A bingo hall will post official rules of the game and bingo players, being a friendly group for the most part, are happy to answer questions. But there are unwritten rules, or bingo etiquette, that seasoned bingo players adhere to and new bingo players would be wise to follow.
When you are at the bingo hall, here is what you need to know:
When to be quiet - Once the caller begins a game, the room quiets down quickly. Do not visit during the game. And don't repeat the numbers as you search your bingo card - it annoys other players. The quiet rule also goes for your children.
Where to sit - Lucky seats are respected. If a player asks you to move, find another seat. You may have a lucky seat of your own one day, which other players must then respect.
Where to smoke - While bingo halls are one of the last indoor places that welcome smokers, observe the signs. Smoke only in the designated smoking areas, and don't pass through a non-smoking area with a lit cigarette.
When to calm down - It's not okay to yell at the bingo caller if you are on a losing streak. Using curse words or offensive language will not do either. Jumping up for joy and yelling when you win a bingo game is also frowned upon. Bingo players enjoy and expect other players to maintain a sense of decorum during the games.
When to pay attention - It is rude to ask the person next to you to repeat the number called since the distraction might cause them to miss the next number called. Stay focused on the game.
When to call bingo - Since calling "bingo" stops the game, it is taken very seriously. Make sure you have a bingo before you call it. Falsely yelling bingo is not only rude, it's also a crime in some places.
Don't make the mistake a young man in Covington Kentucky made when he thought it would be funny to run into the bingo hall and yell "bingo." Because he would not apologize to the crowd of mainly older ladies, whom he had upset with his false bingo call, which then delayed the game, he was cited for second-degree disorderly conduct and sentenced to refrain from saying the word "bingo" for six months.
Above all, respect the bingo caller. If you can't hear or the numbers are being called too fast, it's okay to ask the caller politely to speak up or slow down. Disrespecting the bingo caller will get you in serious trouble and possibly removed from the bingo hall. Remember, while bingo is a fun game, bingo etiquette is serious business.