Bingo is one of the most enduring gaming pastimes for millions of players around the world and if you’re playing with your friends in a bricks and mortar venue in your local town or city then it’s also a social occasion at which you probably won’t win much money but you won’t lose much either. In recent years online bingo has become big business as gaming websites have begun to offer the product alongside slots, sports betting, blackjack, poker and roulette.
The origins of bingo are slightly vague but most authorities believe it originated in Italy in the 16th century and in the 18th century spread north to France and Great Britain with varying rules and styles of gameplay in each location. By the beginning of the 20th century it has arrived in the United States.
At its most basic level, bingo is a very simple game and the first thing you will need is a bingo card. This is a 3 x 9 grid which contains fifteen numbers between 1 and 90 with 5 on each row. The number per column can vary. If you buy a set of six game cards every number from 1 to 90 will be featured which obviously means you will mark off one number for each ball drawn.
The aim of the the game is to mark off the numbers with your big felt tip pen as they are drawn by the bingo caller and various prizes are available for covering certain patterns as follows:
- Four Corners – mark off all four corners
- One Line – mark off a single horizontal line
- Two Lines – mark off two horizontal lines
- Full House – mark off all numbers
Traditionally you would need to shout something (Bingo! House!) at one of the employees but online players will find this happens automatically. At a bingo hall you must claim your win before the next ball is drawn so be ready to shout out.
Large bingo chains are linked together so that they are able to offer huge prizes involving thousands of players at different locations. Online bingo generally works like this by default so there is a certain attraction in playing from the comfort of your own home.
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