History of Bingo

Gambling News

The main question we answer in this blog post is where bingo originated. That does not seem to be enough information for our curious readers, so we added other interesting facts. The table below shows the main sections of the article and grants you the freedom to choose which topic to read first. We recommend starting from top to bottom, but whatever you decide, don’t miss the answers to important questions at the end.

What is Bingo?

The shortest answer to this question is – bingo is a simple form of lottery. But this is not just another game of chance. We have already introduced the history of the bingo game, and now we wish to describe what bingo is. Check the table below and some of the bingo-related questions and answers non-players have:

❓ You Ask ✔️ We Answer
🎱 What is a bingo ticket? A paper or digital scorecard with columns and rows containing numbers or images. The size of the grid and the number of rows and columns depends on the type of bingo games and if this is an online or land-based gaming room.
🕞 How long is a bingo game? Bingo is held in sessions – Main Session, National Bingo Game Tickets, Early Session (aka First Chance or Early Bird), Late Sessions, and Special Tickets.
🛑 Does the game ever stop? Usually, a session lasts about 3 or 3 ½ hours with 5 or 10-minute breaks (intermissions). The game also stops when a winner is announced.
➡️ Where can I buy a bingo ticket? Bingo tickets are sold at the book sales desk, cashier desk, or by employees in the bingo room. Online casinos and bingo sites have a section for bingo ticket purchases. Most players buy strips of 6 tickets in the hope of getting all possible numbers.
🎟️ Are bingo tickets expensive? The price varies from one type of game to another, by country, and if you play online or at a brick-and-mortar bingo hall. Usually, the price is £1 – £5, but it could go higher in special or jackpot games.
🧐 Who leads the game? The ‘caller’ or ‘banker’ is the only person near the bingo balls and the only person not being ‘shushed’ during the bingo game. He (or she) announces the prizes before the beginning of the game, turns players’ attention to the tickets by saying ‘Eyes down’, announces the numbers, and validates all winning tickets.
🌀 How is the bingo balls shifter called? All bingo balls are held in a mechanical device called ‘cradle’ that spins, mixes them, and releases only one ball. Older versions were hats, bags, and barrels. The latest version is the electronic random number generator (RNG) used in some land-based casinos and all online bingo games.
🖋️ Do I use a pen? Pens and pencils are not enough when playing on paper tickets. It is best to use a ‘dabber’ or ‘dauber’ – a special marker that makes a huge dot covering most of the numbers. In some games, players use a pawn, chip, or marker to cover the digit.
💯 What are the winning combinations? They also depend on the game, but the standard ‘Bingo’ marks 5 horizontal (row), 5 vertical (column) or 5 diagonal digits. Other winning combinations are Four Corners, Line, Two Lines, Full House, or Blackout.
🙊 Why the caller speaks nonsense? All bingo numbers have funny names given through the years. Most creative are the British bingo nicknames.
💡 Is there a good bingo strategy? Players start with Granville’s or Tippett’s Method and try to find their strategy.
🤔 How do I play bingo? You can purchase a bingo ticket, take a seat in the bingo hallway , or enter the online bingo room if you play at a gambling site. Listen to the Caller and mark the announced numbers if you have them on the card. When you see a winning combination – shout ‘Bingo!!!!’
📣 How to announce I won? Shout ‘Bingo!’, ‘Yes!’, ‘I won!’, or anything else if you get another winning combination like Line or House if you have them on your ticket.
💰 What are the bingo prizes? Depends on the event, the operator, and the type of game. The most standard prizes are money (including a jackpot), but there can be material rewards and symbolic prizes.
🥳 How do I get my prize? The caller or a member of staff checks the ticket. If you win, you can collect the prize immediately or later.
😭 Can I miss my prize? Stop the game when the last number of the winning combination is announced. If you don’t, the next called-out number removes your winning claim, and you can’t get a prize.

The bingo history shows that the only way to learn how to win at bingo is to play. You will have fun, socialise, test your reflexes, and perhaps even get a prize. You will even have a chance to learn the stories behind the origins of bingo calls, and who knows, maybe you will get to use them in daily life like millions of other people.

How Was Bingo Invented?

It is extremely difficult to say who invented bingo, but we know it is a mixture of lottery, keno, and raffle games. Although all variations of those games have a common past, we will focus on bingo and how it evolved through time until it became available at the verified and trusted bingo sites for UK players.

Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia – Bingo During the Renaissance

To answer the question of where did bingo originate from, we need to turn our attention to Italy in the year 1530 (during the Renaissance). Back then, the old name for bingo was Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia (which means The Clearance of The Lot of Italy), and the game had several variations. This is where the basic rules and elements of the game of chance appeared – players picking numbers, the wheel used in the draw, and the prize announcement.

France & Its Le Loto

France has always played a large part in modern trends, and that is where the history of bingo continues. The French people quickly got used to the Italian game, and by 1778s, Le Lotto was the aristocrat’s passion. This is where the French bingo origin took a turn and reshaped into the modern national lottery.

Loto – The German Children Game

While it spread to the west, the bingo also spread to the north. In Germany, lotto, loto or bingo was a children’s game that gained popularity in the late 1770s. This is the point at the origin of bingo, where the scorecards had numbers, letters, images, or words. That is how a wagering game was transformed into an educational tool in many countries.

UK’s 90-Ball Bingo

Bingo Balls Cradle

The greatest evolution in the bingo game history happened in the United Kingdom and its colonies. Not long after its invention, the game arrived in the UK, and by the 18th century, it had a stable fanbase and devoted players. It was the only permitted gambling during World War I in the British armed services. Men and women in uniform could participate in the Royal Navy tombola (1880), House (1900), or Housy Housy.

The history of bingo in the UK expands even more after WWI, and the Housey Housey wagering game spread among the population. Many shady gambling dens became a hotbed for illegal betting, so the government created the first modern gambling laws, and this way stopped illegal gambling. This is also the time when many of the funny bingo calls were invented. This boosted people’s curiosity, and the game spread faster than before.

The UK’s Betting and Gaming Act legalised bingo games in 1968, which led to the creation of the 90-Ball National Bingo Game. In the following decades, everyone wanted to try fun community engaging entertainment. The interest and dedication brought improvements to the scorecards, drawing mechanisms and the invention of the bingo dauber.

The bingo halls where players could buy 90-ball bingo cards and play alongside their friends and strangers will always be a trend, but the busy modern life left less time for fun. That is when the electronic random number generator (RNG) helped with faster games and made easy playing at the top online bingo slots sites.

No matter how times change, bingo is one of the most played games in the UK. The proof is the over £1 billion total prize money won by different players and delivered by the National Bingo Game. The largest bingo prize was won by a single player on the 23rd of March 2008. Soraya Lowell (Motherwell, North Lanarkshire) played bingo at The National Game at Club 3000 (Coatbridge) and collected £1,167,795.

USA’s 75-Ball Bingo

American Bingo

The UK may have the bingo game with the largest number of balls, but the American bingo with 75 balls is just as entertaining. You already know where bingo originates, but the USA is where it got its modern name.

The original game in the Americas was the familiar mixture of keno and lottery. It became popular during the Prohibition Era and the Great Depression (the 1930s) under the name beano, screeno, or keno. People gathered in motion-picture theatres, carnivals, halls, and other rooms big enough to hold the many players and the game’s equipment.

During the 1920s, the announced numbers were marked with beans, which was why people called the game Beano. A player scored a win, and in his excitement, instead of ‘Beano!’ he yelled ‘Bingo!’. Edwin S. Lowe (a New York toy salesman) liked the idea to call the USA game ‘Bingo’ and started manufacturing scorecards with columns labelled B-I-N-G-O.

Since then, many players can confirm that happiness is yelling ‘Bingo!’ because it always brings a nice prize. Players in the USA love the 75-ball bingo so much that National Bingo Day is on the 27th of June. The new easy to pronounce name eased the spreading of the game worldwide.

Variety of Bingo Games

Bingo Ticket and Dabber

We spoke so much about bingo history and who invented bingo that it will be impossible not to mention the bingo versions anyone can try. You can find them at the land-based bingo halls, churches, retirement homes, and online at 5 pound deposit bingo sites. This simple game creates powerful emotions, so we remind you to keep calm when playing bingo:

  • 🎱 90-Ball Bingo (aka traditional UK Bingo)
  • 🎱 80-Ball Bingo (aka Shutter Bingo, Coloured Rows, or Fast Gameplay)
  • 🎱 75-Ball Bingo (aka American Bingo)
  • 🎱 52-Ball Bingo (90-ball and 75-ball bingo mix)
  • 🎱 50-Ball Bingo
  • 🎱 40-Ball Bingo
  • 🎱 36-Ball Bingo
  • 🎱 30-Ball Bingo (aka Speed Bingo because it is the fastest game)

All those variations enter the history of bingo, but there are also many other bingo-based games and bingo variations popular at specific gaming locations or gambling sites. Such splendid examples are Slingo, Bingo Bongo, Bingo Roulette, 5-Line Bingo (Swedish Bingo), jackpot bingo games, VIP bingo games, and more.

The bingo history facts show that the free bingo slots are one of the popular types of wagering games players always choose to diverse their gambling experience. Besides the type of game, bettors need to choose where to play. Online casinos grant easy access, but you can’t learn the history of bingo calls or hear the new bingo number nicknames.

Online Bingo – Play Like Never B-4

Online Bingo Games

The history of bingo has a major turn point registered in the history of online gambling. The first online bingo game was held in 1996 at the Bingo Zone site and is available to players in the USA. The same year Parlay Entertainment (Canada) released Cyber Bingo.

Since the early days of the Internet, the online history of bingo has expanded with lists of games and gambling websites offering them. A major milestone occurred in 2013, with the launch of the online bingo players’ network ’15 Network’. This allowed bingo versions to evolve and enter the mobile gaming market.

From this point on, online bingo’s future became brighter than ever because the gambling industry constantly evolves. Players expect more fun, greater game diversity, and even better prizes.

History of Bingo Q&A

The history of bingo stretches over many centuries, and even though almost everything is known about the game, there are still many interesting questions to be answered. We collected some of them below, so read on and if the brief answer is not enough – click on the link, and it will take you to more information.

Why is bingo so popular?

While exploring the history of bingo, you will inevitably learn a lot about the players, their countries, and their past. Despite the differences in the customs and way of life, the bingo games are popular for their simplicity, affordability, inclusiveness, and entertainment factor. Every bingo variation brings different excitement, and every game has a winner.

When was bingo invented and by whom?

It is hard to tell exactly where bingo originated because the game has been reshaped many times. The familiar game rules were first recorded in Italy in the 16th century, but the bingo history could also begin when the game got its name at the beginning of the 20th century in the USA.

What bingo games are there?

Finding the name of the person who invented bingo might never be possible, but we are deeply grateful for their efforts. Today, there are dozens of bingo variations available at gaming halls and online casinos. The most popular types are the 75-ball and 90-ball bingo, also called American Bingo and UK bingo.

Can I play bingo online?

Since the history of bingo games proves that this is one of the highly preferred wagering games, there is no wonder why operators of online gambling sites added it to their lists. The online bingo games include all classic and new interesting bingo versions like Slingo, jackpot bingo, and other games.

Where does bingo originate from?

The lengthy bingo history points towards Italy’s bingo from 16th century, also called Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia to be the origin of the present-day popular game. This was when the mandatory elements of the game were first recognised – scorecards with numbers, shuffling of numbered tokens and drawing the winning numbers.

When did bingo start in the UK?

The history of bingo shows that the game quickly spread throughout Europe, and by the 1770s, a large part of the United Kingdom was into it. The UK bingo games started under the name Housey Housey and evolved along with bingo worldwide. Today, the UK is one of the countries where thousands of people shout ‘Bingo!’ daily.

What was bingo originally called?

We might not know who invented bingo, but we have heard many names given to the game. A combination of the name ‘beano’ used in the USA and an excited winner led to the game’s new name – Bingo! The USA’s bingo has 75 balls and a B-I-N-G-O above the five columns on the scorecards.

Where was bingo first played?

After its creation in Italy, bingo-type games spread all across Europe. The history of bingo games shows that France’s Le Lotto is the ancestor of the present-day national lottery and bingo many French people play. After World War I, the soldiers brought the fun game to their home countries, and bingo spread worldwide.

Is bingo a gambling game?

The bingo history shows that this is one of the most popular money-based games of chance. Even so, the bingo in Germany has an alternative face that is not directed towards enrichment. In the 18th century, bingo-type cards with images, words, and numbers were used as educational tools for children. There are still such games.

What should I know about bingo?

Besides the fascinating bingo history, there is a lot to know about bingo, especially if you intend to play. People who have never tried it usually have a lot of questions and worries that stop them from playing. We answered essential bingo inquiries to help you learn the basics.

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