The Gameplay of Popular Bingo

The history of Bingo has its origins in the 1500’s in Italy. It spread across Europe during the 1700’s. In France during the 1700’s it was played by the aristocracy. The same happened in Spain and the UK. It was the plaything of rich aristocrats. It had spread to the United States by the late 1800’s. During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s it had spread to most of the civilized world.

Now in the 21st century it is played in bingo halls, casinos, church halls, online, on mobile telephones and probably any other piece of electrical equipment that can receive a signal – virtually globally. Bingo has been called “the gambling phenomenon of the 20th century”. Bingo is played using 90 numbers from 1 – 90.


The bingo ticket is normally sold in “books” of six tickets. Each ticket has 9 vertical columns and 3 horizontal columns. So there are 27 spaces. Column 1 is for number 1-9, column 2 is for number 10-19 etc. Each ticket will contain 15 numbers. This allows the player to mark each number as they are called and ensures that all numbers are in the player’s book.


The Caller is similar to Major Domo. He or she is in total control of the game. It is his or her responsibility to “call” the numbers as they are drawn or selected. He or she calls the numbers to the assembled players. The numbers can be chosen in three ways:

  1. by calling numbers from an electronic random number generator (also RNG)
  2. by selecting and calling numbered counters taken from a bag or other suitable receptacle
  3. by calling numbers randomly selected by an electronic selection machine.

The caller may call the number(s) straight, that is 1 and 5, number 15 or 6 and 1, 61. All numbers that end in a zero are called as “blind numbers”- 2 and 0, blind 20. Some numbers are called using colloquialisms. An example is: all the 2’s, two little ducks, 22. These vary from country to country.


When the game is ready to start the caller will announce,”eyes down”. The game will then begin. The numbers are called and it is the responsibility of the players to mark each number in their book as it is called.


There are normally three categories of winners: the first player to mark four corners, the first player to mark a horizontal line, and the first bingo player to mark all numbers on their ticket.


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