Inside the Bingo Machine
by Alex J Coyne © 2019 Gifts for Card Players
Bingo is popular as a game of chance with more bingo clubs popping up every day. In fact we’re sure there’s a club near you. Let’s get inside the bingo machine to see how it works.
Bingo is a fun game of chance that anyone can play. The game is played on a scorecard that’s made up of 25 squares. The caller spins a basket of balls and calls out the letter and number of the ball that is dealt. You cover the corresponding square. If you get 5 squares in a row, you win! OK, maybe it’s not quite that simple. Bingo is played in a series of rounds – each round will dictate what you need to win. Sometimes it’s five squares in a row across, or up and down, or diagonal – sometimes it’s a shape – such as a square, a U, a T or even Blackout (all squares).
Supposedly there are over 100 million people in the world who play bingo and over 80% of them are women. Google has lots of stats, check it out!
Bing, like all games, is developing on the tech front.
Automated bingo game based on RFID-tagged balls
RFID, short for Radio Frequency Identification Tags, is most commonly used in the retail industry to tag prices or deter shoplifters, or inplanted in your pet’s ear to keep them from getting lost. But that’s not the only application they have: RFID actually reads bingo balls. In automated Bingo, RFID in each ball in read by an an RFID reader positioned near the RFID tag, as a ball exits a blower or rotating ball mixer. According to the inventor (patented in 1999), the intention of this automation was to “revitalize and add excitement to the game of Bingo”.
Televised bingo game system
TV bingo was pretty popular in the 90s right before the internet-betting crazes started kicking in. It’s pretty elaborate, totally automated system of bingo. Players use erasable daubers to mark plastic laminated sheets of reusable bingo cards. Entry to the game is by a 900 number on your phone. A computer system plays the selected bingo balls against all the entered bingo cards, determines the winners and announces the winners names over a designated TV channel. (Source)
Remote Bingo gives players access to local games from other places; “Remote players select the numbers on a bingo card and to have this card played in a local Do-It-Yourself bingo game.” (Source)
Online Bingo sites too can be a fun way to learn all the different kinds of bingo – practice online and look like a pro at your local bingo hall!
Of course, in this day and age, there’s probably an app for that!
In a hurry and don’t have a bingo cage? Here’s a Bingo Number Generator from Google Play or from the App Store. You can also search Google play for all apps tagged with “bingo” for a bunch of both free and paid options.
If you’re a programmer instead and you’re looking for information on how to program your own basic Bingo games, then check out these links:
- Bingo Game – C and C++ on Dream.In.Code programming forums
- Bingo Game on Cplusplus programming forums
- Bingo Game Programming Project on Kalamazoo College’s website
Bingo things for sale
If you want to set up your own bingo game at home, work, or for charity, then there are plenty of websites where you can purchase bingo supplies.
Bingo Cages are available in places like Walmart, Etsy, Sears and eBay. If you’re looking for something vintage, check out this vintage bingo cage on Live Auctioneers.