Bingo 101 – Getting to know the basics 

We’d be a little bit surprised if you’ve never heard of bingo before. It’s one of the most popular casino games, pulling in millions of players across the globe. Bingo is so popular that you can expect anyone above six to know how to play the game. No kidding. 

Bingo is similar to keno in that they are both number games. You can read our article about keno here.

But the game of bingo you see today has evolved a lot over the years to become what it is. The game has been played in casinos, on cruises and even in churches at one time as a way to raise funds.

Despite its popularity, you need some explanation about how the game works. So read our bingo guide before diving into it. 

Bingo Cinematic Universe: Who are the casts?

Okay, that subheading may be a bit too much. But there are number of characters and constant components involved in bingo. So who are the people and props you need to know? Here they are. 

Bingo Worker Bee – There are two very important people that ensures the game’s sessions runs smoothly. The first person is called the caller. And the caller’s function is to announce the number and letter combination that comes up during the session. 

Checkers or floor persons is the name used for the second group of people. And they check any bingo the players claim to correspond with the winning combination announced by he caller. 

Bingo balls – Well, bingo ball are now outdated. But in the past, there are about 75 plastic small ball that have unique number-letter combination each. These numbers are ‘shuffled’ by a blower and the checker picks a number of balls randomly. Then the picked combinations are announced and also displayed on a flash board. 

Nowadays, computers choose number combinations.

Bingo Cards – Bingo cards have the letters B-I-N-G-O written across the top five columns. Underneath each letter are five numbers with a space in the middle of the card. 

As the caller announces the combination, you mark them on your card. Your bingo card gives you 24 number selections (remember there’s a space in the middle) out of 75.

What do bingo sessions look like?

Bingo sessions usually consist of many games. And each game has its own winner. The length of a single game varies among casinos. But it’s usually about ten minutes or so. However, an entire bingo session usually lasts about three hours. So how do you play bingo? We’ll tell you below. 

  1. Buy your bingo cards. Without your cards, you can’t participate in a session. 
  2. ‘Eyes down!’ When you hear that, it means the bingo session has begun. And it’s the caller that usually says that.
  3. There is ‘shuffling’ of the balls. And the caller chooses balls randomly and announces their number-letter combinations. 
  4. Check your card as the caller announces the combinations and tick them if you have them.

The aim here is to cover a specified pattern (diagonally, horizontally or vertically) before the other players.

  1. Shout (or if you like scream, but you may get some disapproving looks) BINGO when you have a winning combination. 
  2. And a checker comes to meet you to read your combinations aloud and check if you’ve really won. 

That’s all. Easy to play, right? If you and another person shout BINGO at the same time, you are both winners. And you two will split the winnings. 

Make sure you attract the attention of the checker when you win. So use your loud voice when saying BINGO. If you don’t attract the attention of the checker and play goes on, you bingo becomes void. 

Expanding bingo patterns

Different winning patterns are available to make the game more interesting. Some patterns use specific letters meaning you can win if you have formed a T, C or E. Or any other letter specified. 

In some games, you win when your patterns are on the four corners of your card. Note that some of these newer patterns may be harder to keep track of than the usual horizontal, diagonal and vertical patterns. 

But you can use a colored marker to premark the winning patterns on your card before the game starts. This way, you’ll quickly know when you have a winning combination. In some places, the current winning patterns are displayed on a large screen. Should you need to be reminded of the winning patterns, you just look up at the screen. 

Coverall – a way to win bigger prizes

Coverall is a special type of bingo. To win, you must cover all the spaces (25) on your card. It’s not easy of course but the prize is bigger.

To even make coveralls more difficult, the number of balls/combinations that can be drawn is 48. At the end of a session, if no one wins the overall prize, then the eventual winner gets a consolation prize. 

The ultimate strategy to win?

Ha, tell us you weren’t looking forward to this part. If there’s a strategy that improves your chances of winning at bingo, you’d definitely want to know about it, right? We hate to break it to you, but bingo is completely a game of chance. You don’t have control over the combinations that will be drawn. So there’s nothing you can do strategy-wise. 

However, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your gaming experience. And maybe, just a little, improve your odds of winning. 

What you have to do is to go to a casino that favors your chances of winning. And that includes going to casinos that allow you to choose your own card. Always choose cards with different combinations to improve your odds of winning. 

Also, always try to play with the least number of people possible. The more isn’t definitely merrier! You can ask the workers there for the day or time the casino has fewer people. And finally, you can look for casinos that allow progressive jackpot. The prize is usually bigger here. 

And that’s it. You now know all the basics of bingo. Get in a casino and try to hit the jackpot!

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