Bingo is played by many card-holders and one caller who shouts out random numbers from 1-75 or in the UK version of the game; numbers from 1-90. Each card has 5 rows and columns. Each column corresponds to a letter of the word “BINGO”. Numbers in each column usually correspond to a number in a specific range. In a typical 75-ball bingo game, the first column will be numbers 1-15, the second column from 16-30, etc. The caller chooses a letter/number combination (such as “B5” or “I19”), which corresponds to squares on the player’s cards. Since there are 5 spaces out of 15 possible numbers for each column, not every player will have each number on their card. If they have the number, they mark it on their sheet. The first player to mark a full row or full column shouts “Bingo!” and wins the round.
Several variations of bingo exist to liven things up for those bored of traditional bingo. Different combinations are sometimes allowed to speed up the progression of Bingo. Four corners, diagonals, and others are considered winning combinations in some bingo games. A dual tab bingo card has two numbers for each spot, which also speeds up the occurrence of bingos. Bingo games with different amounts of balls are also occasionally seen. These games have 80, 90, or even 100 different numbers that could be called. In Britain and Australia, bingo boards usually have 3 rows of 15 numbers, instead of the American 5×5 card. The variations are endless, and many house rules exist. Traditionally, bingo has been a game in which players can gather in a social event. Many such bingos were played in churches, charity events, or even at schools. Often, the event will benefit a charity or organization. These events brought people together in a fun, social setting that had the possibility of winning a prize. For more serious gamblers, some casinos also offer bingo with cash prizes. Online bingo has boomed; it is easier, faster, and more convenient to play online, though many, especially older persons, prefer the social setting of traditional bingo. Online bingo has also created a younger audience that prefers the fast-paced, jackpot-style gambling aspect of online bingo.
It remains to be seen how this will shape the future of bingo but it can only have a positive impact on the traditional game.