Online Bingo

How to Play Bingo Games

To play bingo, which is kind of like a lottery, each player purchases one or more cards divided into numbered and blank squares. A caller or banker picks numbers randomly, usually up to 75 or 90 in all. As the numbers are called, all of the bingo game players scan their card or cards to see if that number appears. If the number appears it is marked off for the duration of the bingo game. The first bingo card player to achieve a card (or a line) in which all of the numbers have been called shouts "bingo" and collects the stake money (usually less a specified percentage, if that is permitted by local law). In a popular variation, the central square on the card is free, and the first bingo card player on whose card five of the called numbers appear in a row (vertically, horizontally, or diagonally) is the winner.

History of Bingo

Bingo's history stems from a French lotto lover who developed an alternative version of the lotteries that existed at the time. The initial alteration had three horizontal rows and nine vertical rows with numbered and blank squares in random arrangements. The columns were broken into sets of 10 numbers, 1-10, 11-20, all the way up to 90 in the last column. The bingo balls were chips in those days, and pulled out of a sac by the caller. The first player to cover a horizontal row was declared the winner.

In the 1800's Bingo variations began to be used as teaching devices. Germany used a version intended to teach its youth multiplication tables. Other educational lotto games existed for spelling, history, biology, you name it! This trend has never died, a quick walk through your local toys-r-us will most likely reveal a Milton Bradley variation of the game with Sesame Street characters, intended to teach numbers and counting.

Up until this point though, bingo was not bingo, it was still known as a lotto game or variation. The coining of the term bingo is most often attributed to a slip of the tongue, in the excitement of yelling 'Beano'! Beano was the name of a carnival game traveling around New York state around the same time that Edwin S. Lowe was searching for a game to rescue his struggling toy company venture.

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