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Bingo Glossary


Admission -
Players usually have to purchase a minimum number of cards to participate in a bingo game. The purchase of cards is the admission fee.

After Game - The bingo game played after the regular session of play. Online bingo is different as it allows you to play an internet bingo game whenever you please.


Ball Gate
- The one-way flap in a ball dispensing machine at the top of the ball runway. The ball passes under the ball gate to enter the main playfield area.

Ball Lifter - The mechanism used to raise the ball from beneath the playfield to the ball shooter tip.

Ball Runway - The channel from which the ball is launched up by the ball shooter to enter the main playfield area.

Ball Shooter - A spring-loaded plunger with a rubber tip, used to launch the bingo ball into the playfield area.

Barrier - A box section containing playing consoles and coin slots on both sides. A conveyor belt inside moves money from the coin slots to a cash box at one end of the barrier. Players face each other to play, across the barriers.

Basket Bingo - Bingo game where "basket" prizes are given.

Beano - A game in which players covered squares on numbered cards when corresponding numbers were called out. The aim is to cover a complete line. Beano predates bingo and is so-called because beans were originally used to cover the numbers called out. Check out our bingo history article to find out more about the game’s interesting history.

Bingo Bango Bongo - A points-based bingo game for two players or more.

Bingo Board - A display board (usually electronic) that lights up showing each number as it is called. 75-number bingo has 75 numbers on the board, 90-number bingo has 90 numbers on the board, 80-number bingo has 80 numbers on the board and 30-number bingo has 30 numbers on the board.

Bingo Booklets - A number of different coloured bingo sheet cards bound together in a booklet. They are usually bound in the order in which they will be played.

Bingo Card - In 90-number bingo, for example, a player’s bingo card has 3 rows and 9 columns. Each row has 5 numbers and 4 blank spaces. There are thousands of variations of cards to choose from. Online bingo uses virtual cards which you can see on your computer screen as you play and which work in the same way.

Bingo Marker - In traditional offline bingo, a crayon or ink dauber is used to mark the numbers on a bingo game card as they are called out. Auto Dab allows all numbers called that match those on your tickets to be marked automatically; this is ideal if you’ve purchased a large number of tickets and can’t keep up! Even if you don’t select Auto Dab, you won’t miss out on a bingo cash prize as the system will recognise that you are a winner.

Blackout or Coverall - A variation of bingo in which the object is to cover all spaces on your bingo card, rather than just a line or two lines.

Blower - A forced-air device that mixes the bingo balls and dispenses them to the caller who announces the numbers and displays them on a bingo board. Used in offline bingo.

Bonanza Bingo - This is a progressive coverall jackpot that is usually played as the 13th game of the session in traditional bingo. 45 numbers are drawn before the session and players mark them on separate cards. The countdown begins at 48 numbers or less and goes up one number per week to 52 numbers or until won. The amount of the bingo jackpot is determined by card sales for that game.

Book - A series of tickets for bingo games.

Break Open - A multi-ply card made from paper with perforated tabs. The play area of the card is covered to conceal numbers, letters or symbols, some of which have been designated in advance as prize winners.

Buzzword Bingo - A game played using buzzwords in place of numbers. Players mark words and phrases on their card as they are spoken. The first player to mark five phrases or words in a row calls “bingo”.


- The person who calls out the bingo numbers as they are drawn in offline bingo.

Card - The playing card used to mark off bingo numbers as they are called.

Cash Ball - A progressive jackpot that pays off on the called number, drawn before the session begins.

Cash In Prize - A bingo game in which the prize is a cash payout, taken from the money paid in.

Casino Night (Also Vegas Night) - An event held for a set period of time during which a qualified organisation holds casino-style gaming events. Bingo is included, along with roulette, blackjack, poker, gin rummy craps and more.

Chat Master (CM) - The person in charge of online bingo chat rooms and chat games. Also called the chat monitor or chat moderator, the CM will usually type in capitals or bold font to differentiate themselves from other players and is there to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Chat Room - A section online to chat with other online bingo players, make friends and swap tips. Chat rooms also offer special chat games, giving you additional chances to win cash and fabulous bingo prizes.

Consolation Prize - A prize sometimes offered if there is no winner in a predetermined number of calls.

Coverall - See Blackout.


Early Bird Game
- An Early Bird game usually that starts before the session but sometimes it refers to the first game of the session. The first game of a session is also more commonly known as a Warm Up.


- The individual bingo sheet containing 24 numbers and a free space in the middle.

Flimsy or Flimsies - Bingo cards printed on thin sheets of paper. There are usually three cards printed on a single sheet.

Four Corners - Cover the four corner numbers of the bingo card in order to win.

Free Space - The blank square in the centre of the card with no number assigned to it. The free space counts towards a winning pattern in 75 number bingo and should be covered at the start of every game.

Full House - A winning pattern in which a player has marked off all the numbers on their ticket.


Game Board
- An electronic display board next to the bingo board that displays the pattern needed to win that particular game. The game board looks like a bingo card and shows the variation of bingo being played.

Game Room - When playing online bingo, players can often enter different “game rooms” to play or chat.

G.T.I - An electronic dauber system which enables a player to play multiple packs at one time. Usually only one is allowed per person and for a small fee.


Hard Ball
- The first number drawn at the start of the bingo session.

Hard Card - A bingo card printed on heavy cardboard material with shutters to cover each number as it is called out.

Hardway Bingo - Bingo in a straight line without the use of the free space.

House - A gambling property or establishment, such as a casino or bingo hall. Also the phrase called in some games of bingo when a winning pattern is achieved.


Inlaid Card
- A pre-printed card with black discs used to cover the numbers as they are called out.

Inside Square - A bingo pattern in 75-number bingo in which players must cover all the numbers in the I, N and G columns surrounding the free space, in order to win.

Instant Bingo - 75-number bingo: a break open ticket which contains the letters B I N G O, bingo card faces, bingo numbers, and no other symbols. Players must incorporate letters spelling the word B-I-N-G-O or complete a pre designated bingo pattern (vertical, horizontal or diagonal line) in order to win.


- The largest cash prize, usually awarded for achieving a difficult pattern (such as a blackout) within a specified number of balls. One type of bingo jackpot is the progressive jackpot, in which the prize amount increases during play, and the winner is the first person to reach bingo within 50 calls.


Main Stage Bingo
- The main event of a session of bingo games.

Minimum Buy-in - The minimum amount that players must spend to play bingo and to be eligible for prizes.

Money Ball - A number drawn before the game that offers double winnings for the player who achieves “bingo” on that number.

Moonlight Bingo - A session of bingo that starts late at night (usually around 10pm), also called Late Night Bingo.

Multiple Winners - If two or more players achieve bingo at the same time, the prize is divided equally between them.

Mushroom - Bingo displays grouped together in a mushroom-like shape, with a narrow tubular base, and a wider top. 6-8 players can sit around the mushroom to play.


Nine Pack
- Nine numbers in a block on one bingo card.


- A player is “on” if one or more of their cards is missing only one number to achieve bingo.

On The Way - The game played prior to the blackout on the same card.


- Short for participation bingo, parti is a type of slot or cash bingo in which the prize is cash and is dependent on the number of players (the prize has to be a minimum of 50% of the money paid in).

Pattern - The pattern players need to make on their card, by covering corresponding numbers when called out, in order to win. For 90-number bingo, the patterns include single line across, two lines across and full house.

Payout - The percentage of sales paid out by the house.

Pod Top - The unit on top of the barrier that contains all the mechanisms used in the game, such as coin mechanisms, credit displays and claim buttons.

Postage Stamp Pattern - A pattern that covers four numbers in a postage stamp formation (a 2 x 2 grid) in any of the four corners on a bingo card.

Prize Bingo - A game of bingo in which a set prize, vouchers or cash can be won. Check out our bingo promotions for some of the special prizes to be won this month.

Progressive Jackpot - A bingo jackpot which increases continually over time if not won in a set number of calls.


- A bingo game in which the numbers are called as quickly as possible and the player’s card must be fully covered to win.


Rainbow Pack
- A paper bingo pack that allows players to play for three or four different prizes at once.

Reno Night - An evening of casino games such as blackjack and roulette often held in bingo halls, restaurants or hotels.

RNG - RNG stands for Random Number Generator and is the electronic machine used to pick the numbers for a game of offline bingo. This ensures numbers are picked fairly.


Serial Number
- The minimum five-digit number printed on each set of charity game tickets or cards. Each ticket in a set has the same serial number.

Series - The number of unique faces that a single set will contain. For example: a 5000 series will have 5000 unique faces.

Session - In traditional bingo a session usually lasts between two and a half hours to three hours. In online bingo a session is simply the amount of time you play for. There are no time limits with online bingo, and you can have a session of bingo at any time, day or night.

Shutter Board - A hand-held re-usable plastic board with pre-printed numbers, usually in a 4x4 format. Numbers are marked off when called with shutters.

Single Line Across - A pattern in which a player has marked off all the numbers on one row of their card.

Six Pack - Six numbers in a block on one card.

Special - Games played with a set of cards different to those purchased at admission.

Speed Bingo - A variation of bingo in which numbers are called very quickly and players can achieve bingo in as few as three numbers. Speed bingo is usually played 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 or house.


Table Board Bingo
- A lottery scheme in which players purchase a table board card. To win, players must complete specified arrangements or patterns of numbers on the Table Board from numbers selected at random.

Throwaways - See flimsies.

Tickets - Printed pages on which the main bingo game is played. The pages are laid out in grids and usually come in booklets. Tickets are seen on your computer screen during an internet bingo game.

Two Lines Across - A pattern in which a player has marked off all the numbers on two rows of their bingo card.


- The number of bingo sheets used to make up a book.


Vegas Night
- See casino night.


Warm Up
- See early bird.

Wild Number - A wild number is usually played on a double bingo that leads into a triple bingo. The first number drawn usually determines the wild number. For example if 43 is drawn, all numbers ending in 3 can be marked off.

Wrap Up - The last game of a bingo session.

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