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Bingo Glossary


Bingo Glossary of Terms

Admission – The requirement (e.g. monetary amount) needed in order to participate in a bingo game(s).

Admission Packet – Typically, a package of at least three – six bingo cards. This is the minimum number of cards that one must purchase as their admission. Each card corresponds to each regular game in the Bingo session. Admission packages will vary from hall to hall. Each containing a different number of cards (regular and/or bonus cards). Several admission packages may also be available at each hall containing different card combinations.

After Game – A bonus game(s) that is played after the regular session of Bingo is over.

Ball Gate – The one-way flap at the top of the ball dispenser. Typically located atop the ball runway. The ball will pass under the ball gate just before it enters the ‘main’ playfield.

Ball Lifter - The apparatus that raises the ball from the playfield to the tip of the ball shooter.

Ball Runway - The passageway where the ball shooter launches the ball into the main playfield.

Ball Shooter – The rubber topped and spring loaded plunger that launches the ball through the ball runway into the main playfield.

Basket Bingo – A type of Bingo game where the winners receive “basket” prizes.

Bingo Board – An electronic board that displays each number that has been called by lighting them up.

Bingo Booklets – A bound book/booklet of different bingo cards. The cards in the book are typically different colors corresponding to the different games in the bingo session. And are placed in the order to which they will be played.

Bingo Card – A card divided evenly into 5 rows and 5 columns containing 24 different numbered spaces and one “free” space. Each column is headed with one of the letters B-I-N-G-O. The column headed with B contains five random numbers that chosen from the numbers 1 – 15. The I column contains 5 numbers from 16-30. The N column 4 numbers (plus one free space) between 31-44, the G column, 5 numbers from 46-60 and the O column, 61-75. The numbers on every card are assigned at random. There are thousands of different card combinations making sure that each card played in a specific game is totally unique.

Bingo Marker – A tool, which is used to mark off the called numbers, commonly an ink dauber is used.

Blackout – Also known as coverall. The winning pattern is the whole card. The player must cover every number on their card in order to win.

Blower – A machine that blows air to mix up the Bingo balls. The blower forces the balls out the machine for the caller to announce.

Breakopen – A game card that is made of paper products and is multiply. Each card contains perforated tabs that are mean to be broken open to reveal a concealed number or symbol. Certain patterns or symbols are usually designated in advance to be the prize winner.

Buy-in – The act of exchanging cash into bingo cards. (See admission above).

Caller – The employee of the bingo hall who announces the drawn numbers.

Cash-In-Prize – A bingo game where the prize is cash. The amount of cash is determined by the total of buy-ins.

Casino Night - Also known as Vegas Night. An event that is organized and hosted by a qualified organization during which casino-type games are available for play. These events typically take place for one day/night only. Games that can be found at one of these events may include: Bingo, Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Poker and other casino style games.

Chat Room – Found in online Bingo halls and online casinos. A chatroom is a particular area where the players can read and swap messages in an organized manner.

Consolation Prize – If no player wins the prize within a predetermined amount of called numbers, the game will still continue but a consolation prize (usually less then the original prize amount) is offered to the first player who achieves the pattern.

Coverall – Also known as a blackout. When the player must mark off all their numbers in order to win.

Dauber – A dauber is a great and popular tool for marking off called numbers. Bingo Daubers are a marker type object with a large foam tip that when touched to the Bingo card a colored ink spot covers the number that has been called.

Early Bird Game – A bingo game that is played before the first scheduled game of the bingo session. However, in some cases the first scheduled game is known as the early bird or warm up game.

Face – The actual individual bingo card. The face is made up of 24 numbered and on free space.

Flimsy – Also known as flimsies or throwaways. A flimsy is a bingo card that is printed on a very thin sheet of paper. Flimsies are printed in single sheets, groups of two, groups of three (most commonly), four, six or groups of nine.

Four Corners – A bingo pattern where your goal is to cover the four numbers found in the four corners of your bingo card.

Free Space – The square that is directly in the centre of the bingo card. This square is not numbered and is free for every player to mark off. This square can be included in any pattern you are aiming for.

Game Board - An electronic bingo card that is attached to the display board that displays to the players, as a reminder, the particular pattern that must be achieved in order to win.

Game Room – Separate rooms where players can be divided at an online casinos/bingo halls.

G.T.I. and T.E.D. – Electronic devices that aide in controlling and organizing multiple cards at once. These electronics daubers typical require a rental fee.

Hard Card – A type of bingo card that is printed on on a durable cardboard. These types of cards typically use shutters to cover up the numbers that have been called.

Hardway Bingo – When you win a bingo game by achieving a straight line without the use of the centre (free) space.

House – Another name for the casino, gambling centre or bingo hall. Also refers to the owners and operators of the game. The individuals who receive the profits.

Instant Bingo – A breakopen game that contains the letters B-I-N-G-O, bingo numbers and a bingo card face. Tickets that are winners may contain a completed predetermined bingo pattern or the all the letters in BINGO.

Jackpot – The big prize of a bingo session. Typically rewarded for achieving a blackout or coverall pattern within a predetermined amount of numbers called.

Late Night Bingo – Also known as moonlight bingo. These are bingo sessions that begin late in the evening.

Lucky Jar – Also known as cookie jar. This is a side game played at some bingo halls. The lucky jar is a jar that is full of money and can be won by any player throughout the bingo session. You will win the lucky jar if you happen to achieve a bingo at the time the lucky number has been called. The lucky number is usually equal to the very first number called in the session. More money is added to the cookie jar whenever the caller announces the lucky number throughout the session.

Main Stage Bingo – The game in the bingo session that attracts the most players and that everyone looks forward to. Usually the one with the big jackpot. Referred to as the “main event”.

Minimum Buy-in – The least amount of bingo cards one must buy in order to be eligible to take part in a bingo session.

Moonlight Bingo – A late night session of bingo.

Money Ball – A specific number drawn prior to the start of the bingo game. If the player gets a bingo when this number is called they will double their winnings.

Multiple Winners – It can happen that two or more players achieve bingo at the same time. If this occurs, the prize will be divided equally among the winners.

Mushroom – An electronic version bingo. 6 to 8 players sit around a mushroom shaped device and take part in different bingo games.

On – A players game is known to be On, when they only need to mark off one more number on their card(s) to achieve a bingo.

On The Way – A game or games that are played on the same card prior to the blackout game. Once the first pattern is achieved by someone, the players proceed to play the blackout game using this same card and the numbers that they have already marked off.

Pattern – The predetermined shape (straight line, 4 corners, T – shape, coverall, etc.) that the players must achieve to win a bingo.

Parti – A short for participation bingo. The cash prize for these games depends on the number of people participating in the game. The prize is usually at least 50 % of the total buy-ins.

Payout – The total percentage of sales that the house pays out to their players. In bingo, the average payout by the house is 75%. State lotteries payout 45% of their sales on average. approximately 75 percent. This compares with a payout of approximately 45 percent on state lottery games.

Postage Stamp Pattern – A common bingo pattern. The pattern consists of marking off 4 numbers in a 2x2 grid in any of the 4 corners (similar to a postage stamp).

Progressive Jackpot – A cash jackpot that grows until it is won. In bingo, for example, if the blackout jackpot is not won in a specific number of calls, then the amount carries on and increases until the next blackout game. It can go on for days, weeks, months or until someone claims the prize. Once it has been won, the next game will start with a lower prize amount and continue to rise until it is won again.

Quickie – A coverall game where the numbers are called very quickly.

Rainbow Pack – A type of bingo pack that when played, permits the player to play for a number of different prize amounts all at once.

RNG – RNG is short for random number generator and is a mechanical device that assures that the bingo numbers picked are completely at random.

Series – The number of unique bingo card faces that a single set of manufactured cards contains. For example, a series 6000 would contain 6000 exclusive faces.

Session – The entire program of all the bingo games played at one time. A session typically consists of an early bird game, a number of regular and special games, a jackpot game and sometimes an after game. Each bingo session usually lasts around 2 and half hours.

Shutter Board – A portable and re-useable bingo card with the numbers printed on hard plastic that contain shutters to mark off the called numbers.

Six-pack, Nine-pack – When the pattern is a block of 6 or 9 numbers respectively.

Special – Bingo games where the players must purchase additional cards that are not found in their original admission packs.

Speed Bingo – This type of bingo game is usually played just before or after the bingo session. The numbers are called very quickly and in some cases you can win by getting as few as three numbers marked off.

Speedgame, Speed Game – A special game in bingo where the numbers are called very quickly and the winner must achieve a coverall.

Split Pot – When the winner of the bingo game split the total sales of the game with the house. Split pots could be 50/50, 60/40 for example.

T.E.D., G.T.I. - Electronic devices that aide in controlling and organizing multiple cards at once. These electronics daubers typical require a rental fee

Texas Blackout – A type of bingo game where if the first number called is even then all the even numbers on your card are now considered wild. Every player can cover up all the even numbers on their card and the game proceeds as a blackout game. If the first number called is odd, then all odd numbers are now wild.

Tickets – All tickets have bar codes on them which help validate claims. Tickets come in the form of grids printed on paper pages on which bingo games are played.

Vegas Night – Also called casino night. - An event that is organized and hosted by a qualified organization during which casino-type games are available for play. These events typically take place for one day/night only. Games that can be found at one of these events may include: Bingo, Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Poker and other casino style games.

V.F.W. – Short for Veterans of Foreign Wars. These are typical bingo halls.

Wild Number Game - A bingo game that includes wild numbers. In this game if, for example, the number 17 is the first number called, then all numbers on your card ending with a 7 can be marked off. If the first number called is 25, then all numbers ending with a 5 are to be marked off.

Wrap Up – The last game in a bingo session.