Bingo TutorialThu, 29 May 2008 17:35
A quick tutorial guide to to bingo.
Most people believe bingo is the most boring game ever created, right up there with Scrabble and chess. They may even add, along with a condescending eyebrow raise, that bingo is actually more boring than those board games since chess and Scrabble have more complicated rules and require at least a know-how of the strategies, whereas the game of bingo is based purely on chance.
Different strokes for different folks. If you are the type of person who believe games need not be difficult in order to be enjoyed, or if you are in need of a group activity to rest your mind after a grueling day at work, then bingo is the game for you.
The history of bingo is actually as amusing as the game itself. It started off as an elite lottery game in Italy called, aptly and simply, "le lotto". Around the late 1920's it was introduced to North America as "beano". It was baptized "bingo" by then-bankrupt New York toy salesman and bingo godfather Edwin S. Lowe. The story goes that he once played "beano" with a group of friends, and in the game the winner mispronounced the name (she called out "bingo!" instead of "beano!"). This became Lowe's golden ticket to fame.
Now, how to play bingo. Bingo is so easy it can actually be learned through observation, but a quick bingo tutorial won't hurt. Picture yourself sitting with a group of bingo players. These bingo players are each holding a bingo card. A player is allowed more than one card. Actually, a player can have five to eight bingo cards, collectively called a book. Having more than one card will increase a player's probability of winning.
Picture yourself holding a bingo card (or an entire book, if you have money to spare). A bingo card contain numbers arranged in five columns and five rows. There is one free space in the center. Don't be bothered by it; the free space has no function and thus is always crossed out or covered.
On top of the columns is the word BINGO. Take note of the letter on top of the columns and the numbers beneath each one because both letter and number will be drawn by the caller and called. The caller draws the letter-number combination from a basket or a plastic container. You will hear calls like, "B-15!", or "I-74!" Look at your card. Do you have that combination? If you do (and lucky you) cross it out, or cover it with whatever you have. In bingo halls, players are provided with plastic chips, but you can also use pebbles or tiny shells. Once you've crossed out five combinations that forms a diagonal, a horizontal or a vertical on the face of your card, shout "Bingo!" You've won!
If that still sounds confusing, or if you believe there are ways to increase your probability of winning, a more in-depth bingo tutorial might help. You can either browse some good bingo websites online, or buy a good book. Here, along with the basic rules, you can read up on bingo faq (frequently asked questions) and some bingo tips (link to: bingo tips.txt) to strengthen your play.
Also, most online bingo tutorials allow you to play bingo online, so you can use that for practice.
After you experience shouting that first excited, "Bingo!" at the top of your lungs, you'll never be able to stop playing. Talk about boring, right?