The rules vary in different Bingo halls. The players are given some time to read the posted rules before every session. It is advised to use this opportunity.

The game starts when all the players have bought their bingo cards. A bingo card has a 5×5 grid on it. The 5 columns on the card correspond to the name of the game which is B*I*N*G*O. There are 24 numbers per each card and they are random numbers from 1 to 75.
There is an announcer that selects numbers at random and calls them out. Players check their cards and if they have this number, they mark it off.
The winner is the person or persons that has completed the winning bingo pattern first. The patterns can be different hall by hall. It can be a vertical line, a horizontal line or a diagonal line. Or it can be a full house which is when all the numbers are covered. Some halls use symbols, digits or letters.

Game of Bingo

*In most halls and lounges the player must be at least 18 years of age.Here is a list of some of the things to remember :

*Altering the bingo card is strictly forbidden. Anybody caught cheating will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

*If a player has bingo, they must call out “bingo!” before the next number is announced. If you let this moment pass, it will be too late to call bingo. And as soon as the caller has closed a particular game and has dropped the balls for the next game, all missed bingos become invalid. So players should pay close attention to the game at all times.

*Some halls prohibit alcoholic drinks. In others you will be able to buy beer.

*In most places, people are not allowed to stay and watch their friends play. Some lounges may ask you to buy a ticket for that.

*Management may prohibit players from leaving and entering the bingo hall during special high-stakes games.

*It is possible to win pretty big jackpots in bingo so players are advised to take their photo ID with them to claim their winnings.

Gamble Aware (www.gambleaware.co.uk) is managed by the Responsibility in Gambling Trust, an independent charity which funds treatment, research and education about responsible gambling. The website has been developed by a Task Force made up of representatives from the Gambling Commission, DCMS, academia and industry.

Gary Beal