Bingo Etiquette 101

bingo

In brick-and-mortar bingo halls:

Bingo halls value silence. As soon as you enter the playing area, pipe down and stay quiet.

Know your limits. If you can only handle three cards at a time, then play only three cards. Calling out a false “Bingo!” is a surefire way of getting your fellow players irked at you. It stops the flow of the game, and destroys the focus of other players.

Keep noise down to a minimum. Most bingo halls don’t allow kids inside the playing area, but if you do have to bring your children along, make sure that they know how to behave themselves. Keep them occupied with a book or a handheld video game console.

Also, try not to repeat to yourself the numbers that are being called out. People, especially those who are playing near you, might find this habit particularly annoying and distracting.

Never try to take your frustrations out on the caller. Criticizing or yelling out sarcastic comments at the caller is one of the worst things that you can do inside the bingo hall. He or she does not have any control over the outcome of the game. If you want your caller to slow down or raise his/her voice so you can hear him/her more clearly, do so in a polite manner. Being in a losing streak does not give you an excuse to be rude.

For newbies: Most bingo halls don’t follow free seating. Bingo players are very superstitious when it comes to seats, and regulars usually have their “lucky” chairs reserved for them. It might seem a bit weird, but be courteous enough to give up your seat to someone who has already “booked” it.

Don’t smoke inside the bingo hall. Most halls have a designated smoking area. Or better yet, just get your nicotine fix first before the game starts.

Come prepared, come early. Most regulars arrive at the hall an hour or two before the scheduled game starts. This gives them ample time to chat with other players, set up their playing area, and prepare their playing equipment (daub markers, adhesive tape to keep the cards from slipping, etcetera).

In online bingo halls

Be social. In online bingo, it is customary for players to greet winners with a “WTG!” (Way to Go!). Newcomers are also welcomed warmly.

Don’t be a sore loser. When you’re on a losing streak, avoid making crass comments on the chat boards. This is an easy way for the moderator to revoke your chat privileges.

Always remember that there there is another person behind every username. Treat online players the same way as you would treat people in real life- with respect. Don’t type in ALL CAPS (as this is tantamount to yelling) and be sensitive to other players in the chat room (no cursing, racist and sexual remarks).

Never spam the boards. If you want to get your point across, do it only once or directly message the person you intend to speak with.

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