A Brief History of 90 Ball Bingo

In North America traditional 75 ball bingo reigns supreme but on the other side of the Atlantic it’s a different story. In the UK, Europe, New Zealand and Australia 90 ball bingo is the most popular bingo game. Around 1880 the forerunner of 90 ball bingo reached Germany. The 90 ball game influenced bingo and lottery type games in Britain and by 1900 a 90 ball game known as tombola, housey –housey and lotto were common. After the Second World War the 90 ball game became widely known as bingo. In the US the 75 ball bingo game was introduced by Edwin S. Lowe and was originally known as beano for the beans that were used to cover the numbers on the game cards. The game became popular and became known as bingo and was marketed as a box set home game.

Just about every child has played bingo at one time or another either at home or at school where the game is used to teach various subjects. Over the years bingo has been a powerful fund raising tool for charities and churches in the US. In postwar Britain bingo developed into a major industry as the game became commercialized. The UK bingo boom began in holiday camps that were popular in postwar Britain and by the 1960’s British bingo was in its golden age. In 1996 bingo went online and the rest is history. 90 ball bingo remains the most popular variant in the UK.

As the name implies the 90 ball version of the game uses 90 numbered balls. The similarity ends there and 90 ball bingo cards are much different than traditional 75 ball cards. A 90 ball bingo card is marked with 27 square grid of three rows and nine columns. The 90 ball card is marked with 15 random numbers, five to a row. The cards are marked in the same way as 75 ball cards. Players can win three ways while playing 90 ball bingo. If one row of numbers is marked off the player wins the lowest prize and can also win with two rows marked. A full house is when all the numbers are marked and a full house usually wins the big jackpot.

90 ball bingo is easily the most popular game at most UK bingo sites. 90 ball bingo has made the transition online comfortably and most internet bingo sites now offer both 90 and 75 ball bingo. 90 ball bingo is now big business in the UK and brings in over a billion pounds a year for bingo providers.

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