Bingo is a simple game. Players mark numbers on cards as the numbers are drawn randomly by a caller, and the winner is the first person to mark a predetermined pattern of numbers on their card.

The Bingo glossary has unique terminology used by players and bingo hall staff.

Let’s explore some Bingo terms you should definitely know:

  1. Admission Packet – A bundle sold to a bingo player consisting of program sheets, special game sheets and door prize tickets. Usually players must purchase an admission packet to play.
  2. Bingo – A game of chance played with number cards and random number calling in which players mark or cover numbers on their cards to form patterns and win prizes.
  3. Blackout – When a player covers all numbers on their bingo card to win. This is usually the biggest prize.
  4. Bonanza – A special jackpot game played in a separate round after regular bingo.
  5. Buy-in – The amount a bingo player pays to purchase cards to play a full session, usually $20-$40.
  6. Caller – The person who draws and announces numbers during a bingo game using a ball machine or number generator.
  7. Card – This stands as the base of any bingo game. It is a paper bingo sheet marked by players during games. Cards contain 5 rows of 5 numbers each.
  8. Consolation Prize – A small prize won by players who don’t win a regular game.
  9. Coverall – Another term for blackout when all spaces are covered on a card. This wins the biggest jackpot.
  10. Daubers – Ink markers used to mark numbers on bingo cards after they’re called. Also called dabbers.
  11. Early Bird Game – Bonus bingo games played before a session officially starts to give players extra chances to win.
  12. Face – The grid of numbers on a bingo card. Most bingo cards have a 5×5 layout of numbers from 1-75.
  13. Free Space – The center space marked “free” on a traditional bingo card that players can cover automatically at no cost.
  14. Game Board – An electronic display board operated by the caller to show each number as it is drawn.
  15. Hard Way – A blackout pattern won without needing the free center space.
  16. Intermission – Short break between bingo sessions, allowing players to buy refreshments and more cards for upcoming games.
  17. Jackpot – The top prize in a bingo game that builds as more cards are bought. Usually awarded to the first blackout.
  18. Lucky 7 – A special prize if bingo is reached within 7 calls.
  19. Minimum Buy-in – The least amount of bingo cards a player can purchase for a session, usually $20 worth.
  20. Number Generator – An electronic device linked to the game board used to randomly select bingo numbers. Replaces traditional ball machines.
  21. On – When a player one number away from the winning pattern shouts “one away” or “on” to stand.
  22. Pattern – The particular shape or design needed to be formed on cards with dabbed numbers to win a game.
  23. Postage Stamp Pattern – Four number corners covered to win bingo, making the shape of a postage stamp.
  24. Program – A printed schedule of all bingo games and patterns to be played in a session.
  25. Progressive Jackpot – A bingo jackpot that rolls over when not won, increasing the next game’s prize.
  26. Serial Number – ID digits printed on each bingo card for security and tracking card sales by sellers.
  27. Session – An entire sequence of bingo games usually lasting 2-4 hours, including regular and special rounds.
  28. Six Pack – A bundle of 6 bingo cards sold together at a small discount. Most serious player buy packs instead of singles.
  29. Special – Additional bingo rounds played between regular rounds, usually with a unique pattern and prize.
  30. Split Pot – When the bingo jackpot is evenly divided between the first two players to blackout.
  31. Tipping – Giving the bingo caller a small tip if a player wins a substantial prize, typically 5% of winnings.
  32. UPB Membership – United Players Bingo association membership providing perks like food discounts to member players.
  33. Validation – Verifying a declared bingo to confirm the numbers marked indeed form the correct pattern to win.
  34. Wild Number – A number on the game board separate from the main sequence which acts as any players choice number for that game when played.
  35. X Pattern – Two diagonal lines of covered numbers needed to win an X pattern bingo game.
  36. Year-to-Date Winner – Posted names or numbers showing the room’s biggest bingo prize winners so far on that calendar year.
  37. Zonk Prize – Small joke consolation prize if a player fails to win even a single game during a long session.

I hope this comprehensive glossary helps explain common bingo terminology! Read our questions section if you need any clarification or check out our list of the best bingo casinos and start playing right away.


  • Rebecca Taylor

    Rebecca Taylor stands as the cornerstone of CasinoBonusWise, serving as our esteemed Chief Editor with an impressive tenure exceeding two decades in the online gambling realm. Her journey in this industry is marked by a profound understanding and an unyielding passion for the dynamics of online casinos and the intricacies of bonuses. Rebecca's expertise is not just a testament to her enduring dedication; it is a crucial asset in guiding our readers through the often complex world of online gaming. Her commitment transcends beyond merely providing accurate and current information; it encapsulates a steadfast dedication to responsible gambling and advocating for fair play. This commitment echoes throughout our team, firmly establishing CasinoBonusWise as your quintessential guide and reliable ally in the world of online gaming. Her insights are not just informative; they are pillars of trust and reliability in an ever-evolving industry.

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