Bingo Glossary

Bingo Terms

One of the unique characteristics of playing Bingo is the quirky terminology commonly used. Below are a collection of bingo terms that will acquaint new players to the game and provide an important review to long-time bingo players.

Bingo Terminology

Ready, Waiting, Cased, Set - The terms "Ready," "Waiting," "Cased," and "Set" all refer to the condition in which a player only needs on more number to complete a Bingo pattern and win the game.

On - When a player has multiple Bingo cards that each only require one number to complete, the player is considered to be on.

Breaking the Bubble - The bubble is the minimum number of balls required to complete the Bingo pattern. When a player achieves bingo using only the minimum number of balls to complete the Bingo pattern it is called "breaking the bubble."

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False Alarm, Bongo, Social Error - When a player calls Bingo but is mistaken and has not completed a valid Bingo pattern it is referred to as a false alarm, bongo, or social error. Players who commit a false alarm genuinely believe they have often misheard a number or accidentally stamped the wrong slot.

Jumping the Gun - Similar to a false alarm, "jumping the gun" occurs when a player calls Bingo too early or in anticipation of the next number to be called, although the Bingo pattern is not yet complete.

Eyes Down - "Eyes down," is the Bingo caller's verbal cue to the players that a game is about to begin.

Early Bird Game - An early bird game is a game played early, before the regularly scheduled games at a bingo hall.

After Game - An after game is a game played after the end of the regularly scheduled session of play at a bingo hall.

Hard Card - A non-disposable card made of cardboard or plastic and which typically uses shutters to cover the slots as the numbers are called.

Flimsy, Throwaway - A flimsy is a Bingo card printed on a thin sheet of paper. Often there are three cards printed on a single sheet but can also come in one, two, for, six, or nine card varieties.

Inlaid Card - A pre-printed card inset into a table and permanently affixed. Plastic discs are then used to cover the numbers as they are called.

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Lucky Jar - In some Bingo games, a lucky number for the night is determined at the start of the night. Money is then added whenever the lucky number is called or when the caller makes a mistake. The pool of money collected in the lucky jar is given to a winner who gets Bingo on the "lucky" number in addition to the jackpot.

Split Pot - A Bingo game in which the revenue from the sales of that game are split with the house.

Postage Stamp - A postage stamp pattern is a pattern that requires matching four numbers to make a 2x2 grid in any of the four corners.

Market Bingo - Market Bingo is a game of Bingo played for goods or vouchers instead of a cash jackpot.

Texas Blackout - Texas Blackout is a variation of Bingo. If the first number called is even, then all even numbers on a card must be covered before the game proceeds to a blackout. If the first number called is odd, then all odd numbers on a card must be covered before the game proceeds to a blackout.

Fair and Square - Fair and Square is a game in which all players must purchase the same quantity of tickets so that no one player has an advantage.