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If you are not used to playing bingo in bingo halls and special bingo rooms, then online bingo is perfect for you. But, if you want to try the excitement live, you will need to understand the bingo lingo. The announcer will shout the numbers, the bingo players will exchange specific bingo words that you don’t understand and everything can get confusing.
Because of that reason we wanted to create a bingo glossary that you can use to learn something more of this old game. Below you will find some official bingo terms as well as slang with explanations for all terms.
Admission: the act of entering a bingo game.
Admission Packet: in order to be able to enter a real life bingo room you might need to buy a minimum number of bingo tickets in order to be admitted. This admission minimum usually conditions players to buy a bingo card package mostly consisting of 3 to 6 cards.
Bingo Board: this is the board were the balls that were drawn are displayed.
Bingo Books/Booklets: these are like booklets and bingo tickets arranged together according to the schedule and order of all the bingo games that need to be played.
Bingo Marker: in the US bingo players use special bingo crayons and daubers that when applied to the bingo ticket mark the entire number by covering it with circle made of ink.
Bingo Ticket: these tickets can be rectangular in shape or shaped like a square. It all depends on how the numbers are arranged. Rectangular tickets have 3 rows and 9 columns, while square tickets have 5 rows and 5 columns of numbers.
Blackout: in order to win in bingo you must cover the numbers on card according to a pattern. If you cover all of them you have a blackout. Blackouts usually occur between the 50th and the 75th number called by the announcer.
Blower: in order for the balls to be mixed and come out at random, a balloon shaped device was used in the past (today too) where all the balls are mixed together with an air blowing device. In the meantime the machine selects a number and displays it before all.
Bonanza Bingo: this is a bingo variation where you can play for a progressive jackpot in the thirteenth game. In order to play for the jackpot you have to pay a fee of one dollar.
Buy In: the buy in for bingo games are the bingo tickets sold as an admission package. Just like a buy in for a casino gambling game where you exchange cash for chips, here you exchange your cash for tickets.
Caller: the caller is the person that announces each number when drawn. He is also called an ‘announcer’.
Chat Room: when playing bingo online at bingo specialized sites you can participate into bingo chat rooms and talk and meet other bingo players.
Coverall: when all the numbers have been marked on the bingo ticket. See Blackout.
Dauber: it is like a little pen shaped bottle of ink with a circular foam ending where the ink comes out. When a number has been drawn that a bingo player has, he gently presses the foam tip over the number in order to mark it.
Early Bird Game: this term is used to describe a game that has started earlier than it was supposed to.
Four Corners: this is one of the possible patterns that you will need to cover in online bingo. It consists of covering all four corner numbers on your bingo ticket.
Free Space: square bingo tickets don’t include a number in the center of the square. That is why these tickets have 24 numbers and not 25 as you might think when you read that their format is 5 x 5. This free space counts as sort of a wild and can fill in your pattern.
Game Board: in electronic bingo you get a display with an additional screen where you can view all the possible patterns on a bingo ticket.
Game Room: online bingo sites split their customers into separate game rooms.
Hard Card: a bingo ticket printed on a harder material.
Hardway Bingo: a straight line pattern that doesn’t include the free space in the center.
House: the place where the bingo game is provided is referred to as the house. The term is more used to describe a casino establishment or any other place where gambling is offered.
Jackpot: usually the biggest prize that a game offers. Winning a jackpot is always the hardest part in any game.
Late Night Bingo: simply a bingo game or session that is scheduled for a late night start.
Lucky Jar: this is an interesting award that is given in same games if your bingo occurred with a pattern that includes the lucky number. In such a case you win all the contents that are in the jar at the moment.
Main Stage Bingo: a bingo session has a main bingo event called Main Stage Bingo. The main event always has the most attendants.
Minimum Buy In: in order to become eligible to play a bingo session you have to make a buy in, which has a minimum amount in the form of a minimum buy in.
Moonlight Bingo: the same as late night bingo, a bingo session that starts late in the night.
Money Ball: before a game a number is drawn, which subsequently can double your winnings if you hit a bingo with it.
Multiple Winners: a bingo game can have more than one winner of course. In such a case the prize for the particular win is split between each player that has won.
Mushroom: bingo games were played on large displays that are grouped together and each assumes a shape similar to a mushroom, thus the name. This display accepts money in order for the players to play a bingo session.
Nine-Pack: nine numbers in one block.
On: when a player has more cards that are only one number from scoring a bingo, this player is said to be ‘on’.
Pattern: when all the numbers necessary for a win are marked, they form a pattern that can be a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line, or can form a pattern of other geometric shapes. These patterns are always displayed in the game.
Payout: bingo wins are formed based on the sales from which a percentage is deducted, mainly going around 75 percent. When this percentage is paid in a case of a win, it becomes a payout.
Postage Stamp: this is actually a pattern on a bingo card that consists of a numbers combined into a square with a grid 2 x 2, assuming the size of a post stamp.
Prize Bingo: a bingo variation that was played mainly in the United Kingdom. In a Prize Bingo game you won different prizes instead of cash. With the change of the UK legislation, this bingo had to convert its prizes into cash prizes.
Progressive Jackpot: a jackpot that progressively increases in size. This increase of the jackpot amount can go on for days, weeks, even months and years, and will keep increasing until a lucky winner wins it. If the jackpot is not won, the house gives out consolation prizes.
Quickie: a fast paced bingo game where the numbers are announced faster than usual.
Rainbow Pack: a pack of bingo tickets with which players can play for several different prize amounts at the same time.
Random Number Generator (RNG): the Random Number Generator is a technology used in online casino games as well as in online bingo games. It ensures maximum randomness of all outcomes.
Serial Number: each real life bingo ticket has a number printed on it that ensures that it is a unique bingo ticket with a unique combination of numbers.
Session: a bingo session is an all-day program where many games are organized one after another. People socialize and interact with each other, which makes it a fun game.
Six-Pack: six numbers in one block.
Speed Bingo: another variation of a fast paced bingo. In these bingo games you can win even with three numbers marked.
Texas Blackout: this is a bingo variation where if the first drawn number is odd, all odd numbers on your bingo ticket are marked. If it is even number, all even numbers are marked. After that the game is played until a blackout.
Validation: to become eligible for any jackpots, you have to by a specific number of tickets and play them.
Warm Up Game: this is the first game in the series of several games that an average bingo player attends.
Wild Number: to establish a wild number, the first number drawn is used. If it is a single digit number all numbers ending in that number are marked. If it is a double digit number, the second digit is taken.
Wrap Up: the last bingo game on the program.
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