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Do you know your bingo?

Bingo is one of the most popular games in the United Kingdom, with many people playing at either bingo halls up and down the country, or in the comfort of their own home. The internet has enabled people to not only have the choice of where to play bingo but also increased the competition from bingo brands.

Famous for its bingo lingo, the game is always a hit with those in attendance, as they often join in with calling out the balls. Regardless of if you’re playing bingo online or at a bingo hall, you’ll have a great time and socialise with some great people.

For those that love the game, how much do you know about it? We’ve taken a look at some interesting trivia.


Believe it or not, bingo can be traced back to as early as 1530, when an Italian game called ‘Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia’ was played each Saturday. Nearly 250 years later, the game moved to France, where it was renamed ‘Le Lotto’, before arriving in Germany in the 1800s, using it as a child’s game in order to improve their learning of maths.

It arrived in the United States of America in 1929, and was named ‘beano’ after beans were initially used as the counters to cover the numbers called. It is reported that the named changed to ‘bingo’ after Edwin S. Lowe overheard someone accidentally shout ‘bingo’.

Although the game arrived in the 18th century in the UK it didn’t take off until 1960, when the British Parliament passed the Gaming Act. This allowed ‘members only’ establishments to legally host games such as bingo. Now you can play bingo almost anywhere, anytime! Play on your mobile, in a bingo club, or online with friends.

Bingo lingo

Although the UK didn’t invent the game of bingo, they did invent one of the more memorable aspects of the game – the bingo lingo. These are the calls given to each of the balls when drawn and they originate from Cockney rhyming slang.

Numbers four, five and 25 are just some of the numbers to feature rhyming slang. Knock at the door, number four; man alive, number five; and duck and dive, 25.

While there are some numbers that rhyme, some of the most famous number calls in bingo lingo are due to the visual similarities between the numbers and animals or people. 22 is known as ‘two little ducks’, and the players often reply with “quack, quack, quack” when that ball is drawn. The most famous has to be number 88, which is referred to as ‘two fat ladies’.

UK betting statistics

Bingo has played a key role in helping the gambling industry grow in the UK, and, as of September 2018, there are 644 bingo premises in Great Britain. The total gross gambling yield of the Great Britain gambling industry is a staggering £14.4 billion and looks set to continue to grow.

From April 2017 until March 2018, the remote betting, bingo, and casino sector have a market share of 37.3%, which represents a 3.0% increase from the previous year.

It’s obvious to see that the gambling industry will grow more and more, and it will largely be down to the increasing popularity of bingo as to how much it grows by.

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