How to play Bingo

Bingo is a game many of us learned to play as children. But with the spread of video bingo games and bingo halls it has become more popular than ever. The promise of large jackpots for a small investment is attracting players of all ages to the game. But playing Bingo for money is a competitive game that is slightly different than the one you played in school on rainy days when recess was cancelled. So before you go make sure you know the proper etiquette and general rules of playing Bingo and maybe luck will find you.

Etiquette:

If you have questions, feel free to ask other players, most would love to help you. However, once the game starts, quite down. Even if you are confused, be respectful of other players trying to listen to the numbers called.

Do not repeat the numbers being called. Some players, especially new ones have a tendency to repeat the number called to help them remember while they search for the numbers on their cards. This can distract other players as well as cause them to miss the next number called.

Be careful and make sure you have a Bingo before you call it aloud. Nothing upsets players more than a false Bingo. It slows down the game play and they may throw away their card before finding out you were wrong.

Do not shot out in frustration at the caller that you are not getting numbers. They have no control over the numbers coming out. If you have a legitimate issue, such as not being able to hear say so politely.

General Rules:

Not all Bingo halls have the same rules as local laws may dictate different guidelines, but here are some common ones you will find most everywhere.

You must be 18 years old to play.

Spectators are not allowed. They have a limited number of seats that usually sell out, seating is for players only.

Bring identification, if you hit a large jackpot IRS rules may require them to document the winner for tax reasons.

You must call the Bingo on the last number called. Should you realize the Bingo after the next number is called you may be to late.

Always check for posted rules or handouts before the start of the game that provides any special instructions for the game.

Gameplay:

Some Bingo games are played exactly as we remember as kids. You complete a straight line on your card diagonally, horizontally or vertically to complete a Bingo. You then announce Bingo to the caller and someone comes over to verify your card and make sure you did not make any mistakes. If the card is correct, you win the prize. If two or more people call the Bingo at the same time, the prize is split evenly among them.

To keep things interesting and fun a variety of new formats have been introduced. Usually you will see the required pattern to win displayed on an overhead screen or on a print out given to you before the start of play.

Experienced players tend to do much better at pattern games than newcomers. Often times new players are focused on dabbing all the numbers called and forget to look for the pattern missing a Bingo. For example, in a picture frame game the goal is to get all the numbers along the edge of all four sides. The numbers in the middle do not count for anything. Experienced players do not waste their time marking these inside numbers worrying about only the edges. To help you play these patterns you may want to pre mark all the inside numbers so you can only focus on the spaces that will help you win. You can do this with all the pattern games to help you focus on what matters.

Another common game is blackout. This is usually played for the big jackpot. The goal is to mark all the spaces on your card. Some games require this to be completed within a certain amount of numbers called. If no blackout is reached within the given calls, the jackpot rolls over making the next jackpot bigger. Other games will continue until someone wins.

Have fun:

While everyone’s goal when playing Bingo is to win, the reality is everyone cannot win. Bingo is an inexpensive fun way to pass the time, and maybe get lucky. Keep this in mind when playing. Do not be a sore loser, or an obnoxious winner. Most of all remember to have fun when you play.