A Complete History of Bingo
By Alex J. Coyne © 2018 Gifts for Card Players
Bingo is a game of chance popular with more than an estimated 300 million people all over the world, with more and more people taking to the game in the past ten years; we can almost bet money on the fact that there’s likely to be some or other form of bingo club near where you live – even if you live out in what you consider to be the middle of nowhere. But where did it all begin? Great Bridge Links and Alex J. Coyne took a closer look at the origins and history of the game known as bingo…
The Very Beginnings…
According to How Stuff Works, the game we know today as bingo has its earliest beginnings in Italy during the 1500’s; we have evidence going back as far as 1530 that suggests bingo began as an Italian governmental lottery game that was known as “Lo Gioco del Lotto d’Italia”, which literally translates to “The Italian Lottery Game”. The game is still available today, and is pretty similar to regular lotteries that you’ll find everywhere now.
Of course, the game had to escape from Italy and spread to the rest of the world for it to have achieved the popularity that we see today. From Italy, the game made its way to France, where it became closer to the form of bingo where counters are added to a bag or hat and then selected and called at random. This happened around the 1700’s.
The game spread from France, and eventually reached North America – where it was being played as “beano” in most parts of the world. According to the website ThoughtCo, this happened around 1929. A board game designer known as Edwin S. Lowe quickly caught on to the game during this travels, and renamed it to “Bingo” instead after he heard someone calling out “bingo!” instead of “beano!” during a game.
You might also know some of his other games: He turned Yahtzee! Into a popular game after seeing a couple playing the game on their … yacht. According to his biography page on Board Game Geek, this happened around 1956. He is considered one of the most influential men in the history of world board games, and he got a well-deserved and beautifully written obit when he passed away at the ripe age of 75 in the year 1986 in the New York Times.
More for the Bingo-inclined
If you haven’t been to a bingo game in your lifetime yet, then why not find out where your latest bingo club is and pitch in for a game? You might even meet a lot of people who share your interests at the same time. If that’s too busy for you, then you can play some bingo online instead. There are thousands of options out there for online bingo – with or without the social aspect of chatting to other players.
- If you’re in the United Kingdom, then check out the official Bingo Association for the UK; they should be able to put you in touch with your closest bingo club – and they even have a bingo forum for the talkative players where you can discuss your game.
- If you’re elsewhere in the world, then check out the International Bingo Association’s website
- You can find the official rules for bingo over at org if you need to check something before or during a game, or learn the rules for first-time players.
- Feel like talking about the game instead? Try out the Bingo-section of Gambling Forums or visit BingoChatter to find some more likeminded players.
- Take a look at BingoFind if you’re looking for more online play tips or want to play bingo online.