What are the Alternatives to Bingo?

Bingo remains one of the most popular games in the world with it’s UK following growing to exceed three million over the course of the last decade. While the proliferation of online and mobile bingo may have contributed heavily to this in last five years, it is fair to assert that the game has existed in one form or another for centuries and in fact originated on the streets of Italy in the 16th century.

Given the depth of bingo history and the cultural influence that it has had all over the world, it stands to reason that there would be a host of similar games available. These serves as viable alternatives to bingo, especially for those who like to explore and try new games. At Bingosites.net, we do occasionally like to broaden our horizon, and have a play with some of our other favourite formats!

Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia


We have already discussed how the concept behind bingo originated in Italy during the 16th century, and this was in the form of the Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia. A lottery by trade, this game emerged in the courtyards of Italy and continues to retain a popular player base to this day. Born in Florence in 1530, the game includes playing cards that are divided into three rows and nine columns, with each row consisting of five numbers and four blank squares. Interestingly, this game was developed to raise funds for public works and development, while it clearly shares the same gaming patterns as modern-day bingo.

The National Lottery


At this point, you cannot help but notice the similarities between bingo and lottery games. This is even reflected in the National Lottery of the UK, which emerged to a media fanfare during the 1990’s. While it is a little lower-key in contemporary society, it is enduringly popular and shares many of the principles associated with bingo. There are differences, however, as lottery players must pay to enter while online bingo players are often financially incentivised to join a specific site or game. There is also room for greater strategy in bingo, while players also have the opportunity to use their numeracy skills and hand-eye coordination to prosper.


Keno is an Asian version of bingo, and one that originated in China before being introduced to the Western world in the late 1800’s. It utilises cards that feature numbers one through 80, which are arranged neatly in eight rows of 10. Players then mark any 20 numbers that they wish, and once these tickets are handed in a series of 20 digits are drawn at random to determine a winner.  This game is available at most casinos, although the primary difference between this and traditional bingo is that the players have the autonomy to select the digits that feature on their game cards.

Last updated: Feb 9, 2023

Lillian Grey

183 Articles

Lillian Grey is a long time online bingo and slots player who started putting her thoughts down on digitial paper around 2008. Having been covering the industry for quite some time, she is able to spot the good from the bad when it comes to online bingo. An ever present at indsutry conferences and events, Lillian likes to meet fellow bingo enthusiasts to share stories and ideas, with maybe a glass of wine (or two) involved! When not covering the ever changing world of online bingo, she likes to read a good book and go for family walks in the forest.

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