A Crash Course on Bingo

A staple in church events, fund raisers and get-togethers is Bingo. It is very popular in parties, both "live" and online. The reason of course, is that it generates excitement and thrills in spite of the very simple rules.

Basic Bingo Rules

The game can be played at home, a hall, or in the place designated by whomever organized the event. At any rate, the rules are still the same. First you need one or more Bingo cards. If you are playing for fun this comes at no cost; if you are participating in a commercial event,

it can range from a few cents, a couple of dollars or even more, depending on two factors: the prize at stake and the number of cards that you purchased.

As soon as everyone have their cards, the game begins. As per Bingo rules, numbers are drawn and called out, and players mark that number on their cards. To mark the numbers players may use chips, or just place a check or an x on the number. In commercial games, a special dauber is used, although you can buy these for home games too if you like.

To win, players must form a predetermined pattern with marked numbers.

Bingo Patterns

The patterns themselves vary, with the most common being vertical, horizontal and diagonal. Other popular patterns are four corners or blackout, marking all the number in the card. Other variations include marking four adjacent numbers, the shape of the letter L, or even marking down all odd or even numbers on a card.

If you complete the pattern, you win. If there is a tie, the prize is split between the two.


Commercial and online Bingo games usually have cash at stake, but you can easily substitute this for gift items. It isn't unusual to see this game played at Christmas parties wherein people vie for presents or food items.

Some games allow for progressive jackpots, like slots. The process is the same; a predetermined jackpot is set, and if no one wins, the amount is increased and continues to until a player wins. With some subtle variations, those are the basic rules of Bingo.

While it is very simple to play, the prizes given away at these events, especially those held online, figure in the thousands, and hundreds of thousands of dollars. So whether you'd prefer to play on the Net or in a commercial hall, one thing is sure: you'll have fun.