What is Slingo and How Do You Play It

Updated June 11, 2024
Love slots? Love bingo? You’re really going to love Slingo. No more trying to decide which to play; with Slingo you get the best of both worlds. Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of Slingo and get some tips on how to play.
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What is Slingo?

Slingo is a cross between 75-ball bingo and a five-reel slot. You play on a 5 x 5 grid that looks like a bingo card, except there are also reels located just underneath it. Only one space on each reel is visible.

Unlike bingo and slots, which have been around for decades, Slingo is a relatively new game to the UK. The rights to the game were acquired by Gaming Realms in 2015 who went on to develop more versions of the game, now known as Slingo Originals. While it began as a play for free game, Slingo by Gaming Realms is starting to gain a lot of popularity as a real money game and we’re seeing different variants and payout levels appearing all over the place.

Rather than having a caller tell you the numbers, as you do in online bingo, they are given to you by the reels underneath the card. Each spin reveals five numbers or feature symbols (see Special Slingo Symbols below), which can then be crossed off if they appear on your card, or influence what you can do on the card. Most real money Slingo games have an automatic daubing feature that will mark them off for you, or at the very least, highlight the numbers you need to mark so you can see them easily.

How is Slingo different from slots or bingo?

While Slingo is usually described as a cross between slots and bingo, there are a few differences that you will need to be aware of before you play.

  • There is much less reel space available when compared to a typical slot game. Because the slot reel is located at the bottom of the card, you can only see one space on each reel, while you can see three or more on your typical slot.
  • There are symbols on the bingo card. While traditionally in bingo you can only see numbers on the cards, with Slingo some of the popular slot symbols are also incorporated into the bingo card. Expect to see gold coins, jokers, free spins and more on your bingo card when you play Slingo.
  • Slingo can be single-player like a slot or multiplayer like bingo. This level of flexibility means you can choose the Slingo game that best suits your mood. There’s a thriving social side to multiplayer Slingo, with chat rooms that are similar to online bingo.

How to play Slingo

Slingo is an incredibly simple game to play and you don’t have to learn any strategies, techniques or card counting to be good at it. You get a pre-set number of spins on the reels (anything between 10 and 20) and within that time the objective is to gain points by matching up as many numbers or symbols on the reels as possible with those on your card. You usually have a time limit after each spin in which to manually daub your card, so you’ll need to pay attention. Once you’ve reached the end of your included spins you have the option of purchasing more.

Winners in Slingo are decided on a points-based system. To win the game you need to accumulate the highest number of points. Points are awarded for different actions after a spin, such as marking numbers off your card. Lines are worth more points and clearing the entire card will give you a big boost, depending on how many spins it took you. You can also earn points for spinning certain symbols, for example, jokers or coins.

When you play solo Slingo you are given a pre-set score that you have to beat. With the multiplayer versions, you are competing against other players to see who can get the highest score.

Unlike bingo, Slingo comes with a number of special features like multipliers, powerups and free spins to help you boost your points score.

Special Slingo symbols

Slingo has a number of special symbols and if you land these on the reels, you’ll be able to collect more points or unlock special features. While each version of Slingo is slightly different, the main symbols you’re likely to come across are:

  • Coins: Coins are great because they give you extra points and also trigger free spins.
  • Devils: These are not so great. If you land a devil your score will be cut in half and you will lose a potential number on your card.
  • Cherubs: The cherub will cancel out the devil and shoot him with an arrow.
  • Jokers: These are the wild cards of Slingo, and you can use a joker to daub any number in the column above.
  • Super Jokers: They are basically the same as the joker, but you aren’t confined to marking off a number in the same column, you can use them anywhere on the board.
  • Free Spin: Get an extra spin on the reels without having to pay.

Because of the variation between different games, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different features and special symbols each time you play a new version of Slingo. This is one game where it really does pay to be on the ball.

Slingo variants

Slingo has grown in popularity over the past few years and as a result of this, new variants are popping up left, right and centre. These include versions with extra features and lucrative bonus rounds, big prizes and more. Variants include Slingo Adventure, Slingo Extreme, Slingo Riches and Slingo XXXtreme.

As well as the above, there are plenty of themed Slingo games around, based on reality TV shows and game shows like Deal or No Deal, The X Factor and Love Island. A number of Slingo games are also themed on popular slot games like Rainbow Riches and Reel Riches.  One thing’s for sure, you won’t be bored!

Tips for playing Slingo

Winning Slingo is all about accumulating points and while it is mostly a game of chance, there are a few things you can do to help boost your chances and give yourself the best likelihood of a good outcome.

  • Save multipliers until the end. If you’re able to save your 3x and 5x multipliers, use them as late in the game as possible when it’s most likely you’ll be completing lines, and maximise the number of points you can get with them.
  • Make use of powerups. Powerups are things like extra spins and extra time and they can help you collect more points if the variant of Slingo you’re playing offers them. If you use more than one at a time, make sure the powerups you choose work together as some won’t.
  • Read the instructions. While the basic premise is the same, each version of Slingo is slightly different. Make sure you read up on the different features and powerups before you start so you can make use of opportunities to get as many points as possible.

With its simplicity, great payouts and action-packed special features it’s no wonder Slingo is fast becoming one of the most popular casino games around. If you love bingo there’s a good chance you’ll love Slingo too. Why not give it a try?

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Anita Heffernan Whichbingo Author

Author And Managing Editor

Anita Heffernan

Anita is well-known and respected within the online bingo industry, she loves all things bingo and slots and has been involved with online bingo and gambling sites since the late 1990’s. She has been the full-time writer and Editor of WhichBingo for much of that time and is respected by operators and players alike for her no-nonsense judgments and opinions. Anita has seen the highs and lows of the industry she loves, has seen it grow and develop and contract again into what it is today. She has worked with the biggest names in the industry and has a reputation for being fair and to the point in her writing.