Multiplayer games like Bingo have always been a great way to socialise and connect with others, and thanks to modern technology, this and other classics have taken on a new life, and a new audience comprising the next generation.
If you’ve never set foot in a Bingo hall before, you’ll be pleased to know that online providers are constantly expanding their gaming options to cater to a broader audience – and by the time you finish reading this article, you’ll be ready to dive into the online version.
The rundown on bingo
If you’re of a certain age, the word “Bingo” likely conjures connotations of tables in a musty hall, but recent innovation has proven that the game can also be surprisingly modern and exciting. Although the name of the game has changed since its roots in 16th century Italy, where the local lottery inspired its evolution, bingo has remained a classic fixture of many social venues, attracting patrons of all ages.
Even if you’re new to the game, you’ll be pleased to know that the rules are fairly simple and easy to understand. Starting with a unique board of 25 squares, each square containing a different number, players wait for the caller to read out numbers (or number and letter combinations) one at a time.
With any luck, players will find that the chosen numbers or letters correspond with squares on their boards, prompting them to mark off those squares. As soon as a player has a full horizontal, vertical or diagonal line of squares marked off, they can shout “Bingo!” for the win.
While you might be hard-pressed to find a physical bingo hall in your local area, the internet offers a wide range of great alternatives – and if you’d like to skip the trial and error involved in finding a quality online provider, our recommendation is to embark upon bingo with SkyCity. A recent addition to the website, this fresh take on the classic game promises hours of entertainment value, next to the already voluminous game offerings found at SkyCity.
Bingo abroad: the state of play across the seas
Like many popular games, Bingo has become a household title in many countries around the world – most notably, the US and UK; however, its perception differs quite significantly depending on location. For example, in the US, Bingo is considered primarily a gambling activity that often takes place in casinos, although it is also commonly staged by churches and charity organisations. In contrast, players in the UK enjoy the social aspect of the game much more.
In terms of the overall gaming experience, other key differences include the variations on the original game. Popular options include U-Pick’Em Bingo (a version that allows players to mark their own numbers before the game begins), Shotgun Bingo (a shorter version of the original game often played in between longer rounds), and Facebook Bingo (a digitised version that gives players the option of using power-ups and building a virtual community), there’s no shortage of ways to play. There’s even scope to change the number of balls, and therefore, the winning odds, with UK players generally accustomed to using 90 balls and the US usually playing with only 75 balls.
It hasn’t all been about the winners and grinners in bingo halls, however; having begun around 1926 in Britain and during the 1930s in the US, bingo went from strength to strength early on, but went through a decline in popularity due to tight government restrictions. The cost of running the games has also become a more significant consideration, causing many long-time bingo halls to shut their doors for good.
The light at the end of the tunnel
Most recently, COVID-19 has had a particularly damaging impact on bingo halls and players the world over, leading to the closure of as many as 68 of Britain’s remaining 330 halls. However, the aftermath of the closures and recommencement of the games has since driven a desire for connection, not only amongst the long-term players, but also among young people looking for something fun to do with friends or following in their parents’ family traditions.
Venues, in turn, have sought to modernise their offering by introducing electronic bingo units, appealing to players young and young-at-heart, and in some cases, celebrating events like National Bingo Day by encouraging players to join in with local events or play from their smartphones.
Providers like SkyCity have gone one step further and turned to the internet in a bid to modernise their bingo offering and provide options for a broader segment of their customer base. Even if you’ve never played bingo before, you’ll find plenty to love about the SkyCity bingo offering, from the variety of game treatments to the in-store social events aimed at connecting local players.
Anyone who has ever enjoyed a game of bingo will agree that it’s truly a timeless classic that has kept its appeal through the generations – and if you haven’t played before, now is as good a starting time as any!