Bingo 101

If you thought Bingo was a simple game that your grandmother plays, you may want to take a second look. After a lesson at the Tropicana, we found there are more parts to the puzzle than we had ever imagined!
Regional Slots Director Ed Ailstock explained the ins and outs of Bingo at the Tropicana, which is the only casino game that does not end until there is a winner each round. Players are competing against the hopper, and the odds depend on how many people are in the room during your session.
The Tropicana offers seven Bingo sessions daily, on the odd hours running from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. No two consecutive sessions will be alike. That means there will be different patterns and payouts depending on which sessions you attend. This keeps the game interesting for players, as they could stay for three consecutive sessions, that would all play differently. Ten patterns are played during each session, which takes about an hour.
There are minimum and maximum buy-ins for each session. Therefore, no one can “buy out” an entire session. The lowest minimum buy-in is a $5 pack. They also offer $7 and $10 packs. The payouts if you hit a Bingo will depend on which pack you purchased. For example, on a regular pay pattern a Bingo on the $5 pack would pay $75, the $7 pack would pay 100, and the $10 pack would pay $150.
Trop Advantage card members also receive a promo pack for free when they purchase a pack, which would pay $50 on a regular-pay pattern.
There are also “more money pays” that would pay out different amounts per price level.
Once you decide which pack you would like to purchase, and how many packs, you may also decide if you want to play on paper or on an electronic device. Some players like the old-fashioned style of play, marking their paper cards with an ink blotter. However, the Tropicana offers handheld tablets that keep track of the numbers called and mark your electronic cards for you. The screen will tell you when you win, which can be a major convenience if you have purchased numerous cards to keep track of. There is a small fee to play on the electronic tablets.
They also offer larger electronic monitors for even better viewing, which players must purchase at least three packs to use.
Aside from the regular packs, Trop Bingo involves various extra promotions for more chances at the money.
“We want to create as many winners as we can,” Ailstock said.
The “hard luck insurance” is one way that they create the opportunity for more winners. For $2, players can buy the insurance, which allows for one extra ball to be called after someone has hit a Bingo already. Hard luck insurance covers four or five of the patterns during a session.
There is a short lag time between the time the ball is pulled out of the hopper until it is actually called out. If someone calls Bingo but you see what the next ball was going to be and it would have made you Bingo, with the “hard luck insurance” you will also be paid. If there was another person in the room that also needed that next number to bingo, but they did not purchase the hard luck insurance, their Bingo would not count.
The “Beachcomber” is another fun promotion for Trop Advantage members. The first person to Bingo in a session (Monday, Wendesday, and Friday only) becomes the Beachcomber. If they win again during the session, every Trop Advantage member will win free slot play. It is free to sign up for the players card, which will bring several extra opportunities for perks such as this.
A promotion exclusive to the Tropicana is their Super Spin game, which is an additional buy-in. For just $1, players have a chance at winning $50,000. It is a coverall pattern, meaning to win you must cover all 25 spaces on your card. If you hit the winning combination with 32 numbers or less pulled out of the hopper, you will spin a digital wheel that has a $50,000 space. If you win after 38 numbers or less, you will spin the wheel for a chance at $25,000. After 38 numbers have been called, the winner will have the option of a guaranteed $100, or spinning the consolation wheel that has prizes ranging from $50-$500.
The Super Spin is also a “multi-win” game. This means that two or more people could hit the coverall and they would each win the $50,000 if they hit in under 32 numbers and their spin landed on that space. If more than one person hits at the same time, a member of management spins the wheel, and all winners win that prize.
There is also a minimum of 38 numbers called during the Super Spin. This means that there is the possibility of numerous winners hitting from numbers 25-38. If someone hits at number 32 and wins the $50,000, play continues and someone else may hit at number 33-38 and have a chance at winning the $25,000. Play will stop at number 38 if there has been a winner.
The Tropicana is also currently in their “Bash” season, which runs from October-April. Bashes are a special session with larger buy-ins and payouts. Ailstock said there are typically between 180-250 players in the room during a Bash, as each pattern will pay between $100-$500. The upcoming Bashes are the “At the Hop Bingo Bash” at 3 p.m. Jan. 20, and the “Sweetheart Bingo Bash” at 3 p.m. Feb. 17.
The Trop is also having a special “Hats Off to 2018” party at 9 p.m. Jan. 6, as part of their Second Chance New Years celebration.
A new promotion is the Trop Ball Bonanza, held on select Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Trop Advantage members will receive a Dual Action Trop Ball for free with the purchase of a Powerball, which will give them an extra chance at $1,000 per session. If they play all seven sessions that day, they have the opportunity to win $7,000. The upcoming Bonanza dates are January 16, 17, 30, 31, and February 6, 7, 20, and 21.