The Housie

Housie is what Americans call the Bingo game Australians and British play. The main objective of the game is still to mark off numbers that have been called to accomplish a winning pattern. The difference between a Housie from a common bingo is the arrangement of numbers in the card. In Housie, there are three rows and nine columns, whereas Bingo cards are 5x5s. The first column contains number between 1 to 9; the second column, the 10 to 19; the third column, 20-29; and so forth up to the ninth column containing numbers 80 to 90. For each row, there are always four blank spaces. A column usually has one or two numbers. Three numbers in a column is a rarity.

When playing a Housie, the numbers are drawn out by a caller. It's his job to call the numbers and authenticate winning tickets. Prizes are announced by the caller before starting each game. When he announces "eyes down" that is the signal that the game has started. Drawing up numbers, the caller either uses an electronic number generator or a bag of bingo balls that he randomly picks. Players use a dabber or dauber to mark off numbers on their tickets.

The winning patterns in Housie are usually the following:

The line -a horizontal line that covers all five numbers on your ticket.

Two lines - two horizontal lines that cover ten numbers on your ticket.

A Full House - usually played as last, a full house covers all numbers of your ticket.

This form of Bingo can be played anywhere, with just a sufficient tables and chairs. In the UK, Housie is commonly play in church halls and rugby clubs. This is played by organizations for fundraising purposes, whose revenue is directed to churches, projects and sports teams. Players usually purchase a book of tickets before joining in. By average, one to six books are brought per player. It is much larger in New Zealand. A book usually holds 50 tickets, which a player can use for the entire night.

With the advancement of computers, a winner of a game gets to be checked by an auto-validate system. This system is often used in large clubs that have its own security codes. The Auto-Validate System saves everyone's time from checking every number on the ticket and so proceeds immediately with the next game. In smaller clubs that don't have this computerized system, intervals are used as raffle time. Clubs make use of Housie tickets as its own raffle ticket, which can win its own prizes.

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