Bingo is becoming one of the most played games in the online casino industry and there is truly no indication of this subsiding. In fact, it’s so popular because it doesn’t involve any skill and is completely based on luck.
Historians suggest that Bingo dates back to an Italian lottery called Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia from the early 1500s. The game was introduced in France, where it was called Le Lotto, and then in Germany before making its way towards the United States at country fairs. Back then, a dealer would select numbered discs from a cigar box and players would mark their numbers with beans, shouting “Beano” if they had marked every number.
In 1929, New York toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe discovered the game and decided to play it with a group of friends at home. During the game, one of his friends misspoke, shouting “Bingo” rather than “Beano” and Lowe decided to rename the game to Bingo. Meanwhile, the game was brought to the UK sometime during the 18th century and was heavily featured at fairs and carnivals.
Playing UK and US Bingo Games
There are two main variations to Bingo, the UK and US versions. Both differ slightly from one another.
In US Bingo, players are given a scorecard with BINGO written along the top, 24 randomly selected numbered squares and a 25th square marked “Free” in the centre of the scorecard. There are 75 different letter-number combinations that are read aloud throughout the game, each corresponds to a space on a player’s scorecard. For example, N letter-number combinations will be read out as “N-47” and players can only mark the number off if it sits in the N column.
The letter-number combinations will continue to be read aloud throughout the game until a player has marked five squares in a row on their scorecard. The US version of Bingo lasts several rounds and each gets progressively harder as players are tasked with creating different patterns to win such as a house, fish or diamond.
The UK version of Bingo, which is often played at Bingo halls, features 90 balls compared to the 75 featured in US Bingo. The scorecard, which is also different, features 27 numbered spaces and is arranged into three rows and nine columns. The first column contains numbers between one and nine, the second numbers between 10 and 19 and so on.
The UK version is fast-paced and is regarded more as social gatherings than gambling. While real-life Bingo halls in the UK were hugely popular throughout the late 90s and early 2000s, the number of people visiting them are dwindling. Why? Well, they’ve been replaced by online Bingo halls.
There are multiple variations of online Bingo games and each have their own differences, though more on that later. Some Bingo games may require players to have a full house before being crowned a winner while others require players to complete a diagonal, horizontal or vertical line to win. A few games may even have players create a special pattern which is always a little more challenging.
Online Bingo games tend to be very social too as they feature chat rooms allowing players to interact with one another. When the online game begins, a random number generator (RNG) will select the Bingo balls at random and if your Bingo scorecard has that number, it will be automatically marked off. Some games also tell players how many squares are left to mark off by writing “3TG”, meaning “three to go”.
The RNG will continue selecting numbers until a player wins. They’re announced to the other players and the winnings will be added to their online account. The RNG will then start selecting numbers again until another player wins and this continues until the main prize of the game is eventually won. If two or more Bingo players win at the same time, the prize is shared between them.
Variations of Online Bingo Games
There are three main variations of Bingo and each has different rules. For example, 90 Ball Bingo features scorecards with 15 numbers arranged in three rows. Prizes are awarded for marking off the first row, the second and then a full house.
80 Ball Bingo scorecards are made up of 16 numbers arranged in a square shape. This version features various prizes depending on which lines are marked off.
The last variation is 75 Ball Bingo in which scorecards are made up of 24 numbered squares. Depending on the game, prizes are awarded for completing lines or for creating specific shapes.