I came across an article the other day on a well-known online bingo site, that had me spluttering and spitting feathers. It seemed to say that at live/land-based Bingo games, the management, including the Bingo Callers, all try to favour the regular and experienced players at the expense of newcomers.
Now as an ex-Bingo Caller, I have a lot of time for both online and live games. I have had a lot of fun both online, chatting with fellow players in the chat rooms, and live, where we can talk eye to eye and shake hands or embrace. But it never occurred to me that there might be bias in live games, intentional or otherwise, against newer or occasional players.
That’s not to say there is a learning curve for new players. That curve, I think, is a lot gentler for those venturing online. There is a wealth of information, tips and wrinkles, players and administration people, chat room hosts and moderators, and 24 hour help lines to make you feel comfortable and welcome and learn the ropes.
It was more challenging for me when I started playing as a relative “newbie”- new player- at live Bingo events in the 1970s. But I never detected any prejudice against new players, they were generally warmly welcomed. Ok, you had to know the basics, but if you went with a friend, that could take less than 10 minutes to learn these! And as for the so called 10 Commandments of Bingo (see other articles), well that was all mostly common sense and good etiquette for any sporting, gaming or social event!
The only newbies who were frowned upon were treated the same as any experienced players who broke the “rules” or Commandments. That would usually be because they were drunk, noisy, foul-mouthed, or in some other way distracting players. I have no sympathy for any players, new or experienced, who spoil other people’s enjoyment of the game we all love!
This article alleged that as soon as any new player was detected, the Caller would speed up his call of numbers to try to make them miss daubing them. Also that out-of-date daubers would be given to new players so that they didn’t mark properly. and that they were ushered to the far corners of the Bingo Hall where it was more difficult to hear the numbers, see the screen, and feel part of the proceedings.
I just don’t believe any of that. Bingo is 99.9% played by nice people who want to attract and welcome people to the game they love. The more the merrier and the more we can spread the Bingo gospel.
So newbies, come on down to live or online Bingo. You are welcome!