Bingo Rules & Etiquette
Bingo is played in group settings and are hosted in large venues. Due to this, having a list of bingo rules to convey proper conduct becomes necessary. In Las Vegas, bingo parlors can accommodate hundreds of people in a single seating.
Gamblers have been playing bingo in America since the late 1920’s. Each state in the US has its own laws that regulate the game. These laws stipulate the terms and conditions involved with the various prizes on offer and the requirements to claim them. Bingo rules of play, however, are standard practice across all top casino sites in the various states. The “bingo” rule where the potential winner yells the term to alert the house of a possible win, is almost universal.
The game is facilitated by “the house” and players compete against one another. Unlike with many other games, the house in bingo has no advantage over the players. Their role is to simply monitor the game, to verify wins, and to award the deserving winners.
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All American Bingo
Bingo is played differently in different countries. Some countries play the game using more bingo balls than others. In America, players enjoy 75-ball bingo. This means that the game uses 75 numbers, which is divided into 5 groups, and each group is assigned a letter in the word B-I-N-G-O. The ‘B’ group consists of numbers from 1-15. Group ‘I’ consists of numbers from 16-30. Group ‘N’ consists of numbers from 31-45. Group ‘G’ consists of numbers from 46-50 and group ‘O’ includes numbers 61-75.
All the bingo cards are square shaped with 5 numbers spaces going across, and 5 number spaces going down. This tallies to 25 spaces on a single bingo card. The word ‘bingo’ is printed horizontally across the card with each letter carefully placed within a vertical column. The center block on each card is marked ‘free’ and all other blocks are filled with numbers from each group. To play and win, you need to stamp spaces that are aligned or form a clear pattern. The X formation is considered a pattern as numbers are stamped in two diagonal lines that run from top-left to bottom right, and top-right to bottom left.
Online Bingo Rules
Playing bingo online is not much different from playing bingo in a hall. If you are familiar with the common bingo rules in a land-based bingo venue, then you are more than prepared to start playing online as well. The ‘rules’ found in bingo halls are in many ways replaced by instructions when playing online. However, playing online does come with a few added features to accommodate the online player. These include an auto-play function and a live chat function.
Common Bingo Rules
As mentioned previously, different bingo halls operate differently, but there are some common rules that govern each. We’ve listed a few common bingo rules below.
- Players must be 18 years and older to play
- Alcohol consumption is prohibited in some bingo venues, while others do sell beer and light foods.
- Some venues prohibit players from entering and leaving the hall
- Bingo cards cannot be reserved
- Spectators may not be allowed. All those present must have a buy-in on the game
- Any missed bingo callouts become invalid. You must shout bingo upon the announcement of the number that completes your winning pattern. Callouts after that will not be considered
Proper Bingo Etiquette
In addition to bingo rules, there is also a thing called bingo etiquette. Consider these the unwritten rules of bingo.
- Lucky Seats – Some players are very picky when it comes to where they sit. If you find yourself in someone else’s lucky seat you might be asked to move. Obeying the request is considered polite.
- Parrot Players – Certain players repeat the numbers as they are called out, a supposed concentration technique. But, this can be distracting for other players. Therefore, keeping noise and other sounds at its lowest is important.
- Frustrated players – It can become frustrating when every number except the numbers you need are called out, and sometimes players lose their cool. Yelling or voicing your frustrations are not allowed.
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