Bingo Terms

Learn the most popular bingo terms using this guide. You will encounter these terms when playing real money bingo online or at a brick-and-mortar casino. It is handy to know what each bingo term means and the definition, letting players make better decisions when playing.

5 Line Bingo

A variation of bingo, mainly found online. It differs from standard bingo only because there’s no free space in the middle of the bingo card. It’s sometimes called Swedish bingo.

30 Ball Bingo

A fast-paced cover all game on a 5×5 grid. Sometimes also referred to as speed bingo.

75 Ball Bingo

The classic game in the United States. It has 75 numbers available for a draw, and players get a 5×5 grid on their bingo cards with a free space in the middle.

80 Ball Bingo

An online bingo variation where 80 balls are available in the draw and the cards have rows of 16 numbers and columns of 4.

90 Ball Bingo

A bingo variation that is most popular in the United Kingdom. There are 90 balls available in the draw in this form of bingo, and the cards have three rows and nine columns. Rows have five numbers and four blanks, and columns divide numbers up in sequential order, similarly to the traditional game.

Admission

Entering into a bingo hall to play in a game involves purchasing an admission pack. This fee is the cost of the buy-in to the game and is the admission required to play.

Admission Pack

The cards that a player must purchase to enter a bingo game are known as an admission pack. They will usually have a series of bingo cards for all the games in the current bingo session.

After Games

These are games played after the standard bingo session has concluded.

Any Way

A bingo game where patterns can go in any direction. As long as the general shape gets made, it can go side to side or upwards and downwards. If the target shape is an L, then the L could be sideways, upside down, back to front, and so on.

Ball Gate

A section in the bingo ball machine that controls the flow of the ball. It goes through the gate, out of the main area, into the runway, and eventually rolls out into the ball field, where it gets called by the bingo attendant.

Ball Lifter

The part of the bingo machine that lifts the ball up to the shooter tip.

Ball Runway

A track the ball runs down to enter the main ball field area.

Ball Shooter

A spring-loaded mechanism that pushes the ball into the ball field area of the bingo machine.

Basket Bingo

Basket prizes are awarded instead of cash in this type of bingo. Churches or community groups usually run these games.

Bingo

Bingo is the game’s name, and the term players yell out once they have completed the pattern on their game card.

Bingo Board

An electronic display board that displays all the drawn numbers in a particular round.

Bingo Booklet

A collection of bingo cards that get used during the entire session in bingo. They are typically in the order of the games played.

Bingo Card

Bingo CardA square box that contains 24 numbers printed at random with a blank square usually in the middle in the traditional form of the game. The player marks off drawn numbers on the bingo card with a marker. You’ll find there are 75 balls usually drawn in bingo. Each ball corresponds to a letter in the word bingo, which has a corresponding column on the bingo card. B is 1 to 15, I is 16 to 30, N is 31 and 45 plus the blank space, G is 46 to 60, and O is 61 to 75. This system assists in marking off numbers on the corresponding letter column on bingo cards.

Bingo Marker

The crayon or pen that players use to mark numbers on the bingo card. It’s sometimes referred to as an ink dauber. Many bingo players cherish the colors and varieties and love having their own set of ink daubers.

Blackout

Also more commonly referred to as a coverall or cover-all. It’s a bingo game where players must cover all of their numbers on a game card to win. Generally, it will take 50 to 60 drawn numbers before someone wins. Often operators will offer a jackpot prize if the blackout happens within a certain number of draws.

Blower

A device in the bingo machine that blows air to mix balls and send a winning number to the bingo caller.

Bonanza Bingo

A different game variation of the cover-all game. In bonanza bingo, 45 to 48 numbers get called before the standard bingo session. If no one wins, then an additional number is called in the next bonanza bingo session. This format happens every session until they find a winner. The prize or jackpot will often go up according to how many players have bought cards to enter this game.

Buy In

The amount a player must pay to enter a bingo game by purchasing admission or bingo cards.

Buzzword Bingo

A bingo variant where buzzwords are used instead of numbers.

Caller

The person who announces the numbers that get drawn at random from the bingo machine. This person is usually a bingo hall or casino employee.

Callers Choice

The caller chooses what the target pattern will be for the next round in the bingo session. They won’t announce what it will be until moments before the start of the game.

Cash-In Prize

A form of bingo where the prize is cash from the money received when players buy in. Usually, the total of all cash prizes in a bingo session will be substantially less than the total of all the buy-ins to ensure the operator makes money.

Cash Ball

A type of progressive jackpot in specific bingo sessions. The cash ball will be a random number drawn before the session begins. The ball, which becomes the cash ball, is then assigned the jackpot amount. If a player completes a bingo win with the cash ball, they win the cash ball jackpot on top of the usual winnings.

Consolation Prize

A lesser prize in a bingo game where none of the players win the main prize.

Coverall

See blackout above.

Dauber

Another name for a bingo marker.

Early Bird

A game that happens before the commencement of the primary bingo session. You can usually buy into it separately.

Face

The standard bingo sheet with 24 numbers and a blank free space in the middle.

Flimsy

Sheets of paper that have up to 9 bingo cards printed on them. Sometimes a flimsy will attract a higher payout rate, depending on the denomination value that the player has bought. These are also sometimes referred to as throwaways.

Four Corners

A pattern in bingo games where a player must cover the four corners of the bingo card.

Free Space

The middle spot on a bingo card that is always blacked out and given to the player for free. Some variations of bingo don’t have a free space.

Full House

A term for when a player marks off all their numbers successfully, usually in a coverall game.

Game Board

An electronic display, usually connected to or near the bingo board that shows the current bingo game target pattern.

Game Room

A way of dividing up players in online bingo. You’ll only play against other players in your game room.

Hard Cards

Heavy cardboard bingo cards that have shutters to pull down to mark spaces. These are pretty rare these days as most players and establishments prefer flimsies.

Hardway

A five-number straight-line bingo without using the free space.

House

The bingo hall or casino that runs the game.

Jackpot

A large prize that has special conditions involved to win. Achieving a coverall within a certain number of drawn balls will sometimes result in a jackpot prize. Progressive jackpots keep on increasing until someone wins it.

Lucky Jar

Similar to a cash ball, a lucky number may get drawn at the start of a bingo session. Every time that number appears, cash goes into the lucky jar. If a player achieves a bingo on the lucky number, then they win the jar of cash. The cash ball is now much more common than the lucky jar. This jar is sometimes also called a cookie jar.

Money Ball

Similar to a cash ball. A ball gets drawn before the start of the bingo session, and if a player uses this ball in a winning bingo, the prize gets doubled.

Moonlight Bingo

A bingo game that starts late at night.

Multiple Winners

If multiple players achieve a bingo on the same ball, then the cash prize is split. The order in which the players called out bingo doesn’t matter; both still win.

Nine Pack

A pattern in bingo where you mark nine numbers in a block.

On

If a player only needs one additional number in order to achieve a bingo, they are on. Electronic bingo machines will make a beep sound when a player is on.

On the Way

A game played before a coverall or other bingo pattern variation but on the same card.

Pattern

The shape that players must achieve on their game cards to make the bingo and win. You’ll find a huge variety in respect to patterns. Most establishments will use only five or six of the most common ones, though. These include straight lines, cover all, kites, and 6 or 9 packs.

Pay Out

The total amount that a bingo hall will pay out in winnings. Generally, it will be around 75% of what they bring in with admission.

Postage Stamp

A winning pattern in bingo of four squares in a small square shape.

Pull Tabs

A lottery-type game with a multiple sheet card with pull tabs that open to reveal numbers or symbols. A player will reveal all the sections on the cards to see if they’re a winner of a cash prize or buy in bonus.

Quickie

It’s a variation of the coverall game in bingo, except it’s run in a turbo format with the numbers being drawn and called very quickly.

Rainbow Pack

A particular type of bingo admission pack that includes game cards for a bingo session with different winning denomination colors.

Random Number Generator or RNG

A computer program that will select numbers at random. Digital and online bingo games use these where no physical bingo machine randomizes the numbers.

Session

A group of bingo games played together in succession is considered a session. Player’s will usually buy packs that have cards for all the games within a particular session.

Six Pack

Also known as a block of six. It’s a winning pattern in bingo of six numbers grouped in a 2×3 fashion.

Special

A special is a side game in bingo that is separate from the main session. Usually, entry is a few dollars, with some specials in the game pack on occasion.

TED

An electronic bingo device that can automatically track numbers in a session of bingo. You’ll often have to pay a higher fee to use a TED device, and players can only use one at a time in a session. They’re gaining popularity due to their ease of use. These are sometimes also called GTI.

Texas Blackout

Another wild bingo game where all odd or even numbers are automatically marked off based on whether the first number is, you guessed it, odd or even.

Ups

The number of bingo sheets or pages with bingo cards printed on them that make up a bingo book or admission booklet. A 9-up book would have nine pages within it and the relevant number of bingo cards on each page.

Wild Numbers

In some bingo games, wild numbers are given to players to mark them off before the main numbers get drawn. Quite often, the first number will determine which other numbers are wild in that round. If 25 is wild, then that and all other numbers with a five are deemed wild for that particular game.

Winner Takes All

Sometimes a bingo hall will run a winner-take-all game where all buy-ins for that particular game in the bingo session will go to the winner. It is most common in a coverall game.

Wrap Up

The last game in a bingo session.

 
About the Author
Neil White

Neil White - Editor in Chief

His drive and passion for casinos and the most popular games keep him in touch with the latest news and interests to provide the best for his readers.