The way you never played Bingo before
In the U.K., standard bingo uses 90 balls numbered 1 to 90 and a ticket with 27 spaces (3×9) on cards of six tickets. In the U.S., the standard game uses 75 balls numbered 1 to 75 and a ticket with 25 spaces (5×5). Both are amazing games and where the bulk of your bingo focus should lie. Playing only 75- and 90-ball bingo, however, can sometimes feel like work, and as we like to say on Team Jessica: All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. So with that in mind, here are three crazy bingo formats we like to play to stir it up.
Word bingo replaces bingo numbers will actual words, not just letters. This allows for themes, and with a little creativity, you can have a new theme each round. Some of our favorite ideas include: hottest male actors, favorites TV shows, tastiest hot drinks and people we work with. Word bingo is also a great way to teach newbies or be accessible to a non-bingo-playing group, and it’s one of our top options for those times when we want to drink a little, let our hair down and not be so hardcore.
Word bingo is becoming fairly prevalent online. If you want to pull it off locally, the easiest way is to use a computerized bingo ball cage. Most bingo software will let you dictate the ball count and ball labels and even print out the cards for you. If you prefer to use a traditional cage, then you just have to create a key for each theme that associates each number with a particular word.
Lightning bingo, which is also called speed bingo and rush bingo, is what separates the women from the girls, the pros from the noobs. You’ve probably noticed that experienced bingo players will often have five or more bingo cards laid out in front of them, and that’s because the game just gets too easy.
The goal of speed bingo is to challenge skilled players and infuse the game with some excitement. I know what you’re thinking: We play extra cards for the winnings too! Indeed, which is why lightning bingo usually has a higher buy-in and larger pay pools. Note that there are two distinct ways to accomplish rush bingo. One format halves the ball count, such as 45 instead of 90. The other, and much crazier, way simple reduces the time between ball calls.
Musical Chairs Bingo
Musical chairs bingo may not sill well with the , but it’s a wonderful social activity, and sometimes bingo is more about girls’ night out than winning mad loot. How does it work? Well, everyone gets a card. When the music plays, everyone stands up and begins circling the play area.
When the music stops, you sit down at the card in front of you, and then the game master calls out a number. For the most part, musical chairs bingo is just about having fun, and it can be a hilarious, albeit somewhat dangerous, drinking game. More than that, however, the format can also teach bingo card and bingo pattern recognition skills that you’ll take with you to your more serious games.
These are three of our favorite zany bingo formats, but they’re only the tip of the iceberg. As long-time bingo crazies, take it from us: Don’t get stuck in a rut. Stick to 75-ball or 90-ball or whatever you prefer, but shake it up whenever you can. It’ll make you appreciate the game more and make you a better player.