Bingo is a simple game, with a complex history and an uncanny ability to re-invent itself to meet the playing needs of generation after generation. Its closest historical ancestor is the lotto game which was introduced to reformation Italy in the 16th century; somewhere around 1540. Traditionally lotteries have been used by governments to help with raising funds, as we do today with the UK Lotto for example. A large portion of the money raised goes to help charitable, educational and developmental concerns. Bingo history is chequered by the US claiming fame to the name, and also claiming that it came from Europe to the US first, then to the UK. However this is highly questionable, Europe is much closer to the UK and if the culture of raising standing stones spread from Europe to the UK 4000 years before the birth of Christ, then we can be pretty sure that lottery type games also did. There was a lottery which was regularly played during Elizabethan times, and British women played underground bingo type games for ages before the Gambling Act changed things in 1968.
Our grandmothers played housie (bingo) in the local working mans club, many years before gambling became legal in the UK, and so did her mother. But that having been said, the Golden Years of Bingo were considered to have been between the introduction of the new Gambling Act in 1968, and the 1970’s and 1980’s. The 1990’s brought about a drop in the popularity of playing in local bingo clubs, but with the new century came online bingo. Online Bingo has reinvented this game. Instead of the normal 90 ball bingo games which is favoured by UK players, we also see 75 ball games; 75 ball bingo is played popularly in the US. Spanish variant bingo is also popular, and this is also a 90 ball variant, but with one small difference; a prize is paid on 1 line and full house only, so the prize money is larger. Both 50 and 60 ball bingo is offered at some sites, but we haven’t really seen this catch on in a huge way. 30 ball bingo on the other hand, has become very popular, you may have seen it offered at sites as “speedball”.
Another popular online version is 80 ball bingo online and this was also played in land based clubs under the name of “shutter board”, because at one time a board with shutters was used to cover the numbers. Both 75 and 80 ball games feature a 5 x 5 grid pattern on the card and this allows for many patterns or variations of patterns to be played. We see bingo being married with cards as in Joker Jackpot, with roulette as in Tombola Bingo’s Bingo Roulette, and more interesting innovations are becoming available all the time. As bingo is such a big money spinner for profit making companies, it has taken on an entirely new aspect too – the big money prize! The National Bingo has been responsible for making more than a few millionaires, but all this changed when Gala Bingo pulled out of the National game in 2008 to concentrate on their own High 5 game. This move effectively took approximately 175 bingo clubs out of the pool, and obviously the pooling of prize funds from these clubs would no longer allow for such huge prizes. The National Bingo operated on a similar principle to what we see with linx games online, and networked clubs getting together to offer larger prizes.
Online bingo sites also offer large coverall games with prizes in the millions and so far I have not seen one of these games won. For example Posh Bingo offers a weekly coverall with £1 million and a minimum guaranteed prize of £1 000, and 888 Ladies recently hosted a £5 million coverall with a £50 000 minimum prize which was won on the 17th February 2010. Moon bingo also offers coveralls in the millions, as do various other sites. Playing pure bingo games has not yet yielded an online bingo millionaire, however millionaires have been made by playing at bingo sites. Mecca Bingo had a £1.5 winner on the Clover Rollover Slots game, and a couple of millionaires have been made by this game where you need to have the luck of the Irish. Jackpot Joy had a £900 000 winner in Price is Right and a £1.2 million winner in Deal or No Deal. Ladbrokes had a recent £400 000 winner on another slots game, and we regularly see some very large cash prizes being paid out.
The prizes offered at online bingo sites include many favourites, kitchen appliances, TV’s, home theatre system, digicams, laptops, electronic games consoles of all makes and models, spa breaks, cruises, holidays, shopping vouchers, tickets to movies and live shows, jewellery. March 2010; Gala bingo was offering a Mini Cooper, thousands of pounds worth of diamonds from Tiffany & Co and exclusive VIP tickets to see Michael Buble, amongst other prizes. The list of prizes keeps getting bigger and better, and for cheaper tickets too, so the one thing all of this online bingo competition has been incredibly good for, is the consumer. Bingo as a commercial venture has grown out of all proportion to reality, and it promises to continue to grow. The European market is wide open (where gambling is allowed), and as high speed broadband becoms more readily available, and Governments relax their monopolies on gambling operations, this game will spread. The Spanish market is one of the fastest growing, and this will expand into South America at some point. But one thing is for certain, the number of people that play bingo games will continue to grow in popularity for the time being!
The popular game as we know it has a very old history dating back from when it was created in Italy in 1530 as a lottery and was called Beano. In 1778 the game had spread to France and became increasingly popular. Cards were then divided into three horizontal rows and nine vertical columns. During the 1800s the games spread even further and soon most of Europe caught the Bingo bug.
Beano became much more popular when it reached America via a Carnival touring through Germany. In 1929 near Atlanta when a traveling toy salesman, Edwin S. Lowe, came by. Lowe immediately realized the financial potential for Beano. Upon his return to New York, he created his own version of the game by procuring some beans, cardboard and a rubber number stamp. He then invited friends to his apartment to play the game where he saw the pleasure the game gave that he saw at the carnival. During the game, one player had accidentally yelled out “Bingo” and the name stuck.
A priest called Wilkes-Barre from Pennsylvania who began to promote playing bingo in his church community and the idea of using the game to raise funds was born. However only 24 unique cards to play with, the priest was finding the big problem that there were far too many winners for each game. The priest contacted Lowe about producing a large number of unique number combinations for the cards. Lowe again recognized the fund-raising potential of the game and enlisted the help of a professor of mathematics at Columbia University called Carl Leffler. Increasing the number of bingo cards was exactly what was needed to make the game a huge success at churches across the country and a sound source of fund-raising came.
Bingo Chat Lingo
Many online bingo players will use chat lingo as a way of communicating with other roomies in a quick way. Chat Lingo can often look confusing to new players so we have let you know some of the most common ones to help you. Chat Lingo is easy and is used to help speed the chat along so you can get playing some great chat games and also receive lots of well done on your win!
Here are some very common chat lingo expressions or words that may help:
- AFK: Away from keyboard
- NP: No problem
- OMG: Oh My goodness
- BBS: Be back soon
- BTW: By the Way
- ROFL: Rolling on the Floor laughing
- GG: Good going/Good Game
- GL: Good Luck
- GLA: Good Luck All
- GLE: Good Luck everyone
- HB: Hurry Back
- WB: Welcome Back
- WTG: Way to Go
- TY: Thank you
- 2 out of 3 people go to bingo for social and friendship reasons rather than financial ones.
- Bingo is the most successful fund raising game in the world
- There are over 6000 pattern combinations possible for 75 ball bingo
- The number of possible bingo cards for 75 ball bingo is an amazing 552,446,474,061,129,000,000,000
- If you print a million cards per sec, it would take 17,505,972,382,599.7 years to print every possible bingo card
- 4,976,640,000 cards would have the same twenty-four numbers
- There are 1,474,200 unique Bingo cards possible for 90 ball bingo
- Online bingo is split roughly 80% female and 20% male
- 30% of bingo players are under the age of 35
- 96% of bingo players have won at some point
- 8% of the European population plays Bingo
- Women spend 50% more time every week playing bingo than men
- An average British game of bingo takes between 4-4 1/2 minutes
- The average speed of a British bingo caller is 23 numbers per minute
- The average time to check a winning bingo claim is 30 seconds
- Bingo in the UK took off in the 1960s. Now, more than 3 million people in the UK play bingo games
- The UK’s biggest bingo win was £950,000 on Sunday 22 December 2002