B-I-N-G-O is its name-o and it's one of the more continually popular board games in North America. Weekly gatherings for it are still found in many churches and community centers.
Overall, Bingo is a game of chance. Each Bingo player gets one or more cards, each with a 5×5 grid marked with various numbers. The center cell of each card is often designated "free" and may be covered first. While a "caller" draws numbers, the players mark off the numbers on their cards. The first person to accurately mark off a certain pattern of called numbers on his card (usually five in a row, horizontally, vertically or diagonally), and shout BINGO! is declared the winner.
Stereotypically, it's known as a game that old people like to play. Because bingo is a game of chance with prizes offered, how gambling regulation would affect it tends to be a talking point for politicians looking toward the older demographic.
Bingo is a common theme for state lottery tickets. Various attempts have also been made to turn it into a televised game show
, as it has a natural "play at home" component, including 1953's Bingo at Home
, as well as the more modern National Bingo Night
and Bingo America
A number of related games have popped up, including Lingo
, a word game show that uses a bingo board mechanic, and Slingo
, an online game that uses a slot machine mechanic to call the numbers.
Another common variation is "Buzzword Bingo", which was invented in 1993 and popularized in a Dilbert
comic strip the next year. In this case, each square has a largely-meaningless "buzzword" (Paradigm, user-centric, proactive etc.), and players attending a meeting mark off which ones are used in its course.
This has given rise to its online variation of "argument bingo" where the board contains◊ overused arguments or trolling statements
, and the erstwhile message-board participant is to mark them off. Of course, the mere fact that you're able to shout BINGO! at a post doesn't act as proof against points raised in and of itself. But man it can be fun to play at home.