Although bingo wasn’t played in the United States until 1929, versions of the game have been played in Europe since the mid-1500s, says ThoughtCo. Within five years of bingo’s introduction to North America, it had become a popular game that was played at state fairs, churches and casinos. It’s easy to play, and the game can be adapted to be played using images, letters or numbers. Therefore, it is appropriate for almost any age. Once you learn how to play, you can keep up with any version of the game.
How To Play Bingo Offline
Playing bingo offline involves using a paper or electronic game board. When you play bingo in a public setting, you usually have to buy each board. These are considered your tickets. Sometimes, the boards are given away for free.
Winners often earn cash prizes. The prizes may be pooled from the game board sales.
You may play each round with as many boards as you want. Playing with multiple boards takes a little more concentration, but you’ll increase your chances of winning.
The board is set up like a grid, with a certain number of squares. In each square is a number.
B-I-N-G-O is written at the top of the 75-ball bingo grid. One letter corresponds with each column. The middle square is a free space. Everyone gets to mark that square as complete.
Before the round begins, you’ll be notified of the pattern that you’re striving to achieve. In 75-ball bingo, you are usually required to complete a row, column or diagonal line of five spaces.
Other common bingo patterns include:
- The postage stamp – a 2×2 grid in the upper right-hand corner
- Four corners – one chip in each corner of the board
- Roving L – the B or O column and the bottom row
- Blackout – every square on the board
A caller randomly selects letter-number combinations and announces them to the players. If the number is B9, you will only look at the column underneath the B. If the number 9 appears in one of the squares, mark it with a chip or a dauber.
You’ll continue to mark the squares that match the number that’s called with a dauber, chip or game piece of some kind. If you’re playing with more than one board during one round, you’ll have to check each one for the matching letter-number combo.
When you have filled up your board in the specified pattern, you yell, “Bingo!” The first person to correctly complete the pattern wins that round. If no one wins, the caller will stop the game when the appropriate number of balls (based on the type of game being played) is drawn.
Howcast offers a quick video that provides a great overview of how to play bingo.
How To Call Out Numbers
The traditional way of drawing BINGO number is with a machine that mixes numbered balls. Air may blow through the machine to mix up the balls. Some are jumbled up using a hand crank.
Some bingo games use a deck of special cards to call out the numbers. Many organizations will use electronic random number generators that can be found online or using smartphone or computer software.
The most popular bingo variations are 75-ball, 90-ball and 80-ball. In the U.S. and Canada, most people play some version of 75-ball bingo. In the UK, 90-ball bingo is the most common.
When you play 75-ball bingo, you work with a 25-by-25 square grid. This is the only version of the game that includes the letters B-I-N-G-O above each column. The 90-ball bingo card has three rows of 10 squares. In 80-ball bingo, the card is a 4-by-4 square grid, and each column has a different color.
Bingo can be played in person or online. You can choose from any number of variations when you play online.
U-Pick ‘Em bingo entails using blank cards. They may be printed with free spaces, but there are no numbers on the board. Each player can enter the numbers that he or she wishes to use.
When played in person, these cards usually have a carbon copy sheet that is handed to the game administrator after numbers are chosen. The official will use that sheet to verify the winner.
When you play Bullseye bingo, you purchase the cards without seeing the numbers. The grid is covered by an opaque sheet of paper.
Before you can view the numbers, 48 numbers are drawn and posted. You then remove the paper covering from the board and match up as many numbers as you can. If nobody wins, numbers are drawn at random until someone yells, “Bingo!”
How To Play Bingo Online
Playing bingo online isn’t much different than playing anywhere else. The rules of the game are similar. However, some companies may offer a wide variety of game variations.
Most websites require you to register before playing. You’ll create a username and password.
Other players may see your screen name. Therefore, you may want to avoid using your real name or personal information. You must be 18 to play bingo online.
Many websites offer free game play. Some companies require you to pay to play. If you pay to play, you may have the option to win cash prizes. You might also get a bonus for registering, playing a certain number of games or sharing the website with friends. You usually have to deposit funds to claim the bonus.
Once you have added money to your account, you can choose a game to play. These games are played in real time. Therefore, you might have to check a schedule to determine which games are available or wait in a virtual lounge until the game begins.
Most online bingo games will have a space to view your boards, see the number that’s being called, view numbers that have already been called and chat with other players. You usually don’t have to mark your own board; the software marks called numbers automatically.
Bingo is an entertaining game that doesn’t require a lot of skill. You can win big money by playing. In most cases, playing against fewer people will increase your odds of winning. You can also boost your chances for victory by purchasing more than one bingo card. Most importantly, don’t spend more than you can afford, and have fun.