Bingo - rules and history

Modern Bingo is divided into two different versions - American and British. The rules of both games are based on the same foundation, but differ in the way the numbers are arranged. In this article, we'll look at both variants, their history and the best places to try your hand at Bingo.
Bingo tickets and play

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Bingo rules

Like many popular games, Bingo comes in many different formats, so we'll just cover the basics of the most commonly played version.

Almost all versions of the game use a paper (or other material) ticket with numbers on it. Sometimes letters, words, pictures and so on are used instead of numbers, but these Bingo games are more often used for educational purposes.

If you have at least one Bingo ticket, the game is played as follows:

  1. The table lists the numbers from 1 to 75 (American version) or from 1 to 90 (British version).
  2. The middle box is pre-marked.
  3. Players can hold more than one Bingo ticket.
  4. No more Bingo tickets may be purchased once the game starts.
  5. Numbers are announced or displayed during the game. Players must find the number (if it is on their ticket) and mark it.
  6. The first player to mark a row of numbers (or several, depending on additional rules) wins the bingo.

All Bingo formats and variations are based on the following basic rules.

The advantage of this game is its simplicity. After just one play, the game becomes clear, although you may need to develop the skills to spot and mark numbers quickly with more than a few tickets.

Although the game is extremely simple, there are Bingo strategies - some adaptable to all formats and variations, some specific.

The game of bingo, its strategy and probabilities

Bingo strategy is very different from other games, as it is impossible to influence the probabilities once a ticket has been bought, but various tactics can be used until then.

One of the most important strategic aspects of Bingo is the guaranteed prize or prize pool. The prize pool is prepared regardless of the number of players and is always paid out, even if only 1 person plays. Many experienced Bingo players suggest these practices before starting to play:

  1. Set the number of tickets and players. It is not necessary to find the exact number, but knowing the prize and the number of tickets allows you to calculate the probabilities and the value per ticket.
  2. Take advantage of valuable offers. Packages, which reduce the price of a single ticket if you buy more at once, often offer more value.
  3. Play in front of as few people as possible. The bingo prize pool is static, i.e. it doesn't change with the number of players. The fewer the number of people, the greater the chance of winning.
  4. Buy more tickets. Of course, this advice should be taken with a grain of salt, as you need to keep track of each ticket and assess the amount of money you have available for the game.

In many online casinos additional prizes are offered, so always read the rules in full. Sometimes these prizes may be unrelated to the game itself (e.g. given out to chat participants), and sometimes they may be additional Bingo prizes (for ticking a few number lines or similar).

It is quite difficult to determine the overall probability of winning in Bingo, as the game has several formats, different conditions and different ways of obtaining prizes. The house edge is always in flux, but many Bingo players believe that it is possible to achieve at least even odds, and some believe that it is possible to gain an edge.

What are the main types of bingo games?

All the different types of Bingo are fun and simple, so everyone can play.

The basic rules are the same everywhere: just mark the numbers on the card as they are announced until you make the right scheme and you win BINGO!

But did you know that there are many types of Bingo grids? Here are some of the well-known ones:

75 bingo balls. This is a very traditional Bingo game that you've probably played before. The game uses a card with 25 squares arranged in five rows and columns. Each square contains a number from 1 to 75, except for the middle square which is already marked.

80 bingo balls. This variant of the traditional game is quite popular in the UK. A bingo card contains 16 squares arranged in four rows and columns.

80-ball-bingo

Each square contains a number from 1 to 80 and each column is a different colour. You win by marking a row of numbers in any direction or by marking a different pattern, such as the four corners.

90 bingo balls. This is another classic game, also very popular in the UK. It uses a card with 27 squares arranged in nine rows and columns. Each row contains five numbers and four blank spaces.

The numbers range from 1 to 90, with different groups of numbers in each column. You can only win if you are the first to mark one row, two rows or all the numbers on the card.

History of the game of bingo

The first beginnings of Bingo date back to Italy in the mid-16th century. The game began as a simple lottery in which certain numbers were drawn. Later, the game's identity evolved as it spread to other countries.

Around the middle of the 18th century, the first modern design of Bingo was implemented, featuring three rows and nine columns of numbers. The current American version uses 5 rows and 5 columns of numbers, with the middle box being automatically filled. The British version uses a sheet of paper with 9 columns and 3 rows.

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