The recession has brought with it the notion that staying in is the new going out. The tightening of belts across the nation has resulted in a feeling of adventure within the public, bringing an eagerness to be creative. While playing bingo online offers its own social benefits through a variety of chat and community functions, there is still no substitute for playing the game for real. However, with balls, blowers and pickers all seemingly essential gear, it is small wonder that games at home are something of a rarity. Yet in this atmosphere of creativity amidst recession, increasing numbers of players have discovered a new, cheap way of playing bingo at home: by using playing cards.
The first step to playing bingo using playing cards is to make the regular bingo cards. Free templates can be downloaded online, or simply take a blank sheet of white paper and draw a 5×5 grid upon it. In each of the 25 squares, use a variety of ranks from 2 to Ace. Along the top of the bingo card, write, from left to right, the four suits of cards – diamonds, hearts, spades and clubs. Above the fifth and final column write “Wild”. As any “wild card” in any card game this card represents any of the four suits and adds a touch of spice to the proceedings. .
With the cards prepared, it is time to play..
First, shuffle the cards. In the interests of fairness (key in any game of bingo) let every player shuffle if they so desire. Then, when all are satisfied that the cards are well and truly jumbled, flip the to card face up. This card represents the first bingo number, and players should mark off their bingo free cards if they have this number (suit permitting), but only one square per card should be marked. If there is a number in a space in the wild card column that shares a number in a suited column the suited column must take precedent – adding that spice we mentioned earlier. This is a great way to build excitement for the climax of the game. .
The first player to make a line (5 squares vertically, horizontally or diagonally) wins the game, although there is no need to call “Cards” rather than “Bingo”. Since money has been saved on expensive trips out, it can instead be used for a prize fund, with allocated amounts to be spent by each player. Keep playing until all the bingo jackpots have been won.