If you have never played bingo in a real bingo venue before, you may feel a little unsure about how things work. That is why BingoPort has put together this guide so you know exactly what to expect from a bingo game before you arrive.
It is always a good idea to arrive a little early to a bingo game. When you arrive, you will need to buy bingo tickets and find a seat amongst the other players. If the game has already started, you won't be allowed to join! It's safest to just be a few minutes early and get settled in comfortably before the game starts.
When the game starts, the bingo caller will usually welcome the players and announce what the prizes are. If the game is a charity game, players may also be informed which cause the bingo is supporting. The caller will also usually clarify what the winning pattern on the card is, so everyone knows what they need to get to win. As the game begins, the caller will draw and announce numbers randomly from the 75 balls, and players will mark the numbers on their cards.
The bingo cards are set up like a grid filled with numbers. On this grid, there will be a pattern that players need to cover to win. The pattern could be a shape like a fish, it could be as simple as all four corners, or even a blackout, which means all the numbers on the grid. As the players cover the numbers on their card, they will keep an eye on the winning pattern. The first player to cover all the numbers on the winning pattern on one of their cards must shout bingo quickly and clearly to catch the caller’s attention.
As soon as someone shouts bingo, the game will be paused. This will allow the bingo caller to verify the win by checking the player's card against the numbers that have been called. Assuming that everything is above board, the winner will be announced and presented their prize. Most often, the game will end here, however sometimes there is a second prize at stake within the same game. In this case, the game would continue until all prizes are won.
Most bingo nights consist of lots of different games one after another. This means even more prizes up for grabs! In between games, there is usually a small break where players can get a drink, use the restroom, or stretch their legs. Then the caller will invite the players back and the next game can begin!