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A review of Virgin Bingo

23 Mar 2010

By David Newstead

On our initial review, we found that Virgin's online bingo had some serious issues to address. There was incomplete customer information and an unfinished feel to the site layout that detracted from the overall excellence of the gameplay. A thorough revamp since that time has really raised the bar for the site, putting Virgin back where it belongs, in the Premier league of UK online bingo sites.

When you play Virgin Bingo online, you become a part of the mighty St. Minver network. This network powers the engines of literally dozens of bingo sites on the Internet, including yahoo bingo and (formerly) Gala online bingo. It's one of the biggest networks on the net in terms of numbers, and this means staggering amounts in the cumulative progressive jackpots that their sites offer. A percentage of all the money played at the daily bingo games on the network is added to the jackpots, so the more cards being played the bigger the jackpot gets; this means that when you play on a large network, the jackpots quickly become life-changingly large! Playing on the network means that while you might be playing on the actual Virgin site, you're actually playing for jackpots being accumulated by players with memberships at several other online bingo sites.

Before you get carried away by the idea of the vast jackpots, remember that wwhile thousands of other players are helping to add to the totals, they are also competing for the same jackpots you are. Of course with bingo, there is a thrifty minimum cost for each card, which means you're not obliged to commit a huge ante to be in with a chance to pocket big prizes.

When it comes to the Virgin site itself, we really like the clean and bright layout that the site uses. In addition, the presentation of the non-download games is lovely; classic 90 ball bingo is the game here, so if that's your bag, you're in luck. It's pretty clear from the site that Virgin have put some thought into helping nervous newbies find their feet; the site makes navigation to important information easy, with prominent displays of support and player information. All this in addition to the fact that the Virgin name means you can count on reliable and fair play every time.

Most online bingo halls offer players a couple of alternatives to bingo games, and the Virgin site offers a nice selection of mini games to keep players occupied during the short space between scheduled games. Of course, for those who really know their bingo, and are confident in their multitasking abilities, you don't have to wait for the interval between games to play one of the mini games, you can get a couple games going at once.

The cornerstone of any online bingo hall is going to be the social atmosphere, and the Virgin site offers excellent real-time chat which is beautifully integrated into the main gameplaying screen. There are a number of chat rooms to choose from; we visited many times during the course of this review and not once did we find ourselves alone in any of the chat rooms. The chat games the Virgin site offers are also a great way of getting to know fellow players, as you can participate in team competitions and earn special bonuses.

It's easy to join in the action on the Virgin bingo site, with an uncomplicated registration process as a straightforward gateway into the games. There is a bit of a delay while one's membership is being processed, but this is fairly minor. It might be nice for the Virgin site to offer some kind of countdown mechanism that shows where application is at and how long you can expect to wait.

Unfortunately for Apple Mac users, the Virgin bingo site isn't exactly always welcoming. Notably, we couldn't get a games console to load when we were using Apple's default web browser, Safari. When we switched Internet Explorer five, we were brought to the games involving cards, but even so we found that some of the site layout could get a bit squiffy.

Overall, Virgin bingo is a very impressive site. The minimum card price is 10 pence, and like other sites on the St. Minver network, new players are credited with 1 pound in their account as a deposit free welcome bonus. Virgin bingo is a bingo site with a solid reputation and their revamp has allowed their online bingo hall to take its place among the online bingo elite.

 
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