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Most Common Versions of Bingo
While this article is devoted to bingo variations, we shouldn’t overlook the two most popular versions of the game. No matter where you play, you’re bound to find one of these games being offered.
75-Ball Bingo – This is the version that’s widely played in the United States. Each card has a 5×5 grid with the letters “BINGO” marking the columns at the top. The centre space is marked “Free,” and it can be used to form any winning combination. Numbers range from one to 75.
90-Ball Bingo – Popular in the UK and Australia, this version of bingo is played on a paper ticket with three rows and nine columns. Each row contains five randomly spaced numbers, with the other four spaces on the row remaining blank. Numbers range from one to 90, and there is no free space.
Variations of Bingo
Some bingo variations are close to the original, while others combine elements from a wide range of other games. In either case, players looking for something a little different should appreciate the diversity that’s available.
Bible Bingo – The rules of this game work just like regular bingo, but the letters “BINGO” at the top of the 5×5 card are replaced with “BIBLE.” The numbers on the card are also absent, replaced by various books of the Bible. A typical draw might sound like this: “B – 1st Corinthians.” This game is often played in churches to help younger members become more familiar with the books and leading figures of the Bible.
Bonanza Bingo – At the beginning of a session, 43 numbers are drawn. These numbers may be odd, even, or just 43 random balls. When players purchase their cards for this game, they begin by marking off the numbers that were drawn in advance. After this occurs, the caller checks to see if anyone has achieved a bingo. If not, then he draws additional balls one-at-a-time until someone gets a bingo.
This game is popular for its progressive variant, in which the player wins a jackpot if they manage to get a bingo before a certain number of balls are called. If the jackpot isn’t won, it may roll over into a later gaming session.
Buzzword Bingo – Each player prepares a list of words before attending an event or meeting. Once the event begins, they mark off their buzzwords as they’re uttered by the speaker. The first player to mark off enough numbers in a row is declared the winner, although tradition holds that the winner should announce bingo out loud and possibly incur the wrath of the speaker. Often used by office workers who feel company meetings are filled with useless phrases and repetitive terminology.
Death Bingo – This variation works the opposite of bingo, as a player who fills in winning spaces is eliminated. In order to win, you must fill in as many spaces as possible without meeting the requirements for victory (and be the last player remaining in the game).
Facebook Bingo – This social networking game works like traditional bingo with a few important differences. First, players are allows to buy and share virtual goods within the game. Second, power-ups may be purchased and activated to increase your chances of winning. A number of these games are available, and some of the leading examples include Bingo Island and Bingo Bash.
Horse Racing Bingo – Up to 15 players can participate, and each one is given a number that corresponds to the top of a bingo flashboard. The objective is to then mark off all five numbers in your column before the other players.
Quick Shot – Sealed cards are sold to players, and they are then opened and compared to numbers that have been drawn in advance. A table normally denotes the prizes for forming various winning combinations, and a more lucrative award may be offered for a specific accomplishment (usually one that’s hard to achieve). This game can take place in the span of one evening, or it may range over days, weeks, and even months.
Roadkill Bingo – This game is meant to be played on long trips, and visitors to the Australian Outback should find it an excellent way to pass the time. Cards can be made at home, or you can purchase versions with small drawings of various dead animals. When a specific species of roadkill is spotted on the side of the road, the first player to spot the creature gets to mark it off their card. When an entire row has been completed, the victorious player either receives bragging rights or a prize agreed upon in advance. Some cards are manufactured to allow for the regional differences in wildlife.
Table Bingo – These games are often tied to various casino table games. For example, when a number turns up on the roulette wheel, the player marks those digits off their card.
U-Pick’em Bingo – Similar to keno, this game allows players to purchase a ticket and mark the numbers of their choice.
Now that you’re familiar with some of the leading bingo variations, you’re prepared to pass the time on long car trips and lazy nights at home. While the traditional game of bingo is a great deal of fun, it’s natural to occasionally look for slight variations to spice things up. The items listed above should more than meet your needs, and you may find them becoming a regular part of your gaming rotation.