Bingo halls and online bingo games can be found both here in the UK and across the pond. Although the basic aim of the game is the same whether you’re playing UK or US bingo, there are a few important differences to note so that you don’t get mixed up!
Read on to find out more about UK bingo and US bingo, including info on card layout, how to play and more.
Bingo in the UK
Bingo has been one of the most popular games in the UK since the 1960s, when it was (and still is!) played in purpose-built bingo halls up and down the country.
The standard form of UK bingo is known as 90 ball bingo, which is played with - you’ve guessed it - 90 balls.
Typical 90 ball bingo cards have 27 spaces and have nine columns and three rows. Each row consists of five numbers and four blank spaces, and tickets are created as strips of six. This means that if you buy a full strip of six tickets, you’ll have every number from 1-90 on your tickets. The challenge is getting to a Full House on one of your tickets before anyone else!
Although a Full House (marking off all the numbers on one ticket) is the biggest prize in UK bingo, there are usually two other prizes: One Line for marking off one single row on a ticket, and Two Lines for marking off two rows.
90 ball bingo is generally played at a faster pace than 75 ball bingo (the form most popular in the US, which you’ll learn about in the next section). This can make it a more exhilarating gaming experience, but don’t worry - in online bingo all numbers are marked off automatically so you don’t have to worry about keeping up!
Bingo in the US
The first modern bingo card was invented in the US in 1929, by New York toy salesman Edwin Lowe. He saw a similar game (called ‘Beano’) being played at a carnival, and went on to develop his own bingo game.
The game soon became popular across the country, and it continues to be enjoyed by many to this day.
In the US, the standard form of bingo is 75 ball bingo. The card layout differs from UK 90 ball bingo, and each card has five columns and five rows, making up a total of 25 squares. The card is filled with 24 numbers, plus a blank space in the middle that can be marked off straight away.
US bingo cards usually have the word ‘BINGO’ at the top of the card, and each number in the five columns corresponds to one of the letters (e.g., B8, I22, etc.). This can make things easier when you’re trying to find your numbers.
In 75 ball bingo the cards are independent of each other and don’t run in strips, like in 90 ball bingo. This means that if you buy more than one card, you may be able to mark off the same number more than once.
Whereas UK bingo usually offers three different prizes for various combinations, in 75 ball bingo there is only one prize. The winning pattern will be determined at the start of the game, and it can vary. It could be a coverall pattern (which is essentially a Full House), four corners, a pattern that looks like a letter, or something else!
What Are the Differences Between UK Bingo and US Bingo?
We already covered some of the differences between the two types of bingo above, but there are a few more that it’s helpful to know about.
While UK bingo is generally played in a fairly relaxed, casual atmosphere in bingo halls, in the US it tends to be more intense and competitive. Americans usually play with more cards at a time than we do - sometimes up to 30 - and their bingo halls often have TV monitors so that all players can clearly see which numbers are being called.
In the UK, the games are a bit more relaxed and similar to a social gathering. It also tends to attract a younger crowd than in the US.
Are There Any Similarities Between UK Bingo and US Bingo?
Although in this article we’ve focused on the differences between UK and US bingo, the truth is that there are a number of similarities too!
Whether you’re playing UK or US bingo, the aim of the game remains the same - to mark off numbers in a certain pattern in the hopes of winning a cash prize.
Both types of bingo game can also be found at online casinos like Slingo, giving you the chance to experiment and see which game you prefer.
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