Bingo is more than a game: It’s a total gaming environment for players replete with social aspects, an extensive vocabulary of slang terms, and a lore laden with superstitions and lucky talismans. The online version of this diversion from the 1920s even accentuates these hallmarks of what makes bingo great.
While some prefer a game of skill, others prefer a game of chance. Bingo is one of those games of chance. Numbers are randomly drawn from a collection of numbers and when those numbers correspond with the numbers on a player’s bingo card – that player will place a chip or a ‘dauber’ mark on that number. Boards can be 5x5 matrices or more. They can be boards printed out on paper, card stock or may be electronically represented online as cards. Different patterns are specific to the bingo game being played. If playing on 5x5 matrices, for example, the first person to make a ‘BINGO’ may be when they have covered 5 numbers in a row either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. In a land-based casino or other environment, players compete against other players or when playing online, players play against the random number generator.
Players begin with a card that typically has 25 squares in 5x5 matrices with a number in each space. Players win bingo by making a specific pattern after placing chips with numbers being called out as they are drawn. Players call out “Bingo!” typically when they make a pattern, generally either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Wins are checked manually if playing hands-on or against a computer program if playing online. Players can play for a prize or a jackpot amount when playing Bingo or they can just play for fun. Random numbers are chosen from a pot, sometimes there are ‘bingo balls’ which displays a number to match with a player’s card. All players need to do is match the called numbers with their matrices for the correct pattern which will result in a bingo win. The first person to make bingo is the winner.
Players need to only place holders on their cards if that number has been drawn or may use a ‘dauber’ if playing somewhere other than online like in a bingo hall. Whether playing with friends, in a group or online, cards are always checked after a player calls out BINGO and the RNG (random number generator) automatically and electronically does this for the player. There is no way to really cheat playing bingo as players are always held accountable based on the numbers that are drawn and through the checking process once a player deems to have bingo.
With bingo there really is no strategy, it is absolutely a game of chance that is played both for fun only, or for fun and money too.
Ready, Waiting, Cased, Set, Down, Possible and Chance are but a few of the terminology used in bingo. When someone only needs one number in order to complete a bingo pattern they are considered to be ‘ready’, ‘waiting’ ‘cased’ ‘set’ ‘down’ or have a ‘chance.’ Players can ‘break the bubble’ which is the minimum number of balls required to complete the Bingo pattern. ‘Jumping the Gun’ is one who calls bingo before having a valid bingo. ‘Wild’ numbers allow bingo players to start with multiple called numbers. Other terminology applies to bingo but these are a few good ones.
A variation of bingo is called, U-Pick’Em where players are issued 3, 25 number cards that contain all 75 numbers that can be drawn. Players either place chips or mark which numbers they wish to play and then numbers are drawn. Again, players win by completing a row, horizontal, diagonal or vertical. Another variation is what is referred to as ‘double-action cards’ where cards have two numbers in each square. Variations in bingo have to do with either the number of cards being used at a time by a player or the pattern played to make those wins. A special variation is where players much simply cover the four corners or their board. A Roving ‘L’ is another variation where players must cover all B’s and top or bottom row or all ‘O’s and top or bottom row. One other popular form of bingo is a pattern called ‘blackout’ that means that all 24 numbers are covered, and the free space. Players sometimes use something called ‘daubers’ which are special markers that make for faster game play. Often numbers will be displayed on television monitors in bingo halls. Other variations are ‘Quick Shot Bingo’ ‘Bonanza Bingo’ ‘Facebook bingo’ ‘Horse Racing Bingo’ ‘Table Bingo’ ‘Electronic Bingo’ and ‘Death Bingo.’
Bingo was invented in 1929 and has been a hit ever since. People play bingo with friends, with family, sometimes just for fun and sometimes, for money. Bingo has evolved to become a part of the casino action in both land-based casinos and online. Bingo has now taken on all kinds of forms today and has many different variations. Some bingo games are played with one player holding multiple boards at once and vary with unlimited numbers of patterns that can be made. Bingo can be traced back to a lottery game called “II Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia’ played in Italy as far back as 1530. The game matured in France and Germany. Hugh J. Ward copyrighted the game in 1933.
Bingo is often used as an instructional tool for teaching vocabulary where numbers are replaced by words, pictures or unsolved math problems. The game was used for many years as a popular carnival game back in the 1920’s. Computer technology has blurred the lines between traditional slot machines and bingo slot machines. Bingo has become popular too on the well-known, social media sites like Facebook. Players can collect, buy and share virtual items with friends on the Facebook platform. Some of these popular games are called, Bingo Bash, BamBam Bingo, Bingo Blitz and Bingo Island. Many popular bingo games online use ‘bingo balls’ which twirl and spin and then one drop revealing the next number to be called. Bingo is big business and while many churches or charity organizations host it, stakes vary by state regulations. Commercial bingo games are played primarily in casinos. Bingo is also the basis for online games sold through licensed lotteries. Bingo is also played on scratch cards, another game that can be played online, another variant of bingo games.