There’s nothing quite like the excitement of seeing your Bingo pattern getting more and more complete until the point that you’re just waiting on one more number… Hearing other players buzzing as they themselves get closer… the anticipation of hearing that final number and the thrilling realization that it’s the number you needed… “BINGO!” You scream, grinning from ear to ear.
Bingo is an old game of chance that’s still incredibly popular in the modern world. Just about everyone knows how the game is played, but if you need a refresher, here’s a quick rundown:
You play Bingo with a card containing a 5×5 grid. Each vertical column is associated with one of five letters- B, I, N, G, and O. The 5 squares under each letter are each filled with one of 15 random numbers.
The numbers associated with each letter are:
There is always a free space in the middle of each card (the third square under the N column).
A “Caller” will randomly draw letter-number combos and call them out to everyone playing (Example: “B-14” or “G-50”). If you have that combination on your card, you mark (or “daub”) it. You win in regular Bingo by creating a line (either vertical, horizontal or diagonal) of daubed numbers, though in Blackout Bingo, you win by daubing your entire card. You must be the first player to do this and must shout “BINGO!” when you do.
Bingo is a game of chance, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t strategies out there which can help you win. In real games of Bingo, you’re playing for money, and to “buy into” the game you must pay for your card. You can almost always pay for more than one card, though, so if you’re playing in a game with 5 people and they all have one card, you immediately increase your chances of winning by simply buying two cards.
However, the more cards that you buy, the more that you have to pay attention to. You don’t want to miss a call because you’re trying to scan through ten different cards at once, so learn a balance that you’re comfortable with.
When it comes to Bingo, there are a few commonly observed etiquette rules. First of all, it’s generally considered rude to talk or make noise when the Caller is speaking. If you’re new to a Bingo hall, you may find that the regulars have their “lucky seats” or certain traditions that they go observe whenever they play- it’s your job not to get in the way of these. Make sure you show up with enough time to get situated and ready to play- running in at the last minute can cause distractions and will generally result in you being seen unfavorably by the other players.