Bingo is fun game of pure chance. It is an easy-to-learn casino game, which is why even kids tend to be drawn to it at family events where bingo is played. The beauty of this game is that it can accommodate numerous players all at once, and everyone gets a fair chance at winning. 

As a game of chance, bingo may not require strategy. However, you need to think quickly when the letters and numbers are being announced. You also need to be fast in spotting the winning pattern on your card/s and in screaming “bingo” to secure that win.

History

Bingo did not originate in the United States, but it has become one of the crowd-favorite games in the country. The game actually dates back to 1530 in Italy. At the time, it was still called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia,” and it was mainly played every Saturday at an Italian lottery, according to ThoughCo.

In the late 1770s, the game was introduced to France and it was called “Le Lotto” there. However, it was only played by wealthy Frenchmen back then. The Germans were said to have developed their own version of the game, but instead of using it as a pastime for adults, it was more of a children’s game designed to teach young ones how to spell and do math. 

In 1929, bingo reached the shores of the United States, but it was called “beano” then. It started as a country fair game where players had to mark their cards with beans whenever the dealer would yell the selected number discs from a cigar box. 

A traveling New York salesman named Edwin S. Lowe was credited for spreading the word about bingo and even giving it its modern-day name. While passing through Georgia, he saw a crowd playing the game at a carnival and overheard someone yell “bingo” instead of “beano.”

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Elements

Before you can start playing bingo, you first need to know the different elements of the game, or the things you need in order to play it, courtesy of Play.Smart.

  • Ball blower — This is an air-blowing machine that mixes all of the 75 numbered balls of the game. A ball that is blown out of the machine is removed and its number is called out one at a time. 
  • Caller — This is the person who serves as the dealer in the game. The caller is the one who calls out the numbers to the players. 
  • Flashboard — This basically displays each number that is called out. It also has the word “BINGO” spelled out, so it’s easy for players to spot the number under the specific letter.
  • Bingo card — This card serves as the sheet with 24 numbered squares and a free space at the center. The word “BINGO” is spelled out on top and each letter is placed atop a column. Each column has five squares with random numbers from 1 to 75.
  • Bingo marker or dauber — This is the official marker of the game that is used to “dab” the numbers on the cards that are being called out. It is important to note that many casinos also use colored chips in lieu of the markers.
  • Session program — This contains the game agenda. It is handed out at the booth where you buy bingo cards. The program contains the lines or patterns required to win the game.  

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Mechanics

The game is pretty straightforward. You only need to listen to the letter-number combinations that are being announced by the caller during each draw of the ball. 

For the more simple version of the game, your main goal is to only dab 5 squares on the bingo cards in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal row, as per wikiHow.

For instance, when the caller announced “B-7” after one draw, you need to look for the number 9 under the B column on the card. You may continue doing so until you successfully mark 5 squares in any of the three linear patterns. 

Since the game is played by numerous players, you need to always be swift in spotting a winning line on your card/s. The person who yells “bingo” first after forming a line on the card wins. 

Another type of bingo that is played at different casinos make use of more complicated patterns, like the letters X and T. A number of establishments also utilize patterns like a heart, cross or diamond on their session programs. 

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