Bingo Dictionary ABC
The world of bingo has a lot of terminology that those new to the game may not understand or be aware of. To help navigate both the online and offline bingo communities, we’ve put together a dictionary of sorts; throughout it, we’ll cover the most common terms you’re likely to come across. This particular part of the dictionary will cover phrases from A to C, with more sections to come as we progress.
- 75 Ball Bingo
- 80 Ball Bingo
- 90 Ball Bingo
- 5 Line Bingo
- 1TG and 2TG
- Admission Packet
- After Games
- Any Way
- Bingo Nickname/Alias
- Bingo Board
- Bingo Bonuses
- Bingo Book/Pad
- Bingo Caller
- Bingo Calls
- Bingo Card
- Cookie Jar
- Caller’s Choice
- Cash Ball
- Chat Games
- Chat Host aka CH
- Chat Lingo
- Consolation Prize
Known for being a favourite of US players, 75 ball bingo is a form of the game that is played across the globe. Although it was most popular during the 1940s, the game has still maintained favour with players to this day, with its 5×5 grid consisting of 25 squares. The game gets its name because the squares are made up of numbers 1 through to 75. Players need to create a pre-chosen pattern to win.
This is one of the less popular forms of bingo, though it has secured itself as a niche among a select number of players. Gameplay differs from 75 ball or 90 ball as the ticket consists of a 4×4 grid with only 16 numbers presented; these numbers are displayed in four coloured columns. To win a game, you need to form a pattern, much like in 75 ball bingo, with multiple winning combinations being associated with a typical game.
Regarded as the most popular form of the game, 90 ball bingo is loved by countless gamers around the world, though UK players have a particular love for this format. Instead of single tickets, this game requires players to have a strip consisting of six bingo tickets, with the 90 numbers of the game spread across the six of these. The tickets are made up of 3×9 grids. Another unusual trait as there can be up to three winners per round.
Probably the most action filled variant of bingo, 5 line, also known as Swedish Bingo, is an easy way to get involved. Presented in a 5×5 grid, each column of numbers lines up with the word BINGO printed above, with numbers 1 through 75 used, like 75 ball bingo. To win this fast paced format, players have five ways to win: line wins (a single line all the way to a four line win) or a full house.
These terms are seen time and again in bingo circles, and yet few people actually understand what they mean. Quite simply they refer to players that had were close to winning a game; 1TG refers to a player who has one number left to get before winning, while 2TG refers to those who have two numbers left. Funnily enough, these types of gamers can still win after full house has been called, provided they’re gaming online.
To understand what this means, you need to know that admission refers to the least number of tickets you can have per game. Therefore, an admission packet is a grouping of these tickets, usually between three and six of them, which are purchased prior to play. Even though such packets are standard for many bingo halls, sometimes they hide special games within them only available to those who purchased a pack.
By far one of the simplest and most straightforward of terms, after games are merely games played after the main bingo round has ended. Think of it as a bonus activity of sorts.
If you hear the term “any way” called out during a game of bingo, this simply means that the pattern you need to create can be finished in any direction, e.g. it can be on its side, inverted so that it’s upside down, etc.
This refers to online bingo titles only, in which the software of that game automatically marks off the called numbers on your bingo card for you, similar to autoplay features from slot machines.
Arguably one of the simplest phrases within the history of the game, bingo is merely the word you have to shout out once you’ve marked off all the numbers and have formed a winning pattern.
As for the history of the game, it’s something that has been around for decades, with users normally having to call out “bingo” in order to win. Traditional rules state that if you fail to call out the word when you’ve won, you forfeit your win. Before players called out bingo, “beano” used to be common phrase because beans were used to mark off numbers.
When a player has a bingo nickname, it usually refers to the persona they’ve given themselves for when they’re playing, e.g. BingoLover95. It’s often seen as a good way for online users to protect their privacy.
Available in both online and offline games, this is an electronic way of displaying the numbers called out during the game thus far. It helps players to make sure they’ve not missed a call.
Typically, bingo bonuses are only offered to online users, due to the terms and conditions. The type of bonus available varies greatly, depending on the brand you’re playing with, the format of the game, and how many users are active. Sometimes a bingo bonus will give you a certain number of tickets for a set price, while others may offer free gaming between specific hours of the day. Upon the promo pages that detail this information, they will always highlight the difference between a bingo bonus and other game bonuses, to avoid confusion for users.
Bingo pads are when a set of tickets are grouped together, ready to be played within one session of a game. To ensure users don’t get confused, the sheets are colour coded for each game, so that it’s easy to go from one to the next. Bingo books are extremely common in bingo halls, but not so much with online games.
This is a pretty obvious bingo term, in that it refers to the person calling out the numbers. In more recent years, a lot of emphasis has been put on bingo calling as an “art”, with competitions even being held to find the best bingo caller.
Calls have two meanings within the bingo circuit: firstly, it refers to a person simply reading out the numbers chosen. Secondly, it also references the unique puns and rhymes now associated within the numbers of the game, for example “all the sevens, 77”. During a standard game of bingo, 52 numbers will be called out.
Bingo cards are the grids on which the game is played, however each grid will be laid out differently depending on the type of bingo you’re playing. 90 ball bingo has three rows of numbers with nine columns, while 75 ball bingo has five rows with five columns. For those gaming online, users are given a digital version of this.
Similar in nature to admission, this is when players purchase tickets in order to play a game, however buy-in is commonly used to refer to online titles, while admission is used for land based activities.
A unique name for the jackpot that a game is offering (usually when played in a bingo hall); each location will have its own way of doing this, but typically the first number called at the start of the game becomes a “lucky number”. From then onwards, every time that number is called, but without anyone winning, more money is added to the pot. Eventually when someone wins, they win all the cash collected so far.
This is another simple term, in which the bingo caller determines the pattern that’ll win the game; players are only usually told the pattern just as the game starts.
A bit similar to the cookie jar, this type of jackpot is won when a player calls out bingo when the cash ball is called out. If you win on a ball other than the cash one, sometimes the game offers a second place prize.
When a game offers this type of return, it is based on a percentage of the money generated by all those wishing to play the game. Regulations will help determine the minimum and maximum amounts needed to generate this percentage, as well as how much the house will take.
This side of bingo is usually an online phenomenon, with users playing both a main game of bingo followed by an in-chat mini game, both of which require your quick reflexes and attention. The chat host of the room moderates and explains the rules to all those involved.
Put simply, CH is the abbreviation of the title chat host. This is an online only term, with the chat host acting as caller, moderator, and an additional form of entertainment (to help keep games fun and lively).
Once again we have an online only term, which refers to the type of speech users reply upon when playing in-chat titles. Often for those outside of the online bingo circle, the abbreviations are hard to understand, however it doesn’t take novices long to pick up the terms and what they mean. Shorthand lingo makes playing and chatting much easier!
This is a pattern specific to 75 ball bingo; if you’re to be crowned the winner of the game, you need to mark off every number upon the card, no exceptions. In some circles, this is also called a “Blackout”.
Lastly, we come to the consolation prize, a return given to those who place second during a special jackpot based bingo title. This is normally when they call out bingo, but didn’t manage to do so within the set amount of calls the caller makes.