Posted by: mdmusingsie | December 10, 2017

This Was Not My Mother’s Bingo

A friend of mine at work invited me to play bingo at one of the local bingo parlors.  I’ve played bingo plenty of times in the past, particularly in Las Vegas with my Mother as she enjoys the game.  However, when the games started, I realized I wasn’t in Kansas (or anywhere else in the US) anymore.

We arrived just as the early bird session was starting and were handed our paper booklets. In the bingo sessions I’ve played in the US, you normally get a sheet explaining which games had which pattern.  There was no such cheat sheet.  My friend had played in Scotland before so she wasn’t nearly as confused as I was when I looked at the sheets we were marking.

Firstly, there is no B-I-N-G-O across the top, and secondly the numbers go from 1 to 90.  This was a whole new ball-game. To add to the confusion, the numbers are called very quickly – much more quickly than I was used to. Throw in the different accent of the caller along with the funny names they had for some numbers, I was way out of my comfort zone.

Anything ending in a 0 is called a blind – e.g. 30 they call as 3-0, blind thirty.  Others included ‘half way’ for 45, ‘top of the shelf’ for 90, double N’s for 22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77, 88 (11 was something to do with legs), and the one it took me a long time to interpret 9 – call the doctor.  I had to remember that to call emergency services in Ireland you dial 999 and not 911 like the US.

To win on this new form of bingo, all games start with one line, so you have to get all numbers on one line on any grouping on the page.  Once someone had one line we played for 2 lines on the same page, and then 3 lines or full house.



It took me a number of games/pages to not only figure out that putting a slash through a number (we used plain markers instead of daubers) didn’t give enough visibility to the pattern, and also to recognize when I had a full line (or 2).

Just when I started getting the hang of it, we began playing some bonus pages and instead of going 1-line, 2-line, full house, they skipped the 2 line game. Of course they did this the one and only time I actually had the required patters – 2 lines.  So there I go, embarrassing myself in my first game of Euro (or at least UK and Ireland) bingo, by calling out when I had 2 lines but needed a full house.

Oh, and by the way – you don’t call BINGO! when you win – you shout “check”, which I’m assuming means check my numbers.  A few veterans would call “thank you” in appreciation of the win.

In this bingo you’re not allowed to savor your one- or two-line win because as soon as they verify your page they are calling numbers again until the page is complete.  It certainly cuts down on the chatter, as people, especially new players like me, have to concentrate on the rapid fire of numbers.

Neither my friend nor I won anything, but it certainly was entertaining and I’ll definitely give it a try again.  But this time I’ll be prepared for this new-fangled way of playing Bingo.


Another, less radically modified game I came across was McDonald’s Monopoly (I don’t frequent there that often but sometimes it’s the only fast food restaurant around and they do have lovely strawberry lemonade).  The board, railroad, and colors are the same, but the name of the properties have been changed to Irish places – O’Connell Street, Henry Street, Talbot Street, and other well known places in Ireland.


So as they say, when in Rome….


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