Complete a pattern of numbers before any other player and win!
Bingo cards and prizes
Bingo is a widely popular game of chance played with numbered cards and a means of marking them. The object is to completely mark a pattern of numbers before any other player is able to do so. Many times marking is done with "dabbers" but you can use any kind of marker if you want to reuse your cards.
In the basic game each player receives a card with twenty-five squares in five horizontal rows (see below for an example). Twenty-four of the squares contain numbers from the range of 1 to 75. No numbers are repeated on a card. Each card has a different arrangement of numbers and contains a centre square marked "Free," which a player may consider as marked. Players usually have one card but you can play with more than one if you like. Ranges of numbers are restricted to particular columns: 01 to 15 in the B column, 16 to 30 in the I column, 31 to 45 in the N column, 46 to 60 in the G column, 61 to 75 in the O column.
In many official Bingo games the caller keeps a set of balls (usually ping pong balls) numbered from 1 to 75 and draws them one by one from a machine that keeps them bouncing randomly. If you are playing at home, you can make your own cards and randomly draw numbers from a hat. The caller calls out a number as it is drawn. It is normal practice to call both the column letter followed by the drawn number (such as B9, O67and G51).
Prior to the start of play, the winning pattern of numbers for the game is declared. In it's earliest and simplest form, that pattern was either a row or a column. Many patterns have evolved since that time and these add interest to the game such as an "X", marking the top, center and bottom rows (called a sandwich) or even marking the entire card. Players with a corresponding number on their cards mark it with their markers. The caller keeps track of the called numbers.
As soon as any player marks the pattern of numbers for the game with counters, the player cries "BINGO" and wins the game. If more than one player calls "BINGO", the players share the prize. The marked numbers are then checked to ensure the correctness of the call.