Bingo reached North America in 1929 under the name of “beano” as players would mark their cards with beans and they would shout “beano” if they won. It was first played at carnivals and funfairs. The game was renamed “bingo” by Edwin S. Lowe.
Carl Leffler, a math professor, helped him increase the number of combinations in bingo cards and by 1930 there were already over 6,000 different bingo cards. It become increasingly popular as it was used to raise funds for churches or other organizations and also because it was very easy to play.
Playing bingo is very simple. However, there are slight differences among the multitude of versions played all over the world. Rules and payouts and play variations vary from place to place.
In essence, players buy cards with numbers on them in a 5 x 5 grid corresponding to the five letters in the word B-I-N-G-O.
Numbers are then drawn at random out of a possible 75 in American Bingo, and 90 in British and Australian Bingo) by a caller until one player completes a “Bingo” pattern, such as a line with five numbers in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal row or all the numbers (also called a full house) on one of their cards and wins the prize. A card for this game has one free space (blank) and 24 numbered spaces.
The numbers are assigned randomly on each card and are arranged in five columns of five numbers each by five rows. The numbers in the B column are between 1 and 15, in the I column between 16 and 30, in the N column (containing four numbers and the free space) between 31 and 45, in the G column between 46 and 60, and in the O column between 61 and 75.
After the players get their playing cards, the numbers are extracted at random and are quickly announced by the Caller, you have to pay attention to your numbers and mark them accurately.
Numbers are called until one or more players claim BINGO. At this point, cards are verified and prize awarded.
If there are two or more winners then the prize is split among all the winning players.
Online Bingo is played pretty much the same as the game in gambling halls. However, there are some advantages on the part of the player:
- the sum of money you can win is more consistent
- the software is very user friendly as it often marks the called numbers automatically
- you are prompted if you win.
Online Bingo games give you three, four or more cards and the numbers on them are generated randomly. Also the numbers called are displayed on a board so you can always check them. The software also displays the game pattern used.
You can choose from myriads of online bingo sites and when you sign up you often get free cards to play your chances!