Bingo is beloved by generations of players and is celebrated everywhere on June 27, International Bingo Day. If you’ve experienced the thrill of holding your breath, hoping your number will be called, then triumphantly yelling out “bingo” before, you know why it’s so exciting to play. For the uninitiated, here are some fun facts and reasons we love bingo:
1. Bingo has been around a long time
Bingo, sometimes called lotto, has been around for centuries. According to Britannica, the first bingo game was recorded in 1778 as a children’s game; the modern American form took shape in the 19th century.
2. Bingo is a game of chance
You can’t really be “good” at bingo aside from following along with the numbers that have been called. Everyone playing has just as good a chance as anyone of winning. Just pay attention, follow along, and make sure you’re marking each number that’s been called.
3. Bingo players have rituals
If you play bingo at a bingo hall, you’ll quickly notice that bingo players often bring good luck charms. Bringing a mini troll doll or five can be part of a ritual and a way to make bingo playing even more fun. If you’re playing bingo with serious players, you do not want to be chatting while the numbers are being called.
4. Bingo is fun for the whole family
While you have to be 18 to gamble in states where gambling is legal, you can play family-friendly versions of bingo at home. Play for non-financial prizes like who’s going to get an ice cream party. Bingo is a great game for birthday parties or other family gatherings. Find someone with a strong voice to call the numbers and let everyone else compete against each other.
5. You can win big money at bingo
For those who are over the legal gambling age (where applicable), you have the possibility of cashing in big-time at your local bingo hall. Bingo admission generally costs anywhere from $5-$20, often with the opportunity to purchase additional boards, and you could win anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
6. Bingo has variations
While you’re probably familiar with the five in a row bingo, did you know there are actually other variations of bingo? Forget the boring old five in a row and play one of these variations:
- Four corners
- Picture frame (the squares surrounding the center square)
- Layer cake (top, third and fifth rows across)
- Blackout (all the squares)
7. You can make your own bingo card
You can make your own free printed bingo card that’s personalized to your interests. This is a perfect idea for a party or special gathering. Get your own bingo ball set and dabbers in a variety of colors to make the occasion truly festive.
8. Human bingo can be an ice breaker
If you’re hosting a party or gathering where people may not know each other, human bingo is another great variation. When you make a customized bingo card, add getting-to-know-you types of items like “can whistle a song” or “has three cats” or “has never drank coffee.” Print enough for every guest and have people go around the room to meet people who fit these clues.
9. You can play virtual bingo
You don’t have to leave your house to play bingo! There are plenty of fun bingo events happening online, and even free bingo apps. Search for virtual bingo near you and make friends from all over as you play along.
10. You can make a virtual bingo card for social media
If you’ve been on social media recently, you’ve surely seen a bingo card related to a holiday or an influencer’s area of interest. Fun fact: you can use Canva to make your own social media bingo card. Maybe you make one with all your favorite activities so people can “win” along with you or offer your followers a seasonal challenge, like things to do this summer.
However and whenever you play bingo, we hope you have fun!