Bingo is a gambling game on which a player will mark off numbers on cards as they are drawn by a Bingo caller, the winning ticket is made during fixed milestones such as matching all numbers in a single line, double line or full house. The game had a very large growth spurt and saw new dedicated bingo club buildings constructed every year up until 2005, since then there has been a decline in players visiting bingo halls as more and more players are turning to playing online or other games. In January 2014 there were 400 bingo halls across the United Kingdom with each hall offering players different perks or incentives to visit and play. Bingo is a form of gambling therefore a player will need to be above the age of 18 within the UK, this may change depending on your country of residence.
The very first game of bingo is thought to of taken place in Ital in the 1500s, it has then spread to France, Great Britain along with other countries in the Europe region throughout the 1700s. It is believed that the game has changed very little during this time and requires marking off drawn numbers on a card, these numbers are called out and it’s the responsibility of the player to ensure it’s marking off. A player can obtain a winning combination of numbers through a predetermined method of winning such as matching a line of numbers, two lines of numbers or obtaining a full house.
The UK adopt a 90 ball bingo game as opposed to the US which opt in for a 75 ball system, there is a difference between the two games and as this website is dedicated to UK players all references made to bingo on this website will related to the 90 ball game.
A player can purchase a strip of tickets which usually contains 6 tickets of three lines however as novice players may join the game, an option of 3 tickets may be offered to ease the demand of having to check your numbers. A typical bingo ticket (6 tickets) contains 27 spaces which is arranged in 9 different columns with each ticket showing three rows. Within each row of the ticket it will contain five numbers alongside four blank spaces which are determined at random. A column on the other hand has three numbers which has a dynamic structure depending on the operating bingo company (or where the ticket is purchased i.e. online or offline). There has been an introduction over the last few years or automated systems which will check your numbers for you once they have been called, this automated process has given players the opportunity to play with a larger amount of tickets. This has also been adopted by online bingo providers, as no manually checking is required, players can use a large amount of tickets w
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The bingo game is ran and managed directly by the bingo called, their job is to call out the numbers as they generated, usually by an automatic system, along with verifying winning tickets. This is usually done with the help of an assistant, the caller will also have the final say on any disputes or game queries. The caller will usually say the phrase “eyes down” when the game is going to start, from there a string of numbers will be called and the game will be paused when a player matches a winning combination and shout’s “BINGO”. It’s the responsibility of the player to ensure they shout loud enough to stop the game otherwise the game will continue and sadly that player will miss out on the prize. It’s also important a player gets the attention of the caller before the next number is drawn as most game providers will not count it as a win in the event of the next number being called. This process is usually automated during an online session or through the medium of a computer, this is usually the case due
to the large amount of tickets in play.
The caller may use common phrases during the game such as “All the three’s, Thirty-Three”, this varies from hall to hall and a player should become comfortable with the phrases before playing as it can cause confusion. There can also be variations within the game depending on the vendor it is therefore important to speak with any reception staff before the game starts to ask any questions you may have. Most halls and online gaming providers will offer as much information as possible so you understand how the game works along with any prizes and winning combinations. The main winning combinations of bingo can be shown as below:
- A winning line: This requires a player to match a single line of numbers, the prize is usually far smaller in comparison to the full house or two line tier.
- Two winning lines: This tier requires a player to fully match two lines on a single ticket, this will mean there is only one line of numbers available to be picked, the prize is usually higher than one line but less than the full house.
- A full house: This requires a full ticket to be free from uncalled numbers, the full house prize is usually the largest prize in the game however it can be the subject of secondary prizes e.g. getting a full house under a certain amount of numbers called or on a specific number.
There are also prizes which are known as windfalls, these include special circumstances on which a player can obtain a much larger jackpot prize. These windfalls are different from club to club and are subject to different requirements, the most common windfalls can be listed below:
- The Bullseye windfall: This is usually activated when a player calls house in 50 numbers or less, the usually prize for this tier is £50
- The Lucky Stars windfall: If the Lucky Star game is active, players are designated a number between 1 and 90, this number is formally known as their Lucky Star. If they are fortunate enough to win a full house game under their lucky number they can be awarded a cash prize of £1,000-£2,000 depending on the venue and time of play.
- The Double Bubble windfall: This game awards players cash prizes if they are fortunate enough to win a full house on any of the following numbers: 11, 22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77 and 88. The cash prizes for this game will very from venue to venue, usually dictated by the amount of players present at the game or accumulated prizes.
- Additional games: There is usually a windfall at most bingo halls to keep a player engaged whilst offering them a new way to win, prizes can vary along with odds of winning, it’s important to stay up to date with your chosen bingo hall’s windfalls. These can be played using external flyers or incorporated into an existing game.
Purchasing bingo tickets
The purchasing of bingo tickets can vary depending on your playing venue, if you are playing online there is usually a dedicated purchasing section however if you play within a bingo hall there is usually a ticket sales desk. The positioning of this desk is usually at the entrance and offer sales of different sessions, there are usually early and late sessions alongside other games like special tickets. It’s not unusually for bingo halls to “link up” to other venues in order to create a larger jackpot by increasing the amount of players, the odds of winning such games are lower than normal games but offer players a much larger jackpot.
The Mechanised Cash Bingo System
This additional bingo game is usually shown by a completely different entry flyer, usually taking the form of a bingo board which is split up into four different colours, each column represented with a colour. The numbers 1-20 are usually shown by the colour red, 21-40 by the colour yellow, 41-60 shown by the colour blue and finally 61-80 are shown by white. The colour is usually called by the bingo caller to ensure that the correct number has been checked, once a number has been called the player can usually swipe a filter to hide that number. The winning combinations for this game will vary from game hall to game hall as it can entail matching a line, including diagonal, horizontal or vertical. Bingo halls have also been known to incorporate a new game of requiring a player to match all four corners of the board. The cost to play this game is usually set less of the main games and offers players a fast paced game with varying jackpots based around the amount of players.