Bingo is a fun game that’s also easy for fans to set up in their own home. But what separates a fun event from a truly amazing event? In this article, we take a look at the different versions you can play and the themes you can use to run a winning Bingo night.
Spice up your games nights with these versions of the game
There are many versions of the game that don’t require any changes to the cards that you use, and are very easy to pick up and play. We take a look at a few of them here.
U-Pick’Em removes the random selection of numbers from the game. Instead, players get to choose the numbers themselves, with each participant taking a turn to call. Just like the regular game, the first person to match a row of numbers wins.
Shotgun, Turbo, or Speed
In a typical game, the host gives players a few moments to make sure they’ve found and marked off a number on their card. There’s no such luck in this fast-paced form. Here players must keep up with the host, who calls out the numbers they’ve randomly selected as quickly as they can.
For obvious reasons, it’s recommended that players only have two cards at most when playing this iteration of the game.
Death or Inverse
This variant flips the rules of the regular game completely on its head. Here players mark off numbers as they are called, but if they complete a row they are eliminated from the game! This continues until only one person is left and they are declared the winner.
Another slightly different version ends the game when the first person gets Bingo. However, at this point, the other players then count to see who has marked the fewest numbers on their card. The player with the lowest amount is declared the winner.
At the beginning of the game, 43 odd, even, or random numbers are chosen. Players then compare these numbers to the numbers on their cards. After a certain amount of time has passed, the host will check with the players to see if anyone has a row of matching values. If none of the players have called Bingo, the game continues as normal, with the host selecting and calling out new numbers until someone wins the game.
In some versions of Bonanza, a progressive jackpot is added to make it more exciting. Each increase in the jackpot occurs after a specific number of balls are called out. This carries on until a winner is declared, with the number of balls increasing by one each time a round is completed.
Blackout, Coverall, or Full House
In order to win a regular game, the player must complete a single horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row of matching numbers. However, here players must mark off every number on a board or ticket in order to claim victory.
As with some other versions, this variant can also feature a progressive jackpot that grows after a certain number of balls are called.
The default pattern for winning a game is a row that’s either diagonal, horizontal, or vertical. In this version of the game, this goes completely out the window in favour of more interesting shapes.
Players are free to come up their own shapes, but here are a few pattern ideas that others have used:
- The Arrow – The pattern is self descriptive, and can cut across the board vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
- B-N-O, or Layer Cake – This pattern requires the player to mark off three alternating lines of numbers. If these lines are vertical, it’s referred to as a B-N-O pattern. If these lines are horizontal, it’s called a layer cake pattern.
- The L or Crazy L – The L pattern fills the first column and last row, or in the case of the crazy L, the last column and the last row.
- Numbers – As long as it can fit on the card, players can choose any number to form the pattern. For example, a seven pattern fills the top row and cuts along from the top right to bottom left corner.
- The Cross – This pattern consists of two lines. A single horizontal line that cuts down the middle, and another line that cuts horizontally across the middle row.
- Checkerboard – In the first, third, and fifth rows, the first, third, and fifth squares are marked. In the second and fourth rows, the second and fourth squares are marked. This gives the pattern a checkerboard appearance.
Take your event to the next level with these themes
If you’re looking for a more unique experience, you can use a card generator to create your own version of the game that includes your own choice of words or numbers based on a particular theme. You can take things further and make it even more exciting by asking your guests to come appropriately dressed for the theme, as well as picking appropriate music and food to suit your concept. Choose from themes such as Bonfire Night, Secret Santa and St. Patrick’s Day.
Here are other ideas to help get you started.
Favourite sports or sports teams
Create your own cards where players can match a number of sports-related items, such as famous players, kits, or important dates in the history of the game.
Or, if you and your friends are fans of a specific team, you can tie your calls into parts of the team history, like the number of times they’ve won a championship, or the most games they’ve lost in a row. This also gives people the chance to don their favourite team’s sports uniform and enjoy the drinks and snacks that they would have at a game.
Popular television shows
Again, you can go broad and tie your calls and cards into any of the shows that you and your friends enjoy, or you pick something specific, like Dr. Who, Star Trek, or Game of Thrones (excluding the final season of course). The potential for dress-up fun is with this idea is off the charts! Can you imagine seeing Jon Snow and Geralt of Rivia in the same room?
Famous dates or decades
History buffs can customise their theme to appeal to their knowledge of various famous dates — for example, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, or the day that the first television broadcast took place in Britain.
Another historical theme you could lean into is specific decades in history, such as the roaring twenties, or swinging sixties. For example, ladies can put on their best hats and pearls while the guys could strap on their suspenders and waistcoats, all set to some foot-tapping jazz for a 20s-themed event.
If you’re hosting your game on a holiday, why not make it about the day itself? Whether that’s Christmas, Valentine’s, or St. Patrick’s Day, iconic holidays come with their own culture that you can easily incorporate into your game. Players can get dressed up in stylish red dresses and suits for Valentine’s Day, or go for something more casual and green with their dark glass of Guinness on St. Paddies.
Players can also get inventive with calls and come up with their own takes on the classics, such as “All the days of Christmas, number 12” or “Celebrate love on this day in February, number 14”.
Soon-to-be moms can add a bit of excitement to their baby shower with an appropriately themed game of Bingo. When playing this version, numbers in each square on a card are replaced by a possible baby gift. As the host opens each present they have received, players mark it off on their cards. If someone completes a row, Bingo!
While some people choose to use cards that already contain the possible gifts in each square, others let their guests fill in the potential presents themselves.
Take a break from setting up your own games
Alt text: Bingo lottery poster with Bingo balls and card designs.
We hope you find these ideas useful for running your own fantastic event. However, as exciting as hosting can be, at the end of the day, sometimes you just want to play a game of Bingo.
If you want to switch gears, we also offer a variety of online scratchcard games for you to enjoy. Or, if you prefer the thrill of slots, you can sign up to play slots online. Regardless of whether you prefer the excitement of revealing numbers on your scratchcard, or enjoy watching the spinning of the reel every time you play slots, you can take part in your favourite pastime at any time of the day with us.