In just 12 years, bingo will be 500 years old. This is an incredible feat, considering its diverse history and the level of popularity it has maintained throughout those years. It’s not hard to see why it’s so beloved by many, as its simplicity makes it incredibly accessible and, of course, so much fun!
The simple nature of bingo also makes it very adaptable, and you’ll find an array of different forms of the game used outside of the traditional gambling world. For instance, some schools use bingo as a tool to make learning fun while, as a contrast, university students have been known to base drinking games around the game. But we’d know nothing about that...
This should paint a small picture of the diverse nature of bingo, but there have been some examples where people have gotten incredibly creative, if not a little weird, with forming their own versions of the tried and trusted game. Just to show how much of a chameleon bingo really is, we thought it’d be fun to cast a spotlight on a few of our favourite variations: but not before we’ve had another game of Bar Bingo, obviously.
Beano definitely isn’t the weirdest variation of bingo we’ve found. In fact, it isn’t a variation at all, as it’s the grandparent of the game we know and love today. So, think of this as something of a history lesson instead.
Beano was a game favoured by carnivals in southern America in the early twentieth century, and involved all the features of today’s bingo – numbers, lines, people excitedly shouting – but instead of marking their card with a pen, or with a click of a yet to be invented computer mouse, players would place a simple bean down.
While this may not technically be all that strange, please humour us: if nobody knew about bingo and we explained there was a game that involved someone calling out numbers while a group of players excitedly marked off these numbers with beans, there would be some funny looks thrown our way, as nowadays we make very different – and more nutritional – uses of a staple foodstuff than was the case back then.
Pay attention, any budding comedians amongst us. There are actually two forms of bingo that go under this name and, while both are played quite differently, they both revolve around one thing that’s guaranteed to raise a smirk – innuendos.
The first is a little fun game played between a group of friends who deliberately come up with innuendos as often as possible and, if someone doesn’t recognise one as having been made, the first person to shout ‘Innuendo Bingo!’ gets a point. Granted it’s not an eyes down and concentrate kind of game – it’s more of a running gag between chums – but it’s still bingo inspired, so we think it counts.
The second is a famous feature of Scott Mills’ Radio One show, where two people sit opposite each other while various clips from TV, film and other radio shows are played. All of these clips are saucy in some way, and the aim of the game is not to laugh. The strangeness kicks in when both players have to fill their mouths with water before the clip is played, and if one or both of them laugh, someone ends up getting very wet. Now this kind of game is hardly going to catch on down your local bingo hall, but it’s definitely a strange form of the game we know and love.
For anyone that’s a fan of the silly side of cinema, there’s an opportunity at The Hollywood Theatre in America to combine B-movie cliches with bingo. B-movies are known for being cheap and tacky, with most of them using the same cliches to advance the plot and get the desired message across to the viewer.
These cliches are a source of fun and ridicule to both lovers and haters of this kind of cinema, and as such make for even more laughs when they’re paired up with a game like bingo. According to the brains behind this bingo game, these cliches are so dependable that the same game cards can be used each week and for different film screenings, and everyone can still fill them out.
Examples of dialogue which can be ticked off your bingo card include ‘briefcase full of money’ or ‘all star teamed up with a rookie’ which, when you think about it, are featured in a a lot of films. No doubt this is why this kind of bingo works so well and has remained so popular.
These days, there are so many ways to find love. You can find a partner online, you can go speed dating or you can keep it old school and hope you bump into the right person out and about. But now there’s another method to add to this list: bingo dating.
It’s similar to speed dating, but instead of meeting the person and having a quick date, people can write down all the key features they’re looking for in a partner and everyone else at the event marks off the features that match with them. If a line of these is achieved, then bingo: you have a date!
No matter what form a new game which borrows from bingo takes – whether it puts a particular spin on the traditional way it’s played or is a new one which is simply inspired by our favourite game – bingo is the very definition of fun and continues to reach more people every day, especially now that it’s become an online phenomenon.
Of course, if you are partial to the more traditional style of bingo games, we’ve got you covered. Not only do we have a comprehensive list of the best bingo websites, we can also help you find the best bingo bonuses that are sure to get your game started off to the best possible start.