Monthly Archives: June 2014

Do I Need to be a Math Wiz to Play Online Bingo?

Some old bingo numbers from my studio.

Some old bingo numbers from my studio. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We often get contacted by people who are new to the exciting world of online bingo, asking us whether they need to be good at math to be able to play. Admittedly, online (and land-based) bingo is very much a game of numbers; however, the beauty of it is, you don’t need to have aced Algebra at high school or studied Advanced Mathematics at an Ivy League college to be able to play (and even win) games!

Tons of leading bingo games sites such as Bingo Mania have put together helpful videos on their YouTube channel to show how easy playing bingo online can be.

How the cards work

In American 75-ball bingo, you usually play with a 5×5 card that includes 25 unique numbers that range from 1 to 75. The first column contains numbers from 1 to 15; the second contains numbers from 16 to 30; the third contains numbers from 31 to 45, the fourth contains numbers from 46 to 60, and the fifth column contains numbers from 61 to 75. So, as you can see, the numbers do go in a numerical sequence from left to right. However, provided you take advantage of the Auto-Dab feature, you don’t need to know exactly where each number appears on your card.

Using the auto-dab feature

Now, some online bingo fans will say that auto-dabbing takes away some of the excitement of playing. However, there’s an equal amount of players who reckon it’s a great idea as it means you can play with several cards at once without worrying about falling behind, and there’s less risk of missing marking off a vital number.

If you are new to 75-ball games and you’re not quite used to the structure of the cards or numbering system, we’d highly recommend using the auto-dab option if your chosen site offers it. In fact, most sites enable it as a standard feature, so you might not even have to go looking for it. How it works is that as each ball is called out and displayed on your screen, the respective number is marked off your card/cards automatically, provided of course that your card/s contains the number in the first place.

How to know if you’ve won

Another reason why you don’t need great math skills to play is that the auto-dab feature automatically identifies any winning cards for you. Most systems will also show you how many numbers you still need in order to claim a win (e.g. 3TG, 2TG, 1TG = 3-to-go, 2-to-go, 1-to-go) , and your best cards will be sorted into order, with your cards with the greatest winning potential being displayed at the top of the screen. So, while it helps to know that in standard 75-ball games, you’ll need to complete the relevant pattern that is displayed on your card in order to claim the Full House prize, you don’t really need to concentrate on the numbers on your card unless you’re down to the very last few numbers.

What to do if you need help

As a new player, it’s perfectly understandable if you are unsure how to go about playing your first game – most of us haven’t been born with the natural ability to play online bingo it’s something we have learnt how to do. So, it’s well-worth checking the Help or FAQ pages at your chosen online bingo site, where you’re likely to find tutorials explaining how to purchase cards from the lobby, how to fund your account, how to make withdrawals, etc. However, if there’s a vital question that you can’t find the answer to anywhere, you can either get in contact with the site’s customer service team (usually by live chat, email, or telephone) or (if appropriate) ask the chat moderator in any of the hosted games rooms.

Making the most of the chat rooms

In fact, the chat rooms can be an excellent source of information and entertainment for new online bingo players. The majority of roomies are exceptionally helpful and know the site almost as well as the chat hosts themselves. The chat window is usually displayed to one side of your screen (with your cards on the other side), and all you need to do is type in your message into the box at the bottom of the message window before hitting the “enter” key. Even if you’re not sure about joining in the current conversation, you’ll still be able to view all public messages, including important announcements from the chat hosts regarding upcoming games, winners, and opportunities to win bonuses by taking part in fun chat games. There are two main rules to adhere to when you’re chatting: the first is not to use capital letters as this is deemed as “shouting” and can be very distracting for other roomies; the second is to steer clear of any rude or offensive remarks which will not be tolerated, and may result in your account being closed.

As you’re starting out, you might find it hard to ‘chat’ while watching your cards at the same time. If so, make sure you take advantage of the common chat lingo buttons that are normally displayed at the bottom of the chat window. This way, if a chat host or fellow roomie welcomes you to the room or congratulates you on a win, you can quickly press a button to automatically thank them. You can also let other players know if you’re 1, 2, or 3 numbers away from a win (generally, roomies love to share the excitement of closing in on a Full House), and you can say “well done” to other winners if you want to be courteous.

Understanding the odds of winning

All the numbers in online bingo are randomly produced using what’s called an RNG (Random Number Generator). This ensures that every single game is fair, and that anyone can win, even if they only have one card. However, your odds of winning will be improved if you are playing with multiple cards when compared to someone who’s only bought one card.

Summary

So, hopefully we’ve shown you why you don’t need to be a math genius to enjoy or understand how to play online bingo. So, throw your calculator away and jump on in to start enjoying one of America’s favorite hobbies today!

Is ADSL3 the next broadband over copper technology?

Linksys WAG54GS ADSL2+ Modem Router

Linksys WAG54GS ADSL2+ Modem Router (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We can resoundingly give readers both a yes and no.

Part of the issue when talking about ADSL is the naming convention. ADSL is the “name” associated with broadband over a copper POTS line. POTS, plain old telephone service, is the common name for the copper line coming into most homes. It was originally developed simply to carry a telephone signal.

But ADSL is so ubiquitous for broadband over copper that the name ADSL tends to get abused. The confusion is so pervasive, even news reports sometimes mistakenly call other technologies ADSL, thinking such terms as VDSL and ADSL are interchangeable. But this is not the case. To clarify the issue, let’s look at different current types of ADSL.

ADSL is an “asymmetric digital subscriber line”. It works by using frequencies not needed for voice communications. This is why you can use an ADSL line for both voice and data communications at the same time. When ADSL came out, the theory was simple. It split frequencies on the telephone into 3 groups – voice, upstream and downstream.

Regular voice calls get relegated to an area from 0 to 4 KHz, an area between 25.875 KHz and 138 KHz is used for upstream (your computer sending out data), and an area from 138 KHz to 1104 KHz is used for downstream (getting content from the net to your computer). This is why it is called asymmetrical – the downstream is far larger than the upstream, under the premise that you’ll download a lot more from the net usually than you will sent to it. But ADSL is all covered under a standard called ITU G.992.1, which governs the mechanics of how ADSL must operate.

ADSL2+ was the next solid advance in ADSL speeds. It doubles the number of bits that can be transferred simultaneously. It does this by moving the upper frequency threshold from 1.1 MHz to 2.2 MHz which, theoretically, doubles the downstream transfer rate from 12.0 Mbit/s to 24.0 Mbit/s. Looking beyond ADSL2+ is where the naming conventions get a bit confusing.

Many nations, particularly in Asia, have been advertising ADSL3. While their products actually do offer faster speeds than ADSL2+, the technology itself is not actually ADSL based, but rather VDSL. VDSL gets most of its speed not by increasing the frequency range of signals over a long range, as ADSL 2+ does in regards to ADSL, but instead by using new hard wiring. VDSL runs, instead of copper, high speed fiber optic cabling out to a nearby hub by the customer.

VDSL2, particularly, does use a wider spectrum of signal, going up into the range of 12 MHz to achieve downstream rates of up to 200 Mbit/s. However, this incredible high speed can only be maintained for short distances, unlike ADSL, before it needs to be picked up and relayed down fiber optics. More to the point, VDSL is a different protocol. It is regulated under ITU G.993.1 (note that all ADSL is covered under G.992.* specifications). Check out the iiNet NBN coverage map and rollout plan on their new page.

So, while data speeds over copper may be seen to increase in speed in the foreseeable future – ADSL3 will not necessarily be the protocol of choice. It should also be remembered that telcos (telephone companies) are beginning to have to compete for voice services with local cable companies. This, in turn, has forced telcos – such as AT&T – to consider competing in television entertainment to keep a level playing field. This is important because it is an incentive for telcos to run fiber optic lines out to consumers. If that occurs, trying to eek more speed out of ADSL would be a wasteful expenditure of research when VDSL will already be available, a mature technology, and ready to compete with the bandwidth offered by cable companies over coax lines.