Bingo card with numbers dabbed

Most seniors who visit a senior center or get together with others of their age group are going to find that one of the most popular games to play is Bingo. Bingo is all about chance, thus there is really no gaming methods that are going to ensure that you win more often than you lose. However, despite this being a game of chance, it can be an entertaining way to spend your time and could possibly lead to winning some great prizes.

The History of Bingo

The origins of Bingo can be traced back to Italy in the 1500’s. Though the game was more of a lottery type of game, this is where Bingo got its origins. The game then spread to other countries, slightly changing. In France in the 18th century, they were using game cards, tokens and reading the numbers out loud just as the game is done now. Over the years, it has been used as a learning technique to teach mathematics and letters as well as being played as a game.

Tools Involved

Within the game of bingo there are several tools involved that make this game work. For one, each player is going to be given a playing card. Depending on the type of bingo, there are going to be letters and numbers or just letter or numbers in each space. The middle space is considered a free space. The columns are going to be labeled, “B”, “I”, “N”, “G”, and “O”.

The person will be given some type of chip that is going to be used as a cover. Many places will allow the person to stamp the card they are using if they are using cards that are meant for one time use only.

The caller is going to call out the letter and number such as B5 or G8. The caller usually randomly draws the letters and numbers from a pile or use some sort of electronic system that calls up these combinations.

Picture of a very large bingo parlor setup for players

Winning Bingo

In order to win Bingo a person must have five spaces in a row covered with the appropriate calls that have been made. These lines can be horizontal, vertical or diagonally across the board. Upon covering five spaces, a person should yell out “Bingo!” as this ensures that everyone knows that the game may be over. However, if you are not one of the callers of Bingo, be sure that you do not remove your pieces from the game card yet as you are going to find that there could still be a chance of winning if a person misheard the calls and covered the wrong space.

Bingo is a fun game that is meant to allow people to relax and simply enjoy one another’s company. There are some folks who take Bingo rather seriously and will want to win no matter what. But, no matter what a person does, the game of Bingo is nothing but having the right card at the right time, and simply striking lucky.