Beginner’s Guide To Bingo Lingo

Bingo is a pretty big deal, but some of us did not get our mileage in bingo halls yet and – let’s be honest here – bingo players will say some bonkers stuff during a game. If you are ready to learn the ins and outs of bingo and impress your friends with your hall game, we got you.

We’ve compiled a short guide that is meant to take you from a complete newbie to someone who can at least talk like they know what they are doing. If you’d like to learn how to actually play, we recommend this complete guide on playing bingo. We’re only concerned with looking cool here.

The Different Types Of Bingo

With it being such a wildly popular game, several bingo variants have been brought into the public eye in the last years. Here are all the types of bingo you will encounter in a brick-and-mortar bingo hall or in online casinos.

Feel free to consult the guides for full instructions on how to play each one of them.

The Bingo Toolbox

As you can see, every game of bingo is categorized by the number of bingo balls that can possibly be called out in a single bingo game.

A bingo ball is similar to a ping pong ball, and it is marked with a certain number, 1 through 75, or 1 through 90, depending on the set. During a game of bingo, they are mixed in a console or a blower, and they are drawn out one by one and announced to the bingo room.

A bingo caller is a person who draws out the balls and announces them to the room, although in the case of bingo software, that is no longer necessary. Bingo callers became chat hosts in the online space, and while they still call out numbers for tradition’s sake, their role is more performative in the online space.

The bingo calls will be displayed on a bingo board.

What’s the player’s role in all this, you ask? The player will need to buy a certain number of tickets in order to play. A bingo ticket is a physical or digital piece of paper containing a set of random numbers that you will need to match with the ones being called out to win a prize.

A bingo ticket will also be referred to as a bingo paper, a bingo sheet, or a bingo card. As each bingo number is being announced, players get to daub squares on their tickets. If these squares form a predefined bingo pattern, you get to walk home with the prize.

Some bingo variants will offer multiple prizes per game, but a jackpot is usually the highest possible prize you could win. In most cases, these are offered to the player completing the hardest pattern in the last round of the game.

Moreover, a progressive jackpot is a type of jackpot that gets bigger until it is won. It can build daily, weekly, or even monthly if no one wins it in a certain number of calls.

Some Terms You May Hear Regarding Tickets

Admission Packet/ Buy-In –The minimum number of tickets a player needs to buy to take part in a bingo game. Usually, six to twelve packs should be bought for regular games.

Bingo BookTwo or more sheets glued together.

Face – An individual bingo sheet containing 24 squares with random numbers and a free space in the middle.

Packets – A number of bingo papers or pages used by the operator as a marketing strategy to bring players into the games. In this case, the player gets a package deal.

ONs – The number of bingo faces per sheet. A 6 ON will have six faces per single sheet.

Set – A set refers to the number of bingo faces in a single bingo paper, numbered in sequence.

Six Pack/Nine Pack – Six or nine numbers in a block on a single bingo card.

Serial NumberA certain number printed on the N of each bingo face to ensure that no illegal tickets are being brought into the game.

Seal Card – A hard card or heavy paper used in several bingo games like pull tabs, jar tickets and tip boards. These have removable seals, which will reveal designated winners when opened.

Mystery Number – A special progressive award that can be bought at the buy-in that gives you a chance at winning the progressive jackpot during any regular game.

All of these you can mark in different ways looking to complete specific patterns and shout “Bingo!”

The Most Common Bingo Patterns

When browsing online bingo games or checking out prizes at your local bingo hall, these are some terms that could confuse you.

The first and the second line (also shown as 1L or 2L) – In certain games of bingo, it is possible to call both of these in a game; simply put, these are the first two smaller prizes of a round, awarded to the first player or players that manage to mark off one and/or two entire straight lines on their ticket.

Moreover, Hard Way Bingo is accomplished when marking off an entire line without using the free space.

Blackout/Coverall/Full House – Marking off all of the numbers on your ticket. This is usually the pattern that wins the biggest prize of the round. We’ve heard Her Majesty, The Queen likes to call it Full Palace.

A Pack – any 6 numbers in the corner of the ticket.

A Stamp – any 4 numbers in the corner of the ticket.

All Calls – all four corners.

Lastly, let us take a look at some common bingo game variants that you might encounter in your new hobby.

Bingo Game Variants

1. Bingo Bonanza

In this type of bingo, half of the numbers are announced at the beginning of the game. Players get to daub them on their cards and exchange them with other players. Some games will offer joke prizes or even prizes for having the worst card of the batch.

2. Pull Tabs / Instant Bingo

A type of game using folded or banded paper ticket or a perforated card with pull-out tabs. Each ticket has multiple chances of winning prizes in any pull tab game.

3. Special Games

Separate mini-games to the regular game that are optional with your admission package.

4. Warm-Ups / Early Bird Games

Special games played prior to the regular bingo session. The tickets for these can be bought at Admissions.

5. Late Bird / Nite Owl

Short bingo session after the regular bingo game. They will usually award small prizes.

6. Moonlight Bingo

A bingo session that is played late at night, usually after 10:00 PM.

7. Percentage Game

A single bingo game, separate from the regular session. Players can opt-in at Admission, and the profits from selling the tickets are being split between the winner and the house, usually 50-50 or 60-40.

8. Wild Number

A bingo game and pattern in which the first number drawn is called the Wild Number. Players get to daub all numbers ending in that one.

9. Winner Takes All

A stand-alone bingo game in which all money raised will be given back as the prize. This game is usually played towards the end of the night, and players get to opt-in at Admission.

10. Wrap Up

The last game of a bingo program.

And that’s a wrap-up on this guide, as well. Go get your bingo tickets and throw terms left and right to let everyone know you are the expert. The hours of quality entertainment you just won are on us.

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About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.