How to Pick a Bingo Site
With hundreds of online bingo sites to choose from and more springing up literally every day, it can seem a daunting task to choose the right one.
Choose the wrong one, and you could be looking at delayed payments when you win, non-existent customer service and chat room banter that will make you question whether the players on the site really are over 18 or if they’ve stolen their mother’s credit card and are having a blow-out whilst she’s down the pub.
Start with the Obvious Signs
So, what do you need to look for? Well, for starters does the site look like it was thrown up in a few minutes or does it look professional? Newcomers may be blinded by the whole experience and be impressed with very little, but shop around and you are bound to find there are the good, the bad and the downright ugly!
Some sites are known as white label sites: These are sites that use an established bingo network, with centralised software and customer support – and although some of the designs are pretty dire, the overall package should be of a good quality – of course if it is one the of the big named reputable networks.
Sadly there are some that are not so good and might not even be on the UK approved white list, these proprietors most likely don’t care about being any good, just about making some short term cash whilst they work on their next little money spinning web project; but ultimately why do business with an operator that just doesn’t care?
Sticking to well-known, well respected brands and networks can do away with the prospect of any future problems.
Another crucial way to sort the wheat from the chaff is by looking at the site’s contact details: If they’re any good they’ll have a chat window with customer service reps on hand to instantly help you out if you have any queries. They should also have a phone number, manned by real human beings 24/7. Doing both of these things costs them money, which means they’re committed to offering a decent service…… rather than sitting in some bar in Gibraltar, necking Chablis with the ex-pat crowd whilst you’re trying to find out why their software crashed just as you scored a full house.
Needless to say the chat help operators need to answer your questions rather than panicking and telling you to look at the terms and conditions every time they get asked something too complicated. Even the best sites won’t always have the answers on tap, but if they can’t get back with an answer within 24 hours, it’s time to look elsewhere.
Check the Cashout Details
Less reputable sites will do everything they can to avoid telling you what happens when you win. When the banking section in the FAQs lists over 20 different deposit methods and tells you chapter and verse how to deposit money with them but the withdrawal section is non-existent, it’ll often be because they want to make withdrawing as hard as possible. In these cases it’ll usually be offered via major credit cards only, taking 3-5 working days if you’re lucky – plus a possible reverse pending period.
This last phrase is hard to say without laughing if you’re in the business: Reverse pending simply means that you can’t start the withdrawal process for a few days or weeks, giving you a ‘cooling off’ period in case you rashly decide to withdraw your money rather than leave it with the bingo site so you can spend it all with them instead. Avoid sites that do this at all costs.
Try before you Buy
Most good bingo sites will let you have a good look around before you give them any money. You’ll want to know exactly what sort of playing environment you’ll be in, whether you’ve got anything in common with your fellow roomies, whether you like the sound of the caller’s voice or whether he annoys the hell out of you. Some sites will claim that because they offer free cash up front as a welcome bonus that you’re not allowed to enter the games until you’ve made a deposit, which is a terrible shame…… after all why shouldn’t they let you observe rather than play?
What are they asking for when you register?
Registration forms are a fact of life with online gaming, and the best ones will make your life as easy as possible. Some bingo sites ask for your name, email address, a password, home address and nothing more. Others will ask for the basics and then present you with a credit card details form next to a flashing, bouncing promo reminding you how good their welcome bonus is.
It is also a fact of life that if you are going to play online bingo then you will need to fund your account – choose a site that offers the banking methods that you prefer, be that the security of an e-wallet or a bankers draft. Find a site that allows you to have a choice in how much information you provide – although be aware, almost all sites will ask for all kinds of ID when you want to make a large withdrawal.
These are just the essentials: Obviously as you play more bingo there will be certain games that only specific sites offer and you’ll develop tastes of your own, but keep these tips in mind and you’ll avoid having a bad experience that might put you off for good…