What Does Bingo Look Like Around The Globe?

Bingo is a highly played and anticipated game that is welcomed and played all around the world. You will find that its simple rules and very easy learning qualities, makes it a perfect game for all round levels and players – beginners are always welcome! Such simple yet enjoyable characteristics make this game highly enjoyable and ensure players that this game will be around for a very long time. With the number of bingo sites and mobile gaming on the rise, you can now have access to bingo whenever and wherever you are.

The most popular games that are enjoyed in the UK include the 90 ball bingo variations. This game is one of the most common variants and therefore played beyond the UK too, yet UK bingo players definitely have a soft spot for this game in particular.

In America on the other hand, the bingo games that take players’ fancy, is the 75 ball bingo game. The reason for this is due to its aggressive use within movie culture and land based casinos – people like what they know after all, right? Yet, believe it or not, many locations around the world call bingo different names. Within Canada for example, they call bingo Kinzo, whereas in India, bingo is called Tambola. Meaning the bingo culture across the globe, although very similar, has very different terms altogether!

Knowing your bingo gaming culture is definitely a benefit, as travellers will want to enjoy their gaming past times abroad and by ensuring you understand the basics, will definitely help you along your way. Read up on our guide and find yourself enlightened about all the culture and history of bingo across the globe. History really did shape the UK nation’s favourite game in so many different ways.

Tombola in Italy

The bingo that we play today is based on the original 16th century Italian game named ‘Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia’. Italians then developed their original game further into the game we know today as Tombola! The original game was much simpler than today’s counterparts, however it most definitely still generated the hype and fuss that bingo generates today all over the world! 

Italian Tombola dates back to the 18th century, where it was originally a festive game played at Christmas around a table of friends and family. The characteristics of the game itself range from 1-90 tickets/numbers, with each Tombola ticket hosting vivid images and nicknames (similar to the bingo names that we have today). Players back in the 18th century would mark off their called out numbers using objects such as beans and grain as place markers, which, of course, is just down to the large difference in innovation that wasn’t available then. Pens and highlighters would have definitely been a thing to behold!

The prizes that people got were very relevant to the time. Winners would receive small prizes like nuts, fruits or small trinkets that were relevant at the time. Due to the small value of prizes, adults would often allow the younger children to be crowned winners, by not shouting out their winning numbers.

Beano in the USA

As mentioned within the introduction, within the USA, bingo is known significantly for its 75 ball bingo derivative. You will find that this has been around mostly from the year 1929 and introduced from Europe, surprisingly enough. Its popularity grew through the years, with each decade becoming more competitive than the last.

It was first introduced within the local fairs and stalls of towns and cities within the US. Again like Italy, the numbers shouted were marked off using grain and nuts and when a player had fully filled out their assigned numbers, they would shout out Beano, to claim their victories.

It is rumoured also, that the term bingo actually originated from the US, where players became so excited by their winning prospects, they shouted bingo out by accident to claim their win. We can see how the term bingo managed to stick, as it has a much more catchy tune than that of beano. But alas, due to the use of beans, nuts and grains used to mark off the numbers, it seemed very relevant at the time to use.

Housie in Australia

Australian bingo culture has way more in common than the other counterparts around the world. You will find that Australia’s Housie is actually based significantly on the UK’s 75 ball bingo game variant. The reason for this, is due to the strong relations between the countries during the Second World War. Australia was highly influenced by our gaming culture!

The only differentiations which make this game different include the free space in the centre of the 75 ball bingo card. This makes it extremely difficult to attain a line of numbers in your game and even a full house.

75 ball bingo

Each row within the game is represented by the letters of the word bingo, meaning that number would be identified by using the letters B to O, then with a number listed afterwards. For example, B would represent the first column and O would be the last column. If you get a full house, you shout out plain and simple, the term Housie!

Bingo5 in Japan

The last edition within our list, Japan has always been at the forefront of gaming initiatives. Bingo5 is based on a 3 by 3 grid, with 8 numbers and a free space in the centre. For every matching number you have in the grid, to the number shouted out, it must be marked off. This would mean that the games end pretty quickly and players must always be on the ball of their game.

Bingo5 wins are determined by the total number of lines that you managed to attain within your 3 by 3 card. With numbers 1 to 5 to select from, there is not much choice and you can imagine that players will all be winning at similar times and game momentum. The lines themselves can be won from any direction i.e. vertically, horizontally and diagonally, making the game a ‘Jack of all trades’ and much better for you and your chance to win – but you have to be quick about it!

The largest prize to date noted within Japan is £38,000, which equates to 5.5 million Yen. This can only be achieved by players who manage to get all 8 possible lines within the game. 

Due to this game being fairly new and relatively hot on the bingo market, you will find that this game will continue to evolve and adapt to suit the gambling niche. Starting in 2017, this game has still yet to grow and gain an even stronger reputation across the globe. Japan is very much taken by this game and with such a large influence that occurs across bingo, it would not surprise us if other countries take inspiration from Bingo5 in their own game variants.

You can read more about the different types of bingo games in our other guide here.

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