A Bingo Gaming Guide

Bingo is a game of chance that has its roots in the 15th century. The earliest form of Bingo was begun in Italy around the year 1530 with a game called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia”, which is a lottery game that is still played today. France evolved the game further around the 18th century by adding playing cards, tokens for marking, and the reading out of numbers. This version began to shape the modern game that is popular today. Throughout that time, and into the 19th century, Germany used the game as an educational tool to teach multiplication tables, spelling, and animal names. Hugh J. Ward is credited with standardizing the modern game and introducing it into American culture in the 1920s. Ward marketed the game to carnivals in and around Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. In 1933 Mr. Ward copyrighted “Bingo” and authored a rules book. A toy merchandiser, by the name of Edwin Lowe, was the first to commercialize the game. In December of 1929, while attending a traveling carnival near Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Lowe noticed how engrossed players were in a game called Beano. Those players were using Ward’s rules and playing the game using beans, a rubber stamp, and cardboard. He was so taken by the game that he took it back to New York and introduced it to his friends. The game became so popular that Lowe decided to mass market it using two versions. One version was one dollar for 12 cards and the second was two dollars for 24 cards. Bingo took off, and by the 1940s there were games being played all over the country.

The Rules of Bingo

The rules of Bingo are normally uniform throughout all venues; however, there are different rules depending on the particular game being played. The game is begun when players purchase Bingo cards. These cards are five-by-five grids. The five columns each correspond with one letter of the word Bingo. The card contains 24 numbers, with the center box becoming an empty, or what is called a free space. The numbers range from 1 to 75. Each column is assigned a certain set of numbers. The B column uses 1 through 15, the letter I uses 16 through 30, N has 31 through 45 plus the blank, G uses 46 through 60, and O uses 61 through 75. A caller begins the game by calling out a randomly selected letter and number. After each sequence is called all players mark that number if it is on their cards. The calls continue until one or more players achieve the pattern required and that player, or players, shout Bingo. Once Bingo is shouted an assistant caller will verify that the correct numbers are marked. After verification of the card that player is named the winner and a new game is started. Each hall chooses the patterns to be used in a particular game. Some patterns include a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line. There is also a full house pattern, which requires all the numbers to be marked. Patterns can consist of any number, letter, or digit.

Bingo traditionally has been played in churches and community centers using Ward’s rules. With the advent of the internet Bingo has gained popularity in other countries, and with this comes different variations of the game. Some of the more popular variations are 75 ball, 90 ball, 80 ball, and 30 ball. The 75 ball version is the most popular version, and the one used in The United States. The 90 ball version is played mainly in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, portions of Europe, and parts of South America. This version consists of a card with three horizontal rows and nine columns. There are three possible winners in this version. The winners are determined by the first player to fill in one whole line, the first player to fill in two whole lines, and the first one to a full house. The 80 ball version is the newest version and is gaining popularity globally. The rules are similar to the traditional 75 ball, but with slight differences. The card used is a four-by-four grid with each column a different color. This game also uses patterns such as lines, shapes, and letters. The 30 ball variant is commonly referred to as speed bingo, and is also a newer version that is gaining online popularity. In this version a three-by-three card is used with a maximum of 30 numbers called. The columns are not marked with labels or numbers. With only nine squares the numbers are fairly easy to identify. Due to the limited space there are few patterns that can be used in this version. Typically 30 ball is played for full house or any line only.

Bingo is a Game of Chance

Bingo is a game of chance and luck but there are a few tips that players can use to increase chances of success. One strategy that can be employed is the number of cards used. The player increases the odds of winning with every additional card used. The cards purchased can either be all with similar numbers or differing numbers. The cards with similar numbers will maximize your chances if a number is called that occurs on many cards. This strategy is considered a little more risky and aggressive. The differing number strategy involves increasing the chances of winning due to the number of cards used that include a whole range of numbers. Another strategy commonly used is to find a room to play in that has a low number of players. The reasoning is that the fewer the players to compete against, the greater the odds of winning. A drawback to this strategy is that oftentimes the winnings are on the low side due to the money available being directly tied the number of players involved. The choices when using this strategy are playing in a room with many players that offer lower odds but a higher payoff, or fewer players with higher odds and a lower payoff.