How to play Bingo

by TheLuckyNest

The game of bingo has always been touted as the slightly duller, simpler cousin to the more glamorous casino games of poker or roulette. Yet, despite this, bingo remains one of the nation's favourite games, with millions playing the games in the tabloid newspapers each week. The popularity of the game is down to its inherent simplicity and people of all ages can play; its appeal is across the board. For bingo newbies, here's a quick guide to how to play.

The main premise is simple. Players pay for a sheet, which has a grid of random numbers printed on it. An announcer will pick randomly numbered balls out of a machine and call it out to the room of players - if the number on the ball matches one on your card, you can cross it off. Players are sometime given a 'dauber' - a small circular ink stamp which you can use to mark off numbers. The aim is to be the first to cross off the numbers in a certain pattern - sometimes it's diagonally, sometimes the four corners, and in some games, the entire grid. Once you've crossed off the right formulation, the winning player shouts 'bingo' to alert the announcer and claim their prize. This usually takes the form of cash but can range anywhere from a few pounds to thousands.

In order to increase your chances of winning, players can buy extra cards at additional cost. However, whilst having more cards may give you a higher probability of winning, there is the added difficulty of keeping track of crossing off numbers. Highly seasoned players can handle-half a dozen cards in one round of bingo, whereas newcomers to the game may only be able to deal with two at a time.

If you're playing online (one site to check out is 32 Red who offer various types of bingo games) there is usually an auto daub feature which marks off numbers for you - very handy if you've got multiple cards or if you simply want to chat or watch TV as you play.

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