How to play bingo as you travel the world

Travelling the world and seeing new places is a great sensation, but sometimes you feel the need to try something familiar.

If you love playing bingo at home then you might like to find out how to play this game on your travels.

Where to play – from bingo hall to drive-ins

British players have traditionally played in bingo halls and clubs, which are often housed in big buildings in the centre of town. The US is reported to have the largest number of players and bingo is generally carried out in huge casinos, which gives it a more intensely competitive kind of atmosphere like roulette or poker. Australia has a similar approach to the UK with bingo halls used for more of a community feel. 

The arrival of online bingo has changed how we play around the world, with the example of free bingo at Paddy Power showing how it can be done. Free games are offered in a special bingo room which is open several hours each day. After playing free games, you can decide whether to carry on that room or check out other rooms such as the Gold Room and the Diamond Room. 

One of the most unique approaches to land-based bingo comes in Sweden where drive-in bingo has become popular in the countryside during summer, with players sitting in their cars as they mark off their numbers.

Sweden and Denmark are both light on bingo halls but have a tradition of showing bingo games on TV. Japan is another country where bingo is extremely popular, although it doesn’t have the tradition of commercial bingo halls and clubs we’ve seen elsewhere.

The rules and how to play

You might think that bingo is played in exactly the same way in every country, but there are some regional differences to bear in mind. The major changes you’ll find in different countries are in the layout of the card and the number of balls used. 90-ball bingo is the most popular in some countries while others are more likely to play with 75 balls. 

You might come across tombola if you’re in Italy. This game looks a lot like bingo, with colourful cards where each number has a picture too. It’s a lot like bingo elsewhere but is most typically played at New Year for fun and with small stakes rather than as a way of gambling.

Even the word you call out to claim a win varies by country, and in some cases by region. In the UK, you might hear bingo or housie, while German players will call out volltreffer when they mark off their final number. You won’t want to forget to find out how to shout out your win before you start playing somewhere new.

Despite all these different ways of playing, the pleasure of playing bingo is similar wherever in the world you go, so it’s definitely worth looking into it and seeing how and where you can play the next time you travel.