Since gambling of most forms is banned across large parts of China, the people there have to find other ways of entertaining themselves than by playing poker or blackjack. One of the favourite types of recreation because of this is Chinese bingo, which can take in a few variations and is enduringly popular for young and old alike. A great resource for our research has been aboutbingoonline.com.
A more traditional form of playing Chinese bingo is to take the one hundred most common Chinese characters rather than using numbers. This is quite often used as a learning exercise within schools, although it can be fun to play it outside of that environment as well – and the prizes are just as serious as they are with number bingo! Normally there are twenty-four characters on every player’s bingo card, and they of course can cross these off whenever one of them is called. This game is incredibly fun and even the best Asian casino would have a hard time beating the enjoyment that comes as a result. Just as is normal, you try to get a line, four corners, or a full house in order to make off with one of the cash prizes.
A variation of Chinese bingo that has become very popular in the West is known as keno. In keno, you choose the numbers that you want from a set of eighty, putting an ‘s’ over the ones you have picked and placing your bet with this sheet. Then a series of twenty balls are chosen from the eighty, which bounce around inside a glass or plastic ball on air currents until each one is selected at random. When the drawing is finished you may see how much money you have won according to pay tables: if you match only a handful of numbers, for example, you will get only a small amount, whereas if you manage to match all twenty numbers you will get the jackpot! The pay table varies from casino to casino, and in fact you may even find a variation within the same casino, as some offer as many as thirty different tables on which players can place a bet. It is important to choose one that suits your gambling style – go for a high jackpot but smaller payouts below that, or for a relatively small jackpot with the chance to win more at a lower level of matches? Keep a good lookout for the style that suits you.
Of course when the school kids are playing bingo they gamble for free money only, but there is also a third type of Chinese bingo that can be played in the country. This is the more familiar type that we recognise in the West, using a pre-printed ticket or selection of numbers that is chosen for us with no input on our own. Using these numbers, we must aim to cross them out one by one as they are called until we reach either a line, two lines, or a full house, using a special bingo dabber as we go if we are using the printed version. In online version the dabbing is done automatically, making it much easier to win as you only have to watch the numbers appear to know that they are marked off on your card.