How to play Bingo

This is a game of chance in which randomly selected numbers match on a scorecard with 5 squares across and 5 squares down. Five in a row wins!

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Requires

3 people or more
Pen and paper

Game play

Players create bingo cards with the following specifications:

  • The letters B, I, N, G, O are printed above the five vertical columns, with one letter appearing above each column.
  • The center space is marked “Free.”
  • Each row must be randomly assigned 5 numbers with these specifications: 1 to 15 in the “B” column; 16 to 30 in the “I” column; 31 to 45 in the “N” column; 46 to 60 in the “G” column and 61 to 75 in the “O” column

Once the board(s) are constructed, a nonparticipating person calls out random numbers between 1 and 75. Classically, there is a bucket of numbered balls from which the leader may draw, but if those are not available, the leader can call out random numbers with their corresponding letter. Numbers and letters are called (example: B12, G51, N33) and marked off on players’ corresponding scorecards.

Objective

Be the first player to make a BINGO of five in a row (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) – if you do, you win.

A bit of H-I-S-T-O-R-Y

Bingo can be traced back to the mid 16th century as an Italian lottery game called Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia. By the 18th century in France, the game had incorporated playing cards and tokens, and the reading out of numbers. In the 19th century, the German educational system implemented Bingo to help teach children spelling, animal names, and multiplication tables. It is still used as an instructive tool in many classrooms today.


Also in Pen and Paper Games:
M.A.S.H., Tic-Tac-Toe, Hangman, Dots, All
See more games:
Card Games | Indoor Games | Outdoor Games

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