The Complete Breakdown of all the Bingo Night Equipment You Need
Hosting a bingo night is a brilliant way to get friends or family together for a fun night. But, if you’re the host, you’ll need some basic bingo night equipment to provide to players regardless of the number of people who turn up.
The good news is, whether you are hosting a charity event or just for fun, you only really need three key things - bingo numbers, tickets and daubers. So, here’s our guide to everything you need to host the perfect bingo night.
Bingo number generator
Unsurprisingly, you need numbers to play bingo, so this is an essential piece of bingo equipment. You have three options when it comes to generating numbers:
A bingo ball machine: If you want to go down the traditional route of generating bingo numbers, then a bingo ball is the way forward. It’s a round cage, filled with the number balls. When you manually turn the handle, a number is released. The machine is an old-school way to play bingo and can make the event more authentic and fun.
There are many affordable bingo ball machines, or if you’re having a one-off event, you can hire them, too.
An electronic number generator: If you fancy going a step up from the traditional manual ball-rolling machine, you can use an electronic number generator. You can choose between 75 and 90 ball bingo, and this device will generate a number at random when it’s prompted. It’s an easy device to use; you can place it on a table in view of the players, and the number will be displayed on the screen.
Unfortunately, this will likely be the most costly number generator, so you can hire these devices instead.
Online Number Generator: Your final option is to use a free online number generator. There are several online or app options for bingo, and they are easy to use as you don’t need a specific bingo machine, just a computer, laptop, phone or tablet and internet connection.
An additional consideration is to use a projector or television with the online generator so that the numbers are clearly displayed each time for larger groups.
There are lots of free options if you search for a bingo number generator online.
Bingo ticket options
Unfortunately, bingo cards are not reusable, so you’ll need to calculate how many you need in terms of players and games. And then there’s the scenario where someone (or many players) want to buy more than one card to increase their chances of winning.
Therefore, it’s better to have too many than not enough, so over-catering might be wise and also decide in advance the limit per person of cards.
Online tickets: You can use online providers to generate free printable bingo cards. These sites allow you to customise and design cards, choose between 75 and 90 ball bingo games, and you can use as many as you need.
Although this allows quick personalisation and access, it may not be the most cost-effective as you’ll have a certain amount of free printable tickets, but for a large number, you will need to pay per card.
Bingo ticket books: You can buy books of 90 ball bingo and 75 ball bingo tickets online and possibly in post offices and office suppliers. By buying books, you get a lot of tickets for a low cost and having a large number of bingo tickets means people can buy multiple tickets, and you can run lots of games for a small investment.
Don’t forget about bingo daubers
A bingo dauber is a marker used to mark off the number on the bingo sheet. Each player should, ideally, have a dauber, as it’s not something you want to be sharing in the midst of an exciting game! You can brief players before the game so they can come prepared with their own dauber, or you can purchase them and hand them out at the event.
If you can, buy the daubers from a specialist bingo supplier or from sites including Amazon and eBay, and ideally, have some spare in case someone forgets to bring one.
Whether you’re looking to run a bingo night with 75 or 90 balls, we’ve created a series of themed bingo tickets that you can download on our free bingo night downloads page.
Plus, check out one of our previous articles giving you information about where you should host your bingo night, and also everything you need to know about organising a bingo night fundraiser.