Playing bingo involves marking off numbers on a 5 x 5 sheet, in order to try to make a line or specified pattern in order to win.You can legally mark off a number on your sheet when you hear your number called. Bingo balls are run through some sort of randomizing machine and are called off by the caller.
When a player has completed a winning pattern, the player yells “Bingo” for all to hear. This stops the game and the numbers are checked to make sure they are valid. If the bingo is valid the game is over.
Before the Game
Most places that I have played bingo at have something to mark your numbers off with. I highly suggest going to the dollar store or a drug store and getting a dauber. It is very easy to mark your numbers off of your cards with one of these then a pen or marker or crayon. They are very inexpensive and are often sold at the bingo hall (where you are playing).
Before each game, you have to decide how many cards you want to play. At a local festival I go to every year, cards are sold as 1 for $0.50 or 3 for $1.00. I usually play 3 cards at the same time.
Example of a Bingo Card Here you see an example of a bingo card. You can see an X on the Free Space box in the middle. The middle space is always free space, and starts everyone off with one spot gone. As the numbers are called off, you would mark them off with a dauber or X them out with a pen.
Ways to Win
Popular ways to win (each place has different rules and patterns, make sure you know them before you start playing)
4 Corners – In our example, if you marked off B1, B7, O61, and O69
Horizontal or Vertical Line – 5 in a row, up/down or across.
example: B6, I18, N33, G49, O64
Diagonal line – from corner to corner, 5 in a row
example: B1, I18, Free, G56, O69
During the game if you complete the pattern, yell bingo immediately. Many bingo halls have a rule stating that BINGO must be called BEFORE the next number is called.
After a valid bingo, the game is over and you repeat the process all over again, buying cards, starting over, etc.