Bingo is one of the most popular gambling games worldwide. It is also one of the oldest as its rich history goes back centuries. For some, bingo is a simple game that older people talk about. For others, bingo is a fun activity with great prizes. To better understand what bingo really is, we will take a closer look at its long history. So join us and learn more about this enticing game. We also have some fun facts that can be the subject of discussion at your next bingo meeting.
Oldest Versions of Bingo
Bingo’s history goes back to 1530. It all started in Italy, with a lottery named Il Gioco del Lotto D’Italia. Furthermore, this is still played in the country every Saturday, making it the oldest bingo game globally. From here, the game reached the borders of France, where it was known simply as Le Lotto. It used to be a betting game played exclusively by aristocrats in France. The game spread to Great Britain next and then to other regions throughout Europe by the 18th century. Tombola was used in the 19th century in Germany to help children learn multiplications, spelling, and history.
The original rules were very similar to the ones found in modern bingo games. Players would receive a ticket with random numbers on it. They would then mark off the numbers selected randomly by the host. Finally, getting all the numbers in a line or on the entire ticket would result in a winning combination.
Le Lotto made its first appearance in France in 1778. Each ticket had 27 squares arranged over a 3×9 grid. Five squares on each row had numbers between 1 and 90, while the others were blank. Marking all five squares would award a small prize. While getting all the numbers would win you the big one.
In North America, bingo appeared in the 1900s. High J. Ward introduced it as a standardized version of lotto in the 1920s. It promoted it throughout Pittsburgh and in Western Pennsylvania. After copyrighting the game and its rules, Ward published the official bingo book in 1933. Naturally, this helped spread the game even further since players could find the same rules at different venues.
In the USA, bingo was initially known as beano. It followed the same rules set out by Ward. However, players in Atlanta generally played with dried beans and cardboard tickets. The cards were reusable, and the beans were there to mark drawn numbers. Edwin Lowe, a toy merchandiser, took the game back to New York and produced two versions of bingo. He would play with his friends, who would yell out bingo! Instead of beano when they won. The name stuck, and bingo became quite popular. Over the next few years, bingo spread throughout the United States.
Church Bingo and Charitable Games
Bingo in churches is definitely nothing new in the US. A priest in Pennsylvania talked to Lowe about using bingo to raise funds in the 1930s. Consequently, this would give churchgoers a fun little activity where they can buy tickets for the chance to win prizes. The profits would remain in the church and also be used to help out those in need. Since then, churches throughout the US have held various bingo games. Other charitable organizations used similar strategies to raise funds.
The laws and regulations regarding real money bingo games differ from state to state. In some places, organizations can rent out massive bingo halls and run games every day. However, church bingo games are generally only available once a week on the premises.
Casino Bingo Games
Nevada was the first state to offer commercial bingo games in the US. Native American bingo halls became popular after seeing the success of the betting game. Nowadays, you can find bingo halls throughout the country. Most casinos, however, have stopped hosting the games because they require large halls and don’t generate that much action. Only Las Vegas casinos that cater to locals still have bingo games. Most tourist resorts focus more on slots, blackjack, roulette, and other typical casino games.
In other states, bingo continues to be a big attraction. For example, Cheektowaga, New York, has a bingo hall for every 6,800 residents. In retrospect, this makes it the region with the highest concentration of bingo venues in the US.
In recent years, bingo has been making a comeback thanks to online gambling sites. These can host bingo games throughout the day and give players a lot more options to choose from. Plus, operators also add colorful themes and unique features to make the games more exciting. Online bingo is particularly popular in the UK, but you can generally find it around the world.
So, how does online bingo work? Well, it is very similar to traditional games. However, everything is now digital, and you don’t even have to mark the numbers yourself. Instead, bingo operators present the schedule with the games and the prices for tickets. Players can buy as many tickets as they want for a bingo game, within set limits. Then, when the game starts, random numbers are selected and announced. You can follow the action and mark the numbers yourself or let the platform take care of everything.
Winning bingo tickets are announced automatically, so users no longer have to worry about missed numbers. The platform even adds the funds to your account, and you can play again in just a few minutes. Online bingo has made the game more convenient and easier to play.
Some online bingo games can have progressive jackpots. These are prizes that increase when players buy tickets. More participants mean larger jackpots.
Other advantages to playing online instead of in traditional bingo halls are bonuses and promotions. Online bingo sites usually offer some fantastic no deposit bonuses, special promotions, and all sorts of other rewards. These can help players win more and have more fun. Plus, we usually found extra slots and casino games to enjoy between bingo games.
US Bingo vs. UK Bingo
While talking about bingo, we should mention that the game is not always the same. For example, there are several key differences between the bingo tickets in the US and the ones in the UK. First of all, most UK bingo games are in the 90-ball format, while US players prefer the 75-ball bingo version. The general rules are the same, but the tickets have different formats.
90-ball bingo has tickets with nine columns and three rows that have five numbers and four blank spaces. 75-ball bingo has cards with 24 numbers and a free one in the center. Furthermore, the letters B I N G O are above the five columns to make the numbers easier to track. Each letter has a set interval of 15 numbers, which results in numbers like B5, I29, N31, G48, and O70.
75-ball bingo can also be played for different patterns. These are announced at the start of the game to let players know what lookout for. Bingo patterns include all four corners, a star layout, a line, or all of the numbers on a ticket. There are also more complicated patterns, like a house, double pyramid, turtle, hangman, and different letters.
You can usually find both bingo variations at online gaming sites. Other options include 80-ball bingo and speed 30-ball bingo.
Fun Bingo Facts
Bingo trivia is quite common in large bingo halls and online. You can even win some free tickets if you know some of these facts. So, let’s cover some of the most popular fun pieces of information about bingo.
Bingo Is More Popular Than Football in the UK
Now, we aren’t talking about viewership here, but about the amount of money spent. For example, Bingo players spend more money on cards than football fans spend on tickets in the UK. Given the massive following that football has, this is definitely saying a lot.
Around 50% Of Regular Bingo Players Play Every Day
Indeed, this might explain the large volume of tickets sold for bingo games. Almost half of the frequent bingo players have said that they take part in bingo games every day. In fact, this is simply part of their daily routine. Online bingo sites and mobile apps have made this more accessible than ever before. Nowadays, you can play bingo for real money from your phone within seconds.
Most Bingo Players Are Under 40 Years of Age
Bingo has gained a reputation over the years as a game played by senior citizens. The stereotype has been pushed because senior homes will often host bingo games for their residents. Some movies have also portrayed the game as being best suited for older players. The truth is that the majority of bingo players are not even 40 years old. Moreover, this is also due to the growth of online bingo, which tends to attract a younger demographic.
There Are Over 50,000 Bingo Halls in North America
Yes, traditional bingo is still going strong throughout North America. With more than 50,000 halls, bingo continues to attract more than 60 million players every year. Consequently, this leads to over $10 billion in ticket sales in the region alone.
Bingo Is More Popular Than Movies
Furthermore, building on the bingo fact mentioned above, bingo halls get 1.6 billion visits per year. Therefore, to put this in some context, there are around 1 billion visits per year to movies. Compared to the 92 million visits that casinos get every year, bingo is really in a league of its own.
Bingo Is the Favored Game to Be Legalized
The gambling regulations in the United States have changed a lot in recent years. Multiple states have launched online casinos, sports betting, and other gambling options. However, bingo remains the one that most residents support. Actually, around 80% of people of legal age support legalized bingo games. Slot machines are only at 66%.
An Average Bingo Game Lasts 3-6 Minutes
Indeed, this is true for the 90-ball bingo variant played in the UK, which is usually faster. The caller typically selects over 20 numbers per minute, so a bingo game lasts around 5 minutes. Of course, it all depends on how quickly someone gets the pattern. For even faster bingo games, we recommend online speed bingo, which only has 30 balls.
Bingo Was Initially Known as Beano
As we’ve covered in the history of bingo, the game started under the name beano. This came from the fact that players would use beans to mark off their numbers to keep track of them. In addition, some enthusiastic players would yell bingo when they won.
Bingo Is Great for Relieving Stress
Most betting games aren’t exactly known for relieving stress. However, bingo seems to have this effect when played in its traditional format. Sitting at a table with friends and just marking numbers off can be pretty relaxing. In addition, it is often a great way of socializing within the community and meeting new people.
Most Players Enjoy Bingo for Fun and Not for the Winnings
While winning is always fun, most bingo players enjoy the game for the thrill of it. According to a poll, only 20% of players said winning is the most crucial bingo. The experience seems to attract the majority of players to the bingo halls and online bingo sites. After all, it can be an enjoyable activity. And unlike in most other casino games, players get to feel more involved by marking the numbers.
Calling “Bingo!” Incorrectly is Known as Jumping the Gun
In traditional bingo halls, players must call out bingo! When they get the winning pattern. However, it can happen for someone to make a mistake and not have all the numbers. Therefore, this is known as jumping the gun, bongo, false alarm, or social error. Most players dislike it when someone makes this mistake. That is why it is best to pay attention and double-check before making the call.
So, after learning more about bingo, do you feel like trying it out? If you are interested in online bingo, there are multiple great sites to check out. Don’t forget to claim your welcome bonus and buy more tickets for a better chance to win. Have fun and enjoy the bingo games!