Bingo Terms - The Complete Bingo Glossary
Bingo is an extraordinarily social game involving a lot of chatter and interaction with other players. One of the best ways to be able to keep up with conversation is by understanding and knowing the main bingo terms. However if you want to learn more about the game read through our bingo game guide for an overview, of if you want to learn about the game in a more in depth way you can access our bingo rules article. If you're feeling confident about how to play, we have also listed and explained the more popular to the more obscure bingo terms in this glossary below so you will never have to feel left out of conversation in the bingo hall or in the chat room online.
30-ball bingo: A smaller and quicker bingo variation played on a 3x3 card where a blackout pattern is the only way to win bingo; it’s also sometimes referred to as speed bingo.
75-ball bingo: The most popular bingo variation which is played throughout the United States and Canada. It is played on a 5x5 grid with numbers that range from 1-75 marked on the bingo card, with a free space in the center of the card. The word ‘BINGO’ is marked at the top of the card, with a letter marking each column.
80-ball bingo: This bingo variation can be found more in online casinos than in a bingo hall. The bingo card is a 4x4 square with numbers that can range from 1-80 marked on it.
90-ball bingo: The most popular bingo variation played in the UK and Australia. The bingo card consists of 9 columns and 3 rows, with numbers that range from 1-90 marked on the bingo card.
Admission Pack: In some bingo halls and casinos there is a minimum requirement of cards to purchase per bingo session. How many cards come in the pack will vary but it’s normally three to six cards. This is also the entry into special bingo games.
After Games: A bingo game which commences after a regular bingo session. This doesn’t apply to online casinos as you can play at any time.
Any way: This is a term which refers to how a bingo pattern can be won. When you have an ‘any way’ bingo pattern that pattern can be won not only right side up but also upside down, turned to the left, or turned to the right.
Auto Daub: When you play online you can choose to have your numbers crossed off automatically for you by the casino software which is called the auto daub function. Players can leave their computers or phone and the game will proceed with their cards in play when the auto daub function is switched on.
Beano: This was the first name for bingo when it was played by children in county fairs in the United States. Beans were used to cross off the number and ‘beano’ was called out when a line was achieved.
Bingo: The modern name of the game which came from the word ‘beano’. Today when you play bingo in the bingo hall, with friends, or in a casino you call out ‘Bingo!’ when you achieve a winning line or pattern, and before the next number is called out.
Bingo Board: When you play bingo in a bingo hall, the last number called out will be shown on a display board called the bingo board. This allows everyone to see the number in case they couldn’t hear it or missed it when it was called out.
Bingo Booklet: If you want to buy a large amount of bingo cards it is more cost effective to buy a booklet, which is a group of cards that you can purchase at a lower cost than if you were buying the same amount of cards separately.
Bingo Card: The marked surface, normally on a piece of paper or cardboard in a bingo hall, where players mark off numbers to form a winning pattern. In 75-ball bingo the card has 5 rows and 5 columns, with a letter at the top of each column spelling out ‘B-I-N-G-O’. There is one free space in the center of the card.
Bingo Marker: The pen used to cross the numbers on the bingo card. Also called a ‘dauber’.
Bingo Ticket: A series of bingo cards which contain all numbers between them – all 75 numbers for 75-ball bingo, 80 numbers for 80-ball bingo, 90 numbers for 90-ball bingo and 30 numbers for 30-ball bingers. Some winning patterns go across a bingo ticket, normally to win a progressive jackpot.
Blackout: A winning bingo pattern in which a player has to mark off every number on the bingo card. Also called ‘coverall’.
Bonanza Bingo: A progressive jackpot ‘blackout’ version of bingo. Depending on the bingo hall 45to 48 numbers are called and marked on the cards. If there is no winner after they call out 48 numbers, the amount of numbers drawn will increase daily until there is a winner. In other casinos or halls they continue drawing until someone wins.
Buy-in: Buying bingo cards in order to start playing.
Caller: The person who will call out the number appearing on the ball as they are drawn throughout the game at the bingo hall.
Card: Same as Bingo Card.
Cash Ball: A progressive jackpot ball which is won by achieving a bingo pattern at the time that the jackpot ball number is drawn.
Chat Comps: These are competitions found directly within the chat rooms of an online bingo casino where players can win additional prizes.
Chat Games: Games that are played within the chat room – separate from the main bingo game occurring at the online casino.
Chat Lingo: Shortened words which are used within the chat room amongst players.
Chat Monitor: The person or entity in charge of monitoring the conversations within the chat rooms and for announcing games and competitions.
Chat Room: In online bingo casinos the chat room is the online space provided for players to interact with each other in an informal way whilst the game is proceeding. This imitates the social part of live bingo which it is famous for.
Consolation Prize: When there is no bingo winner a consolation prize which is less in value than the original prize is given during special games.
Coverall: A winning bingo pattern which requires players to mark off every number on their bingo card. In 30-ball bingo this is the only winning pattern available. Also called ‘blackout’.
Dauber: A particular marker which is normally of ink with a foam tip used by players to mark off numbers called on the bingo card.
Deposits: Money that online casino players put into their online bingo account in order to buy bingo cards and packs.
Diagonal: A winning bingo line where numbers are marked off from corner to corner in a diagonal line.
Diamond: A winning bingo pattern where numbers are marked off in the shape of a diamond with the diamond points being in the center square on all four sides of the card.
Early Bird Bingo: Bingo games which are played before the regular bingo session.
Face: An individual 5x5 bingo card with 24 numbers and a single free space in the middle of the square. Also known as a bingo card.
Fair and Square: A bingo variation where all players have the same amount of tickets in order to make the game fair and equal amongst all players without particular players have the advantage of having more tickets than the rest.
Flimsies: Bingo cards that are printing in groups of three, six or nine on a sheet of wafer thin paper. Also known as ‘Throwaways’. They tend to be cheaper to purchase than regular bingo cards due to the material used for printing.
Four Corners: A winning bingo pattern in which players have to mark off the numbers in each of the four corners of the bingo card.
Free Bingo: A bingo game found in online casinos free of charge where players are able to play without depositing any money. This can be used to practice before paying for bingo cards in an online bingo casino.
Free Space: The square in the middle of a bingo card which has no number on it. The free space is on all bingo cards.
Full House: This is the term for when a player has crossed off every single number on their bingo card – also called ‘blackout’ and ‘coverall’.
G.T.I.: The acronym for GameTech Inc. – the company who made the electronic dauber system called T.E.D that allows players to purchase multiple cards and have them daubed automatically when playing online bingo. .
Game Board: Normally part of the bingo board – an electronic board in a bingo hall which shows the winning patterns valid during a bingo game.
Game Room: In order to control the amount of players playing in a bingo game session online the players are divided into separate game rooms.
Hard Card: These are older, more traditional bingo cards that have shutters over the numbers which players shut to cover the number instead of crossing it off. It’s quite rare to find these as most bingo halls are now using flimsies or players are playing online.
Hardway Bingo: Any winning bingo pattern in which players are not allowed to make use of the free space on the bingo card in order to achieve it.
House: Another way of referring to a casino or gambling facility, including the bingo hall.
Inlaid Cards: Bingo cards that have been built into the table you play on, instead of being sold as cards or tickets on paper.
Instant Bingo: A ticket you can easily break open or that comes in the form of a scratch card. Winning instant bingo cards will have a complete pattern underneath.
Jackpot: A larger than normal prize payout awarded for achieving more difficult patterns such as those that go across a bingo ticket, or a blackout pattern with a specific amount of balls. The pattern must be achieved with a pre-determined amount of bingo balls.
Late Night Bingo: Bingo sessions that start very late at night in a casino or bingo hall and are played until the very early hours of the morning.
Lights Out: The final bingo game in a live casino or hall before they close.
Main Stage Bingo: The main bingo game in a casino or hall when there are numerous bingo sessions in play at the same time.
Maximum Tickets: The maximum amount of cards you can purchase in a single bingo game, which changes from casino to casino.
Minimum Buy-In: The minimum about of tickets you can buy in a single bingo session. Same as ‘admission’.
Money Ball: A number which a player draws before the game starts which doubles a players winning money if the player calls bingo on the money ball number.
Moonlight Bingo: The last bingo game of the night which starts very late at night. Same as ‘Late Night Bingo’.
Multiple Winners: When two or more players call out bingo at the same time and the prize money has to be split amongst the players equally.
Nine-Pack: A popular winning pattern that requires players to mark off nine numbers on the bingo card in the shape of a block.
On: A bingo player is ‘on’ when there is only one more number left to mark off before calling bingo.
On The Way: When a bingo card is used to play a game for a winning pattern before a blackout bingo game is played on the same card. First a winning pattern is won, and then more numbers are called until a player wins with a blackout.
Online Bingo: With developments in technology it is now possible to play bingo using a computer or mobile device instead of going to the bingo hall to play. When you play online all you will need is an internet connection, the device, and an account with an online bingo casino. Online bingo players interact with each other using the bingo chat function, can play on multiple cards simultaneously, and can choose to have their cards daubed automatically.
Pattern: A pre-determined shape or line that bingo players need to mark on their bingo cards as the numbers are announced by the caller. There are countless bingo patterns, the more common ones being a vertical, diagonal or horizontal line, or in shapes such as a diamond or letters.
Payout: The money players receive when they win at bingo once the bingo hall commission has already been deducted.
Postage Stamp: A winning bingo pattern where players have to mark off four numbers in a 2x2 square in one of the four corners on the bingo card.
Pre-paid Bingo: This term is used in online bingo for when players buy cards and select the auto-daub function, meaning the player does not have to be online in order to play as the game will run and mark the player’s cards automatically on the online casino site.
Progressive Jackpot: A jackpot that is on-going throughout multiple games, and which keeps increasing when it is not won in a single game. There is normally a limit of number calls in a game that determines whether the progressive jackpot will be rolled over to the next game. In some progressive jackpot variations the number of calls will increase in the next game instead of the progressive jackpot amount.
Quickie (Blowout): A blackout bingo games where the numbers are called out a lot faster than usual, requiring players to look for the numbers on their card in a very speedy fashion in order to avoid missing a number or missing the opportunity to call out bingo.
RNG: Acronym used for a Random Number Generator - software used to pick out numbers in a random way in online casinos.
Serial Number: The number you will find on every set of bingo tickets and cards that are printed. The serial number is the same on a set of tickets and will have a minimum of five numbers.
Series: The number of individual cards within a set of bingo cards. If the series number is 5000, the set of cards will have 5000 unique cards.
Session: A whole program of bingo games in a day and night. Different variations of bingo games can be played within a session at different times.
Sheet: The paper or cardboard with the bingo grid printed on it, and numbers in each individual square. A sheet can have multiple bingo cards printed on it.
Shutter Board: Hand-held traditional bingo cards, normally made of plastic, with numbers marked permanently on them. They have shutters which cover the number instead of the player having to cross it off with a marker. Also called a ‘Hard Card’.
Side Games: Other games that bingo players can play online while the main bingo game is in action, such as those offered within the chat room and other games within the online casino such as slots or blackjack.
Special: A bingo game played on separate cards and at an extra cost than the regular admission cards for the main bingo games. Special games can also offer special prizes and/or a progressive jackpot.
Speed Bingo: A very fast version of bingo where the bingo numbers are called out very quickly after each other. Also called a ‘Quickie’.
Split Pot: When the winner of a bingo game splits the winnings with the bingo hall.
T.E.D.: An electronic dauber that automatically marks off bingo numbers on player’s bingo cards when they play bingo online. This system was developed by GameTech Inc (G.T.I) and allows players to have multiple bingo cards that are being automatically daubed simultaneously.
Texas Blackout: A bingo variation similar to blackout bingo. The first number called during this game will determine whether all odd numbers on the bingo card will be Wild if the first number drawn is an odd number, or if all even numbers will be Wild if the first number drawn is an even number. Then the game aim is the same as blackout bingo to cover every single square on the bingo card.
Throwaways: Bingo cards that are printed on extremely thin paper. Also called ‘Flimsies’.
Up's: The word used to indicate how many sheets are in a ticket book for a bingo session. If the book is 10 Up then the ticket book has 10 separate pages, also called sheets.
Warm Up: Bingo games played before the start of the main bingo session.
Wild Number: A wild number is normally the first number drawn in a game, when it is a double-digit figure the second number will be the wild number. For example if the number 27 is drawn, the number 7 would be the wild number. Any numbers that players have on the bingo card that have the wild number can be crossed off. If the wild number is 7 then 7,17,27,37,47,etc. can all be crossed off.
Withdrawals: Money taken out of online casinos that a player has won by playing a game online.
Wrap up: The last game of a bingo session.
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