Ok, so off we go. There you are, dabber poised, shaking with anticipation and SUDDENLY your number is up. Yes! You've won.
"Here. . . me. " You shout.
You slump into your sear as the scornful looks from those surrounding you make you realize that you've dropped your very first clanger.
"Bingo" you call meekly you look around at faces filled with expressions normally reserved for something you scrape off your shoe.
RULE NUMBER ONE
Yell “Bingo" when you win
Once you have called bingo, a floorwalker with check your card to verify that you have indeed won. Some very modern halls have unique numbers printed on each card and you simply call out the number which is verified by the caller.
If more than one person call bingo on the same number, the money is shared equally.
Next scenario, you look down at your card, realizing that you only need one more number. . . . . number 1. The next number called is 7. . . .in just a split second, you see that the only difference between a 1 and a 7 is that tiny line across the top. So, with a quick stroke of the pen, the 1 is changed into a 7. “Bingo" you shout. The next thing you know, you are at the bottom of the street with a bootmark on the back of your pants!
RULE NUMBER TWO
Do not try to alter the numbers on the card
However artistic you might think you are, do not do this! Most experienced managers and callers would spot this from a mile off and would not hesitate to call in the law and make an example out of you. The last thing you want is to have to sneak past a “Wanted" poster next time you play. Especially if it is you they want!
If you are new to a particular hall, take time to have a look around and familiarize yourself with the rules. What is acceptable at one hall may not be the case at another.
RULE NUMBER THREE
Check Out The Rules For Each Hall
Taking in a flask and a bag of fast food might be just fine at one bingo hall, but not necessarily at them all!
So, you think this is the big one. Your number is called and at last you've won. “Bingo" you meekly call. Oh no! The caller hasn't heard you and moves on to the next number. . . . "BINGO" yells a lady a few rows away. You stand on your chair shouting that you had already won. . you had called “Bingo" first. However, the lady a few rows down is the one walking out with the pile of money at the end of the evening!
RULE NUMBER FOUR
It is the responsibility of the winner to call “Bingo" loudly enough to be heard
It is important to realize that bingo can only be claimed on the most recent number called. If you do not call out loudly enough and the caller shouts out the next number, it is too late. The game moves on. Any missed calls in respect of a finished game are also invalid.
Bingo players are generally a sociable, happy crowd, there to play a game and have fun. So, there you are, chatting away. Ok, so you know the caller has started but you just have to finish your story. Why then is nobody listening?
RULE NUMBER FIVE
Pipe Down And Shut Up Once The Game Starts
You will notice that all the regulars quieten down once the game begins. Chatting is reserved for the breaks only.
You arrive early one night to an almost empty hall. For once, you have your choice of seats. You select a great seat-one of the best in fact, and settle yourself down with a book waiting for the game to start whilst silently congratulating yourself in your choice. Whilst reading, you become aware of a shadow across your book. You look up and see a contorted, angry face staring at you. “My seat, I think"
RULE NUMBER SIX
Watch out for lucky seats
Although not the law of the land, there is an unwritten rule in most halls that regulars have a “usual" seat. You might be asked to move and you would be well advised to do so for the sake of peace!
Right, so you're a regular now. You know the ropes. However, you've not won a dime in over a month. Totally frustrated with your bad luck, you know it's the callers fault. To show your annoyance, you scream out "Get rid of the caller!"
Everyone looks at you. Although you blush with embarrassment, you remain defiant and shout out “Well, I haven't won in ages!"
RULE NUMBER SEVEN
Do not take your frustrations out on the caller
Players have been known to be very frustrated when going through a losing spell. It is important to realize that it is not the callers fault! Making derisive and impolite comments will not endear you to anyone and you may well find yourself banned. This will, of course, have an adverse effect on any potential future winnings!
Although each bingo hall will have its’ own set of regulations, there will be similarities in each and the above will help you avoid certain tricky situations. As with most things though, common sense should prevail.
Nowadays, lots of people never even visit a bingo hall, preferring to play online at home. That is not to say that etiquette is unimportant. Indeed, chatrooms have their own set of rules and regulations but at least you can navigate these at your leisure.
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And. . . . . GOOD LUCK