You may not know this, but there are many different types of bingo. The two best-known variations are 75-ball and 90-ball bingo and their rules differ considerably. While 75-ball bingo is the game of choice in the United States, 90-ball bingo is more popular in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
If you ever played bingo as a child or at an informal bingo hall, the chances are fairly good that you were playing the 90-ball variation, which is one of the reasons why it is such a popular choice online.
History of 90-Ball Bingo
The reason why you probably played 90-ball bingo as a child is that 90-ball bingo is the oldest type of bingo still around today.
90-ball bingo is generally believed to have originated in 16th Century Italy, where it was used in the Italian lottery, Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia. By the end of the 1700s, the game had spread to other parts of Europe, including Great Britain and France. The game was a great favourite among the French aristocracy, who referred to it as Le Lotto. Later, in Germany in the 1800s, 90-ball bingo was used to educate children about everything from numbers to history.
How the game made the transition to its modern form is not known for certain. However, it is known that the first modern incarnation of 90-ball bingo appeared in fairs and carnivals in the 1920s. Although the creation of this modern version his attributed to a man by the name of Hugh J. Ward, the patent for the game’s design was awarded to Erwin S. Lowe in 1942.
90-Ball Bingo Basics
The primary difference (aside from the number of balls in play) between 90-ball bingo and 75-ball bingo is the number of chances you have to win. In 90-ball bingo, you have three opportunities to win, versus just one in the 75-ball variant. Both games involve the random selection of a series of numbers where the objective is for the player to match those numbers the numbers that appear on their own randomly drawn bingo card.
The 90-ball bingo card contains a grid made up of 27 squares arranged in nine columns and three horizontal rows. Each game features three rows. Row 1 contains random numbers between 1 and 9, Row 2 contains random numbers between 10 and 19, and Row 3 contains random numbers between 20 and 29. However, only 15 of the 27 blocks are filled – the rest remain empty. To win the game, players must be lucky enough to have the correct numbers in the correct places on the card.
Players rarely play with just one bingo card but rather with a strip of several cards. The recommended number of cards per strip is generally six.
Three Chances of Winning
This is the main reason why 90-ball bingo has gained such huge popularity in the UK and beyond. Unlike 75-ball bingo, 90-ball bingo doesn’t only give you one chance to win. In the latter variant, you can win three times – you can play for one, two or three lines, depending on how much risk you are prepared to take.
What’s more, since 90-ball bingo is the most popular game outside of the United States, it stands to reason that 90-ball games will have larger jackpots than their 75-ball counterparts when played at non-US sites. More players equals more wagers, which equals a bigger jackpot.
Over and above all of this, when you play 90-ball bingo online, you’ll find that there may be chat game running in the bingo game in addition to the main game – one more chance to win.