The expression everything old is new again could well be applied to bingo, the popularity of which has surged in recent years, thanks in part to its availability online to a whole new generation of players.
If you are unfamiliar with bingo you will be asking yourself what is it and where did it come from? Bingo is a probability game in which players are required to mark off numbers on cards as those same numbers are drawn in random by a caller. The origins of bingo are thought to lie in 16th century Italy, with the game steadily migrating to other parts of Europe. The modern version of the game first began to appear at fairs and carnivals in the 1920s and it grew from there. A toymaker in the U.S. by the name of Edwin Lowe came across a game going by the name of “Beano” and devised his own version of the game using a board made of card and a rubber stamp for numbering. Lowe is credited with inventing the bingo card as we know it and his version of the game moved across the Atlantic to the U.K.
Bingo halls, purposely built to hold the games, began to pop up all over the U.K., where the game in that form remained popular until a decline in the current century. However, with the emergence of the Internet as an entertainment and gaming platform, bingo has benefited from a resurgence. Bingo as it has been played in the U.K. varies from the Bingo played in the U.S., with the tickets and the calling of numbers differing slightly. In addition, there are 90 balls in play in U.K. bingo and 75 balls in U.S. bingo. However, the appeal of the game in both countries is the same. As a game of probability, Bingo draws on people’s skills in mental speed and memory.
In traditional bingo, there are a number of different winning combinations. These are:
- Four corners – the furthest numbers to both left and right across the top and bottom lines.
- Line – a horizontal line of five numbers on a ticket.
- Two Lines –any two lines on the same ticket.
- Full House –all fifteen numbers on the ticket.
The simplicity of bingo is one of the reasons why it has surged in popularity in its online format. At the same time, the mental skills required to play it ensure that players do not bore of the game quickly and bingo’s new-found popularity is unlikely to wane any time soon. Indeed, many of the big online bingo providers have developed apps and mobile versions of their sites, meaning that bingo can be played on the go. Many online bingo sites, such as 888Ladies, also provide chat features, enabling players to interact with each other and make new friends, turning online bingo into a virtual bingo hall.
The emergence of bingo on online platforms enables providers to give players access to different types of bingo games than they otherwise might have. Many online bingo sites offer both 75-ball and 90-ball bingo games, but the options typically do not end there. Bingo game variations can include 5-line bingo, which you might also know as Swedish bingo. In this version of the traditional 75-ball game, the numbers are laid out in a 5×5 style grid. As the name implies, 5-line bingo offers five different opportunities to win a jackpot, for one, two, three, four, and five lines. Five lines is a Full House. You can get a first line win by matching a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line. Games in 5-line bingo are fast, so if you are a beginner or a player with a fondness for Speed Bingo then 5-line bingo may well be the game for you. The speed of the games also makes 5-line bingo ideal for those with not much time to devote to playing.
Another version of bingo that has become popular and spread online is known as 52-5 bingo. In this version, playing cards are used instead of the traditional numbered bingo balls. However, as with traditional bingo, you have to buy bingo tickets to enter the game, with each ticket known as a hand. Random playing cards are drawn and the winner is the first player to have all five playing cards on their ticket.
Bingo’s resurgence comes as little surprise when you think about it. The combination of exciting game play with the opportunity to win prizes has drawn in new and younger players, who appreciate the social aspect of the game.