A Beginner's Guide To Bingo

Bingo has been around now for almost five centuries. In fact, its origins lie in 16 th Century Italy and the “Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia” – a lottery which has been in Italy ever since.

The game gradually spread into France where it became popular with the French aristocracy - and throughout the western world. In Germany, a tombola system was developed which was used as a teaching aid for children. But it was to be in the USA and the UK where Bingo really took hold.

The American Hugh Ward standardized the modern US bingo game at carnivals during the 1920s. He went on to copyright "Bingo" and even wrote a book on the rules. Another American, salesman Edwin Lowe, spotted the potential of Bingo and did much to make the game even more popular. He produced two versions of Bingo; a 12-card game set for $1 and a 24 card version for $2. By the 1940s, Bingo was immensely popular all over the USA – and remains so to this day. It was in the USA that televised Bingo really took off during the 1980s.

In Britain, Bingo became especially popular in seaside towns and northern industrial towns – and particularly so with women. Although Bingo went into a bit of a decline in the latter half of the 1980s and the 1990s, it has enjoyed a huge resurgence with the advent of the web. In fact, there are more than 3 million online Bingo players in the country today.

One of the UK’s most popular online Bingo sites Jackpotjoy, has over 80 games including nine different Bingo games, as well as casino games and slots. Players can win huge prizes, which is one of the many reasons the site is so popular. “Bejeweled Bingo”, for example, is proving hugely popular as players currently stand to win over £36,000 and new players can deposit £10 and receive an extra £20 playing bonus.

There are two main versions of Bingo popular with the UK’s millions of players. Traditional 90 ball Bingo has players play with three lines of five numbers on each line. As numbers are picked at random, players mark off their cards. There are usually three prizes; one to the first player who marks off a line, then a larger prize for the first to complete two lines, and the top prize to the first person to complete the card – or make a full house. In Bingo halls, winners shout “Bingo!” or “House!” - but online players are usually selected as winners automatically.

With 75 Ball Bingo, the numbers grid is 5 x 5 (though the central square is usually a free square and considered to be already marked off). The single prize is given to the first player to mark all of the squares making a particular shape on the ticket. There are various shapes in different versions – like an L shape for example.