The mental benefits of playing bingo

Millions of people play bingo every day; whether it’s online at one of the many bingo websites or in a land-based bingo hall. People play for many reasons. Some are hopeful that they’ll land a big prize, others want to socialise with other players online. For some players, bingo’s the best choice because of the value it offers.

It’s easy to start playing bingo – especially if you play online. That way you don’t even have to go to the effort of making a special trip to play bingo. The main bingo sites offer great welcome incentives to get people to sign up; offering free playing credit to a person making a first deposit onto their bingo account. So, while bingo has always been a low-stakes game, it’s better value for money than ever online. If you want to join a bingo website, you can find out more here.

But there are other benefits to bingo that you may not have considered. One recent research study showed that playing bingo on a regular basis may actually be helpful in keeping your mind agile.

At Southampton University in the UK, the Psychology Department ran a research study that compared the skills of regular bingo players with non-bingo players in tests that could monitor memory skills, the ability to absorb information and mental speed.  Over a hundred people took part in the tests, with two age range groups of 18-40 year olds and 60-82 year olds. In each group, half of the people taking part played bingo regularly.

In both groups, the bingo players scored more highly than the non-bingo players, but it is likely that players of other games such as chess and backgammon would show similar strengths in mental agility. What gives the game of bingo the edge, though, is the fact that players are up against the clock in having to be first to mark their numbers off as the bingo calls are made. Online players can get just as much benefit from playing if they switch the auto-daub feature off, so that they have to mark their cards for themselves. Between the younger and older bingo players, the younger players were generally quicker at completing the tasks, while the older players demonstrated higher levels of accuracy.

It’s thought that the multi-tasking element of playing bingo is the main reason for better mental agility. The player has to not only concentrate on the number calls, but also keep their eye on a number of cards during the game, which flexes the brain’s ability to compartmentalise information. Spatial awareness can also be improved when playing a game like 75 ball bingo, where players are looking to complete a pattern and therefore keeping track of numbers that are displayed in horizontal, diagonal and vertical groups.

So next time you’re playing bingo, pat yourself on the back, because you’re not only having fun playing an entertaining game; you’re promoting better mental agility while you’re there!

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