US Style Bingo


Bingo is a game of chance where randomly-selected numbers are drawn and players match those numbers to those appearing on 5x5 matrices which are printed or electronically represented and are known as "cards." The first person to have a card where the drawn numbers form a specified pattern is the winner and calls out "Bingo!" to alert others to the win. Bingo is a game used for legalized gambling in some countries.  You can run your own bingo game using just ezDraw connected to a printer.


Guide to English US Bingo

Each bingo player is given a card marked with a grid containing a unique combination of numbers and, in some countries, blank spaces. The winning pattern to be formed on the card is announced. On each turn, a non-player known as the caller randomly selects a numbered ball from a container and announces the number to all the players. The ball is then set aside so that it cannot be chosen again. Each player searches his card for the called number, and if he finds it, marks it. The element of skill in the game is the ability to search one's card for the called number in the short time before the next number is called.

The caller continues to select and announce numbers until the first player forms the agreed pattern (one line, two lines, full house) on their card and shouts out the name of the pattern or bingo. One of the most common patterns, called full card, blackout and cover-all simply consists of marking all the numbers on the card. Other common Canadian and American patterns are single line, two lines, the four corners, centre cross, L, T, Y, postage stamp (2x2 and in a corner) inner square (4 × 4), roving square (3 × 3), and roving kite (a 3 × 3 diamond). On Canadian and American cards lines can be made horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Inner and roving squares and kites must be completely filled; roving squares and kites may be made anywhere on the card.


Bingo Cards
Canadian and American bingo cards are 5 × 5 grids of numbers only. Each space in the grid contains a number, except for the centre square, which is considered filled. The highest number used is 75. The columns are headed with the letters of the word BINGO, and the letter is called with the number for example, B-10, I-25, N-40, G-55, O-70. Numbers 1 to 15 are assigned to the B column, 16 to 30 to the I column, 31 to 45 to the N column, 46 to 60 to the G column, and 61 to 75 to the O column. Each card has a unique serial number.



Canadian and American games often have multiple bingos for example, the players may first play for a single line, then after that is called continue playing for a full card, then for a consolation full card.

In Canadian and American Halls, players often play multiple cards for each game; thirty is not an unusual number. Because of the large numbers of cards played by each player, most Canadian and American halls have the players sit at tables to which they often fasten their cards with adhesive tape. To mark cards faster the players usually use special markers called dabbers. At commercial halls, after calling the number the caller then displays the next number on a television monitor; bingo cannot be called until that number is called aloud, however. The numbers already called and the patterns being played are also displayed on electric signs.

Bingo is often used as an instructional tool in American primary schools and in teaching English as a Foreign Language in many countries. Typically, the numbers are replaced with beginning reader words (such as those drawn from the Dolch word lists), pictures, or unsolved math problems. Recently many teachers have taken to using software to automate the creation of bingo cards, as it is slow and laborious to do it by hand for large numbers of cards.


Bingo can be traced back to a game called Lotto, played in Italy in 1530. The bingo name comes from a corruption of the name Beano, the name of a form of bingo played in the United States in the 1920's. Beano was so called because beans were used to cover the numbers. The name of the game was changed to "Bingo" when an excited player called out "bingo" instead of "beano." The name stuck.





US Bingo Ticket