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Bingo with no balls?

20 Jul 2009

By Nathan Howes

The advent of online Bingo has opened up a huge vista of opportunities for fans of the game to indulge their passion from the comfort of their own home. With a massive choice of online Bingo sites to play, and a plethora of Bingo bonuses and free Bingo games to keep players logging on for more, it's no surprise that online Bingo has become a hugely popular pastime with our networked nation. But what do you do to get your Bingo fix if, say, there's a power cut, or your computer decides to have a 'bad software' day and won't come out to play?

Naturally you can hotfoot it to the nearest land-based club (if it's open, it's not several hundred miles away and the hypothetical power cut hasn't stopped play there too), but could you get some home-brew Bingo action going that hits the spot? Put some 'Full House' fun into your house? Well, yes you can and all you need is some playing cards and some fellow Bingo fanatics to join you round a table. Welcome to the card game of Bingo!

'House' of Cards.

The card game of Bingo is aptly named, as its core gameplay is equivalent to that played at online Bingo sites and land-based halls, with players aiming to match revealed card values to those they hold in their hand. Using a traditional, shuffled deck of playing cards, each player is dealt a fixed number of cards, after which the same number (or more if you fancy) are dealt face down on the table as the 'community cards'. The players then bet an agreed sum (an Ante bet – this doesn't have to be money; try betting with edible treats if you fancy. Or items of clothing if you're feeling saucy!) after which the 'community cards' are revealed in sequence. Players can then discard a card in their hand if its value matches that of the revealed community card; the suit is not important. When all the community cards have been revealed the pot of collected bets is usually split between the players who hold the highest and lowest point totals in their remaining hands. Card values traditionally copy those used in Blackjack, that is an Ace can be '1' or '11' and picture cards are valued as '10'. Where a player can discard all their hand, they will win the entire pot.

Get Your Bingo Kicks On Route 'Sixty Six'.

Playing card Bingo can be played with lots of variations, however one example of a very popular version of this game, which is a good starting point if you want to try it, is called 'Sixty Six Bingo'. Players are dealt six cards each, and six cards are dealt face down as the community cards. Betting takes place in rounds that happen before any of the community cards are revealed, and thereafter each time two further cards have been revealed.

It may not replace your favourite online Bingo site as your number one source of Bingo gaming fun (and it doesn't have the lure of wads of tasty free Bing bonus money to collect), however playing card Bingo is extremely easy to learn, a lot of fun and very versatile. Just keep a deck of cards with you, and you can get a session of this Bingo going wherever you find a crowd up for a bit of a Bingo-style entertainment.


Nathan Howes has worked for several years in the online gambling sector and as an editor for UK-based online Bingo guide,, which keeps fans of the game up to date on the best Bingo Sites and sources of free online bingo.
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