Pop Bingo

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Leave it to software developer Playtech to come up with an arcade game that combines two irresistible indulgences—bingo and popcorn. Indeed, that’s the premise behind the online challenge known as “Pop Bingo,” and all the while the game is engaged, the sound of bursting kernels bouncing of the lid of a popcorn popper can be heard in the background, which will surely lead many players to whip up a batch of the real thing to munch on while they enjoy the bingo action.

Pop Bingo is based upon the standard version of 90-ball Bingo. A typical 15-number bingo card appears beneath the popcorn box logo at the left of the screen, the 90-number bingo board takes up the lower right and a payout schedule runs across the top. The object of the game is to cover all of the numbers on the card in as few “pops” as possible—each “pop” being the drawing of a bingo ball.

Before the game begins, the player must decide how much to wager. The credit denominations on Pop Bingo range from €0.10 to €100.00. The value can be adjusted using the +/- toggles next to the bet indicator at the lower left of the screen. The player can go with the card currently displayed or obtain a new card of numbers by clicking on the “New Card” button just above the leftmost toggle.

The payout schedule interacts with the credit denomination buttons. As the amount wagered is increased or decreased, so will the amounts to be won change in direct correspondence. For example, at a wager of €1.00, the total win will be €10,000 is all 15 numbers can be covered in 40 pops or less. Finishing the card within 45 pops pays €1,000, within 50 pops is worth €100, and so on, all the way down to 88 pops, which pays a mere €0.50.

At the maximum wager of €100, the top prize is a cool €1 million. To make a profit at any level of betting, the card must be covered within 86 pops or fewer. Also, no matter what the bet may be, if 89 or 90 pops are required, the wager loses outright.

To begin the bingo action, click on “Play” just above the rightmost credit denomination toggle. The white bingo balls, looking so much like popcorn resting in a black pot below the bingo board, will begin popping up, one by one, and taking their places on the grid of 90 numbers. When a card number is obtained, a bell rings and the ball turns red. On the player’s card, the corresponding number appears circled in red and highlighted in yellow.

At the top of the screen, the payout schedule tracks the count. The number of pops in the “Complete Card Within” rows will light up in yellow, starting with 40 pops and shifting to 45 pops, then 50, 57, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 82, 84, 86, 88 and, at last, 90 pops. The exact number of pops is also recorded in a counter nestled between the game logo and the bingo board.

Whenever the card is fully covered, the balls will stop popping up and the countdown will end automatically. The amount won is indicated not only in the “Payout Returns” row of the schedule, but also in a small window that pops briefly up in place of the controls below the card. If there is no payout, a “Try Again” message appears in the window instead.

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