How to create your own bingo tickets
But now that we’re more or less back to normal, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t keep the fun going — just without a computer screen getting in the way! You can have an even better time now when you host a social bingo night and have your friends over to play in the flesh.
Setting up a social bingo session
It does take a little bit or organization to beforehand if you want to make sure your bingo night goes smoothly, However, if you get things ready in advance, when people arrive you should be able to get eyes down pretty much straight away.
Who’s going to be the caller?
The one thing every bingo game needs is a caller. The caller’s job is (naturally) to call the numbers, and then check the winning tickets to make sure everything is above board!
You might have someone in your group who really enjoys it and has been a caller before, and so they might volunteer to do it all night. Most of the time though, it’s more fun if you share it around, so that everyone has a turn at getting involved and sharing in the fun. It’s not difficult, and if it’s done with a bit of banter and pizzazz, it can create a really buzzing atmosphere.
Create your own bingo tickets
You will, of course, also need bingo tickets, and so again you’ll need to do a little bit of organisation in advance if everything is going to run as it should. However, this is not as big a hassle as you might think — and don’t worry, you don’t need to draw them all out by hand!
Luckily there is a useful website you can use to create free, customisable bingo tickets.
- My Free Bingo Cards
At My Free Bingo Cards, you can choose the sort of game you want to play — 75-ball or 90-ball bingo. You even have the option of playing different variations, using words or pictures rather than conventional numbers, for example.
Once you’ve done this, you can customise the design, style and theme of your bingo tickets. As well as the colours and design, you can also change the number of cards on each page (making it quicker and easier to print out).
You get a downloadable PDF containing 30 bingo cards for free, as well as caller’s cards, so that when a number is called it can be checked off, making sure that no-one claims a winning line or full house when they haven’t really won! If you want to use the famous bingo caller descriptions for all the numbers to recreate the atmosphere of a classic old school bingo hall — from ‘Kelly’s Eye, number one’ right through to ‘Top of the Shop, number 90’ check out our Bingo Calls Guide.
What else do you need?
Make sure you have a good supply of dabbers on hand so that everyone can mark off their numbers when they’re called. Once you’ve got these, you should be set to go.
Now that you have all the preparations in place, it’s eyes down and time to start playing.
If you happen to have a bingo turner and a set of bingo balls to hand, you’re laughing. But let’s be honest, you probably haven’t got these laying around in the attic, so what alternatives are there?
One of the simplest and most straightforward options is to go for the Google random number generator. It’s really easy to use — just set the maximum number (e.g., 75 or 90), hit generate, and you have your first number. That’s all there is to it.
If you do use the Google RNG, however, the caller needs to make sure that they don’t repeat a number that has already been called in that particular game (which is another reason why the caller’s card comes in so handy).
An alternative is to use an online bingo number generator. This is a RNG that comes with the added advantage of an electronic voice that calls the numbers out loud (although you might want to mute this and use a live caller, as it can be a bit irritating!), and displays them on a board. It also highlights the last five numbers to be called, so that even if you get a bit distracted chatting to your mates, you won’t miss that crucial winning ball.
This can be a good option if you have a large PC screen or can share your laptop screen to a TV, as then everyone can clearly see the numbers that have been called.
Who’s the winner?
Most 90 ball bingo games have three winners — the first player to mark off a horizontal line, then the person marking off two lines first and then the first to cross off every number (when you call ‘Bingo’ or ‘House’). You can play different variations, of course, as with 75 ball bingo the aim can be to mark out a particular pattern rather than a simple line or full house, but if you go down this route, make sure it’s clear to everyone before the game begins. 90 ball is probably the easiest ‘at home’ option to be honest.
Once a player calls line or bingo, it is important to check them off against the caller’s card to make sure no numbers have been crossed off by mistake.
Can you play real money bingo at home?
Whether your home bingo night is a charity fundraiser or you’re playing for prizes, it is important to know that bingo is classified as gaming (as opposed to gambling) by the UK Gambling Commission, but there are nevertheless some important rules you need to follow.
You don’t need a gambling licence to host a bingo night. However, there are limits as to how much players can be charged for tickets (£8 per day) as well as how much money can be paid out in prizes (£600 in total). There are also restrictions about what you can do with any proceeds you make from the games, i.e., they must be given to a stated good cause. However, if you stick to these and the other rules, you won’t have any issues and are very unlikely to be raided!
If you want to find out more and ensure that you are complying with the rules, check out the UK Gaming Commission’s regulations on how to run bingo legally.
Mark Angus is a professional writer and editor currently based in Adelaide and London. Mark writes on a variety of sports betting and gaming topics, most notably football and cricket (he has been a season ticket holder at Fulham for far too many years), as well as horse racing, in particular jumps racing. In addition, Mark produces website content, blogs and articles for a variety of publications, organisations and businesses, and has extensive experience in writing for all forms of online, print and broadcast media.