Welcome to Best Bingo Search’s online bingo glossary for all the bingo newbies and those of you wanting to check your jargon!


This bingo glossary includes all the technical terms and jargon you are likely to come across in both online and offline bingo rooms.


This A-Z online bingo glossary aims to explain the most commonly used terms and phrases you are likely to hear or use both in offline and online bingo.  This means that you will be able to speak the lingo fully when playing online bingo in the UK.  We aim to keep this updated with all the latest in bingo terminology.


Bingo Glossary Terms


75 Number Bingo

75 number bingo means there are 75 numbers available to call.

90 Number Bingo

90 number bingo means that there are 90 bingo numbers available to call. The bingo cards also look different from 75 number bingo.

After Game

The game played after the regular session of play.

Ball Gate

The flap that lets the ball out in a bingo ball dispensing machine at the top of the ball runway. The ball passes under the ball gate 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 from which 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.


A box section containing playing consoles and coin slots on both sides. A conveyor belt inside moves money from the coin slots to a cash box at one end of the barrier. Players face each other to play, across the barriers.

Basket Bingo

Bingo game where “basket” prizes are given.


This is a game where players cover squares on numbered cards when corresponding numbers are called out. The aim is to cover a complete line. Beano was around before bingo and is so called because beans were originally used to cover the numbers called out.

Bingo Board

A bingo display board (usually electronic) that lights up to show each number that is called.

Bingo Booklets

This is used for offline bingo in bingo halls and is a number of different coloured bingo sheets bound together into a booklet. They are usually bound in the order in which they will be played.

Bingo Card

In 90 ball bingo a player’s bingo card has 3 rows and 9 columns. Each row has 5 numbers and 4 blank spaces.

Bingo Marker

In traditional offline bingo, a crayon or an ink bingo ‘dabber’ is used to cover the numbers on a bingo game card as they are called out. With most online bingo sites you can choose to dab manually or to use the Auto Dab function if available: all numbers called that match those on your tickets are automatically dabbed. This is ideal if you have purchased a large number of tickets, so you don’t have to watch each one.

Blackout or Coverall

This is a variation of bingo where the object of the game is to cover all of the spaces on your bingo card.


A forced-air device that mixes the bingo balls up and dispenses them to the caller who announces the bingo numbers and displays them on a bingo board.

Bonanza Bingo

A progressive coverall jackpot.  This is usually played as the 13th game of the session in traditional bingo. Forty-five bingo numbers are drawn before the session and players mark them on separate cards. The countdown starts at 48 numbers or less and go up one number per week to 52 numbers or until won. The amount of the jackpot is determined by card sales for that particular game.


A bound selection of bingo tickets to make a small book..

Break Open

A multi-ply card made from paper with perforated tabs. The play area of the card is covered to conceal numbers, letters or symbols, some of which have been designated in advance as prize winners.  The player must break open the perforation to display the prize.

Buzzword Bingo

A game played using ‘buzzwords’ in place of bingo numbers. Players mark words and phrases on their card as they are spoken. The first player to mark five phrases or words in a row calls “bingo”.


The person who calls out the bingo numbers when they are drawn from the bingo machine.


The bingo sheet / playing card used to mark off bingo numbers as they are called by the bingo caller.

Cash Ball

A progressive jackpot that pays on the bingo number called.  This is drawn before the session begins.

Cash In Prize

A bingo game where the prize is a cash payout. The cash prize is taken from the money paid in.

Chat Games

This is in online bingo where chat room games are offered as a way of providing additional chances to win.  These are for regular players and chatters. Bonus money is intended to enhance the online gaming experience.

Chat Master (CM)

The person in charge of online bingo chat rooms and chat games. Also called the chat monitor or chat moderator, the CM will usually type in capitals or bold font to differentiate themselves from other players and is there to ensure everything runs smoothly. The Chat Master will also usually direct the chat games.

Chat Room

In online bingo most bingo rooms have a section of the website dedicated to chatting with other online bingo players. You can chat to other players whilst playing bingo at the same time. It is a great opportunity to meet like minded individuals and make friends online.

Consolation Prize

A prize sometimes offered if there is no winner in a predetermined number of calls.


This is the same as blackout or full house where the bingo player covers all bingo numbers drawn on their ticket in order to win a prize.

Early Bird Game

An Early game that usually starts before the actual session.  It also sometimes refers to the first game of the session, however the first game of a session is more commonly known as a Warm Up.


The individual bingo sheet containing 24 bingo numbers and a free space in the middle.

Flimsy or Flimsies

Bingo cards printed on thin sheets of paper. There are usually three cards printed on a single sheet.

Four Corners

A bingo pattern that involves covering the four corner numbers of the card in order to win.

Free Space

The blank square in the centre of the card with no number assigned to it. The free space counts towards a winning pattern in 75 number bingo and should be covered at the start of every game.

Full House

A winning pattern in which a player has marked off all the bingo numbers on their ticket that the bingo callerhas called.

Game Board

In online bingo it is an electronic display board next to the bingo board that displays the pattern needed to win that particular game. The game board looks like a bingo card and shows the variation of bingo being played.

Game Room

When playing online bingo, there are a choice of different bingo rooms that players can enter called “game rooms” where they can either play bingo or chat to other bingo players.


An electronic dauber system which enables a player to play multiple packs at one time. Usually only one is allowed per person and for a small fee.

Hard Ball

This is the first bingo ball number drawn at the start of the bingo session.

Hard Card

A bingo card printed on heavy cardboard material with shutters to cover each bingo numbers as it is called out.

Hardway Bingo

Bingo in a straight line without the use of the free space.


This is the term used to mean the gambling establishment, such as a casino or bingo hall.

Inlaid Card

A pre-printed card with black discs used to cover the bingo numbers as they are called out.

Inside Square

A bingo pattern in 75 number bingo in which players must cover all the numbers in the I, N and G columns, surrounding the free space in order to win.

Instant Bingo

This is a break open ticket which contains the letters B I N G O, bingo card faces, bingo numbers, and no other symbols. Players must incorporate letters spelling the word B-I-N-G-O or complete a pre designated bingo pattern (vertical, horizontal or diagonal line) in order to win.


The largest prize usually awarded for achieving a difficult pattern (such as a blackout) within a specified number of balls. One type is the progressive bingo jackpot, where the jackpot increases as you play, and the winner is the first person who gets bingo within a set amount of calls (usually 40-50).


A player who covers all of the numbers on any one row of their bingo ticket.

Lucky Jar (or Cookie Jar)

A jar containing cash, of which the contents can be won by the player who gets “bingo” on the lucky number. The lucky number is usually the first bingo number to be called out at the beginning of a session. Money is added to the jar every time the lucky number is called or if the caller makes a mistake in announcing the game.

Main Stage Bingo

This is the main event bingo game in a bingo hall or online.

Minimum Buy-in

The minimum amount that players must deposit, spend and play in order to be eligible for prizes.

Money Ball

A number which is drawn by the bingo caller before the game.  This offers double winnings for the player who achieves “bingo” on that specific number.

Multiple Winners

If two or more players achieve “bingo” at the same time. The prize money is divided equally between them.


Bingo displays grouped together in a mushroom-like shape, with a narrow tubular base, and a wider top. 6-8 players can sit around the mushroom to play.

Nine Pack

Nine bingo numbers in a block on one card.


A player is ‘on’ if they are waiting for just one bingo number on one or more of their cards in order to win and achieve bingo.

On The Way

The game played prior to the blackout on the same card.


Short for participation bingo, parti is a type of slot or cash bingo in which the prize is cash and depends on the number of players (the prize has to be a minimum of 50% of the money paid in).


The pattern players need to make on their card, by covering corresponding bingo numbers when called out, in order to win. For 90 number bingo the patterns include single line across (line), two lines across (two lines) and full house.


The percentage of sales / winnings paid out by the house.

Pod Top

The unit on top of the barrier that contains all the mechanisms used in the game, such as coin mechanisms, credit displays and claim buttons.

Postage Stamp Pattern

A pattern that covers four numbers in a postage stamp formation (a 2 x 2 grid) in any of the four corners.

Prize Bingo

A game of bingo in which a set prize, vouchers or cash can be won.

Progressive Jackpot

A jackpot that continues to increase over a period of time if it is not won in a set number of bingo calls.


A bingo game in which the bingo numbers are called as quickly as possible and the player’s card must be fully covered to win.

Rainbow Pack

A paper bingo pack that allows players to play for three or four different prizes at once.


Reno Night

An evening of casino games such as blackjack and roulette which are often held in bingo halls, restaurants or hotels.


RNG stands for Random Number Generator and is the electronic machine used to pick the numbers for a game of offline bingo.  This is instead of the traditional bingo ball machine.

Serial Number

The minimum five-digit number printed on each set of charity game tickets or cards. Each ticket in a set has the same serial number.


The number of unique faces that a single set will contain. For example: a 5000 series will have 5000 unique faces.


This is the length of time that a bingo game can last.  In traditional bingo the length of a session is usually between two and a half hours to three hours. In online bingo a session is simply the amount of time you choose to play for. There are no time limits with online bingo, and you can have a session of bingo at any time, day or night as most of the sites are open 24/7.

Shutter Board

A hand held reusable plastic board with pre-printed numbers, usually in a 4×4 format. Bingo numbers are marked off when called with shutters.  These are typical in amusement arcades.

Single Line Across

A pattern in which a player has marked off all the bingo numbers on any one row of their card.

Six Pack

Six bingo numbers in a block on one card.


Games played with a set of cards different to those purchased at admission.  These may be for a different prize amount or some other ‘special’ reason why they are sold separately.

Speed Bingo

A variation of bingo in which bingo numbers are called very quickly and players can achieve bingo in as few as three numbers. Speed bingo is usually played before or after a regular session.

Split Pot

A bingo game in which the winner splits the total amount of the sales of the game (the pot) with the bingo hall or house.

Table Board Bingo

A lottery scheme in which players purchase a table board bingo card. To win the player must complete specified arrangements or patterns of numbers on the Table Board from bingo numbers selected at random.


These are the same as flimsies in that they are paper bingo tickets that can be easily disposed of after a game of bingo.


Printed pages on which the main bingo game is played. The pages are laid out in grids and usually come in booklets. Tickets are seen on screen in online bingo.

Two Lines Across

A pattern in which a player has marked off all the bingo numbers on any two rows of their bingo card / ticket.


The number of bingo sheets used to make up a book.

Warm Up

This is the same as the early bird game, in that it is played before the main bingo games.

Wild Number

A wild number is usually played on a double bingo that leads into a triple bingo. The first bingo number drawn usually determines the wild number. For example if 52 is drawn, all numbers ending in 2 can be marked off.

Wrap Up

The last bingo game of a session.