Even though bingo is played all over the world, the most popular version enjoyed by those who live in America is called 75-ball bingo. This version is called as such because the game offers 75 balls from which to draw, which means the numbers found on the corresponding bingo cards only run from 1-75. The general idea of 75-ball bingo is that each bingo card is laid out in a 5×5 grid and each grid’s squares contain number/letter combos the player must mark off. When the caller randomly selects a ball, the player will mark off the combo if it appears on their card until the player marks off the entire winning pattern. Patterns come in various shapes; it all depends upon the particular bingo round. The winner is given a particular item or amount of cash as a prize.
While each card contains 25 individual squares, only 24 of the squares are numbered. Each card has five columns; however, only four of the columns have five squares. The center square in the middle column is actually a free space that is already marked and that the player gets credit for without having to fill. Each column corresponds with a certain range of numbers. Column one holds numbers 1-15, column two holds 16-30, et cetera. Of course, each column’s numbers are randomized. Cards are also colored in order to clearly define the pattern needed to win. The player’s main job is to keep a careful eye on all of their cards in order to fill the particular pattern.
All columns are associated with one letter. The first column is the “B” column, the second one is the “I” column and this pattern continues until the word “bingo” is spelled. For example, if the caller pulls a ball labeled 25, the combo called would be I25. In 75-ball bingo, players are allowed to use as many cards as they wish per game in order to boost their chances of winning. However, the average amount of cards used per player is three because the more cards one has to keep track of, the more difficult it is to make sure all numbers are marked.
Within the general game of 75-ball bingo, various houses and online websites have created a wide array of varieties to make the game more interesting. The winner of each bingo round, the person who fills the designated pattern first, is awarded a prize.