The Bingo Cards
Bingo is played with game cards which have pre-printed numbers on them. The cards can be made of paper or other disposable material, and the player marks numbers called with a crayon, bingo dauber (colored water-based marker) or perhaps plastic chips. The game card is no longer valid once the game is finished and can be thrown away.
Other bingo games may use a hard “permanent” board, also with pre-printed numbers, and these game cards, typically made of cardboard or plastic, can be used by the player for multiple games. The player keeps tab of the numbers played by using removable tabs.
Some games use a fingertip or shutter card, preprinted hard cards whose plastic shutters can be shut every time a number is called. These cards are built for multiple use and eliminate the need for markers.
The standard bingo card has 25 squares arranged in five columns of five boxes each. Each square is numbered with the exception of the middle square which may be imprinted by “free” or “bingo,” and which automatically counts as a number called for all players.
The first vertical column is headed by the letter B and contains five numbers in the 1 to 15 range. The second row, under the letter I, has five numbers in the 16 – 30 range, and similarly, the third row, under the letter N, five numbers ranging from 31 – 45, the fourth row, 46 – 60 under the letter G, and finally the last column, the fifth, five numbers in the 61 – 75 range.