Bingo is a game of chance and skill that is extremely popular in the US and all around the world. Beginning as a lotto in Italy, bingo was a popular social game for centuries before later becoming an online phenomenon.

Online players can today join games with big cash prizes or play free bingo games just for fun. Thanks to innovative sites like winkbingo, 21st Century bingo is now more varied and more appealing than ever.

Between the 16th and 20th Centuries, bingo spread through Europe, continually evolving and becoming more popular across every nation. It first arrived in the US after World War I and began touring the country through state fairs and carnivals.

Bingo became steadily more popular, but differing state laws meant it hasn’t been and still isn’t legal to play everywhere. Bingo first moved online in 1996, and by 2000 there were around two dozen platforms to choose from.

In 2011, the US government amended the Wire Act to make online bingo automatically legal unless prohibited by individual states. From this date on, its popularity boomed to become the multi-billion dollar industry it is today.

Current figures estimate that more than a billion people around the world, including 60 million Americans, regularly play bingo. Some play online or in person for real money. Others play in church halls or at social gatherings just for fun.

So, what has made this simple game so popular, and what benefits does it bring to its players?

Bingo benefits

Over the centuries, bingo has become known as much more than just a fun pastime. Players of any age or background can enjoy physical and mental benefits from playing bingo either in person or online.

  • Being social

Bingo is a social game. It requires multiple players and a caller to take part together in order to work. Enjoying activities with other people reduces the risk of loneliness and depression and can even help lower blood pressure.

With amusing calls such as “two little ducks” and “legs eleven,” bingo has always promoted laughter among its players. This releases endorphins, which provide a whole host of benefits to help with stress, anxiety, pain, and the immune system.

Online bingo has not sacrificed these social elements, with chat rooms and messaging systems keeping players connected and continually interacting. Live stream videos and virtual reality advancements can even help us play face-to-face as we play online.

  • Mental workout

In comparison to games like poker or chess, bingo might not be the most taxing pastime ever enjoyed. However, it still requires concentration, pattern recognition, and quick responses, all of which get our cognitive wheels whirring.

Completing simple and enjoyable tasks which keep us engaged is a great way of keeping our minds fit and healthy. Particularly as we get older, playing games like bingo can be a key ingredient in helping to keep ourselves sharp. 

  • Keeping things moving

Whether playing in-person or online, bingo requires the continual use of our fine motor skills. Like every part of our body, we can only improve or maintain these abilities by putting them into practice.

In-person players must move markers and cover numbers at all times, as well as call out when they win. Much of this is automated online, but moving a mouse or operating a touchscreen still requires dexterous movements throughout.

  • Staying co-ordinated

In a similar way to helping fine motor skills, bingo is an excellent tool for refining and maintaining hand-eye coordination. Locating the numbers quickly, as they are called, and striking them with the marker is one of the bingo’s core skills.

This is important for elderly players, who may exercise these skills less as everyday tasks become more testing. Younger people will also benefit from exercising these muscles and refining their abilities for use in all areas of life.

While the act of physically marking numbers is not always required online, players will still follow games with their eyes. Similarly, operating touchscreen devices is an ongoing test of hand-eye coordination during every part of the bingo experience.

  • Winning big

The prime motivation for playing bingo is to have fun, but it also offers the possibility of financial reward, whether small stakes or high. Most bingo games offer the chance to win some sort of prize, cash, or otherwise.

In bingo halls and land-based casinos, these prizes can reach hundreds, or sometimes thousands, of dollars. Online, through big games, progressive jackpots, and other spot prizes, wins can be almost unlimited.

At the time of writing, the biggest ever win playing online bingo was $7 million by a UK-based player. Sites such as Wink Bingo regularly offer the chance to win four, five, or even six-figure prizes.

  • Staying occupied

It isn’t only the social side of bingo that helps stave off feelings of boredom and depression. Keeping active and occupied can be a huge boost to people struggling with poor mental health.

Bingo is a simple but entertaining pastime that can keep players occupied for short or long periods as they choose. With free games available on most platforms, it can be ideal for anyone who needs a distraction or easy-to-undertake exercise.

So, as well as entertaining people across the world for centuries, bingo also brings great mental and physical benefits. While these are particularly relevant to older players, almost all can be applied to players of any age or position.

So, whether in person or online, why not give bingo a try and see what benefits it can bring to you?