why play bingo

Why Play Bingo?

Since the earliest days of human civilisation, people have played games of chance using counters, dice, and cards. Bingo is as simple as it is engaging and it has been a popular choice as a teaching tool, carnival game, and social gaming opportunity.

In Italy, in 1530, Lo Giuoco del Lotto de Italia was a popular game using a board that had three rows of nine squares. Players enjoyed the fun of matching the squares with numbers called out and the boards were adorned with pictures and messages that made the game even more popular.

With its fanbase growing, lotto spread throughout Europe and those that weren’t playing it as a game were using it as a way to learn facts and figures. By the 1930s, the game was becoming popular in the United States due to the work of an innovative businessman named Edwin S Lowe.

Bingo takes the United States

His idea came when he saw people playing a game they called ‘Beano’ and he learned that it was based on a European game, but he believed he could improve on the hand-stamped boards used in the carnival game. When he returned to his hometown of New York, he worked on an improved version of these boards and asked his friends to try them out.

There’s no way to be sure that it’s true, but supposedly one of Lowe’s friends was the first to call out ‘Bingo’ instead of ‘Beano’ and it was this name that stuck, although this is just one of the stories about the origin of the game’s name. What we do know is that Lowe hired a mathematician to help him come up with a variety of numerical combinations for his printed boards, and it was this system that allowed the game to proliferate throughout North America.

Bingo in popular culture

While it was spreading and growing on one side of the Atlantic, bingo was about to enjoy a massive boom in the UK as the Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 came into force. This allowed payouts of much bigger prizes than had ever been allowed before, encouraging a resurgence in bingo’s popularity.

A dance-hall owner and entertainment mogul named Eric Morley recognised the potential of the game and hosted bingo games in some of his most popular dancehalls, including the Lyceum Ballroom. This started a country-wide craze that saw thousands of players, mostly women, taking up bingo as a way to enjoy a night out with their friends and a chance to take home a cash prize.

One of the key things that made bingo appealing was the social aspect with a largely female gaming audience using bingo halls as a place to meet friends for an evening out. As a natural candidate for digitisation, bingo has proved as popular in its online incarnation as during its original heyday.

There are a couple of disadvantages to playing online, such as the pool of players being bigger and therefore reducing each individual’s chance of winning, but these are usually mitigated by the convenience of gaming online.

The benefits of online bingo

Bingo’s appeal as a social activity was undiminished by its digitisation and, in some ways, it is a much more accessible format for players. Many sites host their own chatrooms and forums in which players can ‘meet’ other bingo fans and swap stories, share tips, and enjoy games together.

There are also plenty of social media pages and sites dedicated to bingo, giving a wider audience the opportunity to engage with the game and many online bingo sites, such as JackpotJoy, have their own dedicated apps. These give players the chance to enjoy their favourite game wherever they are, and allowing friends to play together even if they can’t get to their favourite brick-and-mortar bingo hall.

Apps are an ideal way for players to make the most of any opportunity to play and they are designed to make gaming on the go even easier. With simplified controls and functionality, it is a lot easier to navigate around purpose-built apps, and there are even games that are designed to be played one-handed for those that want to multi-task their gaming.

Not only does bingo provide a good excuse to spend time with friends, but it can also help players to maintain their mental acuity. Spotting the numbers and working against the clock can both help players to keep their brains active and their reactions sharp.

Online bingo communities often share strategies for players that want to maximise their chances of winning. This can mean playing at certain times to ensure that there are fewer players to compete against, or choosing certain types of games that offer better odds than others.

Online bingo games are ideal for fans that want to enjoy their favourite game with all the convenience and flexibility of playing online.

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