Anyone for bingo? How the mobile age has brought the game to a new generation
A night at the bingo. The very phrase conjures images of blue-rinsed ladies of a certain age at the local hall, or nonagenarians in care homes enjoying age-appropriate entertainment activities. That might have been true ten years ago, but times have changed. The average age of bingo players is lower than it has ever been, and the game is enjoying something of a revival in the UK.
Pay a visit to your local bingo hall, and you might be in for a surprise. Sure, the more mature generation will be there, although blue rinses probably went out with Phyllis Pearce, but you will also see groups of office workers enjoying an evening out together, and even young couples trying out a novel kind of first date.
Playing bingo online
Without a doubt, the rise of online bingo is to thank for this resurgence. Anyone who has never played bingo is likely to have at least a degree of idle curiosity as to what the attraction might be. While this might not be strong enough to send them venturing into a bingo hall, it is the work of a few seconds to log on to a site like www.whichbingo.co.uk to find out what all the fuss is about. A whole slew of TV advertising campaigns, featuring big names like Barbara Windsor, Paddy McGuinness and even Heather Graham have clearly set out to demonstrate that bingo is a game that anyone can enjoy. And it seems that the message is getting across.
Stunning in its simplicity
One of the attractions of bingo is that there is nothing complicated about it. In that respect, it is a little like playing roulette as opposed to poker or blackjack in a casino. Also like roulette, this is a game of luck as opposed to skill, so newbies can play on equal terms with those who have been playing for years.
Howstuffwors.com describes the rules and etiquette of Bingo. It is played on a five by five grid containing 25 random numbers. The caller draws numbers from one to 90 one at random, and calls them out – if one of your numbers is called, you mark it off on the card. To win, you need to be the first to get a line of five numbers marked off, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally.
Increase your chances with multiple cards
You can play as many cards as you wish in one game. This is a little like playing Lotto and having your tickets laid out in front of you. The sight of old ladies in their 80s somehow managing to stay on top of a dozen cards at once is a sight to behold – no wonder they say playing bingo is good for keeping you mentally sharp!
Ultimately, whether you choose to play online or out there in the real world, bingo is a fun, simple pastime. The fact that you can end up winning some money is a nice bonus too, so why not give it a go?