Of all the games of chance that you might find in a casino, few have the widespread appeal of bingo. Even perennial favorite, poker, is a game that’s generally played specifically by serious poker players, rather than casually by your average person on the street. Games like blackjack, slots or roulette, meanwhile, may draw in the crowds, but they only draw in the crowds at the casino itself. They don’t have much of a life beyond that, other than online.
Bingo, on the other hand, is played less at the casino than at retirement homes, community centers, charity fundraisers, and specially designated bingo halls. It’s known to be a favorite of the elderly, of course, but its appeal is much more universal than that. Truth be told, if it weren’t for the fact that it is, in fact, an actual gambling game, so it comes with an 18 or 21 age restriction, depending on location, it would probably be a family favorite.
It’s a very easy, very accessible game that literally anyone can pick up and play, but what is it about bingo that makes it such a relaxed experience on the one hand and surprisingly exciting on the other?
A Chilled Atmosphere
At the heart of bingo’s relaxed side is that the actual gameplay is so monotonous. Not monotonous in a way that’s boring, but monotonous in the sense that you can either let your mind drift as you tick off each announced number or you can have something to eat or chat with friends. Though for the latter, only if you don’t disturb other players, of course and most importantly, that you don’t make it difficult to hear the announcer.
There is nothing at all stressful about a game of bingo. There’s a reason why it is so popular with the elderly. Even the most exciting bingo game is still very chilled; hardly likely to raise your pulse beyond comfortable levels. And a large part of this is the general atmosphere created around any game of bingo, regardless of where it’s played.
Food is usually available. Friends and family often play together. There’s no loud music and the lights in most bingo venues are usually kept at a nice, neutral level that allows you to see your bingo cards without distracting you with their harshness.
Some Exciting Moments
Still, however much bingo is played in a fun, relaxed atmosphere and the game itself is pleasantly mind-numbing in how it is played, it’s certainly not lacking in some excitement.
In particular, any round of bingo ramps up the excitement as it reaches its end, as more and more players come closer and closer to scoring a bingo. It does happen at times that only one or two players lead the pack with having almost complete bingo lines, but usually a whole group of people will see their numbers lining up and the chilled atmosphere starts taking on a building excitement as each player nears the finish line.
Obviously, though, nothing is more exciting than that moment when that final number you need is called out and you have to shout out “BINGO!” just to make sure that you get in there first if anyone else might have scored a bingo at the same time. It occasionally can get contentious even if two players shout “BINGO!” at the same time, but usually the excitement is fun rather than heated.
Other Emotional Reactions
Excitement and relaxation are only two of the emotions that a game of bingo might evoke. Because it’s such a social game, a sense of camaraderie is common, even with players effectively playing directly against one another. Games can be funny, entertaining and normally just the right amount of boring to keep the atmosphere as relaxed and as lighthearted as possible.
There are certainly some who take the game very, very seriously, so it’s always important to respect them, but bingo is primarily a casual game for casual gamers. Die-hard gamblers may play it too, but in most spaces bingo really is geared towards people who just want a fun night out with friends or family. And even if bingo is the activity that these gatherings center around, they’re usually only a part of the experience that also usually includes eating, drinking (though usually not hard alcohol) and, most importantly, plenty of socializing as well. Fun is really the name of the game here.