When it comes to great family fun, no one can deny the merits of a good old game of bingo. A classic that can be played by all ages, bingo has been a popular choice of entertainment for years, moving from the basic household board game to high-stakes online gaming apps.
Are you looking to learn the game for the first time, or do you think bingo games might be a great way to bring your family together for some much-needed bonding time?
Here’s a quick guide showcasing the fun of bingo, and how you can create your own regular bingo night for continuous fun all year long.
How to Play
Bingo isn’t a difficult game to master, but it can be played in a variety of ways that can make it both more exciting and more challenging. The original method for playing requires the use of a bingo card, to be used as a single player card, that displays a 5×5 board of 25 different squares, each with a different number displayed within a square.
Every player gets their own board with their set of numbers arranged differently on each card, though every card has the same “free” square in the middle for added help in scoring a line.
As a bingo caller calls out certain numbers, each player has to find the number on their own card. The more numbers that are called out, the more your card gets filled in. The goal is to match up a line of numbers, or squares, in a row on the card for the win, whether horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
Once the first winner calls out “Bingo!” to signify their fully-completed line, the game continues as every player aims to complete two lines, or finish the game with a full house.
Changing up the Standard Rules
When people think bingo, the original game is generally the first thing people know about off-hand. However, there are various bingo games that can be instituted to spice up your bingo night if it starts to become too easy or stale.
You can try the “Corners” method, which requires each player to fill in all four of the corners of their board. Or, you can opt for the “Postage Stamp” game, which entitles any player to win by covering the top right four corners of their card.
Meanwhile, you can go so far as to lengthen the game’s playing time by choosing the “Blackout” game, which asks players to fill in every square of their card in order to win.
Whichever way you choose to play, bingo is never a game that has to be played in only one true fashion. There’s a myriad of possibilities for creating new ways to win, leaving players (and hosts of bingo parties) with plenty of ideas for throwing hours-long bingo games that can result in an entire evening’s worth of entertainment and prizes.
Anyone who enjoys hosting bingo parties can even recreate their cards to fit a certain theme. Instead of calling out “Bingo!” as the winning phrase, you can mix it up by shouting “Flower!” for a springtime event, or “Pumpkin!” during a Halloween festivity.
Take another approach by changing the bingo squares themselves into pictures instead of numbers, meaning that players have to locate the right image after hearing a description of the item called out, instead of simply waiting to hear a number.
With such a plethora of themed bingo ideas to choose from, your family is bound to be entertained any time they think bingo!
Becoming a Master Bingo Caller
As host of your very own special family-oriented bingo party, it’s up to you to make sure the night goes off without a hitch. This means taking the reins of becoming the ultimate bingo caller, and it requires some practice to truly become a master of the craft.
Firstly, it’s important that you get a feel for how the game is played. There’s no question that you must understand the rules and how the game is played, not to mention how the game might be changed by incorporating a different theme or style of bingo card.
When you think bingo, you probably often think of a host at the front of the room with a powerful voice loud enough to be heard by everyone.
Therefore, to be a great host yourself, it’s vital that you also have a clear and commanding voice that all players in the room can easily pick up on, so as to avoid frustration amongst those who might feel the game isn’t completely fair when they can’t hear the numbers or words being relayed.
It’s also crucial that you can hear all of your players properly in order to wait for a winner to shout out the correct phrase.
You might remember playing the original bingo game as a kid. However, if you’ve never played or you want to make family game night more thrilling, follow this guide to get you started on the right path to enjoyable group entertainment.