90-Ball Bingo is the standard game of bingo in the United Kingdom and one of the most popular versions of it. The game entails a bingo caller pulling out balls numbered from 1 to 90 and calling out these numbers so that the players can check whether the numbers match the numbers on the tickets or cards they have bought for the game.
Italy is believed to be the birthplace of bingo, where it originally began as a lottery, all the way back in the 16th century. The game spread to France, where it underwent some modifications, and then to Germany, where it was used as an educational game. Bingo would reach the UK in the 1800s, but become especially popular the following century, during wartime and afterwards. By the time it reached the US in 1929, where it was a carnival game, people in nations across the world were playing bingo. Below is a look at how to play 90-ball bingo, the reasons it’s so popular in the UK and how the game transitioned from halls to being played online.
How to play 90-ball bingo?
Playing 90 ball bingo is straightforward. As mentioned, the caller is calling out the numbers on balls with digits from 1 to 90 on them and players are checking whether these numbers correspond to the ones on their tickets or playing cards.
In a traditional bingo hall, players will play the game on a strip of six tickets. Each ticket has five numbers per row on it. Somewhere across the tickets, all of the numbers from 1 to 90 will feature on them. This is different to online bingo, in which players may receive any number of tickets and the software of the operator will mark the numbers for the player during the game.
Often, players are playing for one or all of three prizes, which are for the following:
- A single line of numbers
- Two lines of numbers
- A full house, which is, ultimately, every single number on the ticket.
Some variations of bingo play straight for the full house, however, and players can end up missing out on some of the potential prizes.
The popularity of 90-ball bingo in the UK
One of the reasons 90-ball bingo is such a hit in the UK and in other countries is the fact that it’s so easy to play. All you have to do is buy your bingo cards, listen for the numbers and then mark them off on your card or ticket.
It was when bingo became legalized as a game at which you could win money that this leisure activity really took off in the UK. This happened in the 1960s. When the new law came in that legalized gambling, several bingo halls sprung up and Britain became a nation that was truly in love with the game.
However, it’s not just about legality and being easy. 90-Ball Bingo is also highly relaxing as there’s no real strategy involved. The outcome of the game and how it affects you is pure luck.
But perhaps the biggest reason bingo has gained such popularity in the UK is the social nature of the game. People can gather with others in the community and enjoy the game, again without stressing about strategy. It’s exciting to mark off cards together and see who wins one of the generous prizes up for grabs.
The transition to online bingo
Although bingo in general enjoyed massive popularity once gambling became legalized, in the mid-1990s, the game experienced a harsh decline. It had grown old and stale. People saw it as a game for senior citizens and for church goers. This negative perspective of bingo wasn’t the game’s only problem: the UK National Lottery had arrived on the scene, providing bingo players with an alternative way to spend their money and stay away from bingo halls.
However, the internet and the arrival of online bingo operators has helped to revive the game and even introduce it to a new audience of players. The catchy design and the smooth operation of online bingo websites, combined with the operator’s know-how of how to attract players with their marketing, has made bingo popular again.
When players go online for their bingo, they have the chance to win bigger prizes than they might win at a traditional bingo hall. Online operators have also injected more variety into bingo by offering different versions for players who are looking for something a little different to standard 90-ball bingo. The attractive branding and promotions have also won the hearts and attention of players.
Bingo is a fantastic game and has gained popularity throughout the world thanks to its ease of play and the opportunities it offers for people to come together and socialize. The arrival of the internet and online bingo has revived an amazing game once in steep decline. Bingo is cool again.