the discussion about whether Bingo workers and/or their family members should
play at their own halls, I wanted to add a different perspective about the
may be true that it is difficult to cheat at Bingo because the winning numbers
are random, there are ways that give Bingo workers an unfair advantage.
At a hall
where I used to play (key words being used to), players may purchase
coupons for discounts; for example, buy two $20 coupons, get a free $20 coupon.
workers are using these coupons and not paying for them, or giving them to
their family members, this is an advantage over regular players. There is
a limit of one coupon per session, but if the workers (who just happen to buy
their packages when no one is around) are allowed to use more than one coupon,
happens, or workers get additional free cards with “gift certificates,” they
have an advantage over paying players. Turns out at my hall they were just
printing their own coupons and giving them out to family members. So, when
Bingo worker Rosie’s husband wins, it is almost all profit since he did not pay
the correct amount.
theft charges are pending; can’t wait to see the outcome for these cheaters.
column and recognize this is not a cheery letter but your readers are right…better
to play at halls where you don’t work.
Wow, what a
story! It’s amazing that this Bingo would have a BOGO-style coupon system,
especially when it produces its own coupons, which obviously can be printed out
by anyone with access to their computer system.
me that this creates several problems for the hall—the alleged distribution of
free coupons by staff which you claim; loss of revenue by having too many
players showing up and not paying the buy-in, resulting in prize money being
paid out that is not being covered by those buy-ins; and an imbalance in the
books that would be revealed in an audit.
If I was in
charge of a Bingo where free passes were being handed out too freely, I would
be particularly fearful of item four: the audit.
understanding is that Bingo games can be reviewed and audited by the host state
at any time, and that if questionable money management is revealed, criminal
charges can result.
system you describe is obviously legal in your state, but letting some players
allegedly play for free while others foot the bill must certainly be a
us posted on the status of the fraud and theft charges that you say are
pending. I’m sure readers will be very interested in the outcome.—Aunt Bingo
Dear Aunt Bingo:
made a fool of myself at Bingo by calling a Bingo before I had all the numbers.
played in a long time but assumed it was easy from my experience playing as a
child and went to my church’s Bingo to try it out.
fine until they played a letter “I” game which I assumed was five-in-a-row in
any direction. It wasn’t clear to me that it was five-in-a-row plus four
additional numbers that crossed at the top and the bottom of the “I.” So, I got
five in a row, called Bingo, it was announced to the entire room that I had
messed up, the worker explained the mistake to me like I was 5 years old, and I
got a lot of disapproving looks from the players sitting near me. I could have
It would be
nice to go to Bingo again, but I don’t want to make another mistake. Any
Dumbell in Ohio
Dear Reader (I am not going to call you
Here are a
few suggestions for you:
and search for sites that have a collection of Bingo patterns and get familiar
with them. There are hundreds of patterns in use so don’t expect to memorize
them all. But it will be a good introduction for you.
also ask a hall worker if he or she can provide you with a sheet of patterns
that the hall uses. They may or may not have one, but it is worth asking and
having next to you when a pattern is being played
experienced Bingo players are more than happy to show a novice the ropes. On
your next Bingo outing, look around for someone who appears friendly, sit at
their table and explain that you are new and would they mind if you asked
questions if you don’t understand something.
also mention this to a Bingo worker. If the worker isn’t otherwise assigned, he
or she can stand near you to answer a question should something come up.
Don’t worry about your calling error; it happens to the best of us. Just
hang in there and you’ll become a Bingo pro in no time. —Aunt Bingo
your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527,
Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at STENGL456@aol.com. Be sure to
include your name and address (you can request that your name not be
published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her