Bingo Rules

The rules of bingo may be constant, but the rules of individual bingo halls may vary. Understand each hall’s requirements before...

Even in this simplest of games, knowing the rules is key to winning!

It’s a simple game, requires no special skills, and depends mostly on luck or chance. Despite all this, knowing and thoroughly mastering the rules of bingo – whether online or offline – will significantly boost your chances of winning and enjoying the game.

Traditional bingo: rules of the game

What’s involved:

Bingo cards with a 5x5 grid based on the five letters in BINGO.

Twenty-four of the 25 squares in the grid contain random numbers in the following order (one square is blank):

B – between 1 and 15

I – between 16 and 30

N – between 31 and 45 and the blank square

G – between 46 and 60

O – between 61 and 75

How to win:

Players buy one or more bingo cards. Numbers such as B-3 or N-40 or O-72 are drawn at random and announced by a “caller.” To win, players must have enough numbers to complete a pattern – vertical, horizontal or diagonal – on their cards. Other possible patterns – such as a letter pattern (C, T, or X, for example), a plus (+) sign, or a blackout (covering all squares) – may be included. The winner yells “Bingo!” and someone verifies the winning card pattern, which is further authenticated afterwards. If two (or even three) people call “Bingo!” at the same time and their card patterns are verified, the prize is split evenly into two or three ways.

Online bingo

While online bingo has rules that are similar to those of traditional bingo, it is easier and more convenient to play, has a faster pace, and can reward players with bigger prizes. Whereas in regular bingo, players have to locate the called-out numbers quickly on their cards and mark them off, in online bingo auto-daubers automatically mark the cards.

Players then have to compare the numbers (from 1 to 75) that the computer is pre-programmed to call out with the numbers marked on their cards. This makes online bingo easier, faster, and more fun to play, and enables players to play multiple bingo cards at one time.

Things to remember

In traditional bingo:

1. The rules of bingo may be constant, but the rules of individual bingo halls may vary. Understand each hall’s requirements before you begin a game.

2. Reserving specific cards or changing the card that you already have is usually not allowed.

3. Most bingo halls require players to be 18 years old or older, and every seated person in the hall to be playing, not watching others play.

In online bingo, experts advise that before selecting the bingo site to play in, evaluate the various sites available for reliability, free bonus offers or sign-up bonuses, level of prizes, or any other feature that can enhance your online bingo experience.