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A Brief History

It was in Italy back in the early 1500’s that the people throughout Italy began to play a game that was called ‘Lo Gioco del Lotto d’italia‘ , translated it means ‘The game of lotto of Italy.’

The game was played much the same way like the modern lottery where players would place a bet on their choice of numbers being chosen or drawn.

If we forward to the 1700’s there was a version of Lo Gioco del Lotto d’italia being played in France and it was in this game where paper cards/tickets were first made use of to keep track of number that was drawn by a caller.

Before there were any printing machines the numbers on bingo cards had to be either stamped onto thick cardboard using rubber stamps or actually hand painted onto the card. These cards were reusable with players covering the called numbers with some form of token.

As the cards were fashioned by hand this limited the randomization of the cards meaning that there were not so many unique cards being played.

The printing machine allowed the mass printing of bingo cards, and more importantly, disposable paper.

Anyone who has visited a bricks and mortar bingo hall will have bought a ‘book’ of bingo tickets, and to this day cardboard and paper cards are still used although bingo halls are moving increasingly to what are known as ‘flimsies’ which are very thin, main types printed cards that are inexpensive so help to keep down costs. There are also electronic bingo cards in use that help to overcome any difficulty with randomization.

The Different Types of Bingo Cards

The main types of bingo cards with one used for 75 ball bingo games which are more commonly played in the US. This card with have a 5×5 grid printed on it.  The other bingo card is the one used for 90 ball games of bingo and this has a 9×3 grid printed on it. 90 ball bingo is played more in the UK and throughout Europe.

There are also other types of bingo cards like 50 ball bingo cards, and very often the word ticket is used instead of a card, but both mean the same thing.

How Cards/Tickets are used in the Game of Bingo

If we take the US version as an example, the aim of the game is for each player to match the numbers they have on their card which has been pre-printed in different arrangements on the 5×5 grid. The bingo caller calls out the number her draws at random, and the players mark off the numbers. If a player covers all of the numbers in a row or pattern they call out ‘bingo.’  Their card will then be checked to see that there has been no mistake and to verify the win.

Players compete against each other to be the one to get the winning arrangement in order to claim the prize or even the jackpot. In order to make it more exciting, seasoned players will check off multiple cards/tickets.

If playing with tokens once a game is won the token will be cleared and another game started. If players are marking off their numbers their cards will be printed on different colored paper for each game.

As the game of bingo evolved so did the rules and now there are many variations of the traditional game with some asking for only one number to be matched, and with another asking for all numbers on the card/ticket to be covered (a coverall).

What is the difference between Bricks and Mortar Bingo and Online Bingo?

Fundamentally it is the physical side of things. In the bricks and mortar venues, you get a bingo caller and mark off the numbers yourself, in online bingo, there is no caller but something that is called a Random Number Generator.

The Random Number Generator (RNG) is what calls the virtual  bingo balls or rolls the virtual dice, spins the virtual reels or roulette wheeler or deals the virtual cards.

It is responsible for generating a sequence of numbers or symbols that cannot be reasonably predicted, rather like random chance.  Using a RNG in online casinos is essential as then there is no human influence at all over the outcome of any games.

RNG’s have to be independently audited as true and fair in order to gain the right certification, and if you cannot see this certification at an online casino then it would be a good idea to choose another one to play at.

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