Bingo Patterns and Bingo Cards
Is there a relationship between bingo patterns and bingo cards? Some say there is—the number of bingo cards needed is determined by the bingo patterns being played.
The thing about bingo patterns is obvious, some experts say. There are only 75 numbers on a card, and at most 75 numbers called out in a game. With more complicated bingo patterns more numbers are needed to be called out before these patterns are completed. Thus, it would be a good idea to have more cards when complicated patterns are used. When B-1, for instance, is called out and we have only one card, we only get one marking—if our one card has B-1 on it. What if it has not? Then we're left out with nothing on the first call. And every call made without resulting to any markings on our card means time wasted in bingo. The sure way to win is to have a mark per number called out—which rarely happens. But we get the principle here alright—marking per number called out ratio is crucial.
But with two or more cards we have better chances of making markings on the cards each number called out. This way, seldom are we left idle with a zero marking. Thus, we have in our hands more cards with more possible chances of winning, especially when it's a complicated pattern we're dealing with. But with simple line patterns (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) one or a few cards would be safe. But this again depends on the total number of participants. If the number of participants come close to 75 or more, it is better to buy more cards even if we're dealing with bingo patterns as simple as corner patterns.
In some bingo games, each participant is allowed only a limited number of cards. This is especially so when the organizer of the bingo game needs to profit from it. But for cause-oriented bingo events where the prizes are donated, participants are allowed limitless number of cards. The nice thing about limited-card bingo games is that there's a fair chance of winning more. If each participant is allowed only one card, for instance, then the kind of bingo pattern involved won't matter much.
So the conclusion we can derive from all this is two-fold: bingo pattern mostly determines how many cards we need, but in a limited-card bingo, we're saved the need to consider card plurality, or how many cards we ought to have.