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Bingo has been around for many years and it is so popular because it is so easy to play. It started out as one of the original lotto style games but has evolved into the bingo that we know today. Below are the basic rules and some additions that the internet and world of online bingo has brought with it.
Buy Your Bingo Card The first step is to buy your bingo card. Of course, you can buy more than one, but the game is the same whether you have one bingo card or fifty.
Your bingo card looks like a grid, with three horizontal rows, known as lines, and nine vertical columns. Each line has nine spaces in it: five have numbers in them, and four are blank. Thus, you have a total of fifteen numbers on the three lines of your bingo card.
The bingo game is run by a caller, who is in possession of a big bin containing ninety numbered bingo balls.
The Caller Calls the Bingo Numbers The game starts with the bingo caller randomly picking numbered bingo balls, one at a time, and calling out the number on the ball. The call will always be loud and clear, so you don't have to worry about getting confused as to whether, for example, the caller said "fifteen" or "fifty." In bingo, 15 is pronounced "one and five, fifteen," while 50 is pronounced "five and zero, fifty," so you will never be in doubt as to which number has been called. With the arrival of the internet the human caller has been replaced by a Random Number Generator (RNG) which is a computer doing the same thing.
Mark Your Bingo Cards Each time a number is called, you have to examine your bingo card and, if that number appears, mark it on your card. You can mark it by simply drawing a circle around the number, but most bingo players use a special marker called a bingo dauber. But be careful: don't draw an X through the number or anything else that would hide the number. The numbers must remain visible so that, at the end of the game, an official can check your card for accuracy.
Checking and marking your cards is the hardest part of the bingo game if you are playing multiple cards. If you are playing 30 cards, you have to check and mark all 30 cards in just a few seconds before the next number is called. If the caller calls a new number while you are still checking your bingo cards for the previous number, you could end up in a state of utter confusion and make a mess of your cards and forfeit your chance of winning. Checking and marking multiple cards quickly and accurately is not easy; it takes skill and concentration.
Fortunately, now that we have online bingo, checking and marking is no longer difficult. All Bingo Club and other online bingo sites have auto-daub features, which permit the computer to check and mark your bingo cards for you instantly. This makes playing bingo on line a lot less stressful than traditional bingo in a bingo hall.
Winning Bingo One of the great things about bingo is that there are three chances to win in every bingo game. It's sort of like the bronze, silver, and gold medals in the Olympic games, except that in bingo it is possible for one person to win two, or even all three, medals. But it often happens that three different people win the three different medals.
The first player to mark all 5 numbers on one line of his bingo card (it doesn't matter which line) wins the 1-Line Bingo Prize. This is like winning the bronze medal.
The first player to mark all the numbers on any two lines wins the 2-Line Bingo Prize. It could be the same person who won the 1-Line Bingo Prize, or it could be someone else. In either event, she wins the equivalent of a silver medal.
Finally, the first player to mark all 15 numbers on her bingo card wins the gold medal of bingo: the Full House Prize. Naturally, this is the biggest prize of the three.
The cash amount of the three prizes varies from game to game. It depends, among other factors, on how many players are participating in the particular bingo game. But it is always a thrill to win a bingo prize and, when you think about the low cost of playing, with bingo cards starting at 5 pence apiece, the cash prizes are always a significant amount.
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