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Bingo Strategy

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Joseph E. Granville

Joseph E. Granville

If you’re a casual bingo player then the concept of there being a strategy for playing the game may come as something of a surprise. However, prepare to be surprised as we tell you that there are in fact several things you can do when playing online or offline bingo to improve your chances and that these strategies are the work of a mathematician called Joseph E. Granville.

Granville died in 2013 but as well as being a mathematician was known as a financial writer; this chap claimed to know how to make money and the markets listened when he spoke, although his track record for investments was actually pretty poor.

Still, his bingo strategy is well thought of and it’s the result of mathematical analysis of the drawing of the bingo balls.  What Granville realised was that although it appears that the balls are drawn at random, they in fact are not; patterns can be spotted. Granville’s theory works on the principal that:

  • An equal number of balls ending in 1, 2, 3, etc will be drawn
  • Odd/even numbers will be drawn equally
  • High/low numbers will be drawn equally

So we can already see that the ball selection is not random. The fourth principal is a little more lengthy and relies on the fact that in a standard 75 ball game of bingo, the average of the numbers drawn is 38. As the first few numbers are drawn this may not seem to be the case but as more are drawn the average will creep towards 38. We also know that the average number of balls drawn in a bingo game is 12 which leads us to the following two strategic implications:

  • Try and pick a bingo card with numbers which average 38 (add all the numbers together and divide by 15)
  • Try and avoid cards with lots of numbers ending in the same digit

These are of course marginal gains and no recipe for surefire wins but anything which title the odds slightly in your favour should be welcomed.