Here at BingoMania.ca, we love sharing tips and best practices for discerning players. Today’s tip a checklist of features to keep an eye out for when joining a new bingo site.
Online bingo in Canada has swiftly become a hugely-popular recreational activity for thousands of people all around the country, and now, there’s more choice than ever before when it comes to websites to choose from, who all want your custom. Rather than rushing in and joining the first site that mentions a great-sounding introductory offer, it’s wise to consider the quality aspects of each of the sites you’re potentially interested in becoming a member of.
Luckily, reputable bingo sites don’t charge any membership fees, so if you’ve already made the mistake of signing-up at a site that just doesn’t quite cut it, you can walk away relatively easily and join one that better suits your needs.
Of course, the word “quality” can mean different things to different people, so here are some of the key features of online bingo sites that you may wish to look out for in order to check they are really as good as they look on-screen.
Variety of games
While you might be happy just playing online 75-ball games, many people prefer to have a little more choice in order to keep their interest long-term. So, for example, you might want to check whether UK-style 90-ball bingo is offered, speed games, team tournaments, chat games, and trivia quizzes, as well as dime and cheap games for times when you want to make your budget go further. Many sites also offer online slots and casino games, including video poker, Keno, pull tabs, and more, that appeal to a wide variety of tastes and budgets.
Don’t join a site whose card costs are ridiculously high. As a general rule of thumb, you should expect cards to cost you between one cent and one dollar each – possibly more for special events or big-money games. A site that charges $20 per card is definitely not worth joining in our opinion, unless it’s for a life-changing prize something like $100,000 game.
Look for sites which offer first deposit bonuses (and, if possible, no-deposit bonuses too) that will help you get 50 to 100% or more additional funds to start playing with. It’s also good if a site offers ongoing re-deposit bonuses to encourage your loyalty.
Most reputable and popular sites will offer free bingo in some form or another, and certainly cheap bingo if not. Sometimes, you will be lucky enough to find a site where non-depositing players can play for free and win real cash prizes, but others will require you to make a first deposit before allowing you access to their free rooms. Free and cheap games are excellent for players looking to earn extra loyalty points and free credit as the prizes are often awarded as bonuses rather than real cash. If you’re new to online bingo, the availability of free and cheap games is particularly important as they will allow you to learn the ropes, and become familiar with the various patterns before committing to spending real money.
Easy banking methods
Unless you’re only interested in playing free games (and bear in mind, at some sites, you can only play for free if you’ve made at least one previous deposit to your account), you’ll probably want to fund your account at some stage after you’ve registered. Depending on your personal preference, you’ll want to check that your preferred payment method is accepted, and it’s equally important to check how you can withdraw your winnings as well, e.g., bank transfer, credit card, Paypal, etc. A good online bingo site will offer all the major banking methods (and often a lot more besides), such as Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, cash transfer, Eco, American Express, bank wire, and Instadebit.
Accessing your winnings
It’s easy to forget in your haste when joining an exciting, new online bingo site how easy it is (or not) to withdraw your winnings. If you don’t want to wait weeks on end to receive them, be sure to check the site’s terms and conditions or FAQ to see how quickly they promise to credit your winnings, and whether they will be subject to any ridiculously high wagering requirements before they can be withdrawn as real cash. Some sites that offer big-money bingo jackpots and even progressive slot jackpots also mention in their T’s and C’s that if you win more than a certain amount, you will be paid your winnings over a set period of time (such as $5,000 per year for ten years) rather than all in one go. This is something that many players forget to check and should you be lucky enough to one day hit the big time, we’d hate for you to be distraught because you wrongly assumed you’d receive all your winnings at once.
Customer service and help facility
Customer service teams aren’t just there to handle disputes over funds and respond to complaints; they’re also on hand to help answer any queries you might have prior to joining the site and for many years to come. So, if you don’t want to end up waiting weeks for a response, it’s very important to check out the ways in which you can contact your site of choice’s support team. A toll-free telephone number (preferably 24-hour) or an instant chat facility are the best ways to ensure a swift reply; email responses can often take several days (the average response time should be published by the website on their Help/Contact pages), and we’d strongly recommend steering well-clear of sites who only offer support via post.
Check to see if the site has an introductory guide for new players or an FAQs section, which may help to answer some of your queries regarding game rules, banking, and promotions without you having to contact the customer service team.
Be sure to always do your own comparison or look at your site compared to another. Over on BingoMania, you’ll find great comparisons like the one about 123 Bingo.
Although it’s by no means exhaustive, we hope that our quality checklist will prove useful if you’re looking to join your first online bingo site, or make a move from your current site of choice to one that offers higher standards, a better variety of games, and more generous rewards.