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Online Bingo Odds

by Paul Marion on August 28, 2008

Over on the Mania Stu blog (that’s BingoMania UK’s blog), GM Median has taken a good crack at explaining why some bingo players win more often than others. By no means is it ever easy to explain the probability of bingo, but I think he has done a good job. Here’s a little excerpt:

Now, if there are 5 players and one player has 6 cards, but the others only have 1 card each, there are only 10 cards in play. The player with 6 cards has a 60% chance of winning (6 is 60% of 10). The other players each have only a 10% chance of winning. If all 5 players buy the same number of cards for the next 10 games, statistically the player with 6 cards will win more often.

But that kind of buying pattern doesn’t happen very often, so let’s look at another, slightly more realistic, example:

Chocs, Midgey, Poppy, Snuggles and Womble decide to play 20 games of bingo.

Chocs and Midgey each buy 1 card per game, Poppy buys 5 and gets one free per game, and Snuggles and Womble each buy 10 and get two free per game. There are therefore 32 cards in play.

Chocs and Midgey have a 3.13% chance of winning each game.

Poppy has an 18.75% chance of winning each game.

Snuggles and Womble each have a 37.5% chance of winning each game.

Statistically speaking, over 20 games, Chocs and Midgey may not win at all. Poppy, Snuggles and Womble should all win. We would expect to see Snuggles and Womble winning the most games.

Check out the ManiaStu Blog for the rest of the article.

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