Rules for hosting music bingo

What are the rules of Music Bingo games?

Rockstar Bingo is a fun, interactive app for hosting music bingo. Not heard of it? No worries, we’ll clue you up now. Music bingo is music trivia on a whole new level! Many ask, ‘what are the rules of music bingo?’, or ‘how do I play music bingo?’ We simply answer, there really are no strict rules other than a focus on fun. Music bingo comes with a range of options on how you host, and all work very well depending on your preferences and situation. So, just how do you play music bingo?

What matters most is what your audience want in terms of a music trivia game. The audience is the first thing to consider when you are hosting music bingo. Read on to find out a range of considerations and rules that you can implement in your music bingo game. 

Shazam or not to Shazam 

Shazam is an app which identifies a song from hearing a snippet of it play. Used in many circumstances, Shazam recognizes songs instantly. This is the reason many use it in games of music bingo. Players can easily identify songs that they do not know, or simply ensure that they recognize the song in time by using Shazam.  

Music Bingo was first played in 1958 on the game show ironically called ‘Music Bingo’ (read more about where music bingo began here). Funnily enough, Shazam didn’t exist back then. However, this does not mean that Shazam is ruled out for use in music bingo. Neither does it mean you have to let music bingo players use Shazam. 

The choice for your music bingo players to use Shazam is up to you. You could ask politely for players not to use the song identifying app before commencing your game to ensure each player gets a fair chance at winning. On the other hand, if you want to give players a chance to up their competitiveness and opt for the quickest bingo time, you may choose to enable players to use Shazam.  

A positive for Shazam is when the primary audience of your music bingo game is older, and kids are also playing. If you know that your music bingo playlist includes songs that a few members of your game may not know, it may help level the playing field.  

Teams or Solo 

This decision depends on the game that you want to create. Music bingo can be played with individual players or groups. Team music bingo can be great fun and a way of interacting with others, building teamwork, and improving collaboration. This is why music bingo is so often used for work socials (read more about this here)

Often, the aim of a work social is to improve and use communication and teamwork aspects between work colleagues. The best ways to improve communication within a workplace often take place in social and teambuilding days. Things like trivia and music bingo helps coworkers get to know each other, their music tastes, how they work in a team, how they go about working out answers and of course, how they communicate with others. This is why Rockstar Bingo works great as a work social event. 

The same goes for pub music bingo, playing within a team works great, as does a solo game. Hosting music bingo in a pub is an awesome way to generate revenue on the quieter nights or go for a big music bingo night on a Friday for example. Pubs are usually set up in a table format that works great for playing music bingo as a table of 3-5 in a pub. However, music bingo also works well playing as individuals, but still allowing players to chat between music bingo songs.  

For a fun family music bingo night at home, playing as individuals is the best way to go forward as there probably are not enough teams for a good competitive game. Playing Disney music bingo as individuals is a great family night in and highlights another great solo music bingo game example. 

One other factor to consider when deciding whether to host music bingo for teams or solo players is the number of prizes you have. If you play with teams and you have 4 winners instead of 1, you may need 4 prizes. Consider small gift cards or a free table with a drink for the following music bingo game as prizes! A solo game may mean that you can be more generous with an individual music bingo prize such as a gift card, food, or drink prize or you have a sponsor that gift prizes for your pub music bingo event. 

So, music bingo works for teams and solo games! It totally depends on how you want to structure your game, the number of prizes you have and how your players like to play!  

One Prize or More 

As we discussed above, prizes are a great consideration before hosting your music bingo game. The number of prizes depends on the number of music bingo winners that you have. The number of music bingo winners that you have ultimately depends on the numbers of music bingo games that you play. 

Here at Rockstar Bingo, we often find through hosts feedback that a game of ‘one line’ or ‘two lines’ followed by a ‘full card’ game works well. This means that you would give one prize to the winner of the ‘line’ games and then another prize to the winner of the full bingo card game.  

Luckily, you do not have to manually check the music bingo cards to see if a player has bingo – the Rockstar Bingo app validates all bingo’s automatically when the player calls bingo. This is a huge advantage when hosting music bingo with virtual cards instead of paper music bingo cards. No collecting or distributing paper music bingo cards and no checking through each song. Simply let Rockstar Bingo do the work for you!  

We suggest asking the venue if they have any prize gifts that you can use for your music bingo game or a sponsor from a business locally. It could be a great advertisement for a local business!  

Music Bingo Rules, playing virtual music bingo

Play for one target or multiple 

Rockstar Bingo has multiple targets included within all music bingo subscriptions. From an ‘X’, ‘two lines’, ‘four corners’ to ‘full card’, you can play as many different targets in a music bingo game as you wish. 

Playing multiple targets allows you to crown more bingo winners and this can be more exciting for your bingo players. Rockstar Bingo communicates the desired target clearly and when you start playing for a new target, a notification is sent to all player screens showing this. 

There is no rule in music bingo for the number of games or targets you should play, this is totally up to you as the host!  

How long should you play your songs in music bingo? How long will my game of music bingo last? 

A very good question! How long to play a song for in music bingo is a common question that we get asked. As Rockstar Bingo connects to Spotify or if you prefer to work with other media manually/offline, you are the controller of when to stop and start playing a song. 

The best way to answer this question is to think about how long you would like your music bingo game to be (this also depends on player numbers). We normally suggest playing a song for around 20 seconds. This gives people a chance to identify the song being played, but not to get bored of the song! Just as your players hear the fun part of the song, they will be thrown into another great part of another song. This is why music bingo is so much fun! If you are looking for a compact and quick game of music bingo, consider shortening any chat breaks or announcements during the music bingo game. 

However, if you wanted a super long game of music bingo, we suggest playing your songs for longer and having gaps between songs to interact with your players.  

Which part of the song should I play in music bingo? 

Choosing the part of the song that you play in your music bingo games depends on how difficult you would like your music bingo game to be.  

If you want your game to be accessible to all and to allow most people to try and identify the song, play the chorus or the best-known part of the song. With Rockstar Bingo, you can choose where you start playing a song prior to playing a game, and the song will automatically start playing there! Remember that the chorus normally reveals the name of the song.  

Take for example the song ‘Highway to Hell’ by AC/DC. The chorus blatantly gives away the name of the song, meaning that someone who has not heard of the song could still identify it on a music bingo card if they listen carefully – this makes the game easier if you play the chorus. However, if the music bingo host were to play the song from the beginning, people who know the song would get the song correct, but those who do not know the song may struggle.  

Thinking of your audience and the reaction you want to songs should answer this question! If you want a singalong fun game, play the most well-known part of the song!  

Music Bingo Rules…. 

As you have guessed from reading this blog, there really are very few rules on hosting and playing music bingo.  

Other than guessing the name of the song, dabbing your music bingo card, and only calling bingo when you believe you have a bingo, there are no set rules on hosting. 

The fluidity and creativity involved with hosting pub music bingo, work social bingo or any other variations is down to the host and their playing environment.  

Looking to host music bingo? 

What is Music Bingo?

What Next?

If you are interested in learning more about hosting music bingo or adding our platform to your event or venue, be sure to contact us!

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