If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you will know that I love to play bingo in my spare time.
I have many fond memories of bingo either playing with family or even back in college when I was our fraternity’s social chair and set up bingo nights with other sororities. When tossing out the idea of a bingo night, there were many odd stares and confused looks. But when everybody went, everyone had a lot of fun. My friends and I also used to set up bingo nights where we’d go meet up and play.
Bingo also makes for a great date night. Years ago, I asked a girl to go on a date to play bingo. Fast-forward and here we are with a beautiful little girl.
When it comes to bingo, there aren’t many options in Wichita. The most popular one in town is Bingo Casino. They have three locations that have bingo seven days a week: 540 N West St., 1211 E 47th St., and 2431 E Mt. Vernon. I encourage you all to follow their Facebook page.
Modern day bingo is different from what many of you may remember. There’s no more smoking and there’s even electronic bingo available using tablets.
At Bingo Casino, they start their mini-sessions at 6:30pm and the regular session at 7:30pm. Sometimes you’ll want to arrive a little early as the place can get packed quick. The mini-sessions are 15-20 quick bingo games where the session lasts for a little over an hour; each game is finished literally in minutes. I usually stick to the 7:30pm session where there are more games to play and bigger payouts.
The cost is relatively cheap to play as well. Depending on what you want to play, you can spend anywhere around $9 on up. The typical spend for me is about $20-25 when I go play unless I’m feeling frisky and want to press my luck more. Sometimes they advertise 2 for $30 days which covers the games for both the mini and regular sessions for two people for just $30.
My recommendation if it’s your first time is to start with a 9-on which runs around $9. The sheet will cover 8 different games for the evening. If you don’t have a bingo dauber, those run around $1.25 and up. I have a plethora of bingo daubers that cover all the colors of the rainbow. If anybody knows of someone wanting to sell a bingo dauber bag, let me know! I’ve wanted one for sooooooo long!
Once you purchase a 9-on pack, you can get a schedule of the games that will be played. All sorts of bingo favorites like block 9, big X, double bingo, picture frame and others are randomly played each day. You’ll notice some games call for special paper which we’ll cover later. I’ve also included an example of what the mini-session looks like.
The “special paper” games listed on the schedule refer to additional games such as Megas, Quiks and Bonanza which cost $1-2 and have even bigger jackpots that run $1000 or more. They are your basic blackout games where you need to have all your numbers called to win. The Mega and Quik games are progressive jackpots meaning the prize pool increases each day someone doesn’t win.
Other games such as speedball or double dab are also offered during the regular session. The more games you buy the more it adds up obviously but it also increases your chances to win. I’m the sucker who buys EVERYTHING!
It doesn’t end there yet. There’s also extra games such as pull tabs which cost $1 each. They are little mini-games that are played during the regular session. You buy a card for a dollar and pull the back tab off which reveal five numbers (or sometimes free spaces if you’re lucky unlike me). Then it’s played like regular bingo. There are multiple different pull tab games offered throughout the evening. I buy them all the time even though I have never ever won in all my years of playing. My odds of winning a pull tab are probably worse than the actual lottery.
It does not end there! If you want more bingo sheets but don’t have the hands to mark everything, you can purchase additional bingo sheets that are displayed on a tablet. It’s all handled electronically and buzzes if you hit a bingo. I think my tablets are always broken because it never buzzes.
If you get hungry or thirsty, they have you covered there too!
On our most recent date night, we ordered a chili dog, burger and a pretzel.
I’m going to be completely honest with you. The food isn’t all that memorable but when you’re hungry, you’re hungry and have to eat. They do run food specials throughout the week to make it even more affordable.
Usually, the regular session will end around 10-10:30pm. For those wondering if kids can come, the rule on their website says you have to be 18 to play. In the COVID-era, they do have capacity in the bingo hall. I’ve seen them hit capacity before and turn away players so get there early!
While bingo certainly draws an older crowd, I’ve seen plenty of younger people start to play. Don’t give in to the stereotypes about bingo. It’s actually quite fun and can be enjoyed if you’re under the age of 85. Perhaps your luck can help you hit some big bingo payouts. If not a big bingo payout, perhaps a baby a couple of years down the road.
Have something fun to do in Wichita that would be worth us coming out to write about? Let us know simply by e-mailing us with your information. We are always open to suggestions.
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