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Bingo Terms

Since there are many terms exclusive to bingo, it is important to understand them before beginning the game. Below, is a list with some of the main terminology used and a simple explanation of what they mean.

  1. Admission Packet – Before beginning the game, each player must buy an “admission packet.” There are different admission packets available depending on what game you choose to play, but usually each packet contains three to six cards. Again, this depends on where you play your game

  2. After Game – There is a special “after game” played (after!) the regular bingo game.

  3. Ball Gate; ball lifter; ball runway; ball shooter; bingo board; blower – These are technical terms basically explaining how the numbered ball travels to the display board before being called out for the players at the bingo board.

  4. Bingo Books/Booklets – Bingo cards are put together to comprise “bingo books/booklets. One is played in each game.

  5. Bingo Card – The “bingo card” is what every player uses to cross off the numbers as they are called.

  6. Bingo Marker; dauber – Each player uses a “bingo marker” with watch to cross off the numbers on their card as they are called out.

  7. Blackout – To win a bingo game, the aim is a “blackout” (also known as a coverall). This is when you “black out” the whole card; in other words, you cross off all the numbers. This is very rare and has only been recorded to have happened in as few as 43 numbers have been recorded.

  8. Bonanza Bingo – Usually the 13th game in a bingo session has a progressive coverall jackpot (“bonanza bingo”) in which 45 numbers are drawn prior to the session and players mark them on separate cards and put them aside.

  9. Breakopen – A multi-ply card, comprised of paper using perforated “breakopen” tabs. The game play area of the card conceals a number(s), letter(s) and/or symbol(s); some of which have been designated in advance as prize winners.

  10. Face – A bingo sheet containing 24 numbers plus the free space in the middle.

  11. Four Corners - A pattern where all corner numbers must be covered to win.

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

  13. Hard Card – Bingo card printed on heavy cardboard material using shutters to cover each number as they are called out.

  14. Hardway Bingo - Bingo in a straight line without using the free space.

  15. Instant Bingo – A ticket with the letters B I N G O, bingo card faces, bingo numbers, and no other symbols.

  16. Lucky Jar (or Cookie Jar) – A container with cash. You win this if you bingo on the lucky number.

  17. Money Ball – The number drawn before the game that will cause a player’s winnings to double if bingo is hit there.

  18. Mushroom – A group of bingo displays with a narrow tubular base, and a wider head with the machinery used to play the game and collect money from players like a “mushroom.”

  19. Parti – Short for participation bingo, the cash prize depends on the players as it uses at least half of the money paid in.

  20. Rainbow Pack – A paper pack whereby players can play for three or four different prize denominations together.

  21. RNG – Random Number Generator; the electronic machine used to select numbers in a game.

  22. Speed Bingo – Like regular bingo but numbers are called rapidly and players can select as few as three numbers. Usually played before or after a regular session.

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