Do That / It's Culture

12 things to know before you binGO

If you’ve lived in Houston (especially the Heights) for a while, you’ve probably heard of Bingo in the Heights. If you haven’t, you’re probably thinking WTF, I’m not in a senior assisted living center? Yes, we get it. Bingo is for old people and if you say you’re going, your parents will probably make fun of you in a sort of Freaky Friday-like way. But, it’s so fun and Mom and Dad are missing out.
Lodge 88 
1435 Beall St.
Houston, TX

Here’s everything you need to know before you binGO.

1. Check your local listings.

One does not simply walk into Bingo in the Heights. Check to see if bingo is in session. First of all, it only happens Thursdays. Plus, to a lot of people’s despair, it breaks for holidays.

2. Cash is king.

Dollar bills or GTFO. Boards are $5 (you need one one per night) and has six bingos per game. Markers are $1. One of my friends left me her board and it was A LOT of work to scour all 12 boards. Also, beer pitchers are $7 and popcorn is $1.
There’s an ATM for the poor planners, and winners get cash prizes. Each game is $100 to $600. (Multiple winners split).

3. Bring booze.

It’s misleadingly BYOB, because beer is forbidden. Liquor and wine is fair game, but you can’t bring in soda or juice. Basically, you can’t bring in stuff they sell.

4. Bring snacks.

We ordered pizza to the place (and tons of other people had this idea too). You can also bring chips for later (you know, for the drunk munchies).

5. Stay a while.

The game runs until like 10:30 or so, so don’t make any plans for after (unless after is the plan to the bars).

6. Pre-game.

Not that kind of pre-game. There’s a game before regular bingo that starts at 7. The board is separate and costs extra, but definitely do it. Otherwise you’re sitting there v anxious to play, although I learned how it works by watching this game (have to admit , I had forgotten the rules to bingo). The real game starts at 7:30.

7. Have a seat saver.

It’s hit or miss if bingo night is half empty or standing room only. Chances are, you need to go early. We had a brave soul get there just after 5 to save a bunch of seats. If you do have this beautiful person in your group, tell them to get as close to the front as possible. Also, doors open at 5:15 but you GOTTA get there before like 6:30.

8. “Boo, you winner.”

It’s intense, and if you call a bingo, everyone hates you. You will get booed by everyone (but your friends I hope!). And, if your bingo was wrong, you will get laughed at.

9. Bring a date. Or everyone you know.

We decided this would be a great first or second date because there’s an opportunity to talk and drink and stuff, but you can focus on something. Plus it’s cheap! And who knows, you could get lucky!
Not on a hot date? Bring a huge group! It’s definitely a the-more-the-merrier kind of thing.

10. Park with care.

There’s a lot of parking in the main lot, the lot across the street and in the residential area. But, be warned, if you park anywhere blocking the driveway, your car will be called out by the announcer (then probably towed). Like five car license plates were called out over and over again.

11. The announcer is BAE.

He has this great accent and it literally sounds like Cleveland from family guy. Tbd if he voiced that character. He says “m” for “n” and also uses bingo lingo. For instance, B11 is skinny legs I think. And most rhyme, like I29 rise and shine.

12. Every game is different.

Most are regular bingos (5 in a row or all 4 corners). A couple will be blackout (the cash prize is higher for this one). There’s also special patterns (like an arrow or small picture frame, which is a small inner square). Be REALLY careful on this and make sure you know what you’re trying for. Don’t be that guy who says bingo for diagonal line when it’s a cover all game.

2 thoughts on “12 things to know before you binGO

  1. Pingback: A Few of Our Favorite Things: December | It's Not Hou It's Me | Houston Lifestyle, Food and Culture Blog

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