Although it can award the players with piles of cash, bingo is frequently used to support charity events. Starting from small halls, the game has grown into huge national lottery-like businesses in some countries and online gambling industry has blown another wind in its sails, bringing the game to countless online players.
Even if you have never played bingo in your life, you have probably exclaimed “Bingo!” at least once to express satisfaction with a positive outcome. Alphaslot.com will introduce you with different games, giving you a chance to shout out “Bingo!” for a good reason. If you are not familiar with this game, its history and variations, read the rest of the article and find out why an increasing number of players opt for the game in online casinos.
History of Bingo
Italy was the centre of the world in 15th and 16th century, leaving many legacies to the rest of humanity, therefore it is not a surprise to find the roots of modern bingo there. Starting from 1530 an Italian national lottery Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia has been held, almost without breaks, at weekly intervals up to this date, and bingo is considered a direct descendent of this game. From Italy, the game was introduced to France in 1770s, where it was called “Le Lotto” and it was played by the French aristocracy.
In 19th century Germany bingo was played, called “Tombola”, but for educational purposes, helping children to learn maths, spelling and history. The game reached American soil in 1920s where it was known under the name “Beano”, played with dried beans and cardboard sheets. The name “Bingo” derives from that time and it is attributed to a New York toy salesman, Edwin S. Lowe, who overheard someone yelling “bingo” instead of “beano”. First steps in online bingo gaming were taken in 1996 when the first website is launched. From that time, its became a regular game in all respectable online casinos.
In UK, Australia and some parts of Europe and South America, 90-ball is the prevalent version of the game. When playing 90-ball you must first buy a ticket that contains 15 numbers scattered in three rows and nine columns. Each row contains five numbers and four blank spaces. Numbers from 1 to 9 (or 10) can only be seen in the first column, 10 (or 11) to 20 in the second, 20 (or 21) to 30 in the third and so on. Tickets are usually sold as strips of 6, with all numbers from 1 to 90 appearing once across all 6 tickets. Bingo is then run by a caller who calls out the numbers drawn by system, one at a time and players mark off or “daub” the numbers on their tickets.
Winning combinations may differ slightly, depending on the provider, but most commonly players are awarded for Line (matching all numbers on any horizontal line), Two Lines (covering any two lines on the same ticket) and Full House (covering all 15 numbers). Sometimes prizes are also given to players that cover the leftmost and the rightmost numbers on the top and bottom lines. Additionally, in some games players who fail to cover any number on their tickets are given consolation prizes. When a player covers a line he shouts “Bingo”, “Yes” or “Line” and the game is stopped for a short time. Players can also shout “House” for any win, including “Two Lines” and “Full House”.
Payouts usually depend on the number of tickets purchased, with Full House bringing the biggest prize. If more than one player claim the same prize, it is split equally among them.
A dominant version of bingo game in North America is 75-ball version. Unlike the 90-ball game that includes marking off lines, the goal in this version is to mark off shapes. Tickets in 75-ball bingo are called bingo cards and contain 25 fields arranged in five columns and five rows. Above each row a letter of the game is written, therefore the first line is labelled “B”, the second “I”, the third “N” , the fourth “G” and the fifth “O”.
One of the fields (usually the centre of the bingo card) does not contain any number and is labelled “Free”. Numbers from 1 to 75 are written in all other fields as follows: numbers from 1 to 15 within a column B, numbers from 16 to 30 – column I, numbers from 31 to 45 – column N, numbers from 46 to 60 – column G and numbers from 61 to 75 – column O. The centre “Free” field is considered automatically filled and other fields are covered according to the numbers announced by a caller. The first player that covers any row, any column or a diagonal, is the winner. However, instead of straight lines, many 75-ball games include covering different patterns or shapes in order to claim a prize.
While 90-ball bingo that comes with three separate prizes, in 75-ball bingo there is only one prize awarded to the player that covers the pattern first.
80-ball bingo is a variation of the 75-ball game, but it comes with 80 numbers and 4×4 tickets. Each column has a different colour: red, yellow, blue and silver. Numbers from 1 to 20 can be found in the first column, numbers from 21 to 40 in the second and so on. This game includes covering various patterns given before the game begins and the winner is the one that covers the pattern first.
Those who prefer fast games can choose to play 30-ball, also known as “Speed Bingo”. With just 30 balls and a 3×3 card grid, the goal of the game is to be the first player to cover the whole card.
With chats and witty comments being an integrative part of the game, online bingo is more than a mere game of chance. Bingo online has developed its own language and players often use creative phrases to entertain themselves and others. That is the main reason why many online bingo contestants stick to computers and avoid playing the game via mobile phones.
All versions can be played online, with some operators requiring players to download free software and others that use Flash or Java plug-ins, enabling players to access games instantly. Online bingo games are based on random number generators that provide random appearance of the numbers and fair gaming. While some games include other players, in others you will be competing with the machine. With many tickets/cards on the table, it is sometimes hard to follow the pace and mark all the numbers as they come out. Therefore, online bingo has auto-daub option with automatic marking of the numbers that are called. Prizes are, in most cases, determined by the cost per card and the number of players. Some bingo games also feature progressive jackpots, giving players a chance to land huge payouts.