Bingo is a very popular UK game of probability. To play, every gamer needs to buy a ticket with numbers. A caller starts to call out numbers and the players need to scratch them from their tickets. There are three tiers of prizes, the lower is scratching one line of numbers, the second is two lines and the full house is completing the whole ticket before the other players.
The game emigrated in the 18th century from Italy where it was called Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia. Even if Bingo is a game often associated with the elderly, it’s also played by younger people. The fun and social nature of it makes it an enjoyable excuse to spend some time with friends having a good time.
Nowadays players can also choose between online and offline games, making this game even more accessible. On top of its inclusivity, Bingo is also great for mental health, helping with alertness and memory.
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A bit of historical context
Bingo started in the 16th century in Italy, where it was called Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia. The game originated from the Italian lottery and it rapidly became popular in France where it was called Le Lotto. From the French aristocracy, it arrived in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe in the 18th century.
In English slang, the name Bingo means “A customs officer’s term, the triumphal cry employed on a successful search”, and the game first appeared with this name when it started to become popular during carnivals and fairs around the 1920s, being attributed to Hugh J. Ward. In 1942 Edwin S. Lowe patented the first bingo card design.
In the 60s, the Betting and Gaming Act legalising large cash prizes started a new era of bingo games in dancehalls and cinemas participated by a large number of people.
Why should you try bingo?
Bingo has proven to be beneficial for many reasons. The more obvious is that it’s a fun and easy game to play that is available both in person and online, offering a way of entertainment that is highly accessible.
This accessibility considers also people who could have any mobility problem or disabilities, allowing people of different ages and needs to participate without many adjustments. Bingo is also an incredibly social game, even in its online version, offering plenty of chatrooms to meet people and play together.
Playing Bingo has many health benefits, from cognitive to mobility, it’s a great game if you wanna keep your mind active. Because the game requires a good level of alertness – awareness of the number being called and of the number of your card – research studies have proven it to be a great way to keep your mind active and sharp. This game can improve memory and cognitive skills and also strengthen focus and concentration.
In the long run, this game also helps develop the speed of thought, creativity, and analytical thinking. The amazing effects of this game on people’s minds can come as far as being relevant in the daily management of Alzheimer’s disease.
The benefits of bingo on this health issue don’t come only from the advantages for brain function, but also for overall sharpness in thinking abilities. The patients that suffer from this disease could also benefit from it improving their level of socialisation and communication skills. This would help them reduce their stress levels and improve emotional control and mood.
The social side of bingo is not to be taken for granted. People often struggle with loneliness and isolation and when a game becomes an excuse for a great gathering, it’s also the perfect occasion to meet new people and make friends. Because bingo games are usually organised weekly it’s easy to make them a habit, introducing them into a routine.
It’s possible to find bingo games at local pubs, associations or bars and people can choose the most appropriate for them based on their age and their availability. Sometimes is hard to find a physical place to play, luckily there are many online options to have fun with friends in the virtual world.
When thinking about bingo the mind usually goes to tables of old ladies echoing numbers to each other and chatting with a cup of tea or a glass of sherry. But bingo is not only that. The benefits of playing this fun and entertaining game are enormous, both for old and young people.
From a social point of view, bingo brings people together, being the perfect excuse to meet people and find a regular social gathering. But not only, this game is amazing for people’s mental health, both for cognitive skills improvement and mood.