Bingo is an interesting game of chance enjoyed by people of all ages worldwide. It might sound surprising, but the game’s origins reach back five centuries!
It is estimated to have been first played in Italy in 1530 as Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia or simply “Italian Lotto.” The game spread to France as Le Lotto and subsequently to Great Britain and other parts of Europe.
The first modern version of the game appeared at American carnivals in the 1920s, which later led to the patenting of the game’s modern design in 1942 by toymaker Erwin S. Lowe.
Today, the game is enjoyed in bingo halls and online, with North Americans spending over $90 million on the game weekly. Also, over three million Brits enjoy the game at least twice a week.
Let’s explore Bingo’s rules and see why millions are drawn to the game weekly.
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How to Play Bingo: Easy Rules Explained
When you want to play Bingo game, you’re typically required to pay the buy-in amount before you can get started. The buy-in amount is the minimum amount the hosts need for players to join.
You can buy as many Bingo sheets as you can manage in a single game. A game typically lasts ten minutes, and players tend to socialize between games, chatting or grabbing a bite.
A Bingo sheet will have the letters BINGO printed on top, with a grid of numbers below. There will be five boxes under each letter, with the box in the center of the grid labeled “free.” Each box in the grid has a randomly generated number between one and 90.
Before a game begins, the Bingo caller will announce a pattern and the available prizes. The playing pattern indicates the terms of winning the game. Traditionally, players needed to have marked numbers vertically, horizontally, or diagonally on their Bingo sheets.
However, the game pattern may also define numbers marked off to form the letter L, T, or X on the sheet as a win.
You might also come across “Pattern Bingo,” in which the caller announces a specific shape or design as the winner at the beginning of the game.
If you’re at a casino, you might hear of “blackout” or “coverall” games, which require players to have marked all 24 numbers on their sheets to win.
What Happens When the Game Begins
When the pattern is announced, the caller will announce numbers randomly, one after another. The numbers are typically generated by a mechanical or electronic random number generator.
You will receive a dauber with your Bingo sheets when you pay your buy-in. A dauber is like a large red sharpie, and you’re meant to mark the numbers that the caller announces if they are on your sheet.
If your card completes the pattern announced before the game begins, you can yell, “Bingo!” The hosts will come to verify your sheet, and then you will win the game and the corresponding prize.
Types of Bingo Games
Besides the various winning patterns of the game, Bingo games vary by the volume of numbers called out.
Conventionally, the random numbers were generated by pulling out balls with numbers on them. Now that you know this, the names of the different kinds of Bingo games will make more sense:
#1 30 Ball Bingo or ‘Speed Bingo’
The fastest kind of Bingo game, 30 ball Bingo isn’t as common as other types of Bingo games. But you can play it online and in some Bingo halls.
Only 30 numbers are announced in a game, so the game goes by fast, hence the name Speed Bingo. It is typically enjoyed by players who want their Bingo game to have an extra kick of thrill.
The Bingo sheets in Speed Bingo only have nine numbers spread over a 3×3 grid. More interestingly, the game involves a single grand prize for the full-house winner. With the stakes of the game pushed to their limits, Speed Bingo is the game to play if you want to get your heart racing.
#2 75 Ball Bingo
This is the version of Bingo that’s played across the US. As the name suggests, it involves calling out 75 numbers.
The game involves the typical 5×5 Bingo grid with 24 numbers. Players need to have a full row of numbers marked off to win.
#3 80 Ball Bingo
You won’t find 80 ball Bingo in Bingo halls – it was created for online players when online Bingo became more popular. A player must mark off a complete row in their 4×4 grid Bingo sheet to win. The sheet has 16 numbers, and winning patterns include four corners and single numbers, besides the conventional patterns.
#4 90 Ball Bingo
This version of Bingo is the most popular in the UK and is the longest version of the game. It involves a 3×9 grid Bingo sheet that will look odd to you if you’re unfamiliar with this version.
There are three winners in 90 ball Bingo. The first is the one who completes a row, the second is the player who marks two rows, and the third is the grand-prize winner with a full house.
Takeaway: Here’s How You Win Bingo
Many new players think that Bingo doesn’t involve any strategy. But some tips can help you win.
To increase your odds of winning, choose games with fewer players. If you’re visiting a Bingo hall, go on a weeknight since there are fewer players.
You can also buy more sheets to improve your odds of winning. But make sure you can manage to daub multiple sheets quickly.
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