It is not easy to define the game of bingo and what the game is about, even though bingo players know exactly what it is about. It is a casual and social game, and despite the fact that it also features a gambling element, which is an integral part of the game and its nature, bingo is usually considered to a lot less harmful and potentially dangerous when compared to, say, blackjack or roulette.
Bingo has been around for several centuries; in fact it originates from lotto and the two games are quite similar. Now, it is worth noting that bingo comes in a range of varieties, some of which have been developed in the past several decades, whereas other versions of bingo have been around for quite some time.
90-ball and 75-ball bingo
The two most popular bingo variants are 75-ball bingo and 90-ball bingo. The first is the variant that is most played in the US, whereas the second is most commonly played in the UK. The two games are quite different and in the past UK players weren’t really familiar with the US variant, whereas Americans didn’t have the opportunity to play 90-ball bingo.
90-ball bingo, as the name clearly indicates, features 90 balls, and the ticket is divided into nine rows and three columns. Some of the fields are left empty, so a ticket features a total of 15 numbers, five in each column. So, four squares in each column are empty. Tickets are sold in batches of six, known as strips, and one strips contains all possible numbers – 1 to 90. When it comes to winning combinations, there are just three possible winning combinations in 90-ball bingo. The winning combinations are single line, two lines and full house or three lines which is also sometimes called bingo as it is the highest possible winning combination in this game and it means that all numbers on a ticket have been drawn.
Unlike 90-ball bingo, the American variant features, or to be more precise, can feature a much wider variety of possible prices. In fact, the particular sub-variant of the game depends on how the potential prices have been chosen. In this game, there are 75 balls and the bingo ticket features a five by five grid. A 75-ball bingo ticket includes either 25 or 24 numbers. If the first is the case, then we’re talking of 75-25 bingo, whereas the second variant is classified as 75—24 bingo.
In addition to the numbers on the ticket, the winning combinations in a game of 75-ball bingo can be set by the organiser and it can be various patterns. It can even be letters and other symbols, where the pattern of numbers as displayed on the ticket needs to match the pattern that has been set as a winning combination.
Modern online bingo variants
While the history of bingo is interesting, it’s presence, or better yet the past decade or so has been particularly dynamic and eventful. When we’re talking of bingo in this modern day and age, there’s one phrase that has to be considered – online bingo. Few things happened since the establishment of the first online bingo sites. Firstly, it has been proven that online bingo is an alternative for land-based bingo. In fact, for many players it is the preferred option as you don’t have to leave your living room to play bingo online, in fact, with a smartphone and a stable internet connection you could do it from anywhere.
Online bingo sites gave US players the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the version that’s most popular in the UK and vice-versa, British players can now experience 75-ball bingo. A range of other variants have also been popularised, including versions of bingo that weren’t around in the past few decades. 80-ball bingo, 52-ball bingo and 30-ball bingo are some of the games that can be played online.
Traditional bingo with a modern twist
Land-based bingo has also changed, and there are menu non-standard venues nowadays that offer you a chance to play enticing bingo games, often combined with other activities, such as dancing or different music genres, like hip-hop, electronic and so on. There are bingo venues nowadays that serve cocktails, fancy dishes, it’s no longer just popcorn, crisps and lager.