Bingo concepts – a comprehensive glossary
Bingo is an incredibly social game that involves a lot of chatter and interaction with other players. One of the best ways to keep up with the conversation is to know and understand the main terms used in bingo. We have listed and explained the most popular to the more obscure bingo concepts, so you never have to feel outside the conversation in the bingo hall or in the online chat room.
30-Ball Bingo: A smaller and faster bingo variant played on a card with 3×3 squares where a blackout pattern is the only opportunity to get bingo; it is sometimes referred to as ‘speed’ bingo.
75-Ball Bingo: The most popular bingo variant played throughout the United States and Canada. It is played on a card with 5×5 squares containing numbers ranging from 1-75, with a free square in the middle. The word ‘BINGO’ is printed at the top of the card, where one letter marks each column.
80-Ball Bingo: This bingo variant is found more in online casinos than in bingo halls. The bingo card is a 4×4 grid with numbers ranging from 1-80.
90-Ball Bingo: The most popular bingo variant played in the UK and Australia. The bingo card consists of 9 columns and 3 rows, with numbers ranging from 1-90.
Admission Pack: In some bingo halls and casinos, there is a minimum requirement for cards one must buy per bingo round. The number of cards included in the package will vary, but it usually consists of three to six cards. This is also the entrance to special bingo games.
After Games: A bingo game that starts after a regular bingo round. This does not apply in online casinos as you can play at any time.
Any way: This is a term that refers to how a bingo pattern can be won. When you have a bingo pattern called ‘any way’, the pattern can be won not just right side up, but also upside down or turned left or right.
Auto Daub: When playing online you can choose to have your numbers checked automatically by the casino software, called the ‘auto-daub’ feature. Players can leave their computers or phone and the game will continue with their cards active as long as the ‘daub’ feature is turned on.
Beano: This was the first name for bingo when it was played by children during trade shows in the United States. Beans were used to cross the numbers and ‘beano’ was called out when a line was obtained.
Bingo: The modern name of the game that came from the word ‘beano’. When you play in the bingo hall, with friends or in a casino today, you shout ‘Bingo’! when you achieve a winning line or winning pattern, before the next number is called out.
Bingo Board: When you play bingo in a bingo hall, the last number called out will be displayed on a screen. This lets everyone see the number in case they couldn’t hear or miss it when it was announced.
Bingo Booklet: If you want to buy a large number of bingo cards, it is most cost-effective to buy a booklet, which is a group of cards that you can buy at a lower cost than if you bought the same number separately.
Bingo Card: The printed surface, usually on a piece of paper or cardboard in a bingo hall, where players cross numbers to form a winning pattern. In 75-ball bingo, the card has 5 rows and 5 columns, with one letter at the top of each column constituting ‘BING-O’. There is a free route in the middle of the card.
Bingo Marker: The tush used to cross the numbers on the bingo card. Also called ‘dauber’ in English.
Bingo Ticket: A series of bingo cards containing 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 bingo. Some winning patterns run across a bingo pack, usually to win a progressive jackpot.
Blackout: A winning pattern in bingo where a player must check each number on the bingo card. Also called ‘coverall’ in English.
Bonanza Bingo: A blackout version of progressive jackpot bingo. Depending on the bingo hall, 45 to 48 numbers will be called out. If there is no winner after 48 numbers have been called out, the number of numbers drawn daily will increase until it becomes a winner. In other casinos or halls, they continue to attract some winners.
Buy-in: Buy bingo cards to start playing.
Caller: Exclamation. The person who will call out the number that appears on the balls as they are drawn throughout the game in the bingo hall.
Card: Card. Same as bingo cards.
Cash Ball: A progressive jackpot ball that is won by obtaining a bingo pattern until the time the jackpot ball number is drawn.
Chat Comps: These are the competitions found directly within the chat rooms of an online bingo casino where players can win extra prizes.
Chat Games: Games played within the chat room – separate from the main bingo game found at the online casino.
Chat Lingo: Abbreviated words used within the chat room among players.
Chat Monitor: The person in charge of keeping an eye on the conversations within the chat room and announcing games and contests.
Chat Room: In online bingo casinos, the chat room is provided to players so that they can talk to each other informally while the game is in progress. This imitates the social part of live bingo for which it is famous.
Consolation Prize: When there are no bingo winners, a consolation prize of lesser value will be given during special games.
Coverall: A winning pattern in bingo that requires players to check each number on their bingo cards. In 30-ball bingo, this is the only winning pattern available. Also called ‘blackout’.
Dauber: A special ink cartridge that usually has foam tip and ink, and is used by players to cross out numbers on the bingo card that have been announced.
Deposits: Deposits. Money that online casino players deposit into their online bingo accounts to buy bingo cards and packages.
Diagonal: A winning line in bingo where numbers are crossed from corner to corner in a diagonal line.
Diamond: Diamond. A winning bingo pattern where numbers are intersected in the form of a diamond with the diamond points in the squares located in the center of all four sides of the card.
Early Bird Bingo: Bingo games played before the regular bingo session.
Face: An individual 5×5 bingo card with 24 numbers and a single free square in the middle of the square. Also known as a bingo card.
Fair and Square: A bingo variant where all players have the same number of cards to make the game the same for all players without some having the advantage of having more cards than others.
Flimsies: Bingo cards printed in groups of three, six or nine on very thin paper. Also known as ‘throwaways’. They tend to be cheaper to buy than regular bingo cards because of the material used for printing.
Four Corners: Four Corners. A winning pattern in bingo where players must cross the numbers in each of the four corners of the bingo card.
Free Bingo: Free bingo. A bingo game found in free online casinos where players can play without depositing money. This can be used as a practice before paying for bingo cards in a bingo casino online.
Free Space: Free route. The route in the middle of the bingo card that has no numbers. The free route is found on all bingo cards.
Full House: Full house. This is the term used when a player has crossed every single number on his bingo card – also called ‘blackout’ or ‘coverall’.
GTI: The acronym for GameTech Inc. – the company that created the electronic check system called TED, which allows players to buy more cards and have them ticked off automatically while playing online bingo.
Game Board: Game screen. Usually part of the bingo screen – an electronic screen in a bingo hall that shows the winning patterns that apply during a bingo game.
Game Room: In order to control the number of players playing in a web bingo session, players are divided into separate games rooms.
Hard Card: These are older, more traditional bingo cards that have a lid on the numbers that players can close to hide the number instead of ticking it off. They are quite rare to find since most bingo halls now use tickets or players playing online.
Hardway Bingo: Any winning pattern in bingo where players are not allowed to use the free route on the bingo card to achieve it.
House: House. Another way to refer to casino or gambling buildings, including the bingo hall.
Inlaid Cards: Bingo cards that are integrated into the table you are playing on rather than being sold as cards of paper.
Instant Bingo: A card that you can easily open or that comes in the form of a scratch card. Winning bingo cards of this type have a complete pattern below.
Jackpot: A larger-than-usual payout as a reward for achieving more difficult patterns, such as those across bingo cards, or a blackout pattern with a specific number of balls. The pattern must be achieved with a predetermined number of bingo balls.
Late Night Bingo: Bingo sessions that start very late at night in a casino or bingo hall and are played until very early in the morning.
Lights Out: The last bingo game in a live casino or hall before closing.
Main Stage Bingo: The main bingo game in a casino or hall when there are several bingo sessions going on at the same time.
Maximum Tickets: The maximum number of cards you can buy in a single bingo game, which changes from casino to casino.
Minimum Buy-In: The minimum number of cards you must buy in a single bingo round. Same as ‘admission’.
Money Ball: A number that a player draws before the game starts that doubles a player’s winning money if they call out the bingo on the ‘money ball’ number.
Moonlight Bingo: The final night bingo game that starts very late. Same as ‘Late Night Bingo’.
Multiple Winners: When two or more players call out bingo at the same time and the prize money must be shared equally between the players.
Nine-Pack: A popular winning pattern that requires players to cross nine numbers on the bingo card in the form of a block.
On: A bingo player is ‘on’ when there is only one number left to tick before they can call ‘bingo’.
On The Way: When a bingo card is used to play for a winning pattern before a blackout game is played on the same card. First the winning pattern is won, then numbers are called out until a player wins with a blackout.
Online Bingo: With technology advancement, 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, you just need an internet connection, a device and an account with an online bingo casino. Online bingo players talk to each other using the bingo chat feature, they can play on multiple cards at once, and they can choose to have their cards ticked off automatically.
Pattern: A predetermined shape or line that the bingo players need to tick off on the bingo cards as the numbers are announced by the announcer. There are an infinite number of bingo patterns, the most common of which are vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines, or in shapes like a diamond or letters.
Payout: The money players receive when they win in bingo as soon as the bingo hall commission has already been deducted.
Postage Stamp: A winning pattern in bingo where players must cross four numbers in a square of 2×2 squares in one of the four corners of the bingo card.
Pre-paid Bingo: This term is used in online bingo when players purchase cards and select the ‘auto-daub’ feature, meaning that the player does not have to be online to play, as the game will run and tick the player’s cards automatically on casino side.
Progressive Jackpot: A jackpot that continues through multiple games and continues to increase when not won in a single game. There is usually a limit for number calls in a game that will determine whether the progressive jackpot will continue to the next game. In some progressive jackpot variants, the number of calls will increase in the next game instead of the amount in the progressive jackpot.
Quickie (Blowout): A blackout bingo game where numbers are called out faster than normal, requiring players to look for the numbers on their cards at fast speed to avoid missing out on a number or the ability to call out bingo.
RNG: Acronym used for Random Number Generator – software that randomly plots numbers in online casinos.
Serial Number: Serial Number. The numbers you will find on each set of printed bingo cards and individual cards. The serial number is the same on a card set and will consist of at least five numbers.
Series: The number of individual cards within a set of bingo cards. If the serial number is 5000, the card set will have 5000 unique cards.
Session: Session. An entire program of bingo games during the day and night. Different variants of bingo games can be played within a session at different times.
Sheet: The sheet or cardboard with the bingo grid printed on it and the numbers in each individual route. A sheet can have multiple bingo cards printed on it.
Side Games: Side Games. Other games that bingo players can play online while the main bingo game takes place, such as those offered within the chat room as well as other games within the online casino such as slot machines or blackjack.
Shutter Board: Handheld traditional bingo cards, usually made of plastic, with numbers permanently printed on them. They have covers that cover the number instead of the player having to cross it with a marker. Also called ‘Hard Card’.
Special: Special. A bingo game played on separate cards at an additional 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 numbers are called out very quickly in succession. Also called ‘Quickie’.
Split Pot: When the winner of a bingo game shares the winnings with the bingo hall.
TED: An electronic marker that automatically crosses the bingo numbers on a player’s bingo card when playing online bingo. This system was developed by GameTech Inc. (GTI) and allows players to have multiple bingo cards that are automatically checked at the same time.
Texas Blackout: A bingo variant similar to blackout bingo. The first number called out during this game will determine if all the 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 goal of the game is the same as in blackout bingo, to cover every single route on the bingo card.
Throwaways: Bong. Bingo cards printed on extremely thin paper. Also called ‘Flimsies’.
Up’s: The word used to indicate how many sheets are in a card book for a bingo session. If the book is ’10 up ‘, this means that the book has 10 separate pages, also called sheets.
Bingo games played before the start of the main bingo session.
A ‘wild’ number is usually the first number drawn in a game. When it is double-digit, the second number will be the wild number. For example, if the number 27 is subtracted, 7 will be the wild number. Any wild numbers that players have on the bingo card can then be checked off. If the wild number is seven, 7, 17, 27, 37, 47 etc. can be checked.
Withdrawal. Money taken out of the online casinos that a player has won by playing a game online.
The last game in a bingo session.
You can test your knowledge of Bingo at Maria Bingo.