What is a Blower?
‘Blower’ is the name given to a machine specifically designed to mix up and select bingo balls. The devices use forced air to push the balls into the air, so that they can be suitably mixed. A number is then selected at random and presented to the caller, who announces them to the players in the bingo hall.
A ‘Blower’ is a machine used across bingo halls and some casinos that offer the game. Its sole purpose is to randomly mix the numbered bingo balls and to distribute them to the person calling the numbers to the players.
The ‘Blower’ uses forced air to move the balls around, ensuring that they are suitably mixed before the caller announces them to the hall at large.
If ‘Blowers’ are not used, the bingo hall’s credibility may be damaged because the selection of balls may not appear to be random enough, potentially giving rise to rumours of fixing the results.
Because a bingo sheet’s numbers are spread so widely from one up to ninety, calling two many consecutive or alternate numbers may seem to be suspicious. For this reason, many establishments that offer bingo games opt to use a ‘Blower’ to diminish this risk.
Some establishments, however, do choose to omit the ‘Blower’ from their games. Instead, many of these places will choose to use a more up-to-date computerised version of the ‘Blower’, which is typically some form of software installed on a computer that randomly sifts through, selects, and presents numbers to the caller. It might be said that these systems are easier to tamper with, but the upside of these as opposed to the traditional ‘Blower’ device is that they require very little maintenance.
In fact, ‘Blowers’ were much more commonly used in years gone by, and many bingo halls and gambling establishments now do tend to favour the computerised alternative.