Bingo, taken on its own, is a remarkably simple game that takes very little time to grasp. You pick a certain amount of numbers from the available range, mark them on your card, and wait to see if they come up.

This classic structure remained unchanged (for better or worse) until online bingo transformed the game into something more fast-paced and exciting, with infinite variations and countless additions.

In the US, the attraction to pattern-based bingo games is taken to a remarkable extent online; UK players tend to dismiss this in favor of straight bingo gameplay but with more games “on the side”. In both versions, bingo tournaments have taken advantage of the much-increased pace and communication of online bingo, as well as offering progressive jackpots drawn from the huge pool of all players on that particular bingo network.

The biggest category of games is undoubtedly the chat games. Before, during, and after the actual bingo rounds, the chat moderators will present players with a constant stream of quizzes and opportunities to win.

Some are based on nothing more than your proximity to the current bingo winner; “buddy” or “neighbor” (“nabor”) ways to win include having the same name, initials,  or birthday as the winner, or having your nickname above or below that of the winner in the chat room list.

Some are more typical quizzes; pop culture or current events make up the majority of the topics, so knowing your music, movies or celebrities puts you in good shape for these games.

Some chat games look to the bingo game numbers themselves; guessing the first or last ball of the current round, for instance. Some of the games are simply various combinations of the same numbers that win the bingo rounds — and in more long-term bingo events (“full house” games and tournaments) there may be chat games that utilize several rounds worth of numbers, so attentive players and habitual multitaskers tend to do much better.

In addition to “straight” bingo, there are sometimes bingo-like games on offer, including Las Vegas standby Keno and self-contained virtual video bingo machines. Additionally, many of the best online bingo sites also offer some completely unrelated gambling games more consistent with online casino sites, such as slots and roulette.