How Well Do You Know Your Bingo Lingo?

Bingo is a game that is played by all age groups in bingo halls, casinos and on online bingo sites. However, there are some who are unaware that bingo has its own vocabulary or ‘bingo slang’. Here are some of the more common bingo terms that you may or may not be familiar with in bingo halls around the world and online.
  • Admission Packet

The minimum amount of cards or plays that need to be purchased before a player is allowed to participate. Admission packets are used at both bingo halls and for online bingo games.
  • Bingo Balls 

Bingo balls come in sets of 75 or 90. In hand cranked hoppers, common at church or school-sponsored bingo games, these were made of wood. Today, bingo balls are made of plastic, similar in size and weight to ping-pong balls. Many bingo operations have a console or blower that constantly mixes up the balls so that they are truly random when drawn by the bingo caller. 
  • Bingo Caller

Is the person who serves as the Emcee of the bingo game. The caller is usually set above the players on a platform or console so that they can be seen by all in attendance. The caller draws bingo balls randomly selected from the bingo hopper and calls them out to the players. 
  • Bingo Console 

A bingo console is a unit that contains the blower chamber for the bingo balls and is used by the bingo caller to run the bingo game. 
  • Cover All

An alternative name used for a blackout bingo game.
  • Daubers or Dabbers 

Bingo daubers or dabbers are bottles filled with a water soluble ink that comes in a wide variety of shades, including bright fluorescent colors. These daubers are used to mark off called bingo numbers on printed paper bingo sheets. They are also great for amusing kids or grandkids you might have along with you. 
  • Early Bird or Warm Up Bingo

Early bird or warm up bingo games are usually held shortly before official bingo start time at a bingo hall or on some online venues. There are usually between 2-10 early bird bingo games which offer small cash or lower value door prizes and are a great way for players to occupy their time or get warmed up before the official games begin.
  • Flashboard

Usually is an electronic board that is often part of the bingo console. The flashboard displays the numbers that have been called out by the bingo caller. Many larger bingo operations will also have satellite flashboards that are located at various locations within the bingo hall. 
  • Floor Worker 

A worker at the bingo games who sells bingo sheets, extra cards, and can call back numbers on a bingo sheet or card to the bingo caller to verify a winner. Depending on the bingo hall, floor workers may at times be able to run short errands for players so that they can keep their attention on the game.
  • Free Space

the square located in the middle of each bingo card or sheet. 
  • Game Pattern

There are scores of different game patterns in addition to the five in a row; up, down, across, diagonal, or blackout. A winning ticket may be required to make up a pattern such as an X, a plane, four corners or other type of picture made from the called numbers. The pattern is usually determined by the bingo caller before the game starts.
  • Late Bird or Wrap Up Game 

Like the early bird or warm up session, this usually consists of 2-10 bingo games after the regular bingo session. Smaller jackpots are awarded
  • Nite Owl

Nite Owl bingo games at the bingo hall are for the hardcore bingo fanatics in a bingo hall. Like early bird and late bird sessions, nite owl bingo games usually are 2-10 bingo games that offer smaller jackpots than the regular bingo session. The really great thing about online bingo, however, is that you don’t have to go by anyone else’s schedule and play anytime and anywhere!
  • Progressive Jackpot

A prize where the amount of money continues to grow until someone wins it. 
  • Winner Takes All 

This game usually is at the end of the session or after. The jackpot for this game is determined by how many cards are sold just before this game. The winner receives all the money raised in the sales of bingo sheets and cards for this game.
If you like to play online bingo, you will soon discover other slang terms along the way. You may pick up many more new terms if you are in a bingo chat while you are playing. Some of these may include nicknames for certain numbers. Online bingo players tend to be really helpful people. So, if you aren’t familiar with a particular term or are confused, there’s usually someone more than happy to help explain it to you. Later as you become more adept and learn the lingo, you may end up helping others as well.

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