Bingo is a popular game that most of us have played at some point in our lives. If you have never played bingo at a bingo hall though, you might want to learn a few things before you start to play. Many hardcore bingo players have played for years and know the lay of the land which is a good thing because this can be a fast-paced game. Don’t worry though! If you want to start playing at your local bingo hall, here are a few tips that can make your experience even better!
Tip #1: Go with A Friend
If you can get someone to go with you on your first trip, you will have that much more fun. It’s even better if you can go with someone who is a seasoned bingo player. Bingo at a hall is much different than the game you might have played in middle school. There are numerous cards, fast callers, and various games or patterns to try and get.
Before any of the games get started, talk with your experienced bingo friend to see if they have any tips regarding that particular hall. They might know of the best place to sit, a good strategy for marking your boards, or which caller is the fastest.
Tip #2: Go Early
Some halls require registration before the games get started, especially if you are a new player. Get there with ten to fifteen minutes to spare so you can take everything in first. You will need to purchase your game boards, get a dabber (marker) if you don’t have your own, and find a seat before the game starts.
Getting there early also gives you the chance to talk to any seasoned players before the game. Seasoned players might get a little agitated if you try to talk to them during the game and you might be too distracted to mark up your board, and you could lose out!
Tip #3: Talk with Staff
It never hurts to let the staff know you are a newcomer. They might have a gift such as a dabber or one free game board for all inexperienced players. They can also give you a lay of the land and let you know important things like where to sit and how much each game might cost. Most of the time, staff members are happy to help new bingo players but remember, they can do their job a lot better if you talk with them early before a game starts rather than right in the middle.
Tip #4: Play the Minimum to Start
Many new players don’t realize how fast bingo can go at the bingo hall. Seasoned players are comfortable playing with multiple cards and marking many numbers with each call. That can all be overwhelming to someone who has never played, and you might end up feeling frazzled rather than having fun.
For each game, start with the minimum number of cards to play the game. This way you can get a feel for the game and concentrate on a smaller number of boards. Once you play a few games and feel more confident, you can add more boards to your count.
Tip #5: Be Prepared
It helps to know beforehand the things you might need for a bingo game. While you can bring your own dabber and other tools, you can also purchase them at most halls.
- Dabber – A dabber is merely a maker that helps you mark off the spots on your board that match the numbers called.
- Singles – Ok, you can’t purchase these at the hall, but you can bring your own singles or ask a staff member to break a $5 or $10, so you have some. You can purchase games on the floor during ongoing games and having singles makes this much easier and faster.
- Boards – You must buy a book of boards to play in any bingo game. You also must use the minimum amount for each game, but after that, it’s up to you.
- Highlighter – Some players bring along a highlighter to maker their boards with the pattern they are playing for each game. The caller will let you know the pattern and having a guide on your board helps make it easier.
- Snacks – Most halls have a concession stand, but you don’t want to be wandering around during a game searching for a snack. Make sure you check before you bring a snack to see if the hall allows outside food.
Tip #6: Stay Organized
Organization is one of the best tips for new bingo players, but it can also be the toughest. Your first few games might be a little chaotic until you get the hang of things and figure out a system that works for you.
Make sure you know the pattern you are playing with each game and mark your board if that helps. Keep all boards easily in sight on the table so floor clerks walking around can help if there are problems or verify your card if you think you have a bingo. Once a game is over make sure you clear the board and keep them separate from the boards you haven’t played yet. Again, talking to an experienced bingo player or staff at the hall can be helpful because they might have some useful organizational tips.
Tip #7: Speak Up and Have Fun!
Many halls have a rule that you can only yell bingo after the number has been called and you’re sure your card is correctly filled out. If you are too quiet and they start to call the next number because they don’t hear you, you might lose out! Don’t be afraid to speak up and raise your hand so the floor clerk can start the process of checking your board.
There are tons of other little tips you will learn along the way that are unique to each bingo hall. Don’t stress too much about being perfect right away. The longer you play, the better you will get and the more fun you will have. Hopefully, your first trip to the bingo hall will leave you wanting more!