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Brick-and-mortar casinos are somewhat limited in the games they can offer. That’s not to say that there aren’t lots of great games at a good gaming resort – in fact, almost all of the best games in the world originated in land-based venues. But the online world gives developers a lot more space to work with, as they can create games that would be too complex or potentially confusing in a real world setting, but which work great in a virtual environment.

One great example is Microgaming’s “Spingo.” In Spingo, players can enjoy an experience that’s a lot like roulette mixed with a form of bingo (thus the name – a combination of “spin” for roulette and “go” for bingo). However, the game flow would require a lot of moving parts and might seem a bit clunky in a live casino, which could introduce bias in the game (or simply make it unpopular). That’s hardly a problem at Internet gambling sites, where the game is easy to follow and results are determined randomly in the background.

The Basics

Spingo is a game with mechanics that will be familiar to anyone who has played roulette before. The object of the game is to predict the result of a combination of a bingo draw and the spin of a wheel, which will combine to determine the results of each round. There are 21 balls in total: two each numbered 1 through 10, along with one numbered zero. On the wheel, there are 25 pockets: eight each colored yellow, red, and blue, along with one colored green.

At the start of the round, players can make bets on a layout that is not altogether different from the one seen on a roulette table. As in that game, there are a variety of bets that can be made, some that cover more possibilities than others.

The following is a rundown of all the bets that can be made. We’ve shown these bets in the more familiar “to one” format, for the sake of simplicity and to keep them in line with their roulette equivalents. However, be aware that in game, they are shown “for one.” That system makes the payout number one higher (in other words, what we call a 2-1 bet will be listed with a payout of “3”), but your initial bet is considered lost; in the end, the math is identical.

Spingo Bets

Number/Color Combination: On this bet, you’ll pick the exact number and color that are to be selected. This pays out at 31-1.

Number: Pick which number will be selected out of the hopper, from 1-10. This bet pays 9-1.

Color: Pick which color – red, yellow, or blue – will be spun on the wheel. This pays out at 2-1 odds.

Zero: This bet wins if the ball with a zero is chosen, and pays out at 19-1 odds.

Green: This bet wins if the ball lands in the single green pocket, and pays out at 23-1.

Odd/Even: This bet wins if an appropriate number is chosen, and pays out at even money.

1-5/6-10: This bet wins if a number in the correct range is chosen, and also pays even money.

Once all bets have been made, you can hit the spin button to trigger play. First, one ball will be drawn from the hopper, and the number will be revealed. That ball will then be spun around the wheel. The ball will eventually fall into a pocket, and the color of that pocket will be seen. The combination of the number and the pocket determines the result.

Similar Game, Similar Odds

Obviously, this game is quite similar to roulette. That means it should come as little surprise that the odds offered to players are also pretty close to that game, albeit with some variation. While in roulette, the exact bets you make only rarely change your odds, different bets do offer varying house edges in Spingo, making it important to put your money down in the right places.

First, let’s just list the various bets and their house edges so that you can see where the casino has the largest (and smallest) advantages:

  • Even Money Bets: 4.76%
  • Zero: 4.76%
  • Numbers: 4.76%
  • Colors: 4.00%
  • Green: 4.00%
  • Number/Color Combination: 2.48%

Two things quickly jump out here. First, there’s the fact that most bets are fairly similar, offering a house edge of either 4.00% or 4.76%. This is better than what you would receive on American Roulette, but poor compared to most table games. On the other hand, betting on a single number/color combination is a much better play, offering a house edge that is similar to proprietary table game favorites like Three Card Poker or Caribbean Stud Poker.

That makes it easy to recommend a basic strategy: stick to these high risk, high reward bets and hope to get lucky! However, there’s a little more we can read into this. Because of the way the game is structured, it’s actually possible to get the lower house edge on most of the bets you want to make (outside of zero or green, which can only be covered on their respective spots). If you want to bet on the number seven, for instance, you could just make that bet straight up. But you could lower your house edge significantly by just betting on each of the three seven results (Red 7, Blue 7, and Yellow 7) individually. Similarly, you could cover all ten numbers of a given color rather than make the colors bet, which is more favorable to the casino.

This tactic is easiest to utilize if you are planning on making a bet that is larger than the minimum. For instance, if you want to make a $10 bet on blue, you can instead make ten $1 bets on all of the blue numbers – cutting into the house edge without actually having to raise your bets. Similarly, a $15 bet on seven can become three $5 bets.

On the other hand, if you want to just bet the minimum, you probably shouldn’t increase your bets just to take advantage of this quirk in the odds. While you will lower the house edge by percentage when switching from, say, a $1 bet on “5” to three $1 bets on Red 5, Blue 5, and Yellow 5, you’ll increase the actual dollar amount of the edge you’re giving the site – the single dollar bet gives them a theoretical edge of about 4.76 cents, while the three “better” wagers combine to favor them by about 7.45 cents.

Ultimately, this is a game of luck, and how you decide to play is entirely up to your preferences. But we hope that these numbers give you enough insight to make smart choices that work for your bankroll.

Spin and Win

Spingo isn’t the most exciting new online gambling game we’ve come across, but it is an interesting and innovative take on roulette. Ultimately, the two games play very similarly, and many will choose to stick with the classic version. But the two-part process for coming up with a result adds slightly more drama to the proceedings, and some may like the extra sweat they get when their number is chosen, and only the color on the wheel stands between them and a big win. For roulette lovers, the single color/number combo bets are better than even a single-zero wheel, which might make this worth playing; for everyone else, this probably won’t become your favorite game of all time, but if it sounds interesting, there’s definitely no harm in trying it.

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