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Lottery and Guessing Games

Since their first appearance, lottery have been and still are the number one gambling activity for the greatest number of people the world over.  Government lotteries or government supervised lotteries are conducted today in more than 50 countries, including the Latin American countries, Ireland, England, France, West Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Russia, Poland, china, Thailand, Australia and several states in the United States.  These lotteries vary as to methods of determining winners, ticket prices, and amounts of prize awards but, essentially, they all consist of either the chance selection of tickets and numbers or the prediction and selection of the results of sporting events.
            Lotteries are ancient.  The casting of lots to divide up the land is mentioned numerous times in the Bible.  St. John, writing of the crucifixion of Jesus, mentions the prophecy concerning His garment when he says, “They said therefore among themselves.  Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which smith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots.  These things therefore the soldiers did.”
            Door prize  drawings, form of lottery, are at least a couple of thousand years old.  This type of drawing was an entertainment features of the dinner parties given by many of the Roman emperors.  Nero gave his guests presents by letting them draw for such prizes as a slave or a fashionable villa.  Helogabalus added a touch of humor by mixing among the valuable prizes such odd and worthless ones as six dead flies, several ostriches, or a dead dog.  Augustus Caesar sometimes, sold his guests tickets and gave out articles of very unequal value it was he who sponsored the first known public lottery in order to raise funds to repair the city of Rome.
            While there are myriad types of lotteries around the world, only a very few of them may properly be classes as games.  In this chapter I have selected the best known of them, in addition to several so-called “guessing games.”


The Italian parlor game of Lotto, the for runner of Bingo, is patterned after Lo Giuoco del Lotto del Italia (The Italian National Lottery), which has been in almost constant weekly operation since it began in 1530.
            The parlor game of Lotto requires a number of special Lotto cards, which contain nine vertical rows and three to five horizontal rows.  On each horizontal row five figures and four blanks appear, while the vertical  rows represent, respectively, numbers from one through ten., 11 through 20, 21 through 30, etc., to 81  through 90.  Each numbers appears in its appropriate vertical row, and no number is duplicated on a card.  As a rule, one card is issued to each player.
            There are also small balls with flattened surface or disks which are numbered from one to 90.  These  are placed in a bag or similar container and, after being thoroughly shaken,  they are withdrawn at random, one by one.  As each ball or disk is withdrawn, its number is announced and each player marks wherever that number appears on his card with a marker a grain, a bean, or a pasteboard marker.  The player first covering all the numbers in any horizontal row calls out “Lotto” and wins.  Generally, the announcer of the game, who has a chart of the numbers called, requests that the player or some observer call back the numbers, so that the announcer can make sure that lotto has in fact been made.   For an incorrect call there is no penalty.  The game just continues until there is a legal winner.  If two or more players go lotto on the same number, the prize is divided equally.
            The prize is usually a purse made up of an equal ante from all players, less the house percentage, if any, taken by the proprietor of the game.  Frequently, in games not played in the home, a player may have more than one card by contributing in full for each.

Standard Keno

Keno   is played in the same manner as Lotto except that the numbered balls are rolled one by one out of the spout of the container, called the Keno goose.  While the original Keno cards always had five horizontal rows, the modern game is generally played with three-row cards.


The modern American form of Lotto is Bingo.  Actually, it is the favorite weekly pass time of millions of American women living in cities, town, and hamlets throughout the United States, bingo, in one form or another, is played in most countries of Latin America, Europe, Africa , and Asia.
            Bingo’s great popularity is due primarily to two factors: (1) the game is simple to play, and (2) every game must produce one or more winners.  Since a series of games is usually played in one session, the game supplies hours of fun and tension.  Only a game like Bingo could produce the phenomenon of a hall full of several hundred men and women (mostly women) who seldom make a sound except for cries of jubilation or disappointment at the end of each game.
            Bingo is a weekly habit for millions of Americans.  None of the players loses a great sum.  At an average cost of $4 per session (actually, only $2 over the long run, because half of the money wagered is returned in prizes), millions of women mostly middle-aged and elderly ladies who have few, if any , outlets for their gambling urge buy hours of sociability, excitement, and fun playing a game that also provides considerable sums for worthy causes and community projects.  As it is played today.  Bingo is a form of lottery because the game calls for the sale and distribution of printed cards.  however, unlike lotteries, bingo cards cannot be purchased outside the Bingo premises; each player must be present to cover the drawn numbers on her Bingo card with markers while the game is taking place.

A typical Bingo card.

            Modern Bingo  each 25 squares in all. The letters B-I-N-G-O appear above this design, each letter above one of the vertical columns. All the squares contain numbers except the center square, which is considered a free play. The following arrangement of numbers is standard, and appears on most Bingo cards:
The first column, or vertical row, on the left under the letter B contains any five numbers from the group 1 through 15. Under I there are any five numbers from the group 16 through 30. Under N, the center vertical row, there are only four numbers from the group 31 through 45. The middle square of this row is the center square of the card, and it is either blank or bears a printed 0 or X or the words FREE PLAY. Under G in the fourth vertical row are any five numbers from the group 46 through 60, and under 0 in the fifth column are any five numbers from the group 61 through 75.
In many Bingo parlors one, two, or three Bingo cards are pasted on a larger heavy cardboard called a lapboard. This prevents the players from taking the cards home as souvenirs, and the board serves as a table. In fact, the latest Bingo innovation is the finger- tip Bingo card, which requires no markers. Slides can be moved to cover each of ‘ the card’s 25 squares.
The most popular device for selecting numbers is the Bingo bowl, often called the Bingo cage, a spherical wire-mesh cage, about 9 In inches in diameter, into which the Bingo balls are placed. It is mounted on a wooden or metal base, and has a crank- turning, ball-selecting device. There are 75 bingo balls, each of which bears one of the letters of the word "Bingo" and a number. The letter-B balls bear numbers from the one through 15 group, the letter- l balls bear numbers from the 16 through 30 group, and so on. They have the same grouping arrangement as on the cards.
When the operator turns the crank, the wire cage revolves and the players can see the balls being mixed. When he stops turning the crank, an opening at the bottom of the cage releases one ball. Another popular device for, mixing and selecting the balls is the Bingo blower, which consists of a glass enclosure into which 75 lettered and numbered Ping- Pong balls are placed. An electric air compressor sends a stream of air into the glass case, agitating and mixing the balls until one ball falls into a small pocket and then drops out of the enclosure.
An announcer, known as the caller, calls the letter and number of the released ball over the loudspeaker. If, for example, B5 is drawn, online poker players whose cards bear a 5 in the B column place a cardboard or plastic marker over it. This is called covering the number. The caller then places the drawn ball on a master board, which is often connected to an electrically operated panel that lights up the number on a large flash board so that it can be seen as well as heard. The master board is also used as a check on the drawn numbers. As soon as any player succeeds in covering five numbers in a straight line on his card, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, he shouts "Bingo!" A floorman or floorwoman goes to the player and reads the covered numbers on the player’s card aloud to the caller or a tallyman for verification. If the caller confirms that these five numbers have been drawn, the player is declared the winner of the game and receives the prize.
In many Bingo parlors the jackpot game is a two-way play. Some parlors have added three-and four-way plays, although the jackpot is the important factor. The player who first covers a straight-line combination wins a prize, but the big prize or jackpot goes to the player who first covers his entire board. This is called a coverall or blackout. If two or more players get a winning position at the same time, the prize money is divided equally.
Many Bingo parlors also feature a four- way play or round robin, in which there are four winning positions:

  1. The covering of five numbers in a straight line in any direction.
  2. The covering of the four numbers at the four corners of the card.
  3. The covering of eight numbers that surround the center "free play" square.
  4. The covering of all the numbers on the card.

Some Bingo parlors consider as winning plays the covering of two or three straight lines when they cross or intersect so as to form the letters X, V, L, H, or T. Some parlors give a double bonus for specific straight-line positions of five numbers, such as the top line, the bottom line, and so on.
Recently some Bingo operators have added an extra ball that is distinctively colored and bears no letter or number. It acts as a wild number. In some games, when this ball is drawn, a player can cover any number on his card at any time during the game; sometimes, it can be used only to cover the last number completing the winning position.
At the end of each game, after the awarding of the prize or prizes, all players clear their card or cards of markers and either retain them or exchange them for the next game. They may also purchase additional cards cheats .
Bingo operators have also created a number of special features to stimulate business, such as early-bird tickets, which are sold at a special discount to-induce players to come to the parlor early. Sometimes intermission tickets are also sold at a discount in the hope of continuing the Bingo action throughout the intermission period. There are also junior- jackpot tickets that payoff a smaller jackpot. Actually, all these specials have the same purpose: to relieve the Bingo player of more cash.
The admission ticket to a Bingo parlor usually costs from $1 to $3, and the player gets one card called an "all-night board." Additional single-game cards usually cost 25 or 50 cents each. Most players play more than one card at a time, and it is not un- common to see a player playing as many as 21 cards at once. If you think that playing 21 cards simultaneously is a relaxing way to spend an evening, just try it. I have-and you can’t relax for a second. It’s hard work, but the Bingo players love it.
Many Bingo parlors in states where Bingo is not legal have a special jackpot that must be won in a specified number of drawn ‘balls. For example, a jackpot coverall winner must be declared within the first 50 numbers drawn. If there should be no winner at one session, an additional $200 or more is added to the jackpot the following week. Jackpots of this kind, starting with $500, have been known to reach $10,000 and more before being won.
After clocking a great many Bingo players in different parts of the country, I found that in Bingo halls in New York and New Jersey, where the limit jackpot payoff is $250, the average player spends $4 per session. Some players spend as much as $7 per session very few spend as little as the $1 or $2 admission fee. An avid Bingo player from my neck of the woods summed it up this way: "A person would look awfully cheap sitting through several hours of Bingo playing with just the one admission card."
The Bingo player will be interested to learn that his chances of hitting the coverall jackpot in 55 or less drawn numbers is approximately 1 in 10,000. In a hall crowded with several hundred players, where the complete set of 3,000 Bingo cards is in use (Bingo cards are usually printed in sets of 3,000), the chances of someone hitting the jackpot coverall in 55 or less drawn numbers is approximately I in 3 (3,000 in 10,000).
Here, in tabular form, are the chances a one-card holder has of making a coverall in 50,51,52,53,54, or 55 drawn numbers:

Total number Drawn                 chances of Making a
Coverall with one card
   50 or less                     1 in 212,085
  51 or less                     1 in 112,284
52 or less                     1 in 60,458 
53 or less                     1 in 33,081
54 or less                     1 in 18,379
55 or less                      1 in 10,359

Most Bingoists take from six to ten cards at a time because this increases the odds in their favor. It does, if the price of the extra cards casino percentage is less than the price of the original admission card. If the price of the original card is $1 and the price of extra cards is 25 cents, here’s how it breaks down: Let’s say there are 300 original admission cards at $1 each, of which you have one. Your chances of winning the Bingo prize is 299 to 1. If you buy 4 extra cards at 25 cents each, you have 5 chances in 204. This is obviously better than 1 in 299; but you paid a total of $2, twice as much as your neighbor who only has one card. Therefore, to get your odds to the equivalent of your neighbor’s divide by 2. For your dollar you have 2 1/2 chances in 203 to your neighbor’s 1 in 203. However, if the price of the extra cards is the same as that for the original card, you may get more excitement with the extra card, but no better odds. Since the total prize awards for each game remain the same, whether 300 or 500 cards are sold, it is the Bingo operator who really profits when extra cards are sold.
Cheating at Bingo. As a rule, when run by charitable organizations, bingo is relatively free of the crookedness that accompanies many other forms of games. A few professional operators who run Bingo games at fair- grounds, amusement centers, and other public places are not always satisfied with their percentage take; these operators may cheat the players of the big jackpot prizes they have advertised.
It’s a simple dodge. The operators plant a confederate (house player) in the crowd who wins the big prize and later returns it, receiving only a fee for his day’s or night’s work.  He wins because he is given a couple of Bingo boards whose numbers have been recorded on a sheet of paper that the announcer keeps within view.  Sometimes identifying markers are placed near the numbers on the master board that correspond with those on the house player’s cards.  Then, as he draws the balls from the cage., the announcer miscalls one or more numbers.  If, for example, he sees that the house player needs BS and G47 to go Bingo, he pretends to read these two numbers from the next two balls drawn.  The house player shouts   “Bingo!” The announcer goes through the motions of confirming the numbers as the usher checks the players card; then the announcer nonchalantly replaces the miscalled balls in the Bingo cage.  The confederate collects the jackpot, and the other players   are none the wiser.
            Another method employed by crooked Bingo announcers to steal the jackpot is accomplished as follows:   The announcer’s confederate takes a front seat as close as possible to the announcer. Making sure that no other online poker player will be between them.  To help facilitate the scheme, the confederate plays ten or more Bingo cards.  The announcer continues drawing and calling numbers until the confederate cues him by lifting and turning his head.  This is the signal that informs the announcer that the confederate requires one number to hit the jackpot.  Once contact is made between the announcer and confederate inaudibly calls the desired number.  This is strictly a lip expression.  The announcer, accustomed to the confederate’s lip movement, gets the message and miscalls the next drawn number by calling the signaled number.  The confederate then shouts “Bingo!” and the suckers are left holding the bag.

Bingo players an protect themselves from the above methods of cheating by selecting one player to sit beside the announcer and to check the numbers on the balls as they are drawn.  A random choice of player could easily be made by having the announcer, with his back to the audience, throw out a Ping-Pong ball; the person catching it is the one to act as checker.  This checking would be necessary only when the Big Special or Big Jackpot is being played.  If you suggest this procedure to your Bingo operator, and he welcomes your recommendation, he’s honest.  If he doesn’t, then you would be wise to find yourself another Bingo parlor



Pinochle many Variations

Pinochle many Variations
Two-Handed Pinochle
Two-Handed Doubling Redoubling
Auction pinochle
Strategy at Auction
CAD found
Partnership Auction
Auction pinochle without wido Individual play
Partnership Aeroplane Pinochle
Radio Partnership Pinochle

Other Members of the Bezique Family

The Bezique Family
Rubicon bezique
Two-handed sixty-six
Two-handed piquet
Boo-Ray or BOURÉ

The Big Euchre Family

The big euchre family
Strategy of euchre
Auction euchre
Table of scoring points
Spoil five
Double hasenpfeffer
Three-card loo

The Heart Group

Heart Group
Spot Hearts
Black Widow Hearts

The All-Fours Group

All-Fours Group
Shasta Sam
Auction Pitch Joker

Banking Card Games

Banking Card Games
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Black Jack Strategy
CHEMIN DE PER must play
Baccarat Banque
Faro or farobank
Banker and broker
Red Dogs

Card craps

The Stops Games

Stops Game

Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
Alternate Skarney
Skarney Singles
Skarney Gin Doubles

Cheating at Card Games

Cheating at Card Games
Professional Card Cheats
Nullifying the Cut
The Peek
How to Shuffle Cards

Dice and their Many Games

Dice and their Many Games
The Casino Game: Bank Craps
English Hazard
Double Cameroon
Partnership Straight scarney Dice
Scarney Duplicate Jackpots
Scarney Chemin de Fer
Applying All Card Games Poker

Games Requiring Special Equipment

Hasami Shogi
Follow The Arrow

Lottery and Guessing Games

Lottery guessing game
Tossing Game
Race Horse Keno
The match Game

Glossary of Game Terms


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