Bingo, a.k.a. lotto, is a classic game in which players check off numbers on a physical, or electronic bingo card as they are called, at random, by a caller or host. The winner is the first player to complete a prescribed pattern, such as one, or two, horizontal rows, or all the numbers on the card, a.k.a. a ‘full house’.
Traditionally, so-called ‘cash bingo’ is played for cash prizes made up of a players’ stakes, minus playing fees, while so-called ‘prize bingo’ is played for prizes, of various forms, which are not directly to the number of players or players’ stakes. As far as casinos are concerned, neither form of bingo is particularly lucrative, but the social aspect of the game appeals to a wide demographic and its popularity endures.
Numerous variations of bingo exist, but the two most popular are 90-ball and 75-ball bingo, which take their names from the total number of balls in play. The 90-ball version is played with a bingo card consisting of a 9 x 3 grid, with 27 spaces in total, but only five spaces in each row contain numbers, so 15 numbers are in play. By contrast, the 75-ball version is played on a card consisting of a 5 x 5 grid, with 25 spaces in total; all the spaces contain numbers, with the exception of the centre square, which is desingated a ‘free’ space, so 24 numbers are in play.