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What to Know Before You BINGO

When was the last time you yelled BINGO? Better yet, when was the last time you attended a bingo game, or have you ever attended a bingo game?  Bingo offers you a great evening (or day) of entertainment; a good chance of winning cash prizes, and for charitable bingo; allows you to help a good cause.

Perhaps the reason you haven’t played a game of bingo is that you’re not sure what to do when you arrive? What time do you arrive? What you need to bring? How do you play bingo? Do they offer food or snacks? What’s a pull tab?  Fear no more! Here is everything you need to know before you BINGO!

1. Find a Game in Your Area

Find where you can play bingo in your area. The easiest and fastest way to finding a bingo hall is online. Here are some resource links to find out where to play bingo near you.

2. Get the Details About the Game You're Attending

Once you locate a bingo hall, visit their website or Facebook page (if available) to find out more details about their bingo game. Many bingo halls will list out the prize amounts you can win, and show the times the bingo game sessions begin.

3. Be an Early Bird?

Speaking of the time the bingo game will start, you may see the following listed by the bingo hall: “Early Bird Starts at,” or “Regular Games starts at.”  Early Bird games are individual games that are purchased separately and usually played before the regular bingo game. Regular Games are played after the Early Bird games.  As a rule of thumb, arrive 30 minutes before either an Early Bird or Regular bingo game. That will give you time to set up your dabbers, grab a bite to eat- and chat with your fellow players.

4. What Should I buy when I arrive?

When you arrive at the bingo hall, you may have a variety of bingo packages to choose from. Feel free to ask the Staff what bingo package best suits your skill level.  If you never played bingo, or haven't played in some time, consider buying a smaller amount of bingo paper. Many bingo halls offer a beginner’s package, and some halls provide bingo computers that self-dab.

5. Don't Miss a thing

Choose your seat carefully; take notice of where the "Caller” will call balls and the location of the flashboard (a lighted board on which called bingo ball numbers appear). You may want to sit closer to the Caller to help keep you focused, and to ensure you don’t miss any numbers being called. Once you find your seat, visit with friends, make new friends, set up any good luck charms, grab something to drink and eat, set up your station and get ready for a fun evening of excitement.

6. Dabber, Dauber, Ink Marker? Just Don't Forget One!

Make sure you have a bingo dabber. You may have received a free bingo dabber in your bingo package, or you may have to purchase a bingo dabber at the hall. You may see some players taping their bingo paper in place. Some players prefer to secure their bingo paper, so they don’t keep adjusting the bingo paper during play.  It’s OK to bring a small tote bag to carry your bingo supplies into the hall.

7. Play Some Pull Tabs While You're there

You may notice volunteers selling pull tabs, also called break opens, Nevada tickets, cherry bells, pickle cards, instant bingo and bowl games. The object of the game is to open the perforated windows on the back of the ticket and match the symbols inside the ticket to the winning combinations on the front of the ticket face or the flare card. The winning ticket is turned in for a monetary prize. Some halls also offer Bingo Event tickets that play along with the bingo game. These are fun and easy to play and offer you additional chances of winning a cash prize! Your floor worker can easily answer any questions you may have about how a game is played.

8. Time to Play Some BINGO!

Let’s play some bingo! Once the game starts, the caller will inform the players of the type of bingo pattern that will be played during each game. Most bingo halls provide you with a program of all the game styles and prize amounts that will be available during each game. Now is the time to stay alert and focused. If you miss a called number, do not panic, and look at the flashboard to review the number that was last called. The majority of the flashboards show the last ball called in “blinking” fashion.

Also, the hall may choose to play a variety of different bingo patterns on the cards. Possible bingo game patterns that can be played during the evening include straight line, four corners, postage stamp, Letter X, or coverall, to name but a few.

9. You Won - Now What?!

YOU GET A BINGO! The first rule before you yell bingo: the caller must have called the ball number first before you yell BINGO!  Many halls have television monitors that allow you to see the next bingo ball to be called. If you have one number left and you see the ball on the television monitor, DO NOT YELL BINGO UNTIL THE CALLER CALLS THAT BINGO NUMBER. Once the Caller calls that number, then yell BINGO!

Now that you understand how to play the game of bingo,  it's time to get out and enjoy a fun evening of excitement. Remember, many bingo games support a local charitable cause and attending an evening of bingo gives you a chance at not only winning a prize but also helping a good cause.

BINGOBeing Involved Never Gets Old

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