Bingo – the game that never gets old

If you asked a roomful of people to name a traditional game, the chances are that some of them would mention bingo. It’s a game we’ve all been playing in a form that would still be recognisable today for almost a hundred years, and its origins stretch back even further than that.

But, as with anything that remains successful, bingo has always been adapted to fit the times. So, when the game first was patented back in the 1930s by a New York toy seller called Edwin Lowe, he presented the world with a polished version of a game he’d seen played previously at a country fair in Georgia. For many years after that, Lowe’s Bingo was the only version of the game played in the USA, thanks to its uptake by the American churches as a fundraiser.

The same game came over the Atlantic to the UK during World War 2 and was known as Housey, Housey. In the UK, 90 ball bingo became the predominant version played, while in the US, players remained loyal to the 75 ball version of the same game.

For over a decade now, it’s been possible to play bingo online. While we’ve seen some adjustments to the game the main tenets of the game haven’t changed that much. Bingo is still a game of chance, and while with bingo hall bingo the chance is based on the numbers being called at random, so it’s the case with online bingo, thanks to the use of random number generator software. However, bingo online is a lot more relaxing to play as you can choose to use the auto-daub feature, which means you don’t need to keep track of the number calls – your cards will be marked automatically. And while quiet is always expected in a bingo hall, when you play online, there’s no need for that. You can chat away on the phone while you play, or chat with other players in the bingo site chat rooms.

Even though bingo has transformed into being an online game, there are still further developments going on in the world of bingo. For example, it may be that you can soon stream live games of bingo online, in the same way that you can choose to play live casino, where you can sit at home and play, but watch the real human dealer deal your cards as you play. You might soon be able to join a bingo game that’s going on in a real bingo hall and listen to the real human bingo caller from the comfort of your own sofa.

Similarly, bingo halls are also adapting to accommodate customers who prefer the online method of play – where they don’t have to concentrate on their cards and prefer to chat and socialise instead. For example, The Rank bingo hall in Reading now has an electronic bingo room where people can join the same game that other players are playing with pen and paper, but instead use one of the provided bingo tablets to play the game on, where numbers are automatically marked off. And as the electronic bingo room is separated from the main bingo hall, it’s also possible to have a drink and a chat during the game without disturbing the players who like to play in the traditional way.

No matter how you play bingo, it’s always a game that is easy to play and offers great rewards – if you’re lucky enough to pick a winning ticket.

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