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The History Of Bingo And A Guide To Playing

Mar 30, 2008
Bingo is traditionally played in large halls or social clubs, before you can join a game you'll need to become a member of a bingo club. Joining clubs in the UK is pretty easy, most welcome new players with open arms! If you join one of the big bingo clubs like Mecca Bingo or Gala you might even get a few freebies when you join.

If you've never played bingo before then just tell the person who signs you up at the club. They will be more than happy to explain the basic rules, show you how to mark your bingo cards and most importantly how to claim a win! Don't be shy, the bingo clubs want your business so it's in their interest to ensure you know how to play.

When I first started playing bingo at my local Mecca one of the staff sat with me for a few games, giving me advice and chatting away. I would recommend that you don't try to play too many cards when you first start - it can be tricky for a new player to mark more than one card at a time.

The 'Caller' is the person who stands at the top of the hall and calls out the numbers as they appear from the bingo machine or computer. You'll need to pay attention to the caller as the numbers will come out fairly fast. Using a magic marker or dauber you must mark off any numbers called that appear on your card.

In UK style bingo (90 balls, triple chance) your bingo card will have 3 horizontal lines of numbers per card. In a bingo game you normally have three ways to win, if all the numbers on one of your lines is called then you win a small cash prize! complete two lines and you'll win a bigger cash prize, complete the whole card and you've won the 'full house' jackpot.

If you complete any of the lines or the full house you'll need to stop the caller from announcing anymore numbers. You can do this by shouting 'Bingo' or more commonly shouting 'right'. It doesn't really matter what you shout, as long as you get the callers attention.

Your card will then be checked against the called numbers to verify that you have won. Don't worry if you've made a mistake - it's pretty common. If you win you'll get your cash in a nice little envelope!

You might be wondering how much it costs to play bingo? Each club sets it's own prices, but you can expect to pay anything between 8 and 15 for a full evening session at a bingo club. That will buy you bingo cards for all the games in that session, a session normally lasts about 2 hours and includes multiple.

The origins of the modern bingo game...

Bingo's original roots go back as far as 1530 when the Italians created a national lottery called Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia. By 1778 the French had gotten wind of this game and adapted it for their own purposes, making small changes to the game including the card which they subsequently divided into three horizontal and nine vertical rows. The vertical rows contained numbers from 1 to 10 in the first row, 11 to 20 in the second row, etc., up to 90. No two Lotto cards were alike.

By 1929 the game's popularity had spread across the world and straight to Jacksonville, Georgia, where a travelling carnival pitchman had come across the game the previous year in Germany. It was here, one evening, that Edwin S. Lowe ended up at this carnival where all but one of the booths were closed. This booth was packed with people so Lowe decided to check it out. The action centered on a horseshoe shaped table covered with numbered cards and beans. The game being played was a variation of Lotto called Beano.

The caller was pulling small numbered wooden disks from a cigar box and the players at the booth were eagerly marking them off their cards by placing a bean over the number. Once they had completed a line the player called out 'Beano'.

Lowe returned home to his native New York where he decided to have a go at operating the Beano game. His friends soon caught on to playing Beano with the same tension and excitement he had seen at the carnival. During one game, a woman, so excited at having completed a row stood and, being slightly tongue tied, shouted Bingo instead of Beano and the game as we know it today was born!
About the Author
Paul Eddison invites you to learn more about Online Bingo at the website www.bingoonline.me.uk
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