Bingo is a game of numbers as well as keno and other games similar to lotteries.
Game led by a leader who pulls out from the lottery drum the numbers from 1 to 75 (each accompanied by one of the five letters in the word "bingo") at random and calls them out to the players. Each player pays for one or more game cards. This is called a "purchasing".
Each card consists of a grid of five by five with numbered cells and the central cell that is marked as free space "free".
In the traditional game it is supposed that you have to win you have to close at least five numbers in a row, column, diagonal or other pre-announced by the leader scheme (can be up to 300).
The aim of the game is to fill the cells of the scheme(s), set up before the game (see more details below).
Once the leader announces the number taken out, the players check their game cards. Those who have this number tick the relevant cell. The leader continues to call out the number until someone fills the cell according to the scheme completely and shouts out "Bingo!"...
Note: this is what usually happens in real bingo clubs and casinos, while on the Internet it is much easier - you just need to buy a ticket (card) and everything else is automatic. That means that, in the end, you can just see the result of the game and think over your next steps - to continue to play or take the money and get out of the game (or just leave).
General rules, which apply to online bingo, you can see on the next page >>
... In the real bingo hall, an employee (called the manager or supervisor) will check winning card on two things: to make sure that the numbers are set in according to the right scheme for this game, and that marked numbers were announced. If the scheme and the numbers are correct, the game is over and the winner takes the money. If you win more than one card, the pot is split between the players with the winning cards.
Interesting facts about bingo
If you played bingo in the childhood, you may have used tokens (coins) in order to mark your cards. In the real bingo club (casino) it is not common because when players sit elbow to elbow to each other and the excitement increases, tokens can be occasionally moved out.
That is why in the bingo rooms it is more common to use crayons or felt markers (called "dauber", "poke" or "float") in order to mark the cells on the paper cards, called "leaves". But, you may also see games played with plastic cards with a sliding "curtains" in order to cover the cells called out ("card-blinds" or "toe cards"), or single-use cardboard cards with detachable straps in addition to simple cards with coins you could use a lot of years ago.
But whether you use tokens on cardboard or markers on paper, this aspect of the game has been basically the same since Edwin Lau made his mark in the history of gambling. In the column "B" all the numbers go from 1 to 15. In the column "I" they go from 16 to 30. In the column "N" they start from 31 up to 45 (and the free space in the center, of course!). The numbers from 46 to 60 are under the "G". And in the "O" column there are the remaining numbers, 61-75.
When the game was known as "Beano" the plates with numbers were taken out from a cigar box. Now they are usually printed on the balls that rotate in a cage or a glass tube (lottery drum) to ensure that they are chosen at random. The leader puts every ball that had fallen out into the main box or on a shelf. Many rooms also have electronic bingo boards to mark the numbers as long as they are taken out and announced which allows the players to check easily the numbers and cross them out on their cards.
In some bingo games there is also an extra ball which is brightly colored, and has no number. If the ball is pulled out, the players can close any cell on their cards at any time of the game.
There may be differences in the types of cards, numbers, the way to take the balls out and how to use the extra ball, the only difficulty in bingo games is the scheme of the game that must be crossed out.
As it was mentioned earlier, before each game the leader announces the scheme for the game. A simple scheme might consist of filling one row either of the top or the bottom, or filling of two rows (double bingo) or filling all four corners of the cards. Other schemes may be in the form of letters, such as "T" or "X" or "Z", or even short words, such as "HI".
The beginners in game can easily understand some of the schemes, such as letters, "picture frame" (external 16 cells) or "inner square" (eight cells and free cells, that form the center of a playing card). Other schemes may seem somewhat unusual, such as the "bow tie", "happy face", "Mutt and Jeff", "noughts and crosses", "hang the leader" and "Love Letter".
Other schemes include six cells together (2x3 ligament cells at any place of the playing card) and double "postage stamp" (two clusters of 2x2 cells in any of two corners of the map or in certain angles), also known as the "double Dutch" and "double Pennsylvania" .
Perhaps there is no need to pay attention to the fact that many of the schemes are known by several names because it will only confuse beginners in bingo. Take it easy and make sure that the leaders of the game or the lovers of the game will be more than happy to explain the schemes used in this game, if you ask before the game (and those who play on the Internet may not pay attention to it because your participation is minimal there).
The most difficult scheme is usually reserved for the final part of the game when the stakes are the highest and it’s called "on track" (it is also known as "blackout" or Jackpot Bingo).
Usually only 48, 49 or 50 balls are pulled out. The winner is the first player to fill twenty-four cells at each card. If nobody wins (which is very likely because of small chances), the leader can continue to pull the numbers to determine the winner, though the bank is usually reduced.
The laws in some of the U.S. states require mandatory payment of interest of each of the game, so that in these states the game "on track" should continue until someone wins, even if the bank is very small.
You can also experience the opposite model of Jackpot called "empty shell", where all the numbers are pulled out and announced until one card is not completely filled. In this game, the one who loses wins!
There are different versions of the game "on track". For example, all even or odd numbers are crossed out at the beginning of the game if the first ball has an even number on it, all even numbers are filled, if a uneven ball is pulled first then all the odd numbers are covered on the cards. Then the game continues as usual "on track".
The basics of the game are simple, but in reality in any bingo hall or on the game site they try to make up something new, add a small difference or bonuses to spice up the game. We can not consider all the options, but you probably will not have any problems to adapt to it as long as you play and enjoy the local (pleasant) features.
Some terms may help you feel comfortable wherever you are playing:
When a player needs only one number to win, it has a quite logical name "wait". If you need two numbers to win, it is called "waits the wait". The player who realizes that the ball with the number he needs to win has already been called out is called "slept over". Finally, the game that took place before the beginning of the regular session are known as the "early birds", while the games taken after the regular session are called "late birdies".
More information about the terms and concepts used in the bingo, you can find in the section "Terminology".