Maria Bingo Review

Sorry, No US Players
Maria Bingo:

First it was Online Casinos, then it was Poker and now Bingo seems to be taking the world by storm. Certainly for a social, fun gambling experience Bingo fulfils the criteria. As such, I decided to venture in to this world and take a look at Maria Bingo to see what I'd find at this 1 Gaming-powered site.

Maria Bingo is actually an 'integrated' site in the fact that as well as offering bingo, a user can use their account to access the casino side of Maria's. However, it was the bingo side of things I was interested in so headed to this portion of the site to sign up. Interestingly the site is firstly displayed in the Swedish language and indeed has a big following in the Scandinavian countries. However, a simple 'country flags' system is used to jump to a view in the appropriate language - in my case, English.

Signing up at Maria Bingo is very simple with a standard form being used to capture a player's details. Since Maria Bingo is a no-download site there's no hanging around waiting for software to download and complete - rather a user can simply sign up and get playing. Unfortunately US players are not allowed to play at Maria's and indeed this site seems to have focussed on attracting European players - the multi-language approach certainly supports this theory. Similarly, accounts can be created in a variety of currencies and I chose to set-up my 'OnlineCas' account in UK Pounds.

All new players are entitled to play their first game for free thanks to a no-deposit bonus. For me this gave me £3 free to play with (approximately $6). However, as bingo players will know this doesn't really give you a good chance of winning a prize and so I headed to the cashier to make a deposit. I chose to deposit £50 (approximately $100) via NeTeller, although credit cards are also accepted. Interestingly though, despite my purchase being in UK Pounds my purchase amount was actually converted and processed as a US $ transaction. I found this rather bizarre given the fact US players are banned from this site! Nevertheless, aside from this peculiarity my transaction was processed with issue and actually my £50 became £100 thanks to a 100% match deposit available. As with a number of sites, bingo bonuses are regularly available at Maria's.

As stated, Maria Bingo is a no-download site so once I'd made my deposit I headed over to the Bingo section of the site. Here a player is presented with 4 rooms which are played either using 75 balls or 90 balls. Similarly, these rooms have different price structures and different starting jackpot amounts (more of which later). However, when clicking on a room I soon found that these contain a number of sub rooms which all operate at different currencies.

I noticed that a number of the Scandinavian-currency rooms were heavily populated and so tried to enter one of this games. However, I was not allowed. This because my currency didn't match that of the game being played. I found this slightly strange but on understanding the site a bit more, I discovered that regardless of a player's base currency they are able to convert their money to any other accepted at the site. As such, a player just needs to ensure they have money converted to suit any game they want to join.

As stated earlier, Maria Bingo offers both 75 and 90 ball Bingo. 75 ball bingo is played using 'square' bingo cards where players have to match a pre-set shape (which changes each game). There is only one 'call' at 75-ball bingo - when a player has fully completed the shape. 90-ball games, however, are more 'traditional' bingo games played using rectangular, 3-line cards. Prizes are awarded in this game to the player that is first to complete 1 line, then 2 lines and then the full-house.

Although I had noted that some of the other rooms were busy, I firstly decided to try my look in a UK pound-denominated room. However, I should have noticed that there were only 2 other players in this room before purchasing tickets - I purchased 7 cards at 50p each. Nothing wrong with this, you may think. However, when the game started I noticed the total prize pot was only £2.95! I went on to win all three prizes but certainly wasn't happy that this actually resulted in a £0.55 loss! Oh well - I guess you live and learn!

Despite this silly start to the session, I actually quite enjoyed my first game of bingo and quickly became adept at purchasing cards. A simple interface is used to make buying bingo tickets very easy. A player is firstly presented with various strips of tickets. From here they can select the tickets that they want to buy, or alternatively a player can simply specify the number of tickets they want and the software automatically assigns cards to the player. Once a game begins balls are drawn and their values read out by a bingo caller. Thankfully a player can set the system to 'auto daub' cards as balls are drawn. However, true players can mark of numbers themselves if they want a real challenge. Handily though a 'catch up' button is available should self-marking cards become too tricky!

Deciding that I needed to play in a more heavily populated room my next move was to convert some currency to Norwegian Krone. I then entered a 75-ball room to see whether I could keep going with my winning streak! Here I purchased quite a few cards but unfortunately with so much competition this game wasn't to be mine. Nevertheless, again a fun game was to be had and it was certainly more entertaining to be participating in a more populated room. Indeed, chat is a major factor of most bingo sites although at Maria's I found it hard to join in as many players were not speaking English. Similarly, 'chat games' that are usually a regular thing at other sites seemed not to be being played when I was logged in. However, the site does make reference to these so perhaps I was unlucky with the timing of my play session.

I was also out of luck when it came to winning a jackpot at Maria Bingo. Although players should definitely win a prize pot from time to time, there's also the chance to win a progressive jackpot which is awarded when a full house is claimed within a set number of balls. This stood at £3,500 in my UK Pound room (over $7,000) and certainly wouldn't go amiss! I do like the fact players can play in any game and automatically get the chance to win a pretty decent amount.

Despite not doing so well on some games I actually went on to win a few nice pots in this room and thanks to some luck playing the side casino games I was able to get my bankroll up to just over £100 (approximately $200). Usually I get caught up in trying to win more money but deciding on this occasion I'd keep the money and run I headed back to the cashier. Firstly I had to convert my money back to UK pounds, but once this was done I was able to withdraw a final balance of £115. I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of processing time but was pleasantly surprised to see my NeTeller account credited 24 hours later (although rather annoyingly Maria's had again converted my balance to US $ before processing!).

Although I had no issues whilst playing at Maria Bingo I did decide to check out the customer support offering. Sadly this is an area I think lets this site down. A player basically only has the option to email support personnel, and although an online messaging system exists (where players can raise 'help' tickets), this is effectively just a glorified email system. This fact is confirmed by a test I performed where I requested my account be closed. Upon sending this I was immediately notified that a response would be received within 14 hours. This is certainly a disappointment and certainly an area for improvement.

To conclude, I think Maria Bingo is an average quality site. The international feel of the site is good and the multi-language approach will definitely appeal to some players. However, I actually think this can be a drawback for some players where converting money to unfamiliar currencies can be confusing. At least winnings are paid extremely quickly at this site! In terms of the software, I was generally impressed with the offering, although again think more focus could have been given to the chat section. Interaction with fellow players is important at Bingo and I thought Maria's was slightly lacking in this area. Generally though there was nothing really negative about Maria's and with a nice sign-up bonus available Bingo fans should certainly think about giving this site a spin.

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Click Pictures to Enlarge

I chose a room only populated by 3 people - I figure I'm sure to win here! Just 3 Players

A player is presented with the various cards available. Cards can then be selected and purchased Selecting Bingo Cards

My plan appears to be working as I win the 1st complete line prize A Line Win

And I then go on to win the 2-line and Full House prize! Unfortunately because there are so few players my winnings fall short of my outlay! All 3 Wins

This room has far more people in, although whilst this increases the prize pool it obviously makes winning much harder Busy Room

At the end of each game players are presented with a summary of all the winners Game Summary

The various Bingo Rooms are denominated in different currencies and as such players have to ensure they have funds in that currency to play Choosing a Currency

The game list shows that there's an extensive choice of rooms at Maria's List of Game Rooms Available

The various jackpots available at Maria Bingo definitely caught my eye - the GBP jackpot equates to over $10,000! Viewing The Top Jackpots

Picking rooms at Maria is made simple thanks to the lobby-type interface The Room Lobby at Marias Bingo

If the bingo games get a little dull or you are waiting for a new game to start, there's always the side games to keep players entertained Side Games at Marias Bingo

Maria Bingo Strong Points:
  • A good selection of 75 and 90-ball games are available
  • Cash processing is excellent with withdrawals processed within 24 hours
  • A nice 100% sign-up bonus allows players to get more games for their money
Things Maria Bingo Could Improve:
  • Customer support options are lacking although emails are responded to when sent.
  • Whilst a chat function is available, I think more work could be done on making chat a bigger part of this site
  • Similarly, a lot of chat is non-English given the European flavour of this site - this may put off English-speaking players

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