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Bingo is one of the most popular games of luck worldwide. However, this over-a-hundred-year-old game has undergone many changes. It had its ups and downs, but it is once again, by all accounts, back on track.
The History of Bingo: From Italy to Our Homes
Bingo has come a long way before it took the shape we know today. To many Bingo is considered a modern name, as the game was not known as such when it first appeared in Italy in the 16th century.
From there, the game migrated to other parts of Europe. It first came to France and became a preferred game of the aristocracy. The next stop was Great Britain in the 18th century and then Germany, where kids used a game that resembled Bingo to learn multiplication tables, animal names, history, and spelling.
The further modernisation and popularisation of the game occurred thanks to Hugh J. Ward. The American standardised and copyrighted the game and published a rule book in the early 1930s.
The second name we must mention is Edwin Lowe, who patented the modern version of the Bingo card. He is also considered an adopter of the game's current name. The story says Lowe visited carnivals and saw people playing Beano. The game included cardboard, rubber stamps, and beans that players used to mark the numbers, hence the name origin.
Legend has it that he introduced the game to his New York friends and it was a mistake in pronunciation that resulted in the change. During one game, a friend with a winning combination shouted out Bingo instead of Beano. And the rest is history.
The Difference Between British and American Bingo
It's hard to imagine a family in the 20th century that didn't have at least one passionate Bingo player. New generations come, and they are not as familiar with the rules of the game, but luckily, online resources are available to provide comprehensive guides on how to play Bingo in the UK.
We'll discuss the main differences between the two variants: American and British.
The UK version is known as 90-ball Bingo. Each ticket contains a strip of six identically designed tickets. Each ticket under one set has squares arranged in a 3x9 pattern - three rows and nine columns.
In each row, four squares are empty, and five are numbered. A column has three squares. The first row contains numbers from 1 to 9, the second from 11 to 20, the third from 21 to 30, and so on.
You don't have to use an entire strip to participate in the game. However, only with a six-ticket set, you'll have the chance to mark off every called number. The game ends when someone calls ‘House’.
You can win in three scenarios. First, if you cross off all the numbers in one row, the second is if you cross off all the numbers in two rows. And if you mark off the number in all three rows, that's a full house.
The US version is called a 75-ball Bingo. The set contains three tickets, each with 25 squares arranged in the 5x5 pattern.
At the top of the ticket is the game's name, Bingo, and out of 25 squares, only one is empty. So you have 24 numbers on each ticket, and every number from 1 to 75 will appear on a full strip. Also, each number corresponds to a letter above it, for instance, 3B, 17I, 22N, and so on.
You can buy six sets (strips) for each game. That means you'll play with 18 tickets. Aside from diagonal, horizontal, and vertical lines, the winning pattern may be in the shape of a tie, letters O and P, an aeroplane, etc.
From Physical to Digital Space
Since it first arrived in Great Britain, the game, first known as Housey-Housey, attracted a large and diverse player base. The passing of the 1960 Betting and Gaming Act resulted in the opening of specialised Bingo halls, which added to the game's popularity.
However, in recent years, the UK Bingo scene has seen a steady decline in the number of halls. Some reasons include the indoor smoking ban and, most recently, the coronavirus of 2020. Still, that doesn't mean the death knell of one of the most popular probability games.
Technological advances and the increased use of the internet have helped Bingo to transition to the digital space. Today, players can enjoy Bingo anytime, anywhere, needing only a smartphone and a stable internet connection.
Aside from mobility, online Bingo sites offer attractive bonuses created to enrich the game experience for both new and experienced players. Depositing and withdrawing winnings is also straightforward due to the variety of payment options available.
Technology will continue to reshape the gaming sphere; and by all accounts, Bingo is very much along for the ride. We can expect to see new variants, along with even more attractive bonuses and customised offers, especially on online Bingo sites.