Bingo is one of the most commonly played modern games of chance. In the United Kingdom it is all but considered a staple of weekend activities, and yes, it is enjoyed mostly by senior citizens. But the game was not always this way, and has come along a rather interesting journey to reach where it currently is. Let’s have a closer look at the evolution of the game of bingo.
Few realise that bingo has been around since the 1500’s. Although, back then it was not referred to as bingo, but as beano. Why? Because players used beans to mark off their numbers with beans. Plus, no one shouted out any particular word upon being a winner, certainly not BINGO!
Origins In Italy
Back then beano was a game played exclusively in Italy, referred to as the Italian Lottery. It was remarkably similar to the bingo of today, only it was a great deal less organised. Numbers were not printed in neat little grids, and the announcer drew bits of paper out of a sack, upon which numbers were written. Shiny round bingo balls were nowhere to be seen.
Regardless, the Italian Lottery was incredibly popular, and enjoyed by hundreds of players on a weekly basis. But when did beano start to more closely resemble modern bingo? And how did BINGO become the choice word to shout out when winning?
Over To France And Germany
The French rather liked the game of beano they witnessed in Italy, and decided to adopt it. Only, the French wouldn’t have any of this nonsense with bits of paper and unorganised beano cards. It was in France that cards began to be printed and arranged into grids. Only the grids consisted of three horizontal rows, and nine vertical rows. In order to win a player had to have beans on three horizontal numbers in a row. So the games may have resembled modern bingo, but still had notable differences.
It was time or the Germans to adopt the game, and adopt it they did. Beano began to played as a lottery in Germany, using the same rules as the French variation. One very interesting thing, however, is that Germany introduced the game to schools. Why? Because it turned out to be an excellent way to teach children mathematics. Of course, there was likely not any cash prizes handed out for the winning child.
Beano To Bingo
Beano was then adopted by America, and it was here that the name finally transformed into bingo. In New York in the 1930’s bingo was a word people used as an exclamation, generally a positive one. During a game in Georgia an excited player shouted out the word bingo accidentally, consumed by excitement. Those present at the game burst out laughing, and the joke spread like wildfire. It soon became standard to shout out bingo instead of beano, which never failed to delight other players.
A toy manufacturer named Edwin Lowe overheard the bingo joke, and liked it so much that he decided to use the name for his mass produced version. By the 1940’s families across the United States were play Bingo, the version of beano with a built-in joke. The joke, however, quickly became the accepted version of the game across the country.
Bingo Across The World
Today bingo is played in almost every country in the world, with the core rules being the same, but a few variations. The game will always have cards that are to be purchased by players, which are digital in modern form. The game will also always involve an announcer calling out random numbers. How many numbers are used varies depending on the form of the game, but will generally be around 1 – 90.
How players mark off numbers also depends on the medium, but will commonly be done by simply tapping the number with a finger, should the player be using a tablet or phone, or by clicking the number on a desktop computer or laptop. Upon the player winning the tradition of calling out bingo is still common, although the device used may do this automatically.
Different online casinos use different bonus systems. Some casinos have a bonus number on each card, which has a prize assigned to it. The first player to have their bonus number called out receives a small, upfront bonus. This is often in the form of free slot game spins, or casino loyalty points. It is possible for a player to win both the bonus prize and the jackpot prize in a single turn.
Some online casinos will even give away free bingo cards as bonuses for winning at other games. These cards will be free to use in the bingo section of the website, and can be extremely lucrative, depending on the jackpot amount of the bingo games.