Bingo Glossary Of Terms


The following is a list of commonly used bingo terms:

Admission packet – The minimum number of bingo cards that must be purchased as the price of admission to a bingo hall.

After game – A game played after the end of a regular session of play.

Ball gate – Part of the ball-dispensing machine, the one-way flap at the top of the ‘ball runway’ which the ball passes under to enter the main playfield area.

Ball lifter – The mechanism used to raise the ball from beneath the playfield to the ‘ball shooter’ tip.

Ball runway – The channel where the ball is launched up by the ball shooter to enter the main playfield area.

Ball shooter – The spring-loaded plunger with a rubber tip used to launch the ball into the playfield area.

Bingo board – A display board, often electronic, that shows the balls in play. Also called Game board.

Bingo 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.

Blackout – A pattern where every space on the bingo card must be covered to win the game. Also called Coverall or Full House.

Blower – A forced-air device that mixes the bingo balls and dispenses them to the caller.

Bonanza bingo – A progressive Blackout Jackpot that is usually played as the thirteenth game of the session.

Buy-in – Purchasing bingo cards.

Caller – The person, or machine, which calls out the selected bingo numbers for the players.

Consolation prize – A prize awarded for some special games if there is no winner in a predetermined number of calls.

Cookie jar – A container with a jackpot you can win if you get a winning bingo pattern on a predetermined lucky number. Also called Lucky jar.

Coverall – A pattern where every space on the bingo card must be covered to win the game. Also called Blackout or Full House.

Dauber – An ink-filled bottle or pen used to mark the numbers on a bingo card as they are called.

Early bird game – A bingo game that begins before another regularly scheduled game.

Face – The individual bingo sheet containing 24 numbers plus the free space in the middle.

Flimsies – Bingo cards printed on thin sheets of paper. Also called Throwaways.

Four corners – A pattern where you must cover the corner numbers of the card.

Free space – The square in the middle of a bingo card. This space can be used in any winning pattern.

Full house – A pattern where every space on the bingo card must be covered to win the game. Also called Blackout or Coverall.

Game board – A display board, often electronic, that shows the balls in play. Also called Bingo board.

G.T.I. – An electronic dauber system used to play multiple packs at once.

Hard card – A bingo card printed on heavy cardboard material. These cards usually have shutters to cover the numbers as they are called.

Hardway bingo – Winning bingo pattern without the use of the Free space.

Jackpot – The prize awarded for achieving a set bingo pattern.

Lucky jar – A container with a jackpot you can win if you get a winning bingo pattern on a predetermined lucky number. Also called Cookie jar.

Main stage bingo – The main event of a session of bingo, and the one said to draw the most customers.

Minimum buy-in – The smallest amount a player must spend in order to be eligible for prizes.

Money ball – A number drawn before the bingo game that will double a player’s winnings if bingo is hit on that number.

Moonlight bingo – A bingo session that start late at night.

Multiple winners – When two or more players get bingo at the same time. The prize is usually split equally among the winners.

Nine-pack – Nine numbers in a block on one card.

On the way – A bingo game played on the way to a blackout game played on the same card.

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.

Pattern – Combination of covered squares that must be achieved to win a bingo game. Common patterns are vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines.

Payout – The percentage of sales paid out by the House.

Postage stamp pattern – A pattern of four numbers forming a 2 by 2 grid in any of the four corners.

Progressive jackpot – A jackpot that increases until it is won.

Quickie – A bingo game where the numbers are called as quickly as possible and the card must be full to win.

Rainbow pack – A paper pack that allows players to play three or four different prize denominations at once.

Session – A program of bingo consisting of regular games.

Six-pack – Six numbers in a block on one card.

Speed bingo – A variation of regular bingo where the numbers are called very quickly and a player can bingo in as few as three numbers.

Split pot – A bingo game where the winner splits the sales of the game with the House.

T.E.D. – An electronic dauber system used to play multiple packs at once.

Texas blackout – A bingo variation with the first number called is either odd or even. If the first number called is even then all the even numbers on the cards are Wild. Cover all the even numbers. If the first number called is odd, cover all the odd numbers. The game then proceeds to a Blackout.

Throwaways – Bingo cards printed on thin sheets of paper. Also called Flimsies.

Wrap up – The last game of a bingo session.