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For those of you who are new to bingo or online bingo, here are some of the most common terms you need to know and some basic rules:

Admission Packet

An admission packet is the least possible number of cards that you have to buy in order to be admitted. The norm is to buy a packet which has 3 to 6 cards for regular games and also some cards for special games. Different Bingo Halls have different packages.

Bingo Board

An electronic board that lights up and displays the numbers as they are called out.


This is a pattern where all the numbers on the card must be covered in order to win the prize.


Quite an old fashioned device which uses forced air to mix all of the Bingo Balls and then pushes them out to the caller who then calls out the number.

Bonanza Bingo

Bonanza Bingo is a progressive Blackout Bingo game that is normally the 13th game during a Bingo session. 45 numbers are drawn before the start of the game and the players mark these on seperate cards. Normally this Bonanza Bingo game costs an additional $1.00 to play it. The countdown usually starts at 48 numbers and goes up by 1 number per week to 52 numbers , or until someone wins it.


The Buy in is also called the Admission Packet. Basically this is the number of Bingo Cards that you buy at the start of the session.


The caller is the person or automated machine that calls the numbers for the Bingo game.


A Bingo card has 24 spaces with numbers on each space. There is normally also a Free space in the middle of the card , often called "Blank" . Each card has random numbers which are arranged in 5 columns with the heading B I N G O at the top.
B = Numbers 01 to 15
I = Numbers 16 to 30
N = Numbers 31 to 45
G = Numbers 46 to 60
O = Numbers 61 to 75

Chat room

A chat room is only found in the online version of Bingo and is a little box displayed next to your Bingo Cards where you can type messages and interact with the other players in the game. A lot of new friends are made in these chat rooms as they are people who often have the same interests... such as Bingo!

Have a read through our article on What do you want from a bingo site, and see what players have in common in regards to things they look for in a bingo room...

Consolation Prize

This is a prize which is given on special games where no winners have called in a certain number of balls called out.


A Dauber is the untensil used to cross the Bingo Cards off as the numbers are called out. It is often an ink pen with a foam tip in offline Bingo halls , and you use your mouse to colour in or cross the numbers during an online Bingo session.

Early Bird Game

This is normally a game which is scheduled at an earlier time than the other regular Bingo sessions.

Free space

The Free space is the middle block on the Bingo card and is sometimes the Blank. It is basically a square and is included in a winning pattern.


The Bingo Jackpot is won if you call Bingo within a pre determined number of calls.


Patterns can vary with each game - eg the Bingo caller will say that the pattern is a line for example, and then you only need to mark off the blocks in a line in order to win. The Online Bingo halls get quite inventive with their patterns and have patterns such as Christmas Trees, Bells, Wigwams, etc.

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Last modified: 30 October, 2017

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