What is Bingo and how do I play?
Invented in the 1920s, bingo is a game of chance where numbered balls are drawn at random until a player achieves a specified pattern on a printed card which has random numbers printed on it. The numbers on these cards correspond with all the possible numbers that can be drawn.
Bingo is played in a bingo hall which usually consists of rows of tables and chairs with the caller in an elevated position up front. The caller will read out the drawn numbers and electronic display boards around the hall will have the number history listed as well as the target pattern for that bingo game.
Bingo can seem fast-paced and confusing to new players, however, it need not be. The game is simple in essence and is a lot of fun. To play bingo you must first purchase an admission pack which has game cards for every single game in a bingo session. Each game will have a certain pattern or line which is the objective.
Once a game commences the caller will begin reading out the drawn numbers as they are retrieved at random from the bingo machine. Players mark off those numbers on the game cards they have in play for that round. Once a player achieves the pattern or line of numbers they yell out bingo and the caller will stop the draw. A bingo attendant will check the player’s card to ensure they have actually achieved a win. If they do, that player is awarded a win and the game is over; unless there is a second chance in that particular game.
As you can see it’s very simple to play. The hardest part for a new player will be ensuring they know what pattern they need to get on the paper in order to win, and also to keep up with the pace of the game and to make sure they don’t miss out on a potential win by not marking numbers off correctly. Quite often bingo packs will have multiple game cards for each round so there will be quite a few areas to check for particular numbers and mark them off. Ball letters and corresponding designated rows on the game cards assist somewhat in doing this but it can be quite difficult initially to keep track and ensure you don’t miss anything.
Using a bingo electronic device, known colloquially as a TED or GTI, when initially starting to play bingo can help you in familiarizing yourself with the game while the machine does all the work for you in keeping track. Alternatively, you can play online and learn the game in that environment.
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