Bingo Rules: How to Play the Game

Bingo is a fun game played in land-based halls, most commonly church, school, or community halls or in online gaming sites. How you will get paid once you make a win depends on the hall or the gaming site that you are registered in. For those who know absolutely nothing about the game (and are definitely a dying breed), the main thing you need to know before playing the game, as with any other game, are the game rules, which in this case, are very simple.

With your bingo cards in hand, you sit down and wait for the caller to begin the game by calling out the first number. The bingo cards are made of 25 boxes, in columns and rows of 5 containing numbers from 1-75, or 1-90 in case you're playing in the UK. The center space usually does not have a number printed on it, although when a pattern goes through the empty center space the point is counted for the player. The numbers in the rest of the spaces each correspond to a letter in the word "BINGO".

The caller draws out the number from a device similar to that of the lottery, or in the case of online bingo games, the number is drawn by the computer. The number is then flashed onto the screen for everyone to see, or called out by the caller.

You need to play attention to the caller as he calls the numbers out, and this is why some halls do not permit too much talking when a game is on, since it will distract players from listening to the caller. If a player calls out a number-letter combination that you have in your card, you mark that number off with a dauber (bingo term for special colored pen markers), until you form a BINGO pattern.

Once you form a BINGO pattern which could be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or occupying the four corner boxes, you need to call out "BINGO' immediately so that you can be recognized the winner. You get your prize after your winning pattern is verified by the caller. The prizes depends on the bingo hall you are in and could range from a few dollars, toys and other trinkets, to thousands of dollars.

Once a winner is announced, the old cards are discarded and new ones used for the next game.

Whether you are playing in a land-based hall or online, do not miss the opportunity to mix and socialize with the other bingo players out there. Chatting is one aspect of bingo that draws many people together, whether it be online or in real life. Not only is playing the game a great way to socialize,its also a great avenue to meet players who can give you invaluable tips in playing and enjoying the game better.