Wizard
Posted by Wizard
Jul 09, 2020

Introduction

Two days before every casino in Nevada was shut down, I played a session of bingo, hoping to find little competition and leave with much of the prize pool. I write about that in what I'll now call part 1 of Coronavirus Bingo.

I wasn't planning on returning, but a thread in my forum titled BINGO DURING COVID got me curious and to reconsider. On a Wednesday afternoon, I played the 5:00 session at the Suncoast. My hope was to find a nearly deserted room and to easily monopolize the card pool. Unfortunatley, the room seemed about as crowded as it ever was for this day and session before the epidemic. However, as long as I was there I was going to play. The important thing is not the number of competing people but competing cards. Remember -- In bingo, as well as poker, the enemy is not the casino but the OTHER PLAYERS.

I purchased two "Electronic B" specials. I won't get into the details of what that is, but I find it to be the best value. After some bonus packs were thrown in, I had 144 cards at a cost of $56.

As I've written about, I have a spreadsheet that estimates the number of bingo cards in play given the number of each letter called in each game and the number of winners. Following are the details:

Game 1 -- Double Bingo

  • B -- 3
  • I -- 5
  • N -- 2
  • G -- 6
  • O -- 4
  • Total -- 20
  • Winners -- 2
  • Estimate of cards in play -- 5927

Game 2 -- Single Hardway

  • B -- 3
  • I -- 3
  • N -- 3
  • G -- 1
  • O -- 2
  • Total -- 12
  • Winners -- 1
  • Estimate of cards in play -- 3516

Game 3 -- Double Hardway

  • B -- 5
  • I -- 5
  • N -- 6
  • G -- 5
  • O -- 6
  • Total -- 27
  • Winners -- 1
  • Estimate of cards in play -- 3361

Game 4 -- Double Bingo

  • B -- 3
  • I -- 3
  • N -- 6
  • G -- 3
  • O -- 6
  • Total -- 21
  • Winners -- 1
  • Estimate of cards in play -- 2363

Game 5 -- Triple Bingo

  • B -- 4
  • I -- 4
  • N -- 7
  • G -- 5
  • O -- 8
  • Total -- 28
  • Winnters -- 2
  • Estimate of cards in play -- 6375

Game 6 -- Single Bingo

  • B -- 1
  • I -- 2
  • N -- 2
  • G -- 2
  • O -- 4
  • Total -- 11
  • Winnters -- 4
  • Estimate of cards in play -- 3582

Game 7 -- Double Bingo

  • B -- 4
  • I -- 4
  • N -- 4
  • G -- 2
  • O -- 7
  • Total -- 21
  • Winners -- 2
  • Estimate of cards in play -- 4878

Game 9 -- Six Pack

  • B -- 2
  • I -- 3
  • N -- 1
  • G -- 1
  • O -- 0
  • Total -- 7
  • Winners -- 1
  • Estimate of cards in play -- 27563

Game 10 -- Nine Pack

  • B -- 4
  • I -- 8
  • N -- 3
  • G -- 5
  • O -- 2
  • Total -- 22
  • Winners -- 4
  • Estimate of cards in play -- 12323

Game 11 -- Single Hardway

  • B -- 0
  • I -- 2
  • N -- 3
  • G -- 1
  • O -- 5
  • Total -- 11
  • Winners -- 2
  • Estimate of cards in play -- 6006

Game 12 -- Double Hardway

  • B -- 3
  • I -- 2
  • N -- 4
  • G -- 3
  • O -- 8
  • Total -- 20
  • Winners -- 1
  • Estimate of cards in play -- 9364

Game 13 -- Coverall

  • B -- 10
  • I -- 10
  • N -- 12
  • G -- 12
  • O -- 14
  • Total -- 58
  • Winners -- 3
  • Estimate of cards in play -- 6682

For game 13, I count the number of winners as the combined winners from the first chance and second chance. I was one of the second chance winners. So, had I not been there, the number of winners would have been two.

Summary

What I did next is called a Maximum Liklihood Estimator. I did it twice, because some cards, called Progressive Coveralls, are valid for only games 11 to 13. I won't go into all the math, but at the end of the day, here are my estimates for the number of cards in play:

  • Games 1 to 10: 5,079
  • Games 11 to 13: 8,505

I would take these figures with a heaping tablespoon of salt. For one thing, I doubt there were 3,426 Progressive Coveralls in play. They do not offer a very good value in the 5:00 session. However, I think these numbers are definitely good ballpark estimates.

Next I have to consider the types of cards I had, a 25% discount, and two types of packs I got for free. I won't get into all the details of that. At the end of the day, I figure my expected return was 81%. In other words, a house edge of 19%. Per the cavaets I gave before, please consider that as a rough estimate. However, it definitely convinces me that the odds were definitely against me, at that session at least.

Based on the number of people and general feel of the game, I think the odds were similar as to before the pandemic. Anybody who was scared off from playing was probably replaced by somebody bored who recently took up bingo. Maybe other people on the false assumption there would be significantly less competition. For me, I will not be returning.

Comments

smoothgrh
smoothgrh Jul 09, 2020

Thanks for answering my forum question today about your Oregon attire. I answered your question about Animal House, being a Duck (I was using my YouTube account name).

We need to know if you had a profitable session! How much was the payout for being a second-chance winner?

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