A Little History
Bingo was originally invented in Italy back in the 1500s. The game was actually called Beano at the time, and was later changed to Bingo when New York toy salesman, Edwin Lowe tweaked the game into what we know today. Nowadays, while we don’t have the numbers to prove it, it’s actually considered one of the most frequently played games throughout the world.
How to Play Bingo
Playing bingo is supremely simple. You get a card with numbers on it. In a land-based bingo hall you get a blotter or some type of marker to keep track of numbers called (in online bingo, this is done virtually). Once the game begins, the caller announces the numbers as they’re pulled. When a number is called you mark it off on your card, if it’s on there. If not, you just wait until the next number. Once someone connects a row of numbers, they shout out bingo and the caller checks to make sure they indeed have a winning card. This of course is done automatically if you’re playing in online casino. Depending on the game (more below), play may continue until further patterns (such as two lines or a full card) are formed. Online bingo games can be won by making a horizontal diagonal or vertical row of sequencing numbers. In some places you can win by getting all four corners and some use a free space in the middle. Other halls may have unique twists, but the concept remains the same.
Who Plays Bingo?
Perhaps the better question is, who doesn’t play bingo? Seriously, look around and everyone seems to be playing these days. Sure, it’s a common stereotype that bingo halls are filled with little grey haired old ladies, but the reality is different:
- The majority of bingo players are between the ages of 30-50. They come in all shapes and sizes, and yes, even hair colors!
- It is, however, true that there are more women than men playing bingo.
- People who like numerology and lottery games, such as online keno, are especially drawn to the game (for obvious reasons). They may believe they have lucky numbers that will always win or other superstitions, which you’ll usually pick-up on as you get to know them.
Types of Online Bingo Games
The most common variations of online bingo games are 75, 80 and 90 ball bingo. The rules for each version is the same, as is the goal (more or less). The primary difference is the number of balls in the pool used by the caller. For 75 ball bingo, only 75 balls are used; for 80 – you guessed it, 80 balls; and 90 ball bingo, well I’m sure you’ve got that one figured out.
75 ball bingo – This is the standard bingo game you’re probably already familiar with. It, quite obviously, features 75 balls which are drawn at random, and a card with 25 spaces (24 numbers + a free space) under five columns marked B-I-N-G-O.
80 ball bingo – The format of this game is a bit different with a 16 space card (four lines and four columns), each marked with a number, and no free space. Games are purchased as a group of five tickets, as opposed to single cards.
90 ball bingo (also known as “Housie”) – Besides the fact that this game is played with 90 balls, it has other unique factors that differentiate it from the classic game. First and foremost, the very layout of the card is entirely different, with no B-I-N-G-O markings at all, nine columns, and three rows. In addition, as a result of this layout, there are only three winning patterns and three possible winners per game.
Although online bingo is played in the virtual realm, it actually has a very strong social component. In fact, the bingo community is one of the biggest draws of any given online bingo site. Here you can chat with other members as you play, form friendships, and enjoy special offers from the site’s Chat Moderators.
Advantages of Online Bingo
One of the biggest draws of online bingo is that it can be played for mere pennies (or free bingo on some sites, if you can believe). As such, you can easily spend just a few bucks for hours of entertainment and even walk away much richer than you began. In addition, online bingo has the huge advantage of always being available. Round the clock, you’ll be able to find a variation of the game you love – or try something new if you prefer. Plus, with an active bingo community, you can make friends with common interests from the comfort of your own home.
Fun Online Strategies
If you’ve been to a local bingo hall you may have noted some strange occurrences. The diehard players will break out all their lucky-charms and set them in a row, or have some other quirk they feel gives them an edge (like a lucky dabber, or order in which they “must” dab). That my friends, is what we call superstition. One of the non-superstitious techniques one can use is playing multiple cards. This will give you more chances to win since you have more numbers to choose from. The only other strategy we can offer is perseverance. Bingo is, after all, a game based entirely on luck, and luck has to strike at some point – we hope!
Whatever your strategy or superstition may be, online bingo is a great game for everyone. It’s cost effective, easily accessible, and always entertaining. The simplicity of the game attracts people from all walks of life and can be one of the most enjoyable, social experiences you will have from home.