If there’s something other than pizza and pasta than we can thank Italy for, it’s the advent of bingo! Yep, you read that right. Bingo wasn’t actually first played in the UK, but with our crafty carb-inventing brethren, who first played the game as early as the year 1530 in what was (and still is) known as “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia”.
Although it took until around the 1920s for bingo to make its mark in the UK, it’s certainly become a British staple and is probably the most popular game in the country. Bingo used to be predominantly an elderly generation game, played in vast halls. However, the younger generation has been taking a keen interest in the game, especially since the arrival of online bingo games.
Hosting a bingo evening at home with friends and family is now a popular pastime for all ages.
How to make your bingo nights more fun
Listen, we think bingo on its own is great, but there are some essential ingredients that you can use to ensure that the game isn’t just fun, but memorable too. These are our top tips for turning your bingo evening into a bingo blast!
Invite the right crowd
Okay, we know that you can’t choose family, however, you can ensure that there’s a healthy helping of those that you know are going to improve the mood. If you’re having a bingo night with family only, it’s important that you bring some character into the room. Eccentric uncle Jerry, crazy cousin Bethany, and dark horse Dan will bring a little pizazz to the occasion and inject some life into the party.
If you’re having a bingo night with friends then it’s a bit easier to invite those people that you think will enjoy the atmosphere instead of spending the evening talking about politics. It’s your party and you’re allowed to be picky.
Choose a theme
Bingo doesn’t have to stick to the traditions. It’s always a good idea to choose a theme for your bingo evening that everyone will enjoy. You can go by the season, such as Christmas and Halloween or take things up a notch with movie themes, superhero costumes and everything else in between. Just to up the ante and ensure people make an effort to come according to the theme, you could add a prize as an incentive for the best dressed. Remember that if you’re going to have a theme that you shouldn’t do it in half measures and you’ll need to decorate accordingly.
Create your own cards
Traditional bingo cards serve their purpose, but if you want to have a really great bingo night, then you should make your own. There are hundreds of options online that you can download for free. This means your cards can suit the theme of the occasion, or you could personalise them for each person and what their interests are.
Ensure there’s plenty of food and drinks
Firstly, if you’re hosting an evening of fun for adults, then everyone is going to be a lot more relaxed after a glass of wine or a beer. Always be sure to cater for those that don’t drink alcohol too though, or for any guests that are driving home. Responsibility always comes first.
Secondly, you don’t want your guests competing on an empty stomach. There’s no telling what a hangry bingo player is capable of! Whip up a variety of snacks for the evening. Make sure that they can be made in advance to ensure you don’t spend all evening in the kitchen. You also want to make food that is easy to eat and that won’t make a mess over the cards and table. Finger food like popcorn, samosas and sliders, fruit, veggie sticks with dip, nuts, and of course sweet treats are always a great idea. Don’t forget to ask everyone about dietary preferences to make sure there’s something for each guest.
Add incentive with prizes
Just admit it, there’s a little bit of a competitive streak in us all. To add a little bit of friendly rivalry to the game, why not add some prizes for the winners? Get everyone to chip in a few quid before the night and use that money to buy some cool, inexpensive prizes. It’s also a great idea to get everyone a little something and you could have a prize giving at the end with prizes such as “the person who talked the most”, “the clueless player”, and much more.
Play different versions of bingo
In the UK, we are used to playing the traditional 90-ball bingo, but there are a huge number of different versions that you can play to keep things interesting. For example, 75-ball bingo is all about completing patterns rather than lines.
Try an online evening
You could even turn it up a notch and have an online bingo competition where you take part in games like Slingo. Don’t feel like you are limited to playing one type of bingo the whole evening. Keep your guests guessing by changing it up a bit. Choose a bingo site that has a huge variety of different games to choose from!
At the end of the day, any bingo evening is going to be full of fun, but these extra tips will just turn up the entertainment to create a truly memorable evening with friends and family.