Inside Your Bingo
Russ Jensen

Some time back, an article of mine appeared in The Coin Slot describing the history and characteristics of the so called "bingo" or "in-line" multiple coin pinball machines. These games are by far the most complex of any electro-mechanical game ever devised. The circuitry of these machines was evolved from that of the bingo's predecessor, the one-ball horse race machines, early versions of which had been around since the mid 'thirties. Later model bingos, however, were far more complex than their early ancestors.

Many of you who owned or operated one of these games, I am sure, have often wondered how these machines perform the functions they do. They even seem to have a mind of their own when it comes to giving you the extra advantages you seek with the deposit of additional coins. Also, the curious clicking sounds made by bingos, even after play is complete, seems mysterious to those uninitiated in bingo mechanics. This article will describe the important components of these fascinating games and briefly describe the major functions of each. No attempt will be made to delve into actual circuitry, although this type of information could be provided in future articles if enough reader interest is expressed.

The functions and components described will be typical of most Bally bingos made in the mid to late 'fifties. Bingos made by United (the other major manufacturer of these machines) and later model machines however, have similar circuitry, and the following discussion should apply, at least in general, to those machines also.

Comments added to Russ's original article are denoted by [this font]. All images and image captions are not from Russ's original text.