Some players enjoy the casual, deliberate pace of bingo drawings, which combine a social element with the potential for big jackpots. Others like the constant action of slot machines, with their fast-paced play and plenty of customizable options that let players gamble at whatever stakes are most comfortable for them. While these may sound like very different games, they have traditionally been aimed at a similar group of casino patrons, which leads to an obvious question: why not try to combine the best of both worlds into one exciting game that appeals to both traditions?
That’s exactly what Gaming Realms has tried to do with Slingo, a new gaming archetype that they’ve introduced into the UK market. While punters win in ways that are similar to other bingo-based offerings, there’s also a spin element that adds extra excitement, as rather than watch one ball drawn at a time, there’s the potential to mark off multiple spots in every round. Throw in wilds, limited decision making, and a ton of variants that can bring your favourite television series to your screen, and you have a winner that has delighted British audiences for years.
Five Reel Bingo
Slingo offers up a combination of fruit machine-style action and bingo gameplay, resulting in something wholly unique in the iGaming world. The object of the game is simple: punters are hoping to make as many lines as possible on their 5×5 number grid, with every complete five-in-a-row combination earning a prize. The more lines you make, the more cash you’ll walk away with. Of course, filling the entire card is the way to earn the biggest payouts of all.
In a basic way, the Slingo board resembles a typical 75-ball bingo layout, with each column featuring five random numbers drawn from a different set. For instance, the first round contains numbers in the 1-15 range, the second has numbers from 16-30, and so on down the line. Winning lines can be made vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
Players can choose whatever stakes they like from a wide range of options at each site – for instance, Slingo Riches offers bets from £0.50 to £100 – with the corresponding payouts adjusting in response. It’s worth noting that these games are very popular at social gaming sites and apps, such as on Facebook, meaning you can play for free or for real money as you prefer. Once you’ve chosen your wager size, it’s time to hit the start game button and take your shot at winning a prize.
The Devil is in the Details
Once you start the action, you’ll see numbers appear on a row that appears just below your bingo card. This is essentially a five reel, single payline slot machine that determines which spots will be marked off on your card. On each reel, a number will typically appear from the range associated with that column. If it matches one of the numbers on your card, that spot will change colour to denote that it has been hit.
Results other than numbers are also possible. On every reel, there is a joker icon that will allow you to fill in any number you wish from that column. Even more powerful is the super joker, who will allow you to pick any position on the entire grid to fill in. Hit three or more jokers (including supers) on the same spin, and you’ll win an instant prize, sort of like a scatter reward on a slot machine. Free spins symbols will earn you extra plays at the end of the game, while a coin can offer instant cash prizes. Finally, there’s a devil, which gives you absolutely nothing – so you won’t want to see him often if you plan on winning.
In most incarnations of Slingo, the action lasts for 11 spins, plus any additional free games you’ve earned. Once these have been played, you’ll earn prizes based on the total number of lines you’ve completed on your card. Here’s what the pay table looks like when you play Slingo Riches:
- One Line: 0.1x Initial Bet
- Two Lines: 0.2x
- Three Lines: 0.5x
- Four Lines: 1x
- Five Lines: 2x
- Six Lines: 4x
- Seven Lines: 7x
- Eight Lines: 10x
- Nine Lines: 25x
- 10 Lines: 50x
- Full House: 200x
- Three Jokers: 0.5x
- Four Jokers: 2x
- Five Jokers: 5x
- Coins: 0.2x
However, the action doesn’t necessarily have to end at this point. Players are also offered the ability to purchase additional spins at the end of the game, with the cost based on the potential payouts should you hit the right numbers on your extra play. These purchases are always entirely optional, and can be limited based on how many free spins you earned during normal gameplay.
Variations on a Theme
Slingo may be relatively new, but Gaming Realms has already created a wide range of variations on the original concept that change the gameplay in a variety of different ways. While Riches may be the closest to the “classic” concept, many players enjoy the twists in other variations that change things up a bit.
For instance, there’s Big Money Slingo, which randomizes different prizes for each potential line win, meaning some combinations are worth much more than others. Other versions are licensed based on various media properties. Take Deal or No Deal Slingo, in which the classic gameplay is mixed with the game show elements in which random boxes hold different prize amounts, and the banker might make you an offer for a box you’ve set aside. Other titles are based on Britain’s Got Talent and X Factor, allowing players to enjoy a taste of some of the UK’s top television programmes while they gamble.
Slings and Arrows
If you’re tired of the same old slots and instant win games that you’ve played over and over again at online casinos, then you may well want to give Slingo a try. It’s an innovative way to make both fruit machines and bingo feel fresh and new. We also like the fact that there’s at least a little bit of decision-making involved in some of these games: where to put your jokers is not always trivial, and does have an impact on the return to player, so good strategy is rewarded. Each of these titles offers something just a bit different for you to experience, so if you enjoy games that lean towards the more casual side of casino fare, then we’d highly recommend giving this line of machines a try.