Updated: 8th Dec 2020
Sometimes online bingo games have to be retired, whether it’s because they needed Adobe Flash which is no longer supported, the bingo platform they ran on was withdrawn or they were just plain unpopular with players. Here we take a look at some of them – and suggest what to play instead if one of them was your favourite.
Joker Jackpot, which was found at many Virtue Fusion bingo sites, was a Flash bingo style game played with an array of 9 playing cards instead of a bingo card. Cards were dealt from a full pack (including 2 jokers) instead of numbers being called, and there were prizes for the J pattern and for a full hand (full house), plus a fixed jackpot for winning full hand in 16 or fewer cards and a progressive jackpot for winning full hand in 14 or fewer cards with a joker as the final card.
That’s easy – the demise of Adobe Flash.
Virtue Fusion bingo sites now have a new playing card game, Housey Bingo
Super Snap was a networked bingo style Flash card game by Gamesys. Each hand contained 5 cards and a player could buy up to 5 hands per game (potentially expensive as they were £1 each). Super Snap included 3 ways to win. The first way was Match Bonus and this was what happened if your 5 cards formed a scoring poker hand. Each type of poker hand paid a multiple of the £1 hand price, from 2x for 2 pairs up to 250x for a Royal Flush (not a lot given that the chances of being dealt one are approximately 1 in 650,000) . The second way was the Lucky Charm Bonus. To get a Lucky Charm, players had to buy the maximum 5 hands. At the end of the game all players with the Lucky Charm that was called (there were several) would share in the Charm Jackpot. The third way was to call snap by matching all your cards and the prize for this was determined by the number of hands sold. There was also a progressive jackpot which can be won by matching all 5 cards in 7 calls or fewer (at a probability of around 1 in 120,000 per hand); the winner got 40% and the other players in the game in question got 60%. Some Gamesys sites had a version of Snap without the community progressive jackpot. Instead, if you called Snap in 5,6, or 7 calls you won a multiple of the hand price.
Flash again – but player preferences may also have been something to do with it as it hasn’t been replaced by an HTML5 playing card game.
Royal 5s was Playtech’s first HTML5 version of the Cinco/Snap/Flash Fives bingo card game and was exclusive to just one site – Mecca Bingo, where it first appeared in December 2016. All games were multi stake and players could buy hands for 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p or £1. Unlike in the other versions, not all hands were shown on screen, just the best performing ones. The room had a progressive community jackpot (split 50/50 between the winner and all other players) which dropped if someone completed a hand in just 6 calls.
Not enough player interest in it as a standalone game at Mecca – the more recent Housey Bingo game is widely networked.
Take Me Out Bingo by Gamesys was a standard 75 ball bingo pattern bingo game with a bonus game. Thirty ladies appeared at the top of the game area corresponding to the numbers 1-30. When the number was called the lady switched her light off. If 18 or more lights were still on when bingo was called the community jackpot was paid out and split evenly between all players who held at least 6 tickets to the game. If 6-17 lights were still on they would win 1, 2, or 3 tickets to the next game. 5 or fewer was a black out.
Flash again – and maybe the rights weren’t renewed?
Bejeweled Bingo was a Gamesys 90 ball variant that was exclusive to Jackpot Joy. The bonus game was the Bejeweled Challenge where you had one minute to play the classic match 3 game and beat a target score to win free tickets to the next game and as usual with this type of bonus game there was the opportunity to win tickets based on both individual and community score. In Bejeweled Bingo there was a progressive jackpot that would be won if bingo was called in 38 or fewer calls and it is this particular jackpot that was responsible for the UK’s biggest online bingo win back in 2012 when one lucky player took away more than half a million pounds (larger sums have been won at other sites but on slots, not bingo).
Blox Bingo at Heart Bingo
Available at some Virtue Fusion sites, this was themed on the iconic TV show but barely qualified as a variant form of bingo at all, as almost all of the time it ended up being a standard 90 ball game with regular prizes. There was an extra sliding jackpot but this only came into play, starting at £500, if the full house was won in 40 or fewer calls (not a frequent occurrence even on a busy network). The top prize was £1 million but the number of calls required to win it was a completely ridiculous 15-17 – making the odds against winning the million pounds with the purchase of a single card a jaw dropping 336 trillion to 1! Winning the UK lottery jackpot with a single set of numbers, at a mere 45 million to one, is an awful lot more likely – and the time it would take for 336 trillion games of online bingo to be played (assuming a game started every 3 minutes, 24/7) is a staggering 1.9 billion years (ten thousand times as long as the entire history of the human species). The game no longer seems to be on offer.
We have no idea but maybe, just maybe, someone thought it was a bit much to be advertising such a staggeringly unlikely million pound prize ?
Regular 90 ball bingo at Paddy Power Bingo
Lucky Numbers Bingo was another Virtue Fusion 90 ball special with an add-on game. You had to choose three numbers from your cards and would win fixed value extra prizes if any (or all) of them were the number(s) on which the line and FH wins are called.
Possibly due to consolidation of Virtue Fusion networked bingo rooms?
Britain’s Got Talent Bingo at Mecca Bingo is basically the same game
Linka-Balls Bingo was another Mecca Bingo exclusive and was 90 ball bingo with feature prizes for players with 6 or more tickets in play. As the bingo balls dropped, they piled up adjacent to the playing area. Each time there were three balls on the same colour in a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) a feature prize was awarded and this could happen once per colour per game (in theory all 6 prizes could be awarded in the course of just one game). Feature prizes were split equally between all qualifying players.
It was dropped in Autumn 2018 to make room for BOB – presumably the player numbers were disappointing.
Friends Bingo at Foxy Bingo if what appeals is 90 ball with an extra feature game that runs during the game itself and not afterwards. Blocks at Tombola if you want it to be all about collecting colours.
The 49 ball variant Bingo Lotto was a Gala Coral exclusive. Each card had just 6 numbers (with a maximum of 49 cards per player per game) and there were prizes for 3, 4, 5 and 6 numbers, plus a hefty progressive jackpot (seeded at £25K) which could only be won by getting all 6 numbers in the first 6 calls.
We suspect the National Lottery like branding may have been a problem
Wizard of Bingo was a 75 ball variant by Cozy where the aim was NOT to get full house first. In this game, which was loosely themed on the Wizard of Oz, 10 of the balls brought the Witch on to curse any card bearing that number (unless protected by the Magic Shoe ball which lasted for 5 calls) . When a card was cursed for the third time it was destroyed. Cards that completed the coverall would be removed by the Monkey and the last card or cards left in the game would win.
Rumour had it that they didn’t have authorisation to use the characters which would explain why it was only around for a few weeks.
There’s nothing much like this game around these days. The live game Deal Or No Deal The Big Draw has a similar level of complexity, especially if you buy tickets to the side game. Or you might like The Machine at Tombola, where there’s an extra prize that removes the main prizes from the game if won.
Elimination Bingo was available at GameVillage and sister sites only (originally on a proprietary platform and subsequently on Cozy). It had a similar concept to Wizard of Bingo but was less interesting. It was played with regular 75 ball cards and when the number of squares shown in the “Matches to Elimination” box was covered, the card disappeared. The last card or cards left in the game won.
Exclusive GameVillage bingo rooms were removed when the site joined the main Cozy network. The Cozy network is now closed and the software has been bought and repurposed by GVC so we don’t expect to see it reused.
See Wizard of Bingo and also try the Mega Ball live game.
Immortal Romance Bingo was a 90 ball bingo variant by Microgaming based on the very popular online slot. The four characters who preside over the different bonus rounds in the slot – Amber, Troy, Michael and Sarah – each added a different feature to the bingo game, and in each game one of the four was active. Each special feature acted on a strip of 6 tickets so tickets could only be purchased in strips (and the room was cash only). Amber added an extra ball (the Scatter Ball) to the game and when it was called up to two numbers per strip would be daubed. Troy assigned each strip a special number and when it was called vampire bats flew in and randomly daubed up to 3 numbers. Michael also assigned each strip a special number and when it was called all the numbers in that column, all the way down the strip, were counted as daubed for the next 5 calls. Sarah’s Wild Vine feature worked like Troy’s but the number of random daubs was 4. Each strip contained at least one special Medallion number and if one of these was called the player got a notch on their personal power up bar. When a player had collected 20 notches they could enter the Chamber of Wins to spin the jackpot wheel. There were minor, major and mega jackpots to be won plus a consolation prize of free spins on the Immortal Romance slot.
Flash again – and this is one game that will DEFINITELY not be making a reappearance on HTML5 as the Microgaming bingo software itself has also now been retired.
If you like the idea of spinning a wheel for a chance of a jackpot win – Cashpot Bingo at Gala Bingo. If you like the idea of power up modifiers – any Slingo Games. If you just want to win slot spins, the Wow Spintastic room at Dragonfish bingo sites.
Candylicious was a 52 ball bingo game found at Dragonfish network bingo sites and some other 888 bingo sites. All the bingo balls were replaced with sweets and basically it was just a reskinned version of the playing card based Bingo 52, played at breakneck speed – and that’s not an exaggeration. The sweets exploded from the candy machine so quickly that the entire game was over in seconds – if you didn’t pay attention you could easily miss the whole thing!
Not enough players – not really surprising, as it was a super fast game with no proper pre-buy so you had to be paying attention at exactly the right time to buy tickets and see them play.
If you liked the way the game played – Bingo 52 at Dragonfish bingo sites. If you actually liked the speed – Bingo Blast at Pragmatic Play bingo sites. If you liked the theming, Burst Bingo or Emoji Bingo at Mecca Bingo.
Slingo is a cross between 75 ball bingo and a slot machine and was widely available as a social and partially skill based game until it was bought by Gaming Realms and turned into a real money game of chance. There are several versions of real money Slingo but the only one that could be classed as a bingo variant is Slingo Boom, the multiplayer version which debuted at Slingo.com and was then rolled out to sister sites. The other versions are single player and are essentially slot machines.
In Slingo Boom each player had a 5 x 5 card which was basically a 75 ball card without the middle square marked off. The numbers appeared on the five reels at the bottom of the play area and while each player had different numbers on their card, the numbers spun on the reels were the same for everyone in the room. You won by marking off all the numbers in 1 or 2 lines (known as Slingos) or getting full house. The reels did not just contain numbers, however; to make it a bit more interesting they also contained jokers, super jokers and devils. These will be familiar to anyone who has played Slingo in one of its earlier non real money incarnations, but in Slingo Boom their effect was purely automatic. The joker randomly marked off a number from the column above the reel it appeared on, the super joker randomly marked off a number from anywhere on the board, and the devil was a null symbol ensuring no-one could mark off a number from that column on that spin. Unlike all other versions of Slingo, Slingo Boom had no maximum number of spins and play continued until someone won.
Slingo Boom had a further unique twist in that players who just missed out on the full house were sometimes given the opportunity to buy an extra spin for the chance to win a prize equal to the full house prize.
Slingo Boom! never attracted enough players, perhaps because it wasn’t ever promoted as a bingo game. It’s another game that won’t be coming back as the sites themselves all closed at Christmas 2019 (some are now back on the Skill On Net casino platform).
5 line bingo or any Slingo game – or both at the same time, at a site such as Buzz Bingo, for the full experience!
Hot House Bingo was exclusive to Gala Bingo and was a radical take on 90 ball bingo. Each player had a strip of 3 tickets and all 90 balls were called. The calls were divided into 5 unequal ranges and the aim was to complete tickets in a number of calls that fell within a scoring range (3 of them scored and 2 didn’t). All the tickets that were completed in a range shared the prize pot for that range. If no tickets were completed within the range (which happened occasionally with the lowest range) the prize was added to the other scoring ranges. The ranges and prize weighting moved around from game to game.
Hot House wasn’t popular with players and only lasted a few months. Its unpopularity may have been to do with the blatantly terrible RTP in some of the games – or maybe it was just too complicated for players to get their heads round?
Big Banker Bingo was only available at Ladbrokes, Gala and Coral and was only playable on HTML5 (mobile, tablet, and the new bingo lobby). It was essentially the same as the 90 ball version of Deal Or No Deal Bingo but with the red boxes replaced by golden safes and (because it was exclusive to the three sites rather than running across the Virtue Fusion network like the original game) fewer players competing for smaller prizes.
The room was removed in June 2019 and this was probably due to consolidation as GVC prepared to move both Coral and Ladbrokes off the Virtue Fusion platform.
Love Island Bingo was a 90 ball bingo game that was exclusive to Sky Bingo. Players with 6 or more tickets to a game collected drops of water – fill the bottle to collect a £1 bonus, split between Love Island Bingo and the Love Island Date Night slot. There was also a Spin The Bottle feature at the end of some games only – if the bottle stopped on one of the three (rather small) jackpot segments all players with tickets in play got a share of the corresponding jackpot.
We suspect the agreement to use the Love Island branding was for a limited time. Of course, it could make a reappearance during the next season.
Potion Shop Bingo is the same game with different theming
Tipping Point Bingo was another Sky Bingo exclusive and was a TV tie-in with the ITV quiz show of the same name. It had 40 balls and 8 numbers per card which is the same game mechanic as Rainbow Riches Bingo, and as in the other game there were prizes for 1 cluster and full house. Instead of the rainbow track of the other game there was a straightforward progressive jackpot, split 50/50 between the winner and the other players on full house in 12 or fewer calls.
The actual experience of playing the game was quite different to Rainbow Riches Bingo, however, as what made Tipping Point Bingo really exciting was the way in which the balls – or, rather, counters – dropped. In the screenshot, number 13 is being called but until the counter reached the bottom of the screen all that would be known was the drop zone (in this case, 11-20) and whether the number was odd or even (black for odd and white for even). It certainly enhanced that 1TG feeling!
Tipping Point Bingo also had a Win Zone feature game which ran during certain sessions. After each game, an animation played and players could watch the counters drop; each counter – and up to 10 could drop per game – was worth £20 cash and the special jackpot counter was worth £1000. The total sum from the dropped counters was split 50/50 between the FH winner and all remaining tickets. There was also an exclusive Tipping Point slot and scratchcard.
The Tipping Point slot and scratchcard were also removed so this is almost certainly a case of the agreement to use the branding expiring.
21st June 2021
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