How to Host Bingo Nights at Home

BINGO GUIDES / Jan 29, 2024
Host bingo nights

Sarah Haselwood

Jan 29, 2024 3 min read
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In many cases the traditional images of bingo played in halls around the country have been replaced with online bingo. However, there’s also the option of gathering your friends and hosting your own bingo night at home. This way, you can involve the people you want, have some in-person fun and make it a regular social event.

From rules to equipment, in this guide, we’ve pulled together everything you need to know so you can start to host bingo nights with your friends at home.

Bingo licences

You don't need a bingo licence if you’re hosting at someone’s house for fun. Legally, bingo is considered gambling and falls under UK gambling legislation. However, you don’t require a licence in the UK because non-commercial, private nights are considered gaming by the UKGC. You only need a licence if you are a bingo hall, online bingo site, or running a night for profit.

Different types of bingo

There are different types of bingo, and before you start to host bingo nights, you need to select a game and learn the rules! The main types are:

9o ball bingo: The most common type of bingo, these games are played with 90 numbered balls. The bingo tickets consist of a grid of 15 numbers from one to 90.

Each line has nine spaces with five numbers, and the rest of the spaces are left blank. The goal in 90 ball bingo is to fill in as many numbers on the card as possible and hopefully complete all three lines. The rules are simple, and it’s a great bingo game to start with on your bingo night.

Find out more about this game in our 90 ball bingo guide.

75 ball bingo: This type of bingo game can be a little more complicated to learn, but unlike 90 ball bingo, the prize for 75 ball bingo is awarded to the first player to complete a pattern that’s highlighted on everyone’s ticket.

This game adds more variation to bingo, but if you have multiple tickets, it can be harder to follow without the help of an auto dabber on the online version.

Read our 75 ball bingo guide to learn more about this game and how to win.

Pick a time and a place

Choose a night of the week to host your bingo night at home, and if you can, stick to it so that it becomes a regular event in the diary and your friends know the time and location. Once you’ve played a few times, you’ll also have the skills and equipment to rotate around other friends’ houses.

Basic equipment required

The good news is that you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to host your bingo night at home. So what do you need?

Tickets: These can be really low cost for basic books of tickets, or you can pay more to buy personalised ones if you want to surprise your guests.  Ensure that you buy lots, as you won’t be able to reuse them, and there are plenty of places online to buy them.

Bingo number generator: You can buy a traditional bingo ball machine to release random numbers or use an electronic number generator, which you place in view of all your players, and they can see the selected number on a screen.

However, the free option is an online number generator. Simply connect to a computer, laptop or tablet and face the screen towards your players can get playing.

Daubers: Don’t forget bingo daubers!  You can provide them, or guests can bring their own. If you can’t arrange actual bingo daubers, then other markers will work.

Invite friends wherever they are

Another aspect of your home bingo night to consider is including friends who can’t attend in person. Including people for a virtual bingo night to join those in person is completely doable.

Simply select your option for hosting the video calls (e.g., Zoom or Teams) and outline to the virtual players how to select their ticket/s. It might be through a Google ‘random number generator’ tool or via tickets you send them in advance.

Winning and prizes

Bingo prizes are a consideration as they come at a cost. You can either offer some really small prizes (usually three in a game of 90 ball bingo for one line, two lines and a full house), a prize for the full house or no prizes. Alternatively, you can just enjoy the celebration of winning or ask players to bring a small contribution to the game, which can be offered as prizes.

For more information about bingo, including online rules, chatrooms and bingo abbreviations, head to our bingo guides.

Author

Sarah Haselwood