Most traditional forms of bingo are played using numbered cards and tokens. If you’ve never played or if it’s been awhile since you’ve played a game of bingo, here are some basics to refamiliarize yourself with one of the world’s most beloved games.
Basic Bingo Terminology
Bingo Card – A typical bingo card contains 24 numbered spaces and one free space that is left blank, so it forms 5 rows by 5 rows.
Admission Packet – The minimum number of cards you must purchase to play bingo at the hall. Lucky’s Bingo usually features regular, silver, gold and combo cards in play.
Caller – The person who calls out the bingo numbers.
Blower – The device that mixes the balls and dispenses them to the caller who announces the bingo numbers as they’re selected.
Bingo Markers & Daubers – Pen or ink-filled devices with a foam tip used to mark numbers on a paper bingo card.
Bingo – What you call out when you’ve won the game, which must be verified by the caller before you receive your prize. A bingo is usually five numbers in a horizontal or vertical row on your game card.
Pattern Bingo – In order to win, you must form a certain pattern on your bingo board, such as four corners, the letter L or T, etc.
Black-Out – Also referred to as a Coverall game. In this game variation, you must cover your entire bingo board in order to win.
Four Corners – A pattern bingo game variation in which you must cover all four corner spaces on your bingo card to win.
Quickie – The numbers are called as fast as possible in this variation. The winner is the first to fill their card and this variation is sometimes played with a specific pattern.
Fun Bingo Trivia
Did you know…?
• It’s estimated that 2 out of 3 consistent bingo players go to bingo for social reasons instead of financial ones.
• It’s been noted that women typically play more often than men.
• Despite what you may think, it’s not just for retired people anymore – it’s been estimated that nearly 30% of bingo players are under the age of 35.
• Bingo remains one of the most effective fundraising games in the world and is very popular among church and charitable organizations.
• The origins of bingo date all the way back to 1530 to an Italian lottery called Lo Giuoco del Lotto Italia, which remains quite popular in Italy today.
• France was the first country to introduce bingo with playing cards and tokens and to call out the numbers.
• The first version of bingo to develop in North America was called “Beano,” which originated in the United States during the 1930s. Played with beans to mark the numbers, “beano” became “bingo” after someone yelled bingo on accident during a game.
• The popular casino game of keno is based on bingo’s format, though not entirely the same.