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With 600 seats, the Suncoast bingo room is pretty large. It has a high ceiling, wide aisles, bright lighting, nice carpeting, granite-topped tables, comfortable chairs and serve-yourself beverages. I find the employees friendly and helpful. There is a separate smoking area. The ventilation system seems to be good, as I cannot detect the smell of smoke deep into the non-smoking area.
Please consider all estimates of number of cards in play and value to be rough. Bingo is a difficult game to analyze, because the odds are largely based on the number of competing cards, which is not made known to the player. However, I did the best I could using my bingo calculator, and recording the growth in Cash Ball jackpots. The sample size of games this page is based on is not as large as I would like, so please take all estimates as just that, with a large margin of error.
Thirteen games are played every odd-numbered hour from 9 AM to 11 PM. Following is a list of the games played every session:
List of Games
|4||Double bingo with wild number (into)|
|6||Single bingo (into)|
|8||Dual daub progressive|
|9||Six pack (into)|
|12||Double hardway (into)|
Some sessions have higher multipliers, and/or pay more in game 13 than others. Here is a description of each session.
- 9 AM: Games 1-12 regular pay. Game 13 pays $250 for red & blue, and $500 for green & tan. Game 13 second chance pays $125 for red & blue, and $250 for green & tan.
- 11 AM: Games 3, 5, 7 and 10 pay double. Game 13 pays $250 for blue, $500 for red, $750 for green, and $1,000 for tan. Game 13 second chance pays $125 for blue, $250 for red, $375 for green, and $500 for tan.
- 1 PM: Games 1-12 regular pay. Game 13 pays $1,000 for any color card. Game 13 second and third chances pay $500 for any card.
- 3 PM: All games (except 8 and 13) pay double. Game 13 pays $250 for blue, $500 for red, $750 for green, and $1,000 for tan. Game 13 second chance pays $125 for blue, $250 for red, $375 for green, and $500 for tan.
- 5 PM: Games 1-12 regular pay. Game 13, both first and second chances, pay $250 for red & blue and $500 for green & tan.
- 7 PM: Games 1, 2, 4, 6, 9 and 11 pay double. Games 3, 5, 7, 10 and 12 pay triple. Game 13 first and second chances pay $250 for blue, $500 for red, $750 for green, and $1,000 for tan. Game 13 third chance pays $125 for blue, $250 for red, $375 for green, and $500 for tan.
- 9 PM: Games 1-12 regular pay. Game 13 first and second chance pay $1,000 for any color card. Third chance pays $500 for any card.
- 11 PM: Games 3, 5, 7 and 10 pay double. Game 13 pays $250 for blue, $500 for red, $750 for green, and $1,000 for tan. Game 13 second chance pays $125 for blue, $250 for red, $375 for green, and $500 for tan.
Regular pay = No multiplier. Blue cards pay $50, reds pay $100, greens pay $150, and tans pay $200.
Double pay = 2x multiplier. Blue cards pay $100, reds pay $200, greens pay $300, and tans pay $400.
Triple pay = 3x multiplier. Blue cards pay $150, reds pay $300, greens pay $450, and tans pay $600.
The next table shows the total prize money possible for each color card, per session.
Maximum Prize Money Available
|Session||Blue Card||Red Card||Green Card||Tan Card|
Cards and Packages
The basic cards are, from lowest to highest, blue, red, green and tan. There are also special cards for certain games only, namely Dual Daubs and Super Multi-Win Coveralls, which I'll discuss later. The "regular pay" win is $50 for a blue card, $100 for red, $150 for green, and $200 for tan. As with many Vegas bingo halls, some games and sessions double or triple these amounts.
The next table shows the various packages of cards the player may purchase. The four columns to the right show how many packs of each color the player gets. Each pack consists of six cards, so half a pack obviously consists of three. This table does not take into consideration the two free Bonus (blue) packs the player receives by paying the $2 rental fee to play electronically.
|Two small rainbows||$24||3||1.5||1.5||0|
|Two large rainbows||$44||3||3||1.5||1.5|
|"A" electronic special||$22||2||1.5||1||0.5|
|"B" electronic special||$34||4||3||2||1|
Certain economies of scale should be obvious from the table above. For all colored packs and rainbows, if the player purchases two, then he gets one free.
Also notice how if all games paid in proportion to the color of the card (1x for blue, 2x for red, 3x for green, and 4x for tan), then the best value for buying just single-color cards would be tan. However, some sessions do not reward the premium cards proportionately in the last game. The sessions with no premium-card penalty are 11 AM, 3 PM, 7 PM and 11 PM. I will show later the best package to buy for each session.
The next table considers the maximum win and cost of all viable packages. It crunches all the number into a value quotient, which is directly proportional to the value of each package.
|Package||9:00 AM||11:00 AM||1:00 PM||3:00 PM||5:00 PM||7:00 PM||9:00 PM||11:00 PM|
|2 blue packs||3.00||4.41||9.56||5.53||3.94||7.59||11.44||4.41|
|2 red packs||2.89||5.04||6.64||6.32||3.43||8.68||7.71||5.04|
|2 green packs||3.23||5.29||5.48||6.64||3.98||9.11||6.23||5.29|
|2 tan packs||3.12||5.42||4.85||6.81||3.69||9.35||5.42||5.42|
|2 Small rainbow||3.19||5.14||7.41||6.45||3.97||8.86||8.66||5.14|
|2 Large rainbow||3.12||5.21||6.53||6.54||3.80||8.97||7.55||5.21|
The following table shows the best value package for each session. The "B" package offers a good economy of scale, and thus is best in 6 out of 8 sessions. Blue packages, purchased two at a time, are the best value at 1:00 PM and 9:00 PM, because of the large guaranteed prize money in game 13. There is no incentive to buy the premium cards, because all cards pay the same.
|9:00 AM||B package|
|11:00 AM||B package|
|1:00 PM||2 blue packs|
|3:00 PM||B package|
|5:00 PM||B package|
|7:00 PM||B package|
|9:00 PM||2 blue packs|
|11:00 PM||B package|
The table above should not be used to compare one session to another. The sessions with more prize money draw more competition. My research shows that the number of competing cards is fairly proportional to prize money available.
The following table shows the best cards to buy at each session and the "validation point" at which you should validate with such cards. The validation point is where validation becomes a better value than the cards themselves. For example, at the 9 AM session, the player should only validate if the Cash Ball Jackpot gets over $1,666.67, assuming he purchases the B package, which is the best value that session.
Validation Break-even Points
|Session||Best value||Validation Point|
|9:00 AM||B Package||$1,666.67|
|11:00 AM||B Package||$2,447.92|
|1:00 PM||Blue Packs||$6,078.43|
|3:00 PM||B Package||$3,072.92|
|5:00 PM||B Package||$2,187.50|
|7:00 PM||B Package||$4,218.75|
|9:00 PM||Blue Packs||$7,058.82|
|11:00 PM||B Package||$2,447.92|
It is not difficult to notice that when a Cash Ball jackpot gets unusually large, it induces a lot of competition. My advice is to not be a Cash Ball jackpot chaser. When the jackpot gets above the validation points in the table above, the jackpot itself will have induced too much competition, and you shouldn't play at all. Your odds are better playing when the Cash Ball jackpot is small and not validating.
Number of Competing Cards
The following table is the product of a lot of research, and a fairly small amount of data. So, please take it with a grain of salt. It shows my best estimate of the number of cards in play for any session according to the Cash Ball jacakpot amount. The higher the jackpot, the more competition you will face, and the worse your odds will be.
The "fixed demand" column shows the number of cards in play regardless of the Cash Ball jackpot. The "variable demand" shows the estimated number of additional cards that will be purchased for each dollar in the Cash Ball jackpot. For example, if the 9 AM Cash Ball jackpot is $1,200, then my estimate of the number of cards in play is 2,464 + 0.66×1200 = 3,256.
This table does not take into consideration promotions, but is suitable for the normal day. My research also finds that the day of the week does not affect total card sales.
Demand for Cards
|Session||Fixed Demand||Variable Demand|
The table shows more example of cards sold for various Cash Ball jackpot amounts and sessions.
Demand for Cards — Examples
|Session||Cash Ball Jackpot|
The next table shows the expected return by session and Cash Ball jackpot. These figures should be considered very rough.
Expected Return by Cash Ball Jackpot
|Session||Cash Ball Jackpot|
Super Coverall Multi-Win
The Super Coverall Multi-Win is an additional kind of card the player may buy. At the Suncoast, I have always heard them referred to as a "Super Coverall," which is how I shall refer to them from this point forward. Here are the rules.
- Three cards cost $2.
- The maximum purchase in a machine is $100.
- For game 13 only, the Super Coverall pays fixed prizes ranging from $1,199 to $50,000 for a coverall in 54 or fewer calls. These prizes are not subject to splitting, except the top $50,000 prize.
- If nobody gets a bingo in 54 balls or less, then Super Coverall cards will play as an unvalidated blue card.
- The Super Coverall also pays as a blue card in games 11 and 12.
The following table shows the fixed wins for Super Coverall cards, the probability of winning, and the contribution to the return. The lower right cell shows that the fixed prizes have a value of 14.04 ¢ per card.
Super Coverall — Fixed Wins
|47 or less||$50,000||0.00000063||0.031273|
The cost of Super Coverals is 3 for $2, or 66.67 ¢ each. The player gets back 14.04 ¢ in value from the fixed prizes, or 21.05% of the purchase price. Since Super Coveralls pay as a blue card for games 11 to 13, I think they are best compared to a blue card, in terms of value. Recall that 18 blue cards cost $8, or 44.44 ¢ per card.
If you deduct the value of the fixed prizes from cost of the Super Coverall cards, then the cost comes to 66.67 ¢ - 14.04 ¢ = 52.63 ¢ each. So, compared to buying blue packs two at a time, Super Coverall cards cost more and cover fewer games. Thus, I conclude Super Coveralls are a bad value.
The Dual Daub is an additional kind of card, which the player may buy for use on game eight only. Here are the rules.
- One card costs $1 or $2.
- The maximum purchase in a machine is 50 cards.
- The game is played on "dual daub" cards, which have two distinct numbers per square.
- The $1 and $2 Dual Daub cards are eligible for the "consolation prize" of $200 for the first player to achieve a coverall.
- The $2 Dual Daub cards are also eligible for extra prizes for a coverall in 42 numbers or less.
- The $2 Dual Daub cards have progressive wins for achieving a winning coverall in 40 to 42 numbers. These three wins tend to average about $400 each.
- The $2 Dual Daub cards have a prize for achieving a winning coverall in 39 numbers of $500 for the player's first session of the day, and $1,000 for all subsequent sessions that day.
- The $2 Dual Daub cards have a prize for achieving a winning coverall in 38 numbers of $1,000 for the player's first session of the day, and $2,000 for all subsequent sessions that day.
- The $2 Dual Daub cards have a prize for achieving a winning coverall in 37 numbers of $2,000 for the player's first session of the day, and $4,000 for all subsequent sessions that day.
- The $2 Dual Daub cards have a progressive jackpot for achieving a winning coverall in 31 to 36 numbers or less. After a players hits this jackpot, it starts over at 31 numbers and goes up by one number every eight days, until it reaches 36 or is won.
- The jackpot is reseeded at $20,000.
The following table shows the fixed wins for the first session of a day for a Dual Daub card. The lower right cell shows an expected return of 32.07 ¢.
Dual Daub — Fixed Wins — First Session
|36 or less||$5,000||0.000028||0.140984|
The following table shows the fixed wins for all sessions after the first session of a day for a Dual Daub card. The lower right cell shows an expected return of 64.14 ¢.
Dual Daub — Fixed Wins — Subsequent Sessions
|36 or less||$10,000||0.000028||0.281968|
The following table shows the value of a hypothetical $20,000 jackpot for achieving a coverall in 31 to 36 numbers.
Dual Daub — Value of $20,000 Jackpot
My limited sampling of data on the Dual Daub shows that the number of cards in play when the jackpot was about $36,000 and the Dual Daub number was 36 to be about 450 per session. For the $1 Dual Daub, that would make $200 to the first coverall have an expected return of about $200/450 = 44.44%.
To make a long story short on the Dual Daub, I recommend playing the $2 Dual Daub only if:
- It is not your first session of the day, and
- The Dual Daub number is 36.
The player should not play the $1 Dual Daub. This figure is very rough, but I show the advantage on a $2 Dual Daub, with a jackpot of $40,000 in 36 numbers or less, on a second session of play or later, to be about 30%.
To summarize, I think bingo at the Suncoast, or anywhere in Vegas for that matter, should be viewed primarily as a form of entertainment and not an advantage play. If you do choose to play, the following is a summary of my advice.
- At the 1 PM and 9 PM sessions, the blue packs are the best value; otherwise, the "B" electronic special is.
- Play when the Cash Ball jackpot is small, and don't validate.
- Don't buy the Super Coverall cards.
- Buy the $2 Dual Daub cards only when the jackpot can be hit in 36 numbers or less, and never on your first session of the day.
Written by:Michael Shackleford