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 Bingo Rules


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Bingo Rules


How to play Bingo

Bingo Rules

Bingo Terms


How to play Bingo

The game of Bingo is easy to learn and play. According to Bingo rules in order to play the game a player has to purchase a Bingo card. The Bingo cards are usually available in the racks located close to a cashier. A player is not limited to buying one card only. He can buy as many as he wants. Some Bingo players play regularly 20 or 30 cards at a time. The Bingo cards should be bought before the start of the game. If a player bought more cards than he uses, Bingo rules require him to return unused cards. If there are few games to be played during the day, a player can buy the Bingo cards for all the games in advance. Some gambling parlors give a player a free “bonus” card if he or she buys for ex. twelve or more cards. If a player wins a game on that card the prize is doubled. The players who buy more than a certain amount of cards are considered to be “big” players.

As soon as the money has been collected from all participants of the game, the Bingo rules require a game “caller’ to announce the start of the game. He also has to declare the type of the game which is about to start, the amount of prizes to be awarded and the size of the bonus jackpot offered.

The game begins when a caller starts pulling randomly ping pong Bingo balls out of the “cage” or “blower”. Each Bingo ball has a letter and a number. A letter will be one of the letters from the word “Bingo” and it will be on top of one of the five vertical columns on the Bingo card. The number will be in the column determined by that letter. When a letter and a number are announced the players check the number against the numbers on their Bingo cards. If there is a match, the Bingo rules require a player to cover that number on his card with a plastic chip, a marker or a self-contained tab of the Bingo card. The object of the game according to the Bingo rules is to cover with the matched numbers a predetermined pattern. As soon as the pattern is covered, a player or players are obliged by the Bingo rules to shout “Bingo”. The “runners” go to the players and take their cards to a caller or other official of the game to verify that the cards have the winning pattern covered and they are indeed winning cards. If that’s the case the players are usually immediately paid. After that the new game begins. If only one player shouted “Bingo” and there was a mistake in the card, the card is returned to the player and the game resumes.

The Bingo rules allow endless variety of winning patterns to be used. The patterns are chosen by the operators of the game and announced before the start of every game by the “caller”. If a day session includes many games, the Bingo rules permit to change the patterns from one game to another. The first game may ask for a horizontal row to be filled by the matched numbers, the second game may require a diamond formation around “Free” space to be completed, the third one may have letter “X” for a winning pattern etc… The winning pattern, which is harder to cover, is guaranteed by the Bingo rules to pay higher prize. The highest prize is paid for a “coverall” or “blackout” Bingo – the game where all the numbers on the card has to be matched. Usually, this game pays 5 times more than the prizes for other patterns. Very often the bonus jackpots are given to the players in addition to regular prizes, if the game is won, for ex. within the first 20 numbers drawn. If a bonus jackpot is not won, it is added to the jackpot of the next game. According to the Bingo rules the players must be 18 years of age or older. Each player seated in the Bingo hall is required to play. Bingo rules prohibit simply to seat and watch how other people play.

Bingo Terms

Bingo parlor – the place where the Bingo games are conducted

Blackout game – the Bingo game, which requires all the numbers on the card to be covered

Blower – the device for randomly choosing numbers that uses air pressure to blow the numbered Bingo balls into a “gooseneck”

Board – the board that shows illuminated numbers as they are randomly picked from a blower or a cage

Cage – another device to choose numbers randomly

Caller – a Bingo game official who selects the numbered Bingo balls and announces them to the players

Card – a Bingo card that has 24 squares filled with numbers and one “Free” space, which is always assumed to be covered

Consolation prize – a prize that is smaller than the main prize

Coverall – the same as Blackout Bingo

Gold card – a free bonus card sometimes given to the players who buy many cards. It usually pays double prize.

Gooseneck – a part of a blower or a cage, which Bingo balls are pushed into by air pressure or gravitational force

Late Bird Games – the games played after a regular Bingo session

Numbers – the numbered ping pong Bingo balls picked in a random fashion from a blower or a cage

Pays – the Bingo cards with a covered winning pattern

Racks – the racks where the Bingo players can choose Bingo cards to play

Session – the number of Bingo games to be played during the day

Toke – a tip given by a winning player to a Bingo game employee

 Copyright Progress Publishing Co. 2006