Bingo for beginners
Bingo is a delightfully simple, fun game that can be enjoyed by everyone.
It has its roots in sixteenth century Italy, where a similar game became a Saturday ritual that continues to this day. This lottery-based game made the jump across the pond in 1929, where it was immediately christened 'Beano'.
One day, a contestant mistakenly called out 'Bingo' in the excitement of it all, and for some reason this name just stuck. Today, there are millions of bingo players all over the world playing in dedicated bingo halls, online, and in community centres.
If you have never played bingo before, here is a rough guide to what you can expect. When you enter the bingo hall, you have to purchase one or more bingo cards, with various numbers on them. More often than not, they are sold in strips of five.
When the game begins, the bingo caller puts his hand into a bucket of plastic balls with numbers on them and pulls one out to read the number aloud. The number will usually be expressed with a euphemism to clarify the number that is being read out, such as 'Legs Eleven' or 'Two Fat Ladies Eighty Eight'.
This is a safeguard against the mis-hearing of numbers, and adds considerable charm to the game.
If the number that has been called out appears on any of your cards, you have to mark that number on your card with a highlighter pen. This process is known as 'daubing'.
Usually, there are three lines on a bingo card, with a few numbers on each one. Prizes are usually awarded for the first person to daub a whole line of numbers, the first to daub two lines on the same card, and the first to daub all three lines of a card, which is referred to as being a 'full house'. In order to let the caller know that you are the first person to reach one of these milestones, you have to shout 'bingo'.
The online version of bingo is much the same as its bingo hall equivalent, except for a few minor differences. The most obvious differences are that the human bingo caller has been replaced with a computerised version, and that you usually have to press a button instead of calling Bingo.
If you fancy giving the computerised version of bingo a try, why not head over to the 32 Red Bingo website, which offers £10 worth of free play vouchers when you sign up.