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Basic Bingo Terms

Players new to bingo should understand some basic bingo terms before beginning play in either a land-based bingo hall, or an online bingo room. The following is a bingo glossary of the basic bingo terms needed.

Bingo
The basic game of bingo is a game of chance. It is played with specially designed bingo cards which have numbered squares. The numbered squares match with numbered balls, which are randomly drawn and called out until a player has marked off or covered a specified number and pattern of squares. Once the required squares have been covered, the player holding that card calls out "bingo" and wins the game.

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Bingo Card

Cards are usually arranged in a 5 x 5 square, with 24 numbers on it. Each column is headed by a letter from the word bingo (B-I-N-G-O). Random numbers from specified sets are printed under each column. For example, for 75 ball bingo, the sets are divided in the following way: 1 - 15 under B, 16 - 30 under I, 31 - 45 under N, 46 - 60 under G, 61 - 75 under O.

Blower
Used in live bingo, this device works by using forced air. It mixes the bingo balls and then releases one at a time. The randomly released ball is announced by the caller.

Buy-In
This is the bingo term used to describe the conversion of cash into bingo cards. Players purchase either an Admission Packet, or bingo cards.

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Caller
After the numbers are blown out of the blower, the caller is the person who calls out the numbers to the crowds.

Chat Room
A chat room is the place where those playing Internet bingo can 'chat' by typing to other players in the same bingo game. The chats take place in real-time, so players can chat about anything from the current bingo game to any other appropriate topics.

Dauber (Bingo Marker)
This dauber is used in live bingo. A dauber is a foam-tipped, ink-filled pen. Players use the dauber to mark off all the called numbers that appear on their bingo cards. Some bingo halls insist that daubers are used, and will not let players use other methods to mark their cards.

Free Space
The middle square of a bingo card is a free space. If it forms part of a pattern for a game, it is already considered to be daubed or covered.

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Game Room (Bingo Room)
This is similar to a bingo hall, but it is an online 'room' in which players play bingo games. Different rooms usually allow players to buy cards at different prices.

Multiple Winners
When more than one player gets a bingo at the same time. In these cases, cash prizes are divided equally amongst the winners.

Pattern
There are many patterns or shapes that are used in bingo games. The numbers on the pattern need to be covered in order to win the game.

Wrap Up
This is simply the bingo term for the last game of a session.