Bingo Terms


Admission Packet: A minimum number of cards that you must purchase as the price of admission to a bingo game. It may contain, for example, three to six cards for every game, but the number varies from hall to hall.

Bingo Board: The display board which shows each number as it is called. It is usually an electronic board that lights up.

Blackout: A pattern that requires the whole card to be be covered in order to win. Usually about 50 to 60 of the 75 bingo numbers would have to be called in order to cover all the numbers on a card. This is the same as a "coverall".

Blower: A device that blows air to mix the balls up and selects a ball in order for the caller to pick a number and announce it on a bingo board.

Buy-In: The amount required to buy into a bingo game.

Caller: The person who calls out the numbers for the players.

Card: The card that you use to play bingo. It contains 25 spaces which are layed out in 5 columns X 5 rows with 5 spaces in each column and row. The space in the middle of the card is blank and is a "free space". The rest of the spaces are assigned random numbers. The numbers in the B column are between 1 and 15, in the I column are between 16 and 30, in the N column (containing four numbers and the free space) are between 31 and 45, in the G column are between 46 and 60, and in the O column are between 61 and 75.

Chat room: An electronic screen displayed next to your game where you can type messages to other players and they can type them to you.

Consolation Prize: The prize offered on some games if there is no winner within a predetermined number of calls.

Coverall: A pattern that requires the whole card to be be covered in order to win. Usually about 50 to 60 of the 75 bingo numbers would have to be called in order to cover all the numbers on a card. This is the same as a "blackout".

Dauber: A bingo dauber is an ink-filled bottle or pen with a foam tip on it that is used to mark the numbers that are called.

Early bird game: A game that starts before the regularly scheduled game.

Flimsy, Flimsies: Bingo cards that are printed on thin sheets of paper. they are also called "throwaways" in some areas.

Free Space: The center space on the bingo card, which does not have a number assigned to it and acts as a "free space".

G.T.I.: An electronic dauber system used to play multiple packs at once. These usually require a rental fee and only one per player is allowed.

Game board: An electronic display attached to the bingo board to show the pattern needed to win that particular game.

Game room: Some online bingo games divide the players into different game rooms where the smaller groups have a more manageable chat room.

Hard Card: A bingo card printed on heavy cardboard material.

Hardway Bingo, Hard-Way Bingo: Bingo in a straight line without the use of the free space.

Jackpot: A big prize that is usually awarded for achieving a difficult pattern within a specified number of balls.

Jumping the gun: Calling out Bingo before having a valid bingo.

Lucky Jar, Cookie Jar: A side game played at some bingo halls where a player wins a container holding cash if they achieve a bingo at the same time the lucky number is called. The lucky number is usually the first number called at the beginning of a session. Money is added to the jar every time the lucky number is called.

Minimum Buy-In: The minimum amount you must spend to be eligible for prizes.

Money Ball: A number drawn before the start of the game that will double a player's winnings if bingo is hit on that number.

Moonlight Bingo: a bingo session that starts late at night.

Multiple Winners: When two or more players win at the same time. When this happens, the cash prize is divided among them.

Nicknames: These are nicknames for each number drawn in bingo. Although calling out the number's nickname can be funny, it also has the practical benefit of allowing everyone in a noisy bingo hall to confirm the number that was called.

On The Way: The game played on the way to the blackout game.

On: A player is said to be "on" when one or more cards they are playing lacks only one number for a bingo.

Pattern: The shape you need to cover on your bingo card with called out numbers in order to win the game. The most basic patterns are straight lines in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal direction. One popular pattern is the “blackout” or “coverall” where you have to cover the whole card to win.

Payout: The percentage of sales paid out by the House to the players. The average payout by bingo halls is about 75 percent.

Postage Stamp Pattern: Matching four numbers to a 2 x 2 square in any of the four corners of the card.

Progressive Jackpot: A cumulative Jackpot that gets bigger until it is won. If there is no winner in a specified number of calls, a consolation prize of lesser value is paid. There is usually a separate buyin for progressive games.

Rainbow Pack: A packet of bingo cards of different colors, which allows a player to play for different prize denominations at once.

Reno Night: When casino games like blackjack and roulette are played along with bingo. These are sometimes held in bingo halls but more often are held in restaurants and hotels, and Elks clubs.

Session: An entire day or night of bingo, which usually lasts around two or three hours.

Six-pack, Nine-pack: Six or nine numbers in a block on one card.

Special: Games that are usually played with a different set of cards than the pack purchased at admission.

Speed Bingo: A variation of regular bingo where the numbers are called very quickly. Speed bingo is usually played either before or after a regular session.

Split Pot: A bingo game in which the winner splits the sales of the game (the pot) with the bingo hall.

T.E.D: An electronic dauber system used to play multiple packs at once. These usually require a rental fee and only one is allowed per player.

Texas Blackout: A variation of bingo. The first number called will be either odd or even. If the first number called is even then you can mark all of the even numbers on all your cards. If the first number called is odd, then you can mark all of the odd numbers.

Throwaways: Bingo cards that are printed on thin sheets of paper. They are also called "flimsies" in some areas.

Validation: Once you call a bingo, a person or computer will verify that you have won.

Wild Number: The first number drawn determines the wild number. For example, if 32 is drawn then all numbers ending in 2 should be marked off.

Wrap Up: The last game of a session.

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Bingo Terms

HPG ADMIN on February 27, 2013

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