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Bingo: An Introduction

Bingo: An Introduction

If you’re new to the game of bingo, or if you’re thinking of getting involved in this fun, social and glamorous world, read on to understand the basics of the game and its history.

History Of The Game

Bingo has a long and vibrant history. In the US it was introduced as “beano” in 1929, and consisted of a country fair game where the dealer would choose numbered discs from a cigar box and players would mark the bingo cards using beans. This style of game can be traced back to as early as 1530 in Italy, where the original version of the game was played as a type of lottery (and is still played today, forming an indispensable portion of the Italian government’s budget).

The change in name occurred when someone accidentally yelled out “bingo” instead of “beano” during an early game. The name stuck, probably because it is far more catchy and fun than the original. By 1930, the first 6000 unique variations of the bingo cards were created by Lowe, a New York toy salesman, and Leffler, a Columbia University math professor (who was instrumental in figuring out the different unique combinations). Sadly for the professor, rumor has it that he went insane shortly afterwards; all those numbers must have, quite literally, done his head in.

From there, bingo began being used as way to raise church funds, and became extremely popular, spreading from churches to more established and bingo-specific settings. Today, a huge amount of money is spent on bingo each week.

How To Play Bingo

In online bingo, you choose how many tickets you wish to buy when entering the room. From there, numbers will be randomly “called out” and your goal is to cover your numbers in a specific pattern (see below for some of the bingo pattern options). The first player to get the pattern, wins the jackpot/prize.

There is an autodaub feature which means that the game itself will cover the called numbers for you; this is recommended if you are playing with multiple ticket so that you don’t miss out on any potential wins!

Winning Bingo Patterns

There is a wide range of winning bingo patterns to work towards; static or standard bingo patterns are ones that cannot be moved or shifted and that can only be won once all of the blocks are filled. Crazy bingo patterns allow for a little more variety, as they allow the bingo card to be rotated in increments of 90 degrees for a winning pattern. Finally, wild bingo patterns are ones with scattered patterns, where the bingo pattern stays in the same place, but can be located anywhere on the card. Common bingo patterns include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Letter C: The marked blocks are arranged in the shape of a “C”.
  • Letter E: The marked blocks are arranged in the shape of an “E”.
  • Letter F: The marked blocks are arranged in the shape of an “F”.
  • Letter N: The marked blocks are arranged in the shape of an “N”.
  • Letter O: The marked blocks are arranged in the shape of an “O”.
  • Letter T: The marked blocks are arranged in the shape of a “T”.
  • Letter U: The marked blocks are arranged in the shape of a “U”.
  • Letter X: The marked blocks are arranged in the shape of an “X”.
  • Letter Y: The marked blocks are arranged in the shape of a “Y”.
  • Straight line: The marked blocks cover any straight line across or down.
  • Diagonal: The marked blocks cover a diagonal line in any direction.
  • Postage stamp: The marked blocks cover a 2×2 section in any corner of the card.
  • Double stamp: The marked blocks cover a 2×2 section in any two corners of the card.
  • Triple stamp: The marked blocks cover a 2×2 section in any three corners of the card.
  • Clover leaf: The marked blocks cover a 2×2 section in all four corners of the card.
  • Four corners: The marked blocks fill each of the four corners only.

Variations Of Bingo

There are several different variations of bingo, but the two most common one are 90 ball bingo and 75 ball bingo, which will be discussed here in more detail.

90 Ball

90 ball bingo is the UK version of the game, and is also the most well-known variation. Here, numbers are called out randomly, and players have to mark them off on their cards in order to win. The first place winner covers a one line pattern, the second place winner a two line pattern, and the full house winner covers all three lines on the ticket.

Each of these patterns variations results in a different prize. These prizes will vary from bingo provider to bingo provider, and are usually based on the number of players who take part in the game, i.e. the more people who take part, the more winnings there will be to pay out to the lucky winners. You could stand a chance of winning all three prizes if you are the first person to reach each of them.

In 90 ball bingo, tickets consist of a 3×9 chart of numbers. Each line of 9 boxes displays 5 numbers and 4 empty spots: 1-9 in the 1st Column, 10-19 in the 2nd Column, 20-29 in the 3rd Column, 30-39 in the 4th Column, 40-49 in the 5th Column, 50-59 in the 6th Column, 60-69 in the 7th Column, 70-79 in the 8th Column, and 80-90 in the 9th Column. 90 ball bingo is played on strips of 6 tickets each. The numbers 1 to 90 are called out as they are withdrawn by the bingo system, and each number can only be called out once.

75 Ball

75 ball bingo is the US version of the game, and differs from 90 ball bingo primarily in that there are only 75 numbers used as opposed to 90. It is much faster, and has a larger coverall jackpot. It also includes more variety in terms of the number of winning patterns available; where 90 ball bingo is limited, 75 ball bingo adds variation. The 75 Ball bingo ticket is a 5×5 square which contains 24 numbers. 5 of the numbers 1-15 are randomly aligned in the first column “B”, the numbers 16-30 are fitted in the second column “I” and so on. The only box that isn’t filled is the one in the middle of the square (3rd column, 3rd row). This box is left blank and it is one of the easiest ways to spot a 75 ball bingo game from another.

Now that you are equipped with the basics, you’re ready to start playing!

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