The United States is home to more than 50,000 bingo halls, ranging from quaint community club lodges like the Elks and Kiwanis to massive casino resorts such as Foxwoods in Connecticut.
All in all, over 60 million Americans play bingo as a hobby, making the centuries-old lottery-style gambling game one of the most popular pastimes in the country.
And despite its simple structure — or perhaps, because of it — bingo is widely appreciated across all cross-sections of society.
Schoolchildren are introduced to bingo in the classroom, as teachers use the basic 5×5 grid and draw/call dynamic to drill students on their multiplication tables and vocabulary lessons. Twenty-somethings looking to mingle have no shortage of free cocktail-fueled “Bingo Party” nights and similar promotions running at their nearest casino. And for the senior citizen set, bingo provides a welcome respite where like-minded souls can gather to gossip and gamble.
Bingo is also used as a valuable vehicle through which many local causes can be funded by the community at large. Churches, social clubs, senior living centers, athletic organizations, and first responders like firefighters and police are all likely candidates to host “Bingo Night” fundraisers to generate charitable contributions.
All things considered, bingo is woven deeply within the fabric of America as we know it today.
Whether you’re a veteran bingo fanatic who never misses their weekly game or a rookie just learning the ropes, this page provides five resources every bingo player should know about.
Read on to brush up on your bingo knowledge and learn more about this beloved game of chance.
1 – National Bingo Hall Locators
First things first… you can’t get in a good bingo game unless you know where to go.
On that note, make sure to bookmark the extremely useful Bingo Locator tool ASAP. When you pull up the Bingo Locator database, you’ll see a clickable map of America featuring all 50 states. Just choose your state and click through to find a full list of every bingo hall — conveniently broken down by city and town — in the entire area.
These listings even come complete with a physical address and phone number, so you can easily get in touch to confirm times, dates, and other essential information straight from the horse’s mouth.
As you might suspect, the bulk of these bingo listings are comprised of community games hosted by clubs like the Elks, Kiwanis, Rotary, Knights of Columbus, and American Legion.
This is done for two reasons — inviting prospective members into the fold and boosting the prize pool on offer.
Canucks are in luck, too, as the Bingo Locator database also comes in a Canadian version, devoted to Canada’s thriving bingo scene.
Along with club bingo, you’ll also find Bingo Locator listings for local tribal and commercial casinos where the game can be found.
Speaking of casinos, the next time you visit Sin City, be sure to consult Vegas.com for a comprehensive directory of every casino bingo hall in the world’s undisputed gambling capital.
Las Vegas is best known for table games like blackjack and roulette, along with the city’s ubiquitous slot machines, but bingo fans will find more than two dozen casinos offering daily bingo action.
2 – Glossary of Bingo Terminology and Slang
When you step foot inside of a bingo hall for the first time, you can expect to enter a whole new world unto itself.
The bingo subculture is certainly unique, with a rigid set of rituals and customs governing the game every step of the way. But while norms and points of etiquette can be learned relatively easily by simply paying attention, the utterly unique slang associated with bingo can be far more inscrutable for the uninitiated.
Don’t dare to call the device used in marking a bingo card off your pen or marker — it’s actually a “dauber” (also known as a “dabber”). As for those bingo cards themselves, when they’re made of thin paper instead of hard cardboard stock, call them “flimsies” instead.
And when the final game of a session finally arrives — giving losers on the night one last shot to make a little money — you’ve reached the “wrap-up.”
Every gambling game has its own specialized set of slang that regular players utilize, but aside from craps, none can rival the sheer variety found in bingo halls.
Fortunately for all of the bingo newbies out there, you can find several handy glossaries out there to help bridge the language barrier.
One of my personal favorites is the Ultimate Bingo Dictionary compiled by WinkBingo.com because this glossary combines entries for both brick and mortar and online play. Here you’ll find dozens of bingo slang terms spelled out, covering every aspect of the game including financials, rules and regulations, etiquette, and gameplay variations.
Another great bingo glossary can be found by visiting the NationwideBingo.com platform. This listing covers all of the basics, along with acronyms like L.O.O.M. / L.O.T.M — or Loyal Order of the Moose — to help you navigate America’s sprawling local community bingo scene.
3 – Affordable Bingo Supplies
One of the coolest parts about the bingo subculture is how players can customize their gameplay experience.
When you sit down to play blackjack or baccarat, the entire experience is standardized across the board. The playing cards, the chips, and the green baize lining the table are all designed to ensure one blackjack game looks and feels exactly like the next.
Not so in the bingo world, where players are free to outfit themselves with equipment and attire of their own choosing.
It all starts with the dauber, of course, as bingo veterans pride themselves on imbuing their trusty card-stamping tool with flashes of their own personality. Just get a load of these personalized bingo daubers down below to get a glimpse of the personal tastes applied to the game’s primary tool of the trade.
As you can see, players love to bring brightly colored neon daubers to the hall or emblazon their favorite dauber with photos of friends and family.
And that’s where the WholesaleBingoSupplies.com website and its wares come in handy.
Upon visiting this one-stop shop for all things bingo, you’ll find hundreds of products grouped into six basic categories:
- Paper and Cards
- Cages and Equipment
- Bags, Cushions, and More
- Chips, Wands, Balls
- Party Supplies
As this product lineup suggests, Wholesale Bingo Supplies is perfect for both players and bingo game organizers.
Let’s say you’re looking to launch a new weekly bingo night event at your local community center, but you lack the basic equipment to get started. Using the Wholesale Bingo Supplies inventory, you can purchase the Medium Bingo Cage Set for $29.99, a package of 3,000 bingo cards for $11.49, and a 48-pack of mini-daubers for $22.95.
Paying less than $75 for the privilege of hosting an exciting evening of bingo 52 times per year is the very definition of a bargain.
4 – Free Online Bingo Platforms
At its core, bingo is a game best played with a little skin in the game.
That’s why most bingo games played in person — even those found at churches and community clubs — still offer prizes and rewards to the lucky winners.
Even so, many players who might not be able to make it out of the house with regularity pass the time playing bingo for free online.
Sites like the Game Show Network’s GSN.com and GamePoint.com make it possible to connect with other players over a nice game of bingo via social networking.
5 – Step-by-Step Instruction for Bingo Rookies
It can be easy to take bingo knowledge for granted if you’ve been playing for a while, but many folks out there have had no formal introduction to the game.
If that describes you, check out this 13-step tutorial to playing bingo designed by WikiHow.com.
The appeal of bingo is undeniable. Using nothing more than a 5×5 playing card, a hopper to turn the numbered balls, and a roomful of friends and foes hoping for a little help from Lady Luck, a bingo game can be so many things at once.
Community gathering place. Charitable fundraiser. Casino nightclub. Bingo has the ability to become all of these and more when players come together to enjoy their favorite game of chance.
If you’re interested in taking up the ancient chase for five in a row or enhancing your long-held enthusiasm for the game, take advantage of the five resources found above to bring your bingo play to the next level.