Mind Your Bingo Manners

Almost all human activities are governed by a set of written and unwritten rules and a code of conduct. Without these, chaos and conflict are to be expected. Being a game of chance where there are as many as 400 or more participants, bingo requires the same rules of conduct. Observing some simple, yet often overlooked rules for proper decorum in public places such as bingo halls will spare everybody unnecessary aggravation and create an enjoyable, friendly atmosphere.

First off, try your best to come to the bingo hall early enough. This will give you enough time to look for a choice seat. But if you happen to pick the lucky seat of another player and are politely asked to move, it would be great for you to be a gentleman and comply with the request. Before the bingo session begins, use your spare time to read thoroughly the posted rules and expend on other regulars your socializing energy so that by the time the bingo session begins you are ready to play with an informed mind and a closed mouth.

During the bingo game, it is impolite to distract other players by repeating called numbers. If that helps you stay focused, try your best to keep your voice down. If you brought you kids along, provide them with some kind of activity set to keep them busy. Nothing could be more disastrous - and embarrassing for you than to have a couple of bored kids running noisily around the bingo hall playing tag. And if you are on a losing streak, be a good sport and do not take it out on the caller. But if you are genuinely having difficulty hearing or keeping up with the caller, politely request him to speak louder or slower as the case may be.

If you happen to get the card pattern, you are expected to yell "bingo" loud enough for the caller to hear you, but not so loud as to startle all the players beside you. A bingo assistant will immediately approach your table to verify. If several participants called bingo, then the pot is equally divided among them. The bingo manager acts as arbiter and judge in cases of disputes, although these are rather uncommon. Think twice before you call bingo, because it could be very annoying for the other players if you keep on holding up the game on a false bingo. One important pointer is to always carry with you a valid ID such as your driver's license or social security card. Just in case you hit the jackpot, you may be required to produce these for your tax report forms.