Last update: 24th October 2018
Most UK bingo sites now offer some kind of mobile bingo but this is not always fully featured. Our mobile bingo listings include bingo sites with Apple and/or Android apps for easy access, but there are other ways to play bingo on the go.
Before the advent of mobile bingo, if you wanted to play online bingo and see how the game panned out you’d be tied to your desk. Not any more! Play on a tablet or smartphone and you can play mobile bingo anywhere around the house or garden, as well as on the move. You could even play with a group of friends if they all have their tablets with them – how’s that for a 21st century idea?
When bingo first went online, the vast majority of bingo and slots programs were written using Adobe Flash and even in 2018 a few still are. Apple have never supported Flash and while early versions of Android did, more recent versions don’t. Although it is possible to install Flash on some modern Android phones by overriding the security settings, the combination of Flash and a touchscreen rarely works well. While there is an alternative way to get Flash on a phone or tablet by installing a proxy browser such as Puffin, this is NOT RECOMMENDED for any sort of real money gaming; Puffin run the Flash on their cloud servers which are physically located in the USA where online gambling is illegal. As most bingo sites now offer mobile bingo via HTML5 there is no longer any need to try and get Flash on mobile devices anyway.
With this arrangement, when you visit the bingo site from the browser on your phone or tablet, the site auto-detects that and loads a version of the site that is optimised for your screen size (and does not use Flash). These mobile bingo sites are written in HTML5 and there’s no need to download anything. That sounds great, but in the early days of mobile bingo some bingo sites had a rather lax approach to security; rather than having secure browsing enabled for the entire session they would only switch to secure browsing if the player tried to make a deposit – creating a potential security problem for anyone who used mobile bingo at those sites over public wi-fi (in a coffee shop, for instance). Nowadays it is usual for the entire mobile bingo session to be secure and this can be verified by checking for the https (rather than http) and padlock sign in the browser address bar before login:
Modern browsers such as Google Chrome will also take a look behind the scenes to check the bingo site’s security credentials and will let you know in no uncertain terms if there is a problem with the security certificate!
This helps protect players from malicious typosquatting (where hackers set up a site with a name almost identical to a well known and trusted site, that could easily be typed in by mistake or clicked on without noticing the difference).
Not all responsive bingo sites are equally responsive, however – rather than being fully responsive, some sites load a different, cut-down version of the desktop site that may be missing some important stuff – such as pre-buy, or some of the bingo rooms.
The advantages of playing via a mobile bingo app on a phone or tablet instead of using the device’s built in browser are those of convenience and security – as there is no need to type in a site address there is no danger of falling foul of typosquatting, and as the browser is bypassed there is no danger of accidentally saving the password in the browser settings thus inadvertently allowing children who use the same devices (or the same browser ID on a different device) to access a gambling account.
This is all very well if you are playing on an iOS device as you can simply go to the App Store to download the official mobile bingo app. The best way to do this is via the App Store button on the bingo site in question rather than by going to the App Store independently; there have been many cases of fake apps in the App Store including fake shopping apps and fake Minecraft games so it is important to make sure that you get the genuine article.
If you use an Android device it is more complicated as until quite recently Google didn’t allow real money gambling apps in the Play store, so an Android app button on a bingo site will often initiate a direct download rather than a visit to the Play store (on the plus side, this does ensure that you have the real app). The default security settings on Android devices don’t allow non Play store apps to be installed so it is necessary to alter them prior to installing the app; when real money mobile bingo apps first came out this was not an easy process and players were often unwilling to do it for fear of being left susceptible to viruses or hackers.
These days it is not necessary to mess about with the security settings before starting the download. Modern Android phones pop up a warning when you try to install a non Play store app and offer the opportunity to change the security settings for that installation only, reverting to the default immediately afterwards.
This is still quite a palaver in comparison to an Apple installation – especially when one clicks through all the warnings to complete the installation of the mobile bingo app only to end up with this facepalm moment:
Now that the Play store is geo-gated, real money gambling apps including mobile bingo can be made available only for customers in parts of the world (including the UK) where online gambling is legal, so we can expect more bingo apps there in the future and indeed there are quite a few there already.
Another installation path for mobile bingo apps is via a link or passcode sent by text message to the player’s mobile phone and this is the method generally used by phone only casinos. It is super easy to use and has good security, but you do have to give them your mobile phone number and some players may prefer not to.
Most bingo software has a fully functional mobile version. The main differences between the different mobile bingo platforms are in the number of tickets that are displayed on screen at a time and in how the chat is handled.
Dragonfish bingo sites have a responsive mobile version which is automatically loaded when you try to access the site from a phone or tablet, but this is significantly different to the desktop version in that it consists of just one page with login and registration buttons. Everything else (such as the promotions page and the terms and conditions) is inside the mobile/tablet lobby and is therefore only visible after login.
Some Dragonfish bingo sites also have iOS and/or Android apps (the kind that are HTML5 inside a wrapper) which significantly improves the user experience. It’s quite common for there to be exclusive mobile and tablet only bingo rooms and promotions. The mobile bingo works in portrait mode only and displays a small number of tickets. Chat is accessible via a pop-up but with the chat open it is not possible to see the game being played.
The tablet version puts everything including the chat and mini games back on the same screen and during 2017 many Dragonfish bingo sites started offering the tablet version on the desktop as an alternative to the classic lobby. New Dragonfish sites only have the tablet version and this has the disadvantage that much of the site isn’t visible until after login.
Dragonfish mobile bingo is not without annoyances; one rather major one is that buying less than the default 24 tickets to a bingo game is not easy.
The Virtue Fusion bingo sites that belong to the really big name bookies all have mobile versions and in many cases iOS and/or Android apps, and again it is not unusual to find special mobile bingo promotions. It used to be the case that smaller name Virtue Fusion sites did NOT generally have any mobile bingo at all, but now that Playtech are replacing the old Flash desktop client with the HTML5 version (as shown below) which enables seamless play across all devices, mobile and tablet play is available everywhere.
On a phone, many items are moved off screen to make room for the bingo tickets; the chat can be accessed via the buttons at the bottom of the screen, as can slots, settings and help.
Virtue Fusion HTML5 bingo can be set to Simplified Ticket View (as seen on the right above; the top ticket on the left corresponds to the second to top ticket on the right). This doesn’t show you your actual bingo tickets, but instead shows you how many TG each ticket is and which balls each ticket needs for the win; it used to be the default setting for mobile bingo but now, somewhat annoyingly, if you switch to it on your phone it shows up on all other devices as well.
In early 2016 Virtue Fusion rolled out their first bingo variant, the HTML5 only Cash Cubes, that was clearly designed with mobile bingo in mind, and every bingo variant introduced at Playtech bingo sites since then – and there have been quite a few such games that are exclusive to one particular site – has also been HTML5 only.
All Cozy bingo sites have a good looking HTML5 mobile version which will auto detect your mobile device. The mobile bingo works in both portrait and landscape and even thoughtfully asks whether you would like to play with the sound on or off! There’s no chat on the phone version though.
The Jumpman sites on the 15 Network used to have a mobile version which looked almost exactly like the desktop version (but without some of the side games) but this never worked well on phones as there was so much crammed on to the small screen that it was impossible to see what was going on. Now, if the site detects a phone login, a cut down version of the site is served up that is mostly focused on slots; although it is possible to pre-buy tickets for any bingo room you can’t get into the bingo room itself or view the tickets after paying for them, and can’t see the bingo game being played or have access to the chat. All you get is a pop-up at the end of the game (if still online) showing who won. As a mobile bingo offering goes, this barely qualifies as one at all. A new version of the Jumpman software was released in April 2018 but only at a handful of sites.
Stride’s Daub Alderney bingo sites have an HTML5 mobile version and will auto detect mobile devices; when this was first enabled there was no chat, but it can now be accessed using the tab at the bottom of the screen. The Jackpot Liner group of sites which are also managed by Daub Alderney have different software and no mobile bingo.
The Bede Gaming bingo software, which powers Crown Bingo and a few other sites, was originally developed with mobile bingo in mind so not surprisingly it looks great on a smartphone and there’s no need to download anything. The lobby works in either portrait or landscape mode but once inside a bingo room you’ll need to be in portrait. Chat is particularly easy to access as all you need to do is scroll down.
All Microgaming bingo sites have mobile bingo now, even though most of them don’t advertise it on their desktop site. This is another mobile version that only works in portrait mode and has the chat in a pop up. It is still possible to see the game being played even if you don’t buy any tickets. Microgaming rolled out HTML5 in autumn 2017 so may now upgrade the mobile version further.
The Relax Gaming bingo software is relatively new and was developed when mobile bingo was already a thing, so it comes as no surprise that the mobile version includes all the features of the desktop version (for instance, the information about which other players have 1TG or 2TG and which numbers they need). The chat is in a pop-up but in a nice touch, it is translucent so it is possible to chat and see the bingo game at the same time.
The Intouch mobile phone bingo platform is exclusive to mFortune and is really very good indeed (albeit 90 ball only). The chat is on the same screen as the bingo but does not look at all cramped, and everything else including the loyalty shop is really easy to access. To install, you login to the mFortune desktop site and request to have the bingo game sent to your mobile – the link to download arrives by text.
The mobile version of Tombola Bingo can be accessed either via phone browser or via their mobile bingo app. It includes all their conventional bingo games and most of their other games and is one of the best as far as being able to see the numbers on the tickets. Chat is in a pop-up and does not obscure the whole game – the calls and the top ticket are still visible when the chat window is open. Tombola also have Stars, a weekly free game that is played by phone.
Until very recently Gamesys bingo sites had a mobile service which was almost entirely about the slots and was a very much a poor relation as far as bingo is concerned. Just two of the bingo rooms at Jackpot Joy – 90 ball Sapphire Bingo and 75 ball Lounge Bingo – could be accessed on phone or tablet via a browser and their mobile app did not include any bingo at all. This has now all changed and they have a full mobile service via Apple and Android apps – even allowing login to be via fingerprint so there is no need to remember your password, just your username.
B-Live is the software that powers Bingocams. Mobile bingo arrived in Summer 2015; unusually it works in landscape mode only (and without the cams that are the USP of Bingocams).
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