How to Play Bingo – Main Rules

Bingo is an entertainment activity where players choose numbers in a way that matches the digits on their cards. The game is based on the rules of classic lotto and can be played for real money or for free online on virtual casino websites, or in a tabletop version. Bingo is a popular pastime in Europe and the USA due to its simple rules and unpredictable outcomes.

History and Variations of Bingo

The first written mention of lotto dates back to the year 1530. During that time, the names of members of the Italian parliament were written on balls, and randomly drawn to select political figures for the High Council. The prototype of the first lotto was later modified and became a popular and widespread game.

Bingo is credited to the American Edwin Lowe. He noticed Italians playing a game with numbers on cards and beans. After guessing the numbers, participants would shout “Bingo!” (meaning “Bean goes!”), hence the name of the entertainment. Edwin Lowe used this idea to create the first sets. The main variations of the game include:

  1. 90-Ball Bingo – the most common type, widely popular in the UK. The game uses a card with 15 numbers arranged in 3 rows of 5. The winner is the player who first marks off 5 numbers in a row, and the leader is the one who covers all 15 numbers.
  2. 80-Ball Bingo – a new variation. The game involves a 4×4 card and is also popular in the UK.
  3. 75-Ball Bingo – a favorite in the USA. The game uses a colored card with 25 cells (5×5). Each card has 24 numbers and one empty cell. The winner is the player who first marks off 5 numbers in a row or diagonally.

There is also a mini-bingo version with 30 balls. The game ticket contains only 9 cells (3×3), and the winner is the player who fills the card first. This is a common form of online bingo.

Basic Rules of Bingo

Bingo has simple and understandable rules, making the gameplay easy even for inexperienced participants. Before the start, players receive cards with numbers, the quantity determined by the conditions of the current round – from one to three cards. The number sets on the cards are arranged randomly. The basic rules of the game are:

  • Participants choose a leader to draw balls (in slots, this is done by the program; in live games, it is done by a dealer).
  • Participants receive cards with numbers and overlay chips (in the tabletop version).
  • The leader draws a ball and announces the number, after which participants cover matching numbers with chips.
  • If a player completes a row of numbers, they shout “Bingo!” The leader checks the card for accuracy.

In the classic version of bingo, a winning combination is a set of 5 numbers horizontally or vertically on the card. The winner receives a prize. In online casinos, players can win real money with bingo, especially in live casinos with professional dealers.