Grab your grandma’s favorite sweater and a bunch of your friends, because bingo is back, baby! From the strictly 70+ set, to now blowing up your TikTok feed, bingo has gone from old-fashioned to appointment-worthy activity.
It’s easy, it’s social, and it can turn into a great night out, even if you’re not a winner.
Sure, maybe this game has often been associated with seniors marking their cards inside a bingo hall. But it is about time that this misconception of age was removed.
You’d be pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s making a great comeback, particularly with Gen Zs. In addition, it is also featured in many online casinos that offer no deposit bonuses to your new and existing players!
Ok, what’s the draw?
If you’ve never set foot in your local bingo hall, you’re missing out. Packed to the brim with plenty of food and drink on offer, plus an exuberant young host at the helm of the bingo basket, it’s all set for a good time.
It’s a place you can go with your friends or just go by yourself if you’re bored one afternoon or one night and want to get out of the house. You get the thrill of anticipating a win, and if you’re lucky, you even get that win!
How do you play bingo?
Bingo is very easy to play so anyone can easily get started.
You buy one or more strips of 5 × 5 graph paper that contain a number in each cell (but the center is FREE), making 24 numbers in all.
In each round of bingo, you buy a new ticket or set of tickets. The game then begins, with the host rolling a machine to produce a numbered ball. He must see if his ballot contains that number and then stamp it with his giant marker.
[Sidenote: The jumbo makers used in bingo are super fun for anyone who has ever been into niche stationery. You’ll love the stamping effect.
The aim of the game is to get the winning pattern on your card with the basic bingo pattern being five numbers in a row, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
If it’s through the centerline, the FREE space is automatically gifted to you. The aim of the game is to call Bingo before anyone else does on the round – since others may also have winning slips! Ooooh the excitement. In other cases, each winner gets a share of the winnings, so check to see what the case is first.
The game may have other patterns on offer to win, like blackout, where the whole grid is marked off, four corners which is as expected, or a custom winning pattern.
Checking which patterns are winners before the game starts ensures that you don’t miss a winning slip.
If you’re still a bit unsure, check out some online bingo first to get you settled into how it works.
Where the real fun starts
The real fun starts when you have LOTS of slips in front of you are scanning quickly with each ball to see if you’re a winner.
You have to be fast and on the ball to not slip up! It can be very rewarding for those who like a bit of a challenge – even if you don’t win.
More recently, we’ve seen plenty of LGBTQI+ venues hosting Drag Bingo, where the host is – you guessed it – a drag queen.
Rather than being played at a purpose-built center or community center, this type of bingo is generally hosted at licensed venues where it’s a bit more social. If you’re headed to drag bingo be prepared for plenty of raunchy jokes, big laughs, and a boozy time.
Drag bingo is definitely a good place to get started with bingo if you’re more of a ‘let’s hit a bar with friends’ type of person, whereas traditional bingo is more focused on the gaming aspect and you can expect to be mixing it with the oldies.
What about Keno?
Keno looks and feels very similar to Bingo. You have a grid of numbers, a number at a time is drawn, and you need to mark it off as it appears. However, that’s where the similarities end.
For Keno, the numbers are in order, and you select your own numbers on the grid. It’s more like a lottery – just a visual representation instead of straight numbers.
You’ll find Keno at physical casinos rather than bingo games, often in its own separate sitting area. Plenty of people use the Keno space as a bit of a breather between playing the tables or the slots, taking advantage of the more chilled atmosphere to recenter and assess how their gameplay has been going.