How to Play Bingo 101

Bingo has been around since the 16th century and remains popular throughout North America and many other parts of the world because it's simple and easy to play. Also, winning money is almost always on the table when you’re playing bingo.

What is bingo? Bingo) is a game of chance in which each participant matches numbers printed in various arrangements on cards to numbers drawn at random by the game host. Bingo players mark selected numbers with tiles or markers to win. Bingo goes by many different names worldwide, including Beano, B-52, B-56, and even Hot Lotto.

Bingo for Beginners

Bingo is traditionally played in a bingo hall. The object of the game is to mark off numbers on your bingo card with a dauber or a tile or marker as the game progresses until you have five in a row, either across, up and down, or diagonally. You're ready to shout "BINGO" when this is accomplished, and if you’re the first one in the group to do so, you win the game. If more than one individual yells it simultaneously, however, they must decide among themselves who was first or opt for a tie-breaker or who wins the next game.

A bingo caller or bingo host calls out randomly selected numbers. As numbers are called out, players mark those numbers off on their bingo cards. If you're playing electronic Bingo, which we'll talk about later, you mark the selected numbers by simply pushing a button.

Getting “Bingo”

Most of the time bingo is played with a bingo card that has 24 separate spaces to fill. One number at a time is called out, and you must find the corresponding space on your bingo card and mark it off as soon as you find it. The first person to get five numbers in a horizontal line, vertical line, or diagonal line who also calls out “Bingo!” wins. Depending on the rules of the bingo hall you’re in, players can also find "four corners". In this variation, players who are able to mark off each of the four corners of their card, can also call out “Bingo!” and win. Another variation, called "coverall" bingo, requires players to cover up all the spaces on their bingo card or bingo cards to win.

Bingo Rules

Bing rules are pretty straightforward; all a player needs is a bingo card and a way to mark numbers on the card as they get called out. A bingo card consists of 24 squares, and each square contains a number. The numbers on the card usually range from 1 to 75. The fewer bingo players there are, the greater each player’s chances of winning. After calling out “Bingo!” the player who called out has to show their card to the bingo caller to ensure accuracy and verify the win.

Bingo Variations

The way you play bingo depends on the variation of bingo you decide upon. Still, all versions follow the same general rules: each player gets their bingo card(s) (or if playing for money, they “buy in”), and the caller calls out numbers until someone gets a winning combination.

Here are some of the more common variations of bingo: - Five-In-A-Line: This is the simplest version of Bingo and requires players to fill any five numbers in a row on their card before anyone else does. - Coverall: In this variation, players have to cover every last number on their card before anyone else matches does. - Blackout: Blackout Bingo is an online bingo version where players can win cash jackpots and other prizes right from their mobile phone (Read a Blackout Bingo review). - Speed Bingo: Also called 30-Ball Bingo, Speed Bingo is a variation of bingo that is much faster paced. Players are playing with a 3X3 card, so winning happens more often.

Where and How To Play

When it comes to playing Bingo, you'll want to choose a method that best fits your personal preferences and the ages and abilities of those playing.

  • Partner Bingo: This works great for smaller groups and is an excellent way for new players to learn some basics without feeling too overwhelmed by everyone else's experience. In Partner Bingo two players split a card between them, which makes it easier to keep track of numbers called.
  • Electronic Bingo: Electronic bingo uses an electronic device that automatically marks off numbers as they’re selected on your card, eliminating any chance of error. When you get Bingo, players simply push a button to claim their prize.
  • Mobile Bingo: There are many excellent bingo options to play on your mobile phone or tablet, including:
    • Bingo Cash
      • a game where you can win real money
    • Yatzy Bingo
      • a game that combines the fun of Yahtzee with the thrill of bingo
    • Bingo Travel
      • a game of skill and chance that allows you to travel all over the world
    • Movie Bingo
      • a bingo game with movie stars

The best way to play bingo at home is to do so on your mobile phone or computer.

How to Win

Your chances of winning a game of bingo depend on three things: 1. Your bingo card or cards 2. How many other players are playing 3. How well you pay attention

Different Types of Bingo Jackpots

Generally speaking, there are two types of jackpots for bingo: progressive and fixed. The progressive jackpot is based on how many bingo wagers are placed, and it increases as more people play and buy in. Fixed jackpots do not increase depending on the number of people playing.

Play Today

Bingo is a fun and wholesome way to pass the time and possibly win rewards. Even better, you can play online all by yourself with others from around the world, or you can meet up with a group of others to play at a bingo hall. Skillz has fun and challenging bingo games that will put your abilities to the test and give you the chance to win real Bingo money and other prizes (if available in your state). Get started now!

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