Bingo Tutorial, History, Strategy, Rules and Odds

What is Bingo?

Bingo is a very popular game that depends on probability & luck. The game includes a card “a bingo card” that players purchase to enter the game. Once they enter the bingo hall, whether land-based or online, there is a caller that calls the numbers that he draws randomly. Each player will start to mark the numbers that the caller calls that exist on his card. Players who succeed in creating winning patterns will be able to claim a reward.

This game is a social one that is enjoyed by millions of bingo fans around the globe. This is why a lot of people prefer the land-based halls than online ones because it provides them with the social experience that they are looking for that they cannot find in online bingo rooms.

Like any other game, there are different versions and different ways of playing and claiming rewards. For example, in the United Kingdom, they play a bingo version that is called 90-ball bingo. This version is slightly different from the American bingo which is called 75-ball bingo. The calling & the tickets are different. In addition, as mentioned, there are numerous venues that enable players to enjoy bingo. There are land-based venues such as bingo halls and online venues such as bingo rooms and online casinos.

The History of Bingo

The history of Bingo dates back to the 1530s. There was an Italian lottery that was named “Lo Giuoco Del Lotto D’Italia”. This lottery is still active and it is carried out on a weekly basis in Italy every Saturday. This game traveled to France at the end of the 1770s and it was entitled “Le Lotto”. This game “Le Lotto” was a high-class game that the wealth and rich French folks enjoyed. Germans also started to play a version of bingo in 1880 but in Germany, it was a game for children in order to help them in their studies (history, math and spelling).

The game made its entrance to America in 1929; it was called “Beano”. The first time this game was played was during a Carnival in Atlanta in Georgia. In America, the winners would yell “BEANO” out loud to declare their victory. This is why up to this day, we yell Bingo when we win. This is also the reason behind the name “Bingo” as Edwin. S. Lowe is the person who renamed to Bingo after he heard someone yelling Bingo instead of yelling Beano.

Edwin. S. Lowe was a toy salesman and he decided to capitalize on the popularity of the game and he hired a math professor from the University of Colombia named Carl Leffler in order to aid him in increasing the combinations available in a bingo card. Leffler succeeded in his task and he made over six-thousand different cards.

A priest approached Edwin. S. Lowe and suggested that they can use bingo in order to raise funds for the church. This caused the popularity of bingo to spike as in 1934, it was estimated that ten-thousand bingo games took place on a weekly basis. Today, according to numbers, Americans spend over ninety million dollars on bingo, per week.

The Original Bingo Card

Of course, the shape and format of the bingo card have changed throughout the years. Up to this date, there are venues that still use the original card format that was used when bingo was invented when it entered the U.S.
This card has twenty-seven squared spaces. These spaces are arranged in 9 columns by three rows (9×3 rectangular grid). Each horizontal row contains 5 numbers and 4 empty spaces. Each vertical column has up to 3 numbers.
The first column consists of numbers that vary between one and nine. The second column consists of numbers that range between ten and twenty. The third column consists of numbers between thirty and forty and so on until the ninth column that consists of numbers between 80 and 90.

These tickets were sold to players in sets of six. This means that whenever a number is called between one and ninety, players will get to mark off one number on one of the cards at least.

The Gaming Procedure

Players will purchase the tickets and they would pay an entrance fee as well. Players will sit at large tables alongside other bingo players. Before the game starts, the caller (the person who calls the numbers) will announce the prize of the game.

The game will start when the caller says “eyes down”. This means that players will have to concentrate and focus their attention to their cards as the game is going to start. The caller will start to call the numbers that he has drawn. These numbers can be drawn randomly through an electronic RNG (Random Number Generator) or from a mechanical bingo ball machine. The caller can announce the numbers as they are such as fifty-five, forty-three and so on. He can also use a simple repetition format such as both the fours, forty-four or “Three and one, thirty one”. Some numbers have their special calling due to their importance. Numbers that end with a zero are referred to as blind. Therefore, if the caller draws a 50, he will call “Five-o blind, fifty”.

Players will start marking off the numbers that the caller will draw until they form winning patterns.

The different patterns include:

A Line: it is when players mark all of the five numbers on a horizontal line on their ticket

Two Lines: it is when players mark two horizontal lines on the same bingo card.

Full House: it is the biggest win, and it happens when players succeed in marking all of the numbers that exist on the bingo card.

At some venues, especially in the United Kingdom, they first start with a line game, then a two-line game and end with a full house game and other venues only play a full house game. For example, in the National Bingo Game in the United Kingdom, they only play a full house game.


Different halls and venues have different sets of rules but they all have the same guidelines accompanied by some unwritten rules. These rules include:

* Players who succeed in getting a winning pattern will have to yell to grab the caller’s attention.
* Any person who is seated in the bingo hall has to be a player as there is no audience allowed in this game.
* Players should not repeat the called numbers out loud because it can be inconvenient for other bingo players. Players who want to repeat them to focus can repeat them in their mind and not out loud.
* Players cannot address the caller unless they want him to call the numbers slower or call them louder. Some players who are on a losing streak yell to change the caller which is unacceptable.
* Players should not leave the bingo hall until the game is over.

Electronic Bingo

Many bingo venues in the United Kingdom are starting to offer their players electronic bingo. Electronic bingo gives players the chance to buy more than the usual six-ticket package. It offers then bingo packages that include bingo tickets it numerous event and special tickets for events such as the National Bingo Game. Players will play the game through an electronic terminal; this terminal will automatically start marking the numbers that the caller calls. It also orders the different bingo tickets in a way to allow players to see the best bingo tickets that he has in play. The best thing about electronic bingo is that it enables players to purchase a lot of tickets and it makes them easy to handle them, unlike paper tickets because players can’t handle more than six tickets at a time.

As a result, the cost of playing electronic bingo is higher than the standard six-ticket bingo. This is why the electronic bingo venues encourage players and attract them by offering ticket packages and special tickets that gives them the best value for their money.

The electronic panel or board that players interact with usually has a touch screen on it. The size of the screen is larger than the usual DVD cases. Players who want to enjoy this kind of bingo will have to acquire a club membership in that venue and deposit credit in his account that would allow him to play bingo. When a player wins, he will shout and when the win is verified, the earnings will be added to his account balance.
Players can find electronic bingo at 2 of the biggest bingo operators in the United Kingdom, Gala bingo (belongs to Gala Coral Group) and Mecca Bingo (belongs to The Rank Group).

Online Bingo

Online bingo gives players the chance to enjoy playing bingo over the internet while sitting at the comfort of their own homes. The first internet bingo venue went live in 1996. It was a free game that was entitled Bingo Zone. This game was sponsored by ads; this is why it asked players to provide their demographic data so they can receive the suitable ads. Another bingo room that created uproar was Bingo Blitz that was launched in 1998.

The format of the bingo card that is played online varies greatly for the original card and the cards being used in UK bingo halls. Online, the card consists of a 5×5 squared grid. These numbers contain numbers the range between one and seventy-five, so it is a 75-ball bingo games. Each card will have the letters that form the word bingo separated at the top of the card “B I N G O”.

The winning patterns in this kind of bingo vary greatly; there are simple line patterns and other complicated patterns. The reward that each player earns depends on the patterns he succeeded in making. These online games enable players to purchase more than five cards at once. Some games require players to mark off the numbers and some of them mark the numbers automatically if the player chooses so.

Other Forms of online Bingo

Online casinos enable players to play a completely different kind of bingo, a single player bingo game. In these games, players do not compete with other players, as there are no other players involved in the game.

In this game, players can purchase up to eight cards. There are games that offer the 9×3 format and others that offer the 5×5 format. Players will see a bingo machine that will start to pump out bingo balls when players start the game. Before players start the game, they will have to place their stakes per card. Some games also give players the chance to change the cards if they feel that the numbers are repeated. After players set their wagers and choose the number of cards, they will initiate the game. The balls will start to come out of the bingo machine and the game will automatically mark off the numbers on the cards and showing players if they have formed any winning patterns. As soon as the 90 or 75 balls are done, players will be rewarded automatically according to their patterns. Some games allow players to ask for extra balls (up to ten balls) if they are one number away from completing a winning pattern. Of course, these balls cost a fee and each ball will cost more than the bingo ball before it. At these games, players are advised to check the winning patterns before asking for an extra ball. These patterns can be usually found at the top or by clicking on “View Pays” or “View Patterns”.

Bingo Bonanza, Mayan Bingo, Ballistic Bingo and Samba Bingo are some examples of online bingo games of that nature. These games are powered by Microgaming, hence, players will be able to find them at any of the opine casinos that are powered by Microgaming. This includes Jackpot City Casino, Gaming Club Casino, RiverBelle Casino and Lucky Nugget Casino.


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