History of Bingo | Know More About This Classic Game

Bingo is a popular game of chance in which players mark off the numbers printed on a card as these are randomly announced by a caller. The game ends when a player forms any required pattern based on the drawn numbers. The player needs to shout "Bingo" so that the caller and the other players would know that he has won.

The history of bingo goes back to as early as 1530 in Italy. It is said to be based on "Il Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia", a lottery game which also became popular in France and Germany. Subsequently, a variation of lotto "Le Lotto" was created in France in the 18th century. It used a layout of numbers in rows and columns whch became the basis of a modern card's design. The game was standardized and popularized by Hugh Ward in the Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh areas in early 1920s. He later wrote a rule book and copyrighted "Bingo".

The history of Bingo also goes back to another game named Beano which used Ward's rules, beans and sheets of cardboard. Edwin Lowe, a toy seller, introduced this to New York when he saw how players in Atlanta loved the game. It was claimed that the game became popularly known as Bingo when a player exclaimed Bingo instead of Beano.

By 1940s, the game became known in many parts of the country. Several variations emerged in the history of bingo. Below are some of these:

  • Quick Shot - Cards are sealed and the numbers are pre-drawn. Players who get any specified pattern is given a prize based on prize table.
  • U-Pick 'Em - A common variation where players select the numbers they prefer.
  • Bonanza - It starts with 43 up to 48 numbers (odd, even, or random) that are already drawn. If there is no winner, the caller continues to draw numbers until someone gets a pattern.
  • Horse Racing - A fast-paced version where as many as 15 players can join. Each person is issued a number that matches the number on top of the card. Numbers are drawn and the first one to get 5 numbers in a column wins.
  • Facebook - This differs from other variations because it adds an element of being with a community and features power ups.
  • Electronic - This is an online version of a traditional game. It uses slots machine.
  • Death - It is the reverse of a typical game since players who form a pattern get eliminated. The last player standing becomes the winner.