How Music and Sound Effects Add to a Bingo Players Experience

The beginnings

Bingo is a game luck in which the player has a card containing a grid of numbers. As the game progresses, the player marks off the numbers on their card as they are called at random using a marker or a tile. If the player marks an entire row on their card, they call “Bingo!” to win.

In the US, there is evidence of bingo being played since the 1920’s. However, the game is likely to have originated in Europe. The first bingo type games were probably played in Italy, where in was known as tombola or lotto, France and also Germany, where it was also implemented as an educational tool to aid the teaching of mathematics.


Growth and decline

Bingo was often associated with church groups in the US. It was usually played for fundraisers and modest prizes, which were not always monetary. In Britain, bingo began to sweep the nation in the 1960’s and bingo halls quickly began springing up everywhere. They occupied cinemas and theatres in cities and towns throughout the country. Later, the game spread to holiday camps, travelling fairs and seaside fairgrounds, the latter of which you can still find active bingo halls to this day.

It became a widespread form of entertainment for all adults, from young men and women to grandparents. However, it was not just about winning money, people embraced and enjoyed the social aspect of playing bingo in the local community too, as well as the chance to win some money too.

From bingo halls to online

However, the popularity was not to last and despite remaining a beloved game, the crowds congregating in bingo halls gradually being declining during the 1990’s. This also coincided with the greater use of the internet at home as a form of entertainment. When bingo games began to appear online in the mid to late 1990’s, creators were determined to find ways to replace the sense of atmosphere and fun offered by the bingo hall to the single player enjoying the pastime at home. Nowadays, we can confirm that this game has adapted to  technology in a stunning way. The experience online players receive is amazing, playing from the comfort of their homes, with a huge variety of games and receiving online bingo offers with great promotions.

How did they managed to do this gaming experience so complete? Well, with great visual effect and through the clever use of music, sound effects and voice overs.

Importance of music

Music is an important tool used to evoke emotion and build atmosphere. A song is a medium of storytelling, likewise the score of a film can add to the feeling of tension or suspense.

Music is memorable, sound and rhythm make up a part of our everyday lives. Consider your favourite jingle from a tv advertisement or catchy theme tune to your favourite game show.

Creators of online games realise the importance of tapping into this sense in order to make a lasting connection with the user. By utilising the power of music, they are able offer a fully immersive experience to the player.

Sound designers know music cannot overpower, but rather it should be a subtle feature created in a manner to complement the experience. Therefore, music in a bingo game complements the story occurring on screen. It can also offer a sense of familiarity which players find comforting, making the experience more enjoyable.

Music needs to be cleverly chosen, and off good quality. The score to a game should not be too repetitive so as to be irritating. Likewise, music with lyrics is rarely, if ever, used. This would only serve to interrupt and disturb the game.  If the music is annoying or distracting the players focus will be taken away from the play.

Gone are the days of monotonous and repetitive tunes, now the music behind games can incorporate the full orchestra.

Use of sound effects

In addition to music, the use of sounds effects can have a great impact on a game of bingo. Sounds effects act as signals for narrative development, reinforce the actions of the player and overall match what is occurring on the screen.

They can signal a positive or negative result. For example, the sound of coins dropping signifies success. On the other hand, the sound of a horn can marks a loss or a need to try again. Whereas, a ticking clock can add pressure. But great games always avoid sudden or startling sounds which could shock the player and turn them off playing the game.

All sound effects used in bingo games allow the player to place themselves right in the action of the game and give an understanding to how it is progressing.

Entertaining voice overs

The joy of bingo has always been its entertainment value. The job of the caller in bingo is not only to call out the numbers but to amuse the crowd. The person holding the microphone had to be a skilful entertainer in order to capture the attention and engagement of the public.

The caller did this through the use of traditional bingo rhymes called aloud alongside the numbers. Some notable examples include; “number 11 – legs eleven”, “sweet 16 and never been kissed”, “46, up to tricks”, “58, make them wait”. In a large bingo hall these rhymes served several functions. Firstly, they helped to avoid any confusion between similarly sounding numbers. Secondly, they provided a certain pace to the game. Finally, while these rhymes can vary greatly from region to region, from the innocent to the tongue in cheek, they were a way to garner a chuckle or two from the eagerly awaiting public.

So synonymous have these rhymes become with the game of bingo that some online bingo games have included them. Using professional voice artists to enhance the game and provide an experience more similar to that the player would have in person.


Whilst the move from bingo halls to online means the game has become less of a social occasion. The clever use of music, sound effects and voice overs mean that the true essence of this treasured game has not be lost, allowing players to continue to enjoy and relish in the enjoyment.


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