Bingo vs Slingo: How Do They Compare?

Gambling concept image suggesting the idea of playing online bingo games using apps on mobile devices. 3D Rendered illustration on a dark blue background with copy space

Aside from having fun names, and being easy and fun to play, what do you know about the differences between Bingo and Slingo? You may be surprised to find that there are a lot of similarities between the two games and if you are a veteran Bingo player, you may find Slingo as an exciting alternative. In this article, we will look at each game, discuss how they are played, and make a general comparison between them.

A Short History Lesson On Bingo

Bingo has been played for well over 500 years. It has origins in Italy where the game was known as Lotto. Over time, several variations occurred ranging from the number of spots on the playing card to the tokens used to record numbers being called. The basic mechanics of the game remained close to the original where players would hold cards with random numbers on them and mark off matching numbers called at random. A completed card was a winner.

The name Bingo did not come about until the 20th Century and details on the evolution of the term are a bit sketchy. Essentially, the game of chance at the time was known as Beano. It has published rules and players would gather in social settings to play. One player shouted “Bingo!” instead of “Beano!” and it stuck. Bingo has since become a staple in small-town non-profit organizations as a fundraiser. It is so popular that there are also many bingo slots online.

How To Play Slingo

You should know how to play Bingo, but have you tried Bingo’s hybrid cousin? You should have already figured out that with the name Slingo being so close to Bingo there must be some sort of connection between the two games. The simple way to describe Slingo is that it is a mixture of the traditional 75-ball game we call bingo and a slot game. Players will find a 5×5 bingo ticket on their slot screen. Along the bottom is also a single row of slot reels.

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Gameplay involves spinning the reel and revealing whatever numbers or symbols that match on the 5×5 bingo card are marked off. There are only so many spins permitted per game and each spin comes with a specific value. The goal of the game is to score a blackout bingo as quickly as possible and collect the most points in that time. The reels make the game random and add an element of excitement to each round of Slingo.

The Singo Reels

Speaking of the Slingo reels, in traditional Bingo the center square is always a Free square that gets marked off before the calling of any other numbers. In Slingo, many different symbols appear on the reels along with numbers. Here is a description of those symbols and what they mean to your Slingo Bingo card.

Wilds/Jokers

When a Wild or Joker symbol appears, it permits the player to mark off any number they wish to add to their blackout. The only hitch is that the number selected must be in the column above the reel with the Wild/Joker displayed.

Super Wilds/Super Jokers

A Super Wild or Super Joker permits a player to mark off the number of their choosing that is located anywhere on the 5×5 grid. There is no restriction.

Free Spin

A Free Spin symbol is just that. It allows players to spin the reels one more time.

Block

A Block symbol is on the other end of the scale from Wilds and Jokers. When a Block symbol appears, it means that no numbers can be taken off in the column above that reel for the current spin.

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Additional Bonuses

Other Slingo machines contain extra bonuses. Depending on the machine, a player can score a “Slingo” when numbers are matched across a row, column, or diagonally. A Slingo essentially pushes the player to another level on the pay ladder. The idea here is that the higher a player climbs with Slingos, the more that player can win. Scoring several Slingos in a game can make a huge difference in winnings collected.

Slingo Strategy

If there is a way to increase your odds of winning and increase the amount you can win playing Slingo, there are a couple of tricks you can employ. First, spin the reels quickly to score the fastest Slingo possible for the win. Second, try to collect as many rows, columns, and diagonal Singos as possible to increase the number of winnings a player can claim.

Bingo vs Slingo

So, which one is the best? That depends. If you prefer the social part of getting together every Wednesday night or Sunday afternoon at the local Eagles Hall or Seniors Center for a few hours of Bingo with friends, it may be hard to pull you away from that. Plus, there is nothing wrong with the traditional 75-ball Bingo game. It still packs a lot of excitement and players can play multiple cards, visit with friends, have something warm to eat or drink from the nearby concession stand, and keep the weekly Bingo dates on their social calendar.

However, if you find that sort of game a tad too long and uninteresting to play, then Slingo may be your best bet. It is an extremely fast-paced game. If you like playing slots, you will like Slingo. There are multiple ways of scoring a blackout on your 5×5 Slingo card, and there are also ways of increasing your potential winnings in each game played. The social aspect of Bingo does not translate very well to Slingo as players must focus on their screens during play to catch all the matching numbers. That doesn’t mean the average Bingo player can’t fit in the odd session of Slingo to hone their skills.

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Final Thoughts

Games of chance come in many different formats. Many inspire variations that increase in popularity and also bring more attention to the original game. Slingo is like that. It has origins in the well-known and historic game of Bingo. Slingo has become very popular but has not hurt the popularity of Bingo. If anything, Slingo has helped Bingo stay alive.