Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bingo at the Napoleon Room

A couple of weeks ago, Kirk and Lisa asked us if we wanted to go play Bingo with them at the Napoleon Room.  I was still too wiped out from the Alaska trip to go then, but I was open to a time later on.  Tonight was the night.  I don't remember if I had ever played Bingo outside of school or at a kid's party.  It was interesting to say the least.

When we arrived at the Napoleon Room, I had to crack up at the sign.  Where else but in New Orleans would you find a picture of Napoleon with a Bingo card?  We sat in the parking lot and waited for Kirk and Lisa.  We watched some of the other players entering the building and wondered if we would be the youngest ones there by several decades.  It turns out that we weren't.  It was just that the early ones got the best picks of seats and we were all about that too.  I felt like such a noob.  All around us were players with multiple colored Bingo dobbers, special buckets for keeping their Bingo paraphernalia organized, and some even had computers that looked like calculators.  I was out of my element.  I am glad I didn't pull out my stash of pennies to use as markers.  That would have outed me for sure.  Kirk and Lisa had played a couple of times before and were happy to fill us in on the way of the game. The guys went to the counter and bought us all a 10 game pack, a couple of bonus game sheets and a dobber. I looked around and saw the regulars marking spots on their sheets before the games had started. I knew about the free square, but these were being marked in lots of other places too. I knew then I needed to pay attention. Before the games started, people walked around the room selling pull tab games. Kirk bought a bunch and Lisa and I started pulling off the tops looking for a winner. Lisa found a lot that were winners of some sort. I found only one. It was a portent of things to come.

As you can see I wasn't a winner at Bingo this night.  It was a lot of fun though and I never knew there were so many different versions of the game.  Some games were traditional Bingo, some were Bingos where you had to make an X on the card, some were Bingos where all of the numbers around the edges had to be marked. There were several other versions too.  It dawned on me what the regulars players were doing by marking their cards before the games.   They looked at the Bingo game sheet that listed what games were played in what order and then they marked their boards to black out those squares that were not played in the non-traditional games.  That way they could follow a lot of cards at once more effectively.  Genius.  We had to ask a little old lady a couple of times what were there rules of a game or two, but for the most part Phillip and I were able to keep up.  Next time we go back I will need to find a special Bingo outfit, because I was definitely was under dressed by some measures...