Did you ever wonder if you are playing the “right” bingo session? Should I play an afternoon session with fewer players or the evening session with more players and higher bingo prizes?
It seems logical to play sessions with the fewest number of players. If you were the only person playing, you would win every game. Your winning chances decrease as the number of players increases Also, bingo prize splitting is less likely if few people are playing. You are more likely to keep all the money for yourself! This is true but ignores differences between sessions. The evening session may pay higher bingo prizes that offset the fact there are more players.
Also, did you ever wonder if you are making the “right” buy-in decision? Is it smarter to play many low value bingo cards or fewer cards with a mix of low and high bingo prizes?
It seems logical to play as many cards as you can afford because playing more cards gives you a better chance of winning. That is true but ignores the bingo value of the cards. It may make more sense to play fewer cards with a higher bingo value.
There is a way to determine the best strategy in both of the situations described above. But first you need to gather some information about the sessions and your buy-in choices.
The first step is to calculate the average bingo value of your buy-in options. Do this by adding up the bingo value of each card and dividing the dollar total by the number of cards. For example, if you are playing 100 cards for 14 games, calculate the average bingo value of all 1400 cards. It’s not as difficult as it sounds because you can group the cards by their bingo value. Ignore games that do not have a bingo winner every session, like the Cash Ball game.
The next step is to compare sessions at different times or days of the week. Keep separate records of the number of players for each session. Then, after a few sessions, calculate the average number of players at each of those sessions. The goal is to have a reasonably accurate estimate of the number of players at each session.
I’ll walk you through two examples that explain how to use the information you compiled.
Strategy Example 1: Suppose you usually play the 7PM session on Mondays. Should you choose a buy-in option with many low bingo value cards or a buy-in option with fewer cards and a mixture of low and high bingo value cards? Note: I assume the two buy-in costs are roughly the same.
Which buy-in option is the better value? To find out, compare the average bingo values of the buy-ins. (Note: In this example you can ignore the number of players.) Suppose the average bingo value of the buy-in with a mix of high and low value cards is 40% higher than the average bingo value of the buy-in with many low value cards AND the low value buy-in has 30% more cards than the high value buy-in. Since 40% is higher than 30% this suggests the high value buy-in is the best choice even though it has fewer cards.
Strategy Example 2: Imagine you often play the 1PM and 7PM sessions on Mondays. The 7PM session typically has more players AND higher bingo prizes than the 1PM session.
Which session is a better value? To find out, compare the average player counts and average bingo values at each session. (Note: I assumed the same buy-in option is used at both sessions.) Suppose 30% more people, on average, play the 7PM session than the 1PM session AND the average bingo value at the 7PM session is 40% higher than the average bingo value at 1PM. This suggests the 7PM session is the best choice because 40% is higher than 30%. In other words, it makes more sense to play the 7PM session even though there are more players.
Clearly, choosing where and when to play, and choosing the best buy-in, is not obvious. However, the strategies I described are much better than guessing. Try them where you play bingo. Good luck!
My Ebook, Optimum Bingo, describes in detail a method of evaluating bingo sessions and buy-in options that goes beyond the simple strategies described above. I think you will find it interesting and useful.