• B-I-N-G-O and Bingo is the Game-O

    Bingo! It's a word we know and hear about but do you really know what Bingo is? First of all, Bingo is purely a game of chance. There are no special techniques as to increasing your chances of winning or increasing your odds of having a winning card. Winning at Bingo means you have Lady Luck on your side with the Bingo gods smiling down on you. With a little eye-and-hand coordination, Bingo is one easy game that you'll be able to master in no time.

    So, let's start with the basics. Each Bingo player must have a Bingo card. There is no limit though as to how many cards a player can have in one game, as long as you can keep track of all your cards. These cards are flat pieces of cardboard or non-reusable paper, which contain 25 squares arranged in five vertical rows and 5 vertical rows or 5x5 matrices. Before a game can begin, the winning pattern to be formed on the card is announced. The most common pattern is the full card or blackout, which simply means marking all the numbers on your card. Other common patterns are single line, two lines, four corners, center cross, forming an L, T or Y, postage stamp (2x2 and in a corner), inner square (4x4), roving square (3x3) and roving diamond (3x3 diamond). Sounds pretty technical but playing the game is actually quite simple.

    On each turn a non-player or the caller randomly selects a numbered ball from a container and announces the number to all players. The ball that is picked is then set aside so that it cannot be chosen again during that game. Each player then searches his card for the called out number, if it is on his card, it is marked or blocked out. He has to make sure that he marks the called out number before the next one is announced. The first player to have a card where the numbers drawn form the specified pattern says the word "Bingo!" out loud. This is to alert the other players and inform the caller of a win. Before he is officially announced the winner, his card has to be checked for accuracy at which time the prize is given and a new game can begin.

    Bingo has become a popular game usually played in churches, social events or fund raising activities. This is partly because it's a game for all ages wherein whole families can play together. It is also a game that does not need special skills, mental analysis or problem solving. It is very appealing because it is simple. Good, clean fun is what Bingo is all about. So the next time you hear about a Bingo game at your church or your friend invites you to a Bingo fund raising event, why not try it out. It won't do you any harm to have fun once in a while. You never know, you might have a winning card and be able to shout, "Bingo!"