What’s The Benefit
With electronic bingo machines, you can keep track of more cards than you thought humanly possible. In the past few years, more and more bingo enthusiasts have been ditching paper cards. Instead, they are using handheld, portable electronic bingo devices that allow them to play dozens of cards at the same time with a minimum amount of effort.
How it Works
Players using these devices simply sit at the table, listen for the caller to call the next number, then punch the corresponding keys on the machine. The computer automatically scans the player’s bingo cards to see if the player has that number. If one of the cards gets a bingo, it’s up to the player to alert the caller by yelling “bingo,” and show that he or she has the winning card face.
Another high-tech form of bingo is the video bingo machine, which is similar to a stand-alone video poker or video slot machine. While these machines aren’t widespread across the United States, video bingo can be a fun, even productive, way for people to pass the time while waiting for traditional bingo games to start.
Bingo is played in halls. Bingo rules and payouts and play variations vary from place to place. Bingo brochures detailing particular games, rules and payouts are usually available at each respective location.
Basically, players buy cards with numbers on them in a 5 x 5 grid corresponding to the five letters in the word B-I-N-G-O. Numbers such as B-2 or 0-68 are then drawn at random (out of a possible 75 in American Bingo, and 90 in British and Australian Bingo) until one player completes a ‘Bingo’ pattern, such as a line with five numbers in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal row on one of their cards and wins the prize. There are many possible patterns to play for. The numbers are announced quickly by the Caller, so you must pay careful attention to the numbers that are called and mark them quickly and accurately on your card(s).
The caller keeps calling numbers until one or more players claim BINGO. Then the game stops and the numbers are verified. If there is a winner, the prize is awarded and a new bingo game begins with new cards. If there is more than one winner, the prize is split among all the winners.