When I utter a phrase like “B-4 or “N-39,” does your heart start to pound? Do you look around wildly for a card filled with numbered squares and something to mark it with? Then you might be a bingo addict. Take heart–you are only the latest generation of long and venerable string of bingo devotees, including many of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers.
When we think of classic games, there are none that have quite as big a following as the classic game of bingo. Finding its roots in the Italian game of Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia, it wasn’t until the 1950s and 60s that bingo really made it big in the US, but when it did, reception was overwhelmingly positive. Bingo halls popped up in places all over the country, and thousands flocked to them to play the game every night.
After the 60s, however, much of the popularity of bingo waned. Nowadays, you’d be forgiven for thinking that bingo is a game played only by geriatrics in retirement homes. However, advancements in technology mean that bingo has taken on many new forms. In the UK, the BBC reports that online bingo is already “a full house”.
“There’s been a rapid growth of bingo websites. As recently as 2004 fewer than 20 such sites operated in the UK; now there are thought to be about 350,” they write. The game is growing at such a rapid pace that even sportsbooker Betfair has joined the fray, launching an online bingo portal in 2013.
But what makes the game so popular? In the past, it was popular because of how social it was. Imagine meeting up with your friends every night to play a few fast-paced, yet relaxing games of bingo. The same can be said of bingo today, and because the game is so versatile, it also means that it’s been adapted into various different themes. Nowadays, bingo is played everywhere from bridal showers to actual weddings, and it’s easy to adapt the game to fit whatever occasion you’re having soon. If you or your guests object to gambling, the historical “betting” aspect can be easily omitted. Just play for fun!
The first thing you need to do is make a list of the things you expect to see at the party or event you’re holding, and use an online bingo card generator to turn your list into a set of bingo cards. Print out the cards and distribute them to your guests, and have them cross off an item as soon as they spot it or experience it, with the first to complete a bingo pattern winning the game! There’s an online bingo generator on Print-Bingo.com that’s fairly straightforward, and all you’d need to do is add your own decorations and designs on the cards.
(This is a guest contribution.)