An Introduction to Bingo
Bingo is a very popular game of chance. It is easy to play and a lot of fun, but you can also win big playing it. The first variation of the game originated in Italy in the sixteenth century. Lo Gioco del Lotto d’Italia is a lottery run by the state that can still be played there every Saturday. Variations of the lottery became popular in France during the late eighteenth century.
While attending a rural fair in Atlanta, Georgia, New York toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe observed a game using dried beans to mark cards as numbers were called out loud. When a player covered a row of numbers on the card, “Beano” was called out and that player won a small prize. Lowe took the game back to New York and Lowe’s Bingo became an instant success. Beano became Bingo when a friend playing the game accidentally called out Bingo when she won.
Bingo – The History
The game became a hit across the country in the 1930s largely because it was gambling that the law considered legal. Social clubs, churches, schools, and other public institutions used the game as a lucrative fundraising tool. Bingo halls are still located in small locations like basements of churches, carnivals, and store fronts, but also in big halls that seat more than a thousand players. A lot of people enjoy getting out and soaking up the atmosphere of public gaming facilities, but many more appreciate the privacy and convenience of playing online.
Bingo in the UK and US
Bingo in the US is typically played on a 75 – ball Bingo card with five rows of random numbers listed under the individual letters of Bingo in a column. The numbers 1 – 15 are listed under B, 16 – 30 under I, 31 – 45 under N, 46 – 60 under G, and 61 – 75 under O. A free space is centered in the N column and is a square that is gifted to the player. A 50 – ball card or ticket is more popular in the UK where five numbers and four spaces are randomly listed in nine columns divided into three rows. Specialty cards that can be used for special occasions are also available. Bingo cards can be adapted to suit virtually any situation.
As numbers are called, players cover those numbers until someone wins the game. Winning depends on the type of Bingo that is being played, and that is determined by the winning pattern displayed before the game starts. So many variations of Bingo are in existence that you should review the rules, especially concerning the free space, before you begin to play.
Types of Bingo Play
- Straight-line is the standard form of the game and consists of completing a horizontal, diagonal, or vertical line on the board. These complete lines may include the free space.
- Coverall or blackout consists of completing the entire card. All numbers must be covered within a predetermined number of calls.
- T-Square pattern makes a “T” that takes up the top row and the N column. Any letter or number may be used for this type of design. The term “crazy” is used when the pattern can be formed sideways or any other odd way. For example, the “T” may be formed using the B column and the middle row.
- Top and Bottom requires players to fill the top and bottom rows of the card.
- Eight States makes a square around the free space.
- Picture frame fills the squares on the outer edges of the card.
- Dotted picture frame fills every other square on the outer edges of the card.
- Four corners covers each corner of the board.
- Postage stamp consists of four connected spaces being covered forming a small box.