Bingo is a game that is universally recognised all over the world, but the game also differs in so many ways, dependent on which country you are playing in. From the number of balls, the bingo lingo, the ways to win and so much more, every aspect of the game can be altered. Whether you still choose to play in a bingo hall, or much prefer the convenience of online bingo, here we will run through different variations of bingo from all corners of the globe – and in the meantime, if you want to get your fix, play jackpot bingo online.
We all know that Italy is the birthplace of food and fashion, but how many knew that it was also the home of bingo? It’s believed one of the earliest forms of bingo originated in Italy in the 16th century, when Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia was founded. To this day, Italians still play this version of the bingo, which is very similar to the UK’s National Lottery. The game involves five numbers being drawn from a 90-ball lot. Despite this, online bingo only became legal in Italy in 2007.
Bingo arrived in Germany at the end of the 19th century and while the original bingo was known as Der Lottospiel, the phrase called when someone wins is very different from the lotto/bingo that we hear in so many other countries, with Germans exclaiming Volltreffer! if they win. Bingo in Germany isn’t just used for social or entertainment purposes, with the game a popular teaching method. Whether it’s maths, spelling or history, you’ll find bingo played in schools. In Germany, bingo is played by all generations and is devoid of stereotypes.
Bingo in the UK has changed dramatically, with the industry both booming and declining over the years. Bingo as we know it has been played since the 1960s at dedicated bingo halls, where it was stereotypically played by the elderly or retired. The rise of online bingo has made the game more accessible to a much larger demographic, with more variety of games available and not just the standard 90-ball variant. Updating the famous bingo lingo and organising dedicated bingo events has also seen the game target a new market and become ‘millennial friendly’. Bingo today is universally loved by everyone in the UK.
Of all the Scandinavian countries, Sweden leads the way when it comes to bingo. Not only is there a Swedish equivalent, rather originally titled, Swedish Bingo (also known as 5-line or high-5 bingo), which differs from the classic 75-ball game slightly; but they also introduced drive-in bingo. Here, players meet by the car-full and play in the beautiful Swedish countryside.
Denmark too, has set up its own fusion event and the Opera Bingo sees winners of games serenaded by some of Copenhagen’s Opera Festival’s youngest talents. Still a sociable occasion, with food and drink, entertainment and of course, a compère or caller, it’s certainly a quirky alternative.
Home to some of the best gambling destinations in the world, of course the USA features on this list – and the USA also lays claim to being the ‘home of modern bingo’ when it was taken across the Atlantic and introduced by colonists. The game has a rich history, having previously been known as ‘beano’ and by the 1940s, Bingo became popular across the US. With differing gambling laws from state to state, many games of bingo are still run by churches or charities today; although with online bingo rife, signing up to get your fix is a lot more accessible to citizens and freer from laws.
Like North America, bingo is deemed traditional in South America, notably Brazil too; however, the laws have changed several times in recent years. Bingo halls were first banned in 1946, before only being legalised in 1993. Within 10 years, thousands of bingo halls opened up across the country, before the laws were reversed and Brazil’s president banned all forms of Bingo and Slots from being played. However, like the USA, online bingo is accessible and there are no rules in place regarding Brazilian nationals signing up to play bingo online.
The number one game in Japan is Pachinko, a kind-of cross between Bingo and Slots, which is played at machines in Pachinko parlours all over the country. While bingo halls aren’t allowed in Japan, this hasn’t stopped the country becoming bingo mad, with online bingo incredibly popular. In fact, Japan lays claim to the largest game of online bingo – with 493,824 players logging in to play the game organised by Coca-Cola (Japan) in Tokyo. When it comes to bingo formats, the Japanese favour the USA’s 75-ball game, instead of the UK’s 90-ball format.