While bingo has a centuries-long history and slots have been a firm favourite among casino goers since their development in 1891, combining them into a single game took a surprisingly long time. But in the 1990s, gaming fans that had been looking for a new way to enjoy the thrills of casinos were treated to a new game that offered all the excitement of both slots and bingo.
But slingo was not the work of gambling experts or games developers – it was the brainchild of a real estate developer named Sal Falciglia Sr. Although he had always been a fan of gaming and was keen to come up with new and creative ways to play, even the man himself was surprised at the success of slingo.
The idea came to him when he was discussing the potential to come up with a new game that would be as appealing as some of the greatest hits of the day, with his ultimate hope being to design a game that would become a popular television show. Falciglia was on a plane back to the USA from Paris with his brother and they were discussing their favourite TV shows.
This conversation inspired Sal, who went on to ruminate on the subject for some time, making the most of his semi-retired status to give some of his time to the project. Having played bingo with his mother for decades, Falciglia was more than familiar with the engaging nature of the game.
He also enjoyed playing the slots and although he had an idea to combine the two, it wasn’t until inspiration struck in the middle of the night that he hit upon the winning formula to combine the two. Once he had worked out the practicalities of merging bingo and slots, he bought an old five-reel slot machine and adapted it to work alongside bingo cards, creating the first slingo machine the world had ever seen.
The success of slingo
As well as being a visionary in the field of gaming, Falciglia also turned out to be ahead of the game when it came to bringing his new game to market. His original machine was too big and unwieldy to showcase to potential collaborators, so he paid a huge sum to a computer programmer to recreate the fun of slingo in digital form.
This proved to be an incredibly shrewd move as it meant that instead of pitching just to physical casinos, Falciglia could showcase his game to online gaming platforms that would be able to make it an online sensation in the very early days of computer gaming. After its initial launch, slingo became the number one computer game for years, dominating some of the early gaming platforms and establishing itself as a hugely popular game.
Like its ‘parents’, bingo and slots, part of the appeal of slingo is its simplicity. With five reels and a bingo card, even beginners can win at slingo simply by playing the game, which has made it a popular choice in the UK, although experienced players can increase their chances of winning by playing strategically.
There are a few different strategies that can improve your chances of winning at slingo, and these include:
Making the most of additional spins: many games offer additional spins to help players complete their card after their initial 20 are up. This can be a great way to win if you are very close, but it’s important to work out whether the chance of winning justifies the additional cost. Some games offer free spins and these can be used to players’ advantage once they get the feel of the game.
Capitalise on special offers and bonus features: many games offer bonus features such as additional levels or extra rounds. These can be a great way to increase your winnings, but there are no guarantees with bonus levels, although ensuring that you pick a game that offers bonuses is a good start.
Be realistic: although you might feel lucky, slingo is a game of statistics at heart, so it pays to make sure you understand the real odds of your numbers coming up. Although it can feel counterintuitive, sometimes the only way to win is to move on and play the next game.
Use your wilds wisely: as with regular slots, slingo has wilds that work by allowing you to choose a number to cross off. Experienced players will use these to great advantage, calculating which numbers will give them the best chances of a win and making the most of the chance to get one step closer to completing their card.
Look out for multipliers: slingo experts will often choose games that offer the opportunity to boost your prize pot, cross off additional numbers or gain extra spins during the game. Picking games that offer these features will increase your chances of winning, so it might take a few experiments to find the particular version that offers the engaging game play that you enjoy alongside the bonus features that give you more of a chance to win.
It’s easy to see why slingo is hugely popular, and many people play purely for the love of this novel and entertaining game. But if you want to increase your chances of walking away with a prize, a few simple strategies can make all the difference.