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I Tried 7 iPhone Bingo Games To Win Real Money — Here's What Happened

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Bingo games on the app store
App Store

Daubing Your Way to Cash

I hope I'm not putting myself on targeted-ad blast right now, but have you also been inundated with ads for bingo-style "win real money" games? These things have taken the iPhone app store by storm, with troves of them claiming that you can win actual money. You'll never believe it, but these games are mostly a scam. Several of them, however, are legit. Well, legit-ish: While you can win some money from nothing, it would take an incredibly long time to win an amount that's worth anything. I myself went down into the bingo rabbit hole and checked out seven of these games, none of which are full-blown scams and all of which have nearly identical titles.


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Bingo Crush home screen
Bingo Crush

How Do the Games Work?

Since these games are built around winning real money, you may immediately question the legality here. Gambling isn't allowed everywhere, so how does this work? The trick is that while these are randomized bingo games, they are categorized as games of skill, rather than games of chance. They are slightly more like video games, providing power-ups based on the numbers you correctly daub, with special emphasis placed on speed. The faster you daub the correct numbers, the better your chances are for collecting helpful items like time boosts and free spaces. Many of these games also reward you with "bonus" cash" which cannot be withdrawn, but can be used to gamble with.


Related: Here's Why You Should Never Play the Lottery

Blackout Bingo
Blackout Bingo

Blackout Bingo

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Featuring clean, minimalist art, Blackout Bingo requires you to spend some of your own money to win. The good news is that this game pairs you with users of your own skill level. The bad news is that everybody of my skill level is a wizard and I could not win a single game.


I'd also like to be abundantly clear that "ValedictorianProbation281" was a randomized, computer-generated username, and not something I chose myself. It's important to me that you know that.

Bingo For Cash
Bingo For Cash

Bingo For Cash

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The minute I started playing this game, I felt like some sort of "Good Will Hunting"/"A Beautiful Mind"/"Limitless" prodigy; it was almost as though the correct numbers were lighting up on the board before me. Surprise surprise, I am not a tiny little genius. I could see the numbers lighting up because they literally light up, which makes correct daubing a lot easier than usual. You're also given a power up every few numbers, rather than winning them based on daub speed. This one has all the pieces in place for an easy win, but I've been unable to do it at all. Alas, I am no prodigy.


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Bingo Crush
Bingo Crush

Bingo Crush

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Bingo Crush hooks you pretty quickly; it's easier in this game to fill up an entire board than in others, and that's incredibly seductive. You need at least $1 to start betting, but there are opportunities to win 30 cents at a time if you watch an ad. If you're willing to be patient, you can theoretically walk away from this with a little bit of pocket change without having to spend any of your own. After a night spent in a dark bingo wormhole, I'm equally proud and ashamed to admit I walked away with four whole American dollars. They claim the transfer will take four to five days to hit my PayPal account ... I'll keep you posted on that one.

Bingo Clash
Bingo Clash

Bingo Clash

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Bingo Clash actually features a more forgiving board, complete with a free space in the middle, but doesn't really give you the opportunity to win something from nothing the way Bingo Crush does. You can wager in-game tokens to win bonus cash, but that definitely takes a while. I made my way up to a buck, but I can't withdraw anything until I get to $3. I'll check in with you in six months when that happens.

Bingo King
Bingo King

Bingo King

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I picked up 40 cents of bonus cash on the very first match I played on Bingo King. I thought that was a good omen, so I went rolling right into the next one and realized you'll most likely need to spend your own money to win anything here. As always, there's an in-game currency you can win to play for real money, but you need $3 to make a withdrawal, so it won't be a quick process.

Battle Bingo
Battle Bingo

Battle Bingo

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Surprise! This is the exact same game as Bingo King (right down to the mascot), but with a different name and, for some reason, different icons on the power-ups. Not a clue why. Remember how I won 40 cents as soon as I started playing Bingo King? Yeah ... same deal here. Can't believe I fall for these things. That 40 cents the game is giving away is basically its marketing budget.

Bingo Cash
Bingo Cash

Bingo Cash

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Produced by the same company behind Blackout Bingo, at first it seems like you're getting the same quality — but it quickly becomes clear that you're not. The ability to add time back onto the clock is a nice power-up, but as with Blackout Bingo, the amount you win is entirely dependent on how much of your own money you feel like wagering.