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How To Play Bingo How to play a bingo game, basic rules VideoHow To Play Bingo - Beginners
In some states, such as Michigan, there is no limit to how much money a player can win in progressive bingo. The popularity of big prizes has allowed bingo to expand into more lucrative games.
The most exciting new phenomenon in the bingo world is the spread of high-stakes games. The jackpots are so high that some hall owners take out insurance policies so they won't go broke!
Some of the super-jackpots are set up to be "step games," where the game pays different amounts depending on how quickly the winner gets a blackout.
Because it's very hard to get a blackout in so few calls, it may be weeks or even months before anybody wins it.
The super-jackpots are usually winnable during certain sessions. In order to win this or other super-jackpots, players usually have to get a special pattern within a certain number of calls, and then they may have to play another game of chance, like spinning a wheel or picking an envelope off a prize board.
As you can imagine, the odds of winning are pretty slim, so it may be weeks, months, or years before somebody gets that top prize.
Then again, somebody could win it on the first game of the first session on the first day it's offered. Players who hit a big bingo in a super-jackpot don't just walk away with a fat check.
First, the bingo balls are collected and sent to an independent testing lab to make sure there has been no tampering, and the insurance company reviews a security videotape.
The check is usually cut about 48 hours after the win. Satellite bingo is another way bingo halls can offer larger jackpots. This is a linked bingo game played simultaneously at bingo halls in a certain area.
An outside company links the bingo halls by satellite hence the name of the game! The prizes in satellite bingo games are often much larger than what individual halls could offer.
If you are interested in going home with some of those sweet winnings, it's important that you understand the basics of the game.
In the next section we'll look at the game equipment and how it's used. Bingo Equipment Knowing the basics is the key to unlocking the excitement of bingo.
If you've played before, you may think you already know everything The information below will reintroduce you to the bingo equipment and how it's used.
Bingo is basically a game of chance. Players use cards that feature five columns of five squares each, with every square containing a number except the middle square, which is designated a "FREE" space.
The object is to listen for the numbers that appear on the cards to be called. When one is called, the player marks the square.
The first person to complete a predetermined pattern of marked numbers is the winner. The columns are labeled B, I, N, G, and O.
Letters always contain a certain range of numbers, as shown below. The type of game cards used varies widely depending on the hall.
Some halls still use traditional cardboard "hard cards," or "all-night boards," that can be marked with chips, tokens, or pennies. But most halls today use disposable strips or sheets of paper cards containing a set number of faces, such as six known as a 6-on or three a 3-on.
The process of purchasing cards is called the "buy-in," or, in other words, you pay money up front to buy cards to be used during a specific session.
Sometimes the buy-in is for single-face, stand-alone cards, but, more often, the buy-in is for tear-off, disposable sheets of paper containing a number of card faces.
Some of the more popular calls are: Legs Eleven for B Sweet Sixteen for I Two Little Ducks Quack, Quack for I Any Way You Can Get It for O The Caller A person known as the "caller" picks the numbers from a basket or blower and announces them to the players.
It's also the caller's responsibility to announce the pattern of the game before calling the first ball. There are literally dozens of patterns from which to choose, and the pattern call changes from game to game.
The two most common patterns are straight-line bingo and coverall, or blackout. Straight-line bingo: In the simplest version, a player gets "bingo" with a five-number straight line stretching from one end of the card to the other.
The line can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. The straight line may include the free space, in which case the player would only need to have four numbers called.
Coverall: Also called blackout, coverall is a typical jackpot game. The goal is to cover every number on the card within a certain number of calls.
In a number coverall, a coverall must occur within 49 calls, or else the game is over and nobody wins.
The Numbers The caller selects each ball at random, sometimes from an electrically operated blower machine similar to what's used to call state lotteries, or else from an old-time mechanical or manually operated cage.
The blower may have a trap that automatically catches one or more balls at a time while the machine is running. There are 75 balls in the machine, and each one is printed with a letter from the word "bingo" and a number from 1 to All of the balls are essentially the same size, shape, weight, and balance, so that during the bingo game, each ball has an equal chance of being pulled.
Once a number is called, the ball may be displayed on a closed-circuit television system with monitors around the room.
Then, the corresponding light on the big overhead scoreboard is activated. The scoreboard, which may also display a lighted diagram of the pattern in play, is there so players can keep track of numbers already called.
Some halls still have an old, nonelectric tote board that serves the same purpose. After the numbers are announced and put on the scoreboard, you need to know how to mark your cards.
The Daubers As each number is called, players scan their cards, and if they have the number, they mark it with a token or a dauber a special penlike ink stamper.
The easiest way to mark a disposable paper card is to use a dauber. Daubers have become an essential tool of the modern bingo player. To use the dauber, players simply remove the cap and press the wide, foam-rubber tip firmly on the square containing the called number, producing a large, round color smudge.
The advantages of the dauber are that it's quick, permanent nobody bumping the table is going to send your chips flying , and easy to see, so you can ignore marked boxes and concentrate on the rest of the card.
Dauber trends: For dauber ink, it's purple -- that's according to BK Entertainment, a bingo supply company that sells more than 40 billion bingo cards a year.
That's enough colors for a six-pack, which some players in fact do keep with them -- one for each game in a session. The trend is now toward bolder, richer colors, such as bright orange.
New fast-dry inks are available to keep players from messing up their hands and shirtsleeves. Wondering what to get your favorite bingo aficionado?
Dauber four-packs make a thoughtful present! When you have your equipment in place, you are almost ready to play. In the next section, we'll look at the basic rules and etiquette to prepare you for almost any bingo game.
Bingo Rules and Etiquette What happens when somebody gets the bingo card pattern? The customary way to announce that you've won is simply to yell "Bingo!
Once bingo is called, an assistant sometimes called a floor walker will come to the table right away to verify the bingo.
The floor walker will call out the winning numbers for the caller to verify or, in fancier setups, will simply call out an identification number on the card, which the caller punches into a computer that automatically verifies or rejects the bingo.
Depending on where you play, the winning bingo card may be posted for the remainder of the night so other players can inspect it.
Disputes are not that common -- either you bingo or you don't -- but when discrepancies pop up, the bingo manager usually has the final say.
If two people call bingo on the same number, the jackpot is split evenly between them. Likewise, if three people call it, the house divides the pot three ways.
Common Rules Since no two bingo halls operate exactly the same way, it's a good idea to read the posted rules thoroughly before the session begins.
Be sure to look for special handouts; any extra printed rules for the night supersede what is posted. Whatever you do, don't try to alter a bingo card!
It's not worth it, and no experienced bingo manager or caller will fall for it. Many, if not most, halls will be happy to make an example of anyone caught cheating, prosecuting to the full extent of the law.
Play it safe by following the rules and being honest. Below are some common rules you may encounter: In most halls, players must be 18 years of age or older.
Some halls prohibit alcoholic beverages, while others will sell beer along with soft drinks. Outside food and drinks are usually frowned upon, since most establishments want you to buy their hot dogs, chips, and soda.
During special high-stakes games, management may prohibit players from entering and leaving the hall. Reserving specific cards may not be allowed.
Typically, people are not allowed to sit and watch while friends or relatives play; each seated person may be required to have their own buy-in.
Some halls may require seated players to have an attendance ticket in plain view while they play. If a player has bingo, it's up to him or her to stop play before the next number is called by announcing "bingo!
It's important to know that bingo must be claimed on the most-recent number called. If the caller has already started announcing the next ball, it's too late to call bingo.
Likewise, as soon as the caller closes the game and drops the balls for the next game, any missed bingos become invalid.
Bingo Playing Tips It's time to learn what seasoned bingo professionals already know. The game is steeped in ritual, rules, and special game variations.
A first-timer is bound to get bewildered without some sort of guidance. The following are a variety of pointers that will help you get in the groove quickly.
Arrive early. It's common practice for regular players to arrive at the hall one or two hours before the session begins. This gives them ample time to get their favorite seat, prepare their cards by fastening them down or predaubing spaces not needed for the pattern , grab a snack, set up their good-luck trinkets, play some pull-tabs, or gossip and play gin rummy with other regulars.
This is also an excellent opportunity to learn more about the best or worst games in town. As you meet people, you'll get to hear war stories and find out about the popular places in town to play bingo.
Take what you hear with a grain of salt, though. People might make broad statements about a certain hall just because they went one time and lost.
Or they might say, "I love that hall -- I won six times! Be prepared. Bring tape or a glue stick. Slippery tables can be a pain when you're trying to concentrate on your cards.
A roll of adhesive tape should solve that. Likewise, a glue stick might be a good investment. Sit close to the caller.
The faster you get information, the better. By sitting near the caller, you may be able to sneak a peek at the next ball as it pops out of the chute.
This is a totally acceptable practice, so feel free to take advantage of it. However, be aware that you can't call bingo until after the number is announced by the caller.
Stay alert. Stay on your toes, because if you cover the pattern on B-7 but don't yell "bingo" before the next number is called, you lose.
For somebody who has spent all night at the tables, it's a personal tragedy to "sleep a bingo. Keep your wits about you. Some bingo halls serve alcoholic drinks along with the usual assortment of snacks and refreshments.
Enjoy in moderation, if that's what you like, but always remember that alcohol can impair your judgment. Don't rely on your bingo judgment to be the best under the influence of alcohol.
You don't want to wake up the next morning wondering what happened to that paycheck you just cashed! Speak up.
Don't be afraid to call the caller. If it seems like the caller is whizzing through the numbers, you may be playing too many cards.
But the caller could be new, or he or she may simply be tired and hoping to get the game done quickly. If you know you can play six faces comfortably but you're having trouble keeping up, don't be afraid to speak up.
Know the rules. If someone gets a bingo unfairly for example, they don't call bingo loud enough for the caller to stop the game but they are awarded the pot anyway , citing the rules may mean the difference between you having a chance to win and the game ending right there.
Get some exercise. A lot of people say exercise makes them sharper and better able to concentrate. Exercise also combats the dreaded "seat spread" caused by excessive bingo snack consumption.
Be warned, however, that a brisk walk around the parking lot probably won't cut it. Researchers in Victoria, Australia, found that six minutes of aerobic exercise had no effect on how mentally sharp bingo players were compared with their pre-exercise scores.
How to Hone Your Mental Skills A big surprise to bingo beginners is how often they have to slap their forehead because they missed a chance to fill in a square on one of their cards.
For bingo "professionals," however, missed calls are kept to a minimum thanks to a combination of concentration and mental skills that become second nature from repeated play.
Below are a few tips to try out. Ignore the numbers on the left side of the square. By reading the numbers on the card backward, you may save a little time.
For example, if the number called is B, scan the right-hand side of the B column for 2's. When you see one, glance to the left for a 1. Pay attention to the pattern.
It can be tricky to keep up with the caller while remembering to check for the pattern. It's not unusual at all for a beginner to get bingo and not realize it, simply because their card is so daubed up that they don't even see the pattern.
Predaub all the squares you don't need. Don't forget that in certain games, many of the spaces don't matter.
If the game pattern is picture frame all the squares along the four edges of the card , try predaubing all the inside numbers to help you mentally block out the rest of the card and concentrate on the important spaces.
That can mean a lot of daubing in a card game of little diamond the four squares immediately up, down, left, and right of the free space , but the slight edge you gain from predaubing might allow you to comfortably track additional sheets.
Eventually, as you develop the mental skills that come with repeated play, you may find you don't get any benefit from predaubing. You may be able to simply visualize the pattern as your eyes dart from card to card.
Rely on backup. If you're still having trouble keeping up with complicated patterns, consider bringing a yellow highlighter to mark the daubable spaces.
Now that you know some basic rules and how to keep up with seasoned players, where can you play bingo? Let's find out in the last section.
Directory of Places to Play Bingo There are literally thousands of places to play bingo, from community churches and schools to casinos and Native American mega-halls.
You may also want to check out the bingo search engines on the Internet, which list selected bingo halls by state. And, the Aruba Publishing Bingo Directory www.
Below is just a sampling of places to play across the United States. It is by no means complete, and it is not a "best" bingo hall listing -- it is a sampling of good, well-respected halls.
Be sure to call to get the most up-to-date schedules and specials. Northeast Region Mohawk Bingo Palace State Route 37, P. Box Akwesasne, NY www. Semi-regular features include a 7 p.
Senior bingo held at 11 a. Playing bingo online and playing bingo in a bingo hall or club is very similar. Many of our members prefer playing online bingo as it offers the same excitement of bingo in a club, but you can do it anytime, anywhere.
Want to find out where you local Mecca Bingo club is? Click here to discover clubs near you. Playing online bingo is really simple, as the hardest part — keeping up with the bingo calls — is done for you!
First of all, you need to be signed into Mecca Bingo. You can follow this simple step-by-step guide that will help get you signed up in a matter of minutes.
Want to know more? In the bingo lobby, you will see how much tickets are for each game, what the prizes on offer are and when the next game starts.
Click the game that you want to play and select how many tickets you would like to buy. You will be notified if you have won a prize and any cash winnings will be credited to your balance immediately.
When the game has finished and all winners have been found, you will have the chance to buy more tickets for the next round.
How to play bingo: a bingo guide for beginners. Play Bingo. Online Bingo Tutorial — How to Play Online Bingo.
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The players can have one or more bingo card each. When the organizer draws a number, he calls it outloud and the players mark it on their bingo cards.
To help the players, the organizer can tell under which column the number can be found ex. The player checks on his bingo card if called number is on the card.
If the number is there, the player identifies it with a pencil, marker or a bingo stamp. You can form a bingo in all directions horizontal, vertical, diagonal.
Show up on time so you don't miss any games! A series of bingo games usually takes more than an hour to play and can provide more fun at a lower cost than the same time spent at blackjack or craps.
You must listen carefully as each game may require something different to win: a diagonal line, a number in each corner four corners , four, six or even eight numbers together picture frame , or a cover-all where you play until somebody covers every number on their card.
Stand in line and buy your game packet from the cashier. Find a seat, spread out your game cards, and listen to which game usually with a color is first and which cover wins.
There are light-up bingo cards on the walls to help. Mark your free space and listen as the numbers are called.