The bingo hall craze started back in the 1960s in the UK. The game exploded in popularity up and down the country, with many people enjoying the social aspect.
It was the combination of catching up with friends, having a drink together and the chance of winning big prizes that made bingo halls so popular.
Today, despite not being as popular as they used to be, there are still a few chains and about 400 bingo clubs in Britain.
Find your local UK bingo club from Buzz Bingo to Mecca Bingo and in between.
Bingo hall advantages
The main advantages to playing bingo in bingo halls are:
- Instant pay outs: you won’t have to wait for days for the cash to process into your account when you win in a bingo hall.
- Night out with friends: you get out of the house and have the chance to meet your friends face-to-face for an evening.
- Enjoy a bite to eat: hot and cold snacks are there in a lot of bingo halls
- Experience the physical game: play 90-ball bingo the old-fashioned way. Some of the bigger brands still have the original machine, while other bingo halls will have you mark off sold cards. Both forms allow players to meet up and play along physically.
- Make new friends: every week meet new people and chat about what you have in common. Bingo halls’ general welcoming and friendly feel has stuck from the ’60s.
- Use your dabber: playing real life bingo is the only time you get to use those dabbers.
- Extra games to win on: some bingo halls offer tombola and raffle competitions too.
How does bingo work in a bingo hall?
Bingo is played by crossing off numbers on your card as they are called out. The purpose of the game is to cross off the numbers before anyone else does. The amount of numbers you have to cross off depends on the bingo game.
The numbers on your ticket correspond to the possible numbers being announced by the bingo caller. Bingo numbers used to be printed on balls – hence the reason why bingo games are referred to as 75-ball, 90-ball etc. Today, most bingo hall games – and all online games – are electronic.
You can win in a bingo game with prizes given for one line and full house (that’s a complete ticket).
The rules for bingo are pretty simple, whether playing bingo online or in a club. You first of all need to buy your tickets. Then find a seat, and practise your lucky rituals.
The game starts when the first bingo number is announced. If your number comes up on your ticket(s), cross it off. If you’re playing bingo online, the system automatically crosses off your number for you.
Beware if you’re playing in a bingo hall for the first time, the numbers can be called quite fast. The pace of the bingo caller can take some getting used to, though this is part and parcel of the fun and excitement of the game.
With that adrenaline pumping, your numbers will continue to be called until someone has enough numbers crossed off to warrant a prize – often this will happen when someone has a crossed line. If there are further prizes to be won, these will be announced with numbers still being called out until a second line or full house is made.