each player in the game needs to have their pen and paper at the ready for this part.
At the start of your video call, you will need to decide what bingo variation you want to play. Most people will choose either 90 ball or 75 ball bingo as the rules are easy and these are variants everyone will have played. As you are hosting the night, there is also the option to choose any amount of bingo numbers you fancy, but we wouldn’t recommend this as you want to keep the game as easy to follow as possible.
Now, whilst on the call, you’ll need to advise everyone to follow these steps:
- Hit the internet and find a random number generator.
- You will be asked to set a minimum and maximum number, make sure that this is set to 1 and then the top number (for example 75 in a 75 ball bingo game or 90 in a 90 ball bingo game.)
- Each person can then generate a number and write this down on their piece of paper.
- Carry on doing this until you have 5 numbers written down.
- Your ticket is complete and everyone is ready to get started playing!
Check that everyone has managed to do these steps okay before you get ready to start the game. This is when the excitement should be at its peak as everyone crosses their fingers for some big prizes. If you are worried about any cheating, then have all players show their tickets to the camera to check they have numbers written down.
Another option if you want to have a more professional virtual bingo night is to download bingo tickets. You can find lots of options online that let you download a tonne of bingo tickets plus other goodies such as a bingo caller cheat sheet. These will be numbered so you can then forward them on to the other people taking part in the bingo night.
Choose whatever option is going to be easiest for you!
4. Set Up the Bingo Call Numbers
Lastly, the bingo caller will need to set up the bingo balls for the game and, once again, we’re bringing out the random number generator to do this! There’s plenty to choose from online or you can even download a bingo app that will generate the numbers for you. It couldn’t be easier and no fancy technology is required. All you have to do is set the same minimum and maximum number from the previous step. Once the number is generated, call out the numbers that the players can then mark off their cards.
Make sure the bingo caller writes down these numbers as they go as they’ll need to check them when someone calls BINGO.
5. Get Ready to Win!
With the game well underway now, the only thing left to do is hold out for a winning bingo ticket. The winner of the game will be the player to check off all the numbers on their bingo card and, of course, they will have to shout out BINGO! The bingo caller will then be required to check the numbers to make sure all is in order.
Now, if you are one of the players who didn’t win, you’ll need to sit, clap and pretend you are incredibly happy for the gloating winner. A good system is to make the winner the next bingo caller, as this stops any winning streaks from putting a damper on the game for everyone!
The Best Payment Methods to Transfer Cash Prizes
The most popular prize in bingo is cash and luckily for you, there are plenty of great options that let you transfer cash between different players quickly. You will want to have everyone donate into a big cash pot and then be able to donate that pot to the winner of the bingo game. Here are some of the most popular payment methods that you can use to do this:
PayPal is usually everyone’s top choice as it is widely used and most players in the game will already have it and know how to use it. This is an e-wallet that many use for their online purchases as it provides an extra layer of buyer protection and means you don’t have to reveal your bank details. It is also used to receive money from family and friends which makes it perfect for a virtual bingo night.
Monzo is an up and coming bank based in the United Kingdom that you may have heard of. If you haven’t, you should know that this is a bank based completely online and everything is done digitally. What many players love about using this option is that you can create a prize pot which everyone can donate to, making the process seamless.
Are you having a virtual bingo night for charity? Then JustGiving will be the right option for you. This lets you take charity donations from everyone and JustGiving will handle all of the money that you raise.
If everyone taking part in your virtual bingo night is using an Apple mobile or tablet, then this is a good option to consider. With ApplePay, you can send money with just your mobile phone number. This won’t be the right option for all events as Android users won’t be able to use it and, unlike some of the other payment options, you can’t create a prize pot for everyone to contribute to.
This is an app that you can download on to your phone to both send and receive money. The best part about using this app is that all you need is your mobile phone number! It is also important to note that you don’t need to have a Barclays bank account to use this, so you can easily set up a prize pot to collect cash for your virtual bingo night.
And there you have it! These are simple and easy to follow steps that will help you plan and execute a brilliant virtual bingo night that your friends are sure to love. Don’t be surprised if they all ask you to make this a regular event! If you don’t have enough people for your virtual bingo night, always remember that online bingo is still an option during these strange times and is the perfect place to not just play fun bingo games, but also meet other people that have this similar interest to you. Check out the rest of BingoSites.net for all of our top recommended online bingo sites that are safe and secure to play at.
Still, have questions about hosting a virtual bingo night? Find the answer below.