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Land-Based Bingo Main Features
Bingo originated from a 16th-century Italian game of chance called Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia. It quickly spread to the rest of Europe and then America.
It first appeared as bingo in the 1920s and gained popularity in the 1960s. The land-based bingo we play today kept most of its main features from this era.
We’ll discuss the most important ones below.
Land-based bingo’s most notable feature is the way this game is played.
Most land-based bingo games take place in bingo halls. These venues are usually owned by commercial companies and host live bingo games, with bingo tickets on sale beforehand.
Still, the number of players participating in the drawing is limited, so the land-based version isn’t as accessible as its online counterpart.
The social component that comes with land-based bingo is another of its prominent features.
Bingo halls usually let players sit at rows of tables and follow the drawing. Some also offer food and drinks and create a festive atmosphere. They provide participants with a platform for:
- Social interaction
- Encourage competitiveness
- Create an overall sense of community
Smaller Game Variation
Bingo has developed numerous variations over the years. However, not all of them are equally represented in the land-based realm. Bingo halls generally host:
You’ll have to check which ones your venue hosts and study the schedule to participate. Online gambling sites offer a better selection and let players switch between the games.
Online bingo is known for being more profitable than its land-based equivalent because it’s hosted by casinos that offer lucrative bonuses. However, that’s not necessarily true.
Bingo games organized by large national lotteries usually feature progressive jackpot rewards, with many in the 7-figure range.
Bingo procedures vary depending on the variant you’re playing and state laws. Many venues also change the procedures on their own accord to keep the game exciting and attract more players. However, a few general bingo rules are valid across the board.
- The game is played with bingo cards that comprise a specific set of numbers. Players purchase those cards at the official counter, take a seat in the hall, and wait for the drawing to start.
- Once the game begins, the caller (game host) at the hall’s center starts drawing numbered balls randomly and calling them out.
- The players should follow the drawing by marking the selected numbers on their bingo cards.
- The person with all the drawn numbers in the correct pattern yells Bingo! and the drawing stops.
- The caller or another game official will examine the card for validation and proclaim the lucky player the winner.
The top prize goes to the player who completes the pattern first, even if they are others who’ve accomplished the same. A new round of the game begins after the winner is announced.
Bingo at bingo halls typically has between 10 and 15 rounds and lasts up to three or four hours.
Bingo Cards Explained
Bingo cards are flat pieces of paper or cardboard with a printed grid. These grids usually comprise 25 squares organized into five columns and five rows. Each column in the grid is labeled with a letter, typically “B,” “I,” “N,” “G,” and “O”. Moreover, each square in the grid contains a number, usually from 1 to 75. The center square in the grid is known as the Free Space and is the only one not marked with a number.
The numbers displayed on a bingo card are limited to specific columns. For instance, the column labeled B can only include numbers from 1 to 15, the column labeled I numbers from 16 to 30, and so on. The players win by matching a column, row, or diagonal on their card to the drawn numbers. However, the exact rules differ between games.
The number of digits players need to match on their cards and how they should be arranged varies. You can find bingo variants that require you to match only two numbers on your card and those that need you to cover the entire card to win the top reward. Some of the common patterns are in the picture below. Whatever the rules are, the caller will usually declare them before the drawing starts.
Bingo is among the earliest and most-played games of chance around the world. It withstood the test of time for a reason. The game features simple rules, fun gameplay, and rewarding prizes.
You can play it in its original form in numerous bingo halls across the US or at different state lotteries. You might even strike a winning combo if you’re lucky — you never know.