The history of how bingo came about is nothing short of interesting. Believe it or not, it actually began in China where the lottery was invented by taking inspiration from another game known as keno. Then, probably through the works of famed explorer Marco Polo, the Italians caught wind of this new game, and from there came the birth of bingo. By some miracle, the French was convinced and got hooked onto this new game that the Italians had put a spin on.
This story is already gripping and we’ve only just begun. Today, Bingo has even gone online and there is a list of free bingo sites that people can easily access. Let’s continue to see how bingo has transformed into one of the most popular games in history.
The Americans and Bingo
The game (before it was called bingo) really took off when it spread to America. The game was especially popular during funfairs where the game had begun to take its modern format. People would use beans to mark a number that was on their card. Instead of shouting “Bingo!”, they shouted “Beano!” instead.
It was during the Great Depression that Edwin Lowe formed the five by five number grid and made it into the game it is today. After witnessing “beano” at a carnival and speaking to the booth operator, Lowe brought the game to his hometown (New York) and made some modifications to it. One day, when he and his friends were playing the game, one of his friends shouted “Bingo!” by accident. And they never looked back, hopefully.
The bustling yet silent bingo halls
Bingo halls are bustling because it is filled with cliques reserving seats for one another, couples who are immersed in their own world sprinkled here and there, unbeknown to them the thousands of individuals who constantly roam the bingo halls.
The venue itself can be huge nowadays regardless of whether it is part of a casino or an independent business. The crowd can also be pretty overwhelming on days when there are special promotions and huge jackpots to be won. The queuing time for bingo cards can stretch up to half an hour-long during such days.
Not to mention the convenient stalls that offer sales of food and beverages for players who are in need of some refreshments. On top of this, larger bingo halls will have a screen of the game progress up for all players to reference. Some businesses even allow smoking in a special room made of glass. Often times because of the smoke, it is hard to even see the human inside these glass rooms which can be slightly peculiar. Bingo sure has come a long way.
These days, bingo has even infiltrated the internet and virtual spaces for everyone to enjoy without having to take a step out of their homes.
Such a bustling location is also quiet at the same time because the nature of the game requires almost absolute silence. If you were to lose a game because you missed a number due to another person’s chattering, I’d imagine you’d be furious, especially if it’s a high-stakes game. That explains why the rule of silence exists in a bingo hall.
Types of bingo players
When you go to a bingo hall, you meet all types of people.
The first kinds are the spreaders who have just about 35 bingo cards laid out across the table with a variety of daubers that are within reach of the person. Most spreaders are ladies who are impressively talented at accurately daubing each number on each card without fail.
The next type of bingo character is the trolls and it’s not for the reason that you’re thinking. They are called trolls because they literally have one or at times even a row of lucky troll dolls lined up in front of them. Sometimes, Beanie Babies are also thrown into the mix for whatever reason.
Last but not least, the couples that are sprinkled around the hall. They may find themselves sweet and loving when they are caught up in the moment but for the other players around them, their PDA is not exactly what they paid to see. The awkwardness for the third wheelers are multiplied when couples who are only young at heart are the ones shooting hearts out of their eyes for each other.
Bingo is an elderly’s game
Anyone who says that bingo isn’t your grandparents’ game is lying. In all honesty, it will always be a grandparents’ game. Yet, modern bingo has taken more digitalization than anyone has ever asked for.
Perhaps something the spreaders and their 50 daubers can never get used to is the hundreds of virtual bingo cards being monitored by a machine. Many players prefer using such machines as it not only increases their ability to check more cards at once, but it also lets them choose the background music and illustration (now you can play bingo under the ocean with your favorite song). Not what you expected for an elderly game right?
Well, that’s not all. Players stand to win amazing prize money of up to the thousands in the progressive jackpot. To win, players concurrently compete across bingo halls to be the first to get a full house in the 49 foremost number called. With so much at stake, it can be quite exhilarating.
Then there’s the cash ball which is a number picked prior to the bingo game. To win, you need to get a bingo if and when the cash ball number is drawn. I know right? How lucky do people have to get to actually win the cash ball? You might not be surprised to know that the cash ball is not won every session and sometimes, for a few days. Until it is won, the pot grows by the day.
Plenty of such games are simultaneously played during one bingo session, causing a single session to last for up to 90 minutes.
The bingo experience is not complete without a tournament. A tournament usually spans two days where people can get non-stop bingo action. What better than a tournament to quench your thirst for bingo if 10 hours of playing bingo yesterday didn’t cut it for you.
Although there is no upper age limit for bingo, there is a lower age limit of 21 for playing bingo.
Now you’re all caught up on the journey of bingo. This game might be popular among the older generation, but that doesn’t mean that youngsters won’t find it fun. It can be extremely exciting for some and the fact that it is generally enjoyed by our grandparents shouldn’t stop anyone from playing bingo. After all, it’s a game for all ages and anyone can visit a bingo hall for the full experience (if you’re above 21). And if you don’t want to go to any bingo halls, there are convenient online gamblings apps that let you enjoy bingo anywhere you are.