If you’re very new to the game of bingo then the jargon used can seem very confusing. To ease you inot the game why not check out our handy Bingo Lingo guide.
Admission Packet – A minimum number of cards that you must purchase as the price of admission. Typically you must purchase an Admission Packet, which usually contains three to six card for every regular game, and may also contain some special games. Exactly what is part of the Admission Packet varies from hall to hall.
After Game – The game played after the end of a regular session of play.
Basket Bingo – Bingo game where "basket" prizes are given.
Bingo Board – A display board, usually electronic that lights up showing each number as it is called.
Bingo Books/Booklets – A number of different colored bingo sheets/cards bound together to form a book/booklet to be played one for each game at a bingo session. They are usually bound in the order in which they will be played.
Buy-in – Buying bingo cards or an Admission Packet (see above). Converting cash into bingo cards.
Caller – The person who calls out the bingo numbers as they are drawn.
Cash-In-Prize – A form of bingo where the prize is a cash payout. This is taken from the money paid in.
Chat Room – A handy monitor or screen where you can read and exchange messages with other players.
Consolation Prize – The prize or prizes offered on some special games if there is no winner in a predetermined number of calls.
Coverall – (Also Blackout) A pattern where you must cover the whole card to win.
Dauber – Bingo dauber is ink-filled bottle/pen with a foam tip on it used to mark called numbers. When you touch the bingo card with the foam tip it marks the square. (See picture above)
Early Bird Game – A bingo game that starts earlier than another regularly scheduled game. But sometimes the Early Bird game is merely the first game of the session. The first game of a session is more commonly known as a Warm Up.
Four Corners – A pattern where you must cover the corner numbers of the card. If you get those four numbers, you win.
Game Board, Gameboard – An electronic display that is attached to the bingo board to show the pattern needed to win that particular game. It looks like a bingo card and shows what variation of bingo you are playing on that particular game on the program. For example: four corners, chevron, regular, blackout, etc.
Game Room – Some online games divide the players into game rooms.
G.T.I., 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.
Jackpot – A big prize usually awarded for achieving a difficult pattern, such as a blackout, within a specified number of balls.
Late Night Bingo (Also, Moonlight Bingo) – Session of bingo that starts late at night, usually about 10:00 pm.
Lucky Jar (or Cookie Jar) – A container with cash. You win the contents of the lucky jar if you bingo on the lucky number. 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 or if the caller makes a mistake in announcing the game. Usually you can win the lucky jar only on regular games. There is no lucky number in play on special throw-away games.
Minimum Buy-in – The least amount you must spend to be eligible for prizes.
Moonlight Bingo – Session of bingo that starts late at night, usually about 10:00 pm.
Money Ball – A number drawn before the game that will double a player’s winnings if bingo is hit on that number.
Multiple Winners – Two or more players bingo at the same time. When this happens, the cash prize is divided among them. For example, if there are five winners on a $500 game, they each receive $100.
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 card with called out numbers, usually it is in a straight line; horizontal, vertical and diagonal.
Parti – Short for participation bingo, a type of slot bingo or cash bingo where the prize is cash and depends on the number of players, since the cash prize is at least 50% of the money paid in. The most common boards used for parti bingo are inlaid cards and hand-held shutter boards.
Payout – The percentage of sales paid out by the House. The average payout among all bingo halls is approximately 75 percent. This compares with a payout of approximately 45 percent on state lottery games.
Postage Stamp Pattern – Matching four numbers to form a postage stamp (a 2 x 2 grid) in any of the four corners.
Progressive Jackpot – A Jackpot that gets bigger until it is won. It builds daily, weekly, or monthly if it is not won in a specific number of calls. If there is no winner in X number of calls, consolation prize(s) of lesser dollar amounts are paid. Different variations of progressive games add dollars or numbers, or both, to the jackpot. There is usually a separate buy-in for Progressive Jackpot games.
Quickie – Numbers are called as quickly as possible & the card must be full to win Bingo.
RNG – Random Number Generator; the machine used to pick the numbers for a game of bingo. Most are electronic.
Serial Number – The minimum five-character number printed by a manufacturer on each set of charity game tickets/cards. Each ticket in a set contains the same serial number.
Session – An entire evening or daytime program of bingo consisting of regular games usually played on hard cards and special games played on throwaways, flimsies or paper sheets. A session usually lasts somewhere between two and a half hours and three hours and 15 minutes.
Six-pack, Nine-pack – Six or nine numbers in a block on one card.
Speed Bingo – A variation of regular bingo. Numbers are called very quickly and you can bingo in as few as three numbers. Usually played before or after a regular session.
Speedgame, Speed Game – A coverall that is called very quickly. It is sold as a special game one card at a time.
Table Board Bingo – Table Board Bingo is a lottery scheme where players purchase the Table Board card and win prizes by being the first to complete specified arrangements or patterns of numbers on the Table Board Bingo device from numbers selected at random.
Tickets – These are printed pages on which the main stage bingo is played. They are laid out in grids, and normally come in books. Some tickets have bar-codes which describe the numbers on them and are used to help check claims.
Validation – Eligibility required to win additional jackpot amounts. Price varies by number of cards played.
Wrap Up – The name of the last game of a session.