How to Play Bingo: Rules and Winning Strategies

Are you ready for a game of chance and fun? Look no further because today, I’ll explain how to play Bingo which has become a staple pastime for people of all ages. Originating from a carnival game called Beano in the 1920s, the Bingo game these days has a few types with different rules.

This guide will give you a comprehensive understanding of the game, from the rules, variations, and terminology to winning strategies. So grab a bingo card, a dauber, and get ready to shout “BINGO” as you master the game and enjoy hours of entertainment with friends and family.

How Does Bingo Work?

Have you ever wondered who invented the bingo game? Edwin S. Lowe came up with the game in 1929 after observing a similar game played at a carnival. In the beginning, the game was called beano, but after a bingo player accidentally said “bingo” instead of “beano,” the name was officially changed to bingo. This game quickly gained popularity in the US and elsewhere.

Bingo is primarily a game of luck, and the odds of winning are determined by the numbers on your Bingo card. In this how to play bingo article, we will go into detail on how having more than one bingo card with more numbers can improve your odds of winning.

The bingo rules are quite simple for beginners, and you’ll learn them as you play! Getting five horizontals, verticals, or diagonals in a row is the goal of bingo. Depending on the host, some bingo patterns may differ.

Bingo Terminology

Like many other games, bingo has its own terminology. Here’s a list of common bingo terms:

  • Admission packet – Admission is gained by purchasing bingo tickets.
  • Bingo board – It’s usually electronic and shows the numbers as they’re called.
  • Bingo card – A card used to facilitate the game.
  • Blackout – A pattern where all the numbers on a card must be covered.
  • Breakopen – A multiply card made from paper with perforated tabs.
  • Consolation prize – A prize that’s less valuable than the main prize.
  • Dauber – A pen used to mark the numbers.
  • Early bird game – A game that starts before a regular bingo game.
  • Face – Individual bingo sheets.
  • Flare card – A card that explains the rules of the game, prizes, and symbols.
  • Free space – An empty square in the middle of a bingo ticket.
  • Hard card – Durable and reusable bingo card.
  • Hardway – A straight-line bingo pattern without using the free space.
  • Instants – Pull tabs that pay the prize instantly.
  • Jackpot – An award granted for completing a rare pattern.
  • Lucky jar – A money jar that’s won if you say bingo on the lucky number.
  • Money ball – A number drawn before the game that doubles the winnings if bingo is called on that number.
  • Moonlight bingo – A bingo game that starts late at night.
  • Nicknames – Announcing numbers in a humorous way.
  • Ons – Number of bingo faces per sheet.
  • Payout – The percentage of sales that the house pays out.
  • Raffle – A game where bingo players are required to purchase tickets to win prizes. The winner is determined at random.
  • Series – The number of “faces” in a set of cards.
  • Session – A period during which bingo is played, normally no more than three hours.
  • Six pack/nine pack – Six or nine numbers in a block.
  • Special – A game played with a set of cards different from those purchased at the admission.
  • Speed bingo – A variation of a typical bingo game that requires fewer numbers to win.
  • Split pot – The winnings are split between the bingo hall and the winner, with a predetermined percentage going to the bingo hall.
  • Turbo – An electronic dauber system used for playing multiple packs at the same time.
  • Validation – A requirement to win additional prizes is eligibility.
  • Wild number – A number played on a double bingo that triggers triple bingo.
  • Wrap up – The final game in a session.

Yellow, green and blue bingo boards

Bingo Rules

The outcome of the game largely depends on probability. To understand the basics of bingo game rules, we need to know how many numbers in bingo there are. Bingo cards consist of 15 random numbers between 1 and 90. A typical bingo card has 25 spaces. The point is to match the numbers in the following way:

  • Four Corners – Each corner has four numbers
  • Line – A horizontal row of five numbers
  • Two lines – A horizontal line with five numbers
  • Full house – All numbers on the ticket are covered

In each bingo game, the numbers are selected by the bingo caller of the game. After that, a bingo caller calls out numbers (1–90) using a computer, a random number generator, or a mechanical drawing machine. When bingo was first invented, bingo callers drew numbers from a bag. This method, however, is no longer used.

As bingo players become accustomed to them, bingo calls range from traditional calls to modern and funny calls.

Players use bingo daubers to cross off that number on their cards. These pens have round heads and a felt tip. Some bingo halls now use computers for this process. Playing online bingo will make bingo daubing automatic for you.

To win a prize, you must mark enough numbers to shout “bingo.” If you don’t shout bingo before the next number is called, you’ll miss your chance to win. Make sure you learn the most important rules of bingo before you start playing the game.

Types of Bingo

There are different ways to play bingo. The main difference is in the numbers on the ticket and the numbers that can be called. Let’s check some of the most relevant types of bingo and remember that each type has its own bingo instructions and sometimes its own bingo board.

75 Ball Bingo

The players cross off their tickets as the numbers are called. For example, bingo tickets with 75 bingo balls have five horizontal lines and five columns. The word BINGO is spelled out at the top of the ticket, and there’s a column under each letter.

Let’s explain each column. Column B contains five numbers ranging from 1 to 15, column I contains five numbers ranging from 16 to 30, column N has four numbers (the fifth number is a blank space) ranging from 31 to 45, column G has five numbers ranging from 46 to 60, and, finally, column O has five numbers ranging from 71 to 75.

As with 90-ball bingo, 75-ball bingo has several ways to win, including winning lines and winning patterns:

  • Coverall game
  • The players try to cover all 24 numbers on each card
  • Wins the line

You will win if you cover a line horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

90 Ball Bingo

In a 90-ball bingo game, numbers are arranged on a 3×9 grid. Each line has five numbers and four empty spots.

There are three ways to win:

  • 1-line bingo: Players try to cover a complete horizontal line on each card.
  • 2-line bingo: There are two lines that players go for. They need to cover the numbers on two out of three rows on any ticket.
  • Full house: To win, players must cover all the numbers on their tickets. In addition, jackpots and grand prizes are often awarded for full-house wins.

80 Ball Bingo

There are 16 numbers arranged into a 4×4 grid in an 80-ball bingo game, which is relatively new in the bingo world. You can win in a variety of ways because each column is a different color. Some examples are:

  • Horizontal, vertical, and diagonal bingo: Complete a single line.
  • Four corners: Cover the numbers in each corner of your card.
  • Full house: Cover all the numbers on your card.


Slingo is a combination of bingo and slots. A typical slingo game includes a 5×5 grid and 25 numbers drawn from the traditional 75-ball bingo. You get between 10 and 20 spins per game, and the goal is to cross off as many numbers on your grid as you can.

You can play slingo online or in a brick-and-mortar casino. With its simple yet addictive gameplay, it’s a popular casual game suitable for players of all ages.

female hands holding the bingo board

How to Play Bingo: Essential Details

So, how do you play bingo, actually? Well, the numbers on your bingo tickets must be crossed off when they’re called out in both online and land-based bingo. In order to win the game, all your numbers must be crossed off before anyone else. The type of bingo game you play determines how many numbers you get on your ticket.

A bingo ticket will be given to you with numbers corresponding to those drawn by the caller. When you hear the words “90-ball” or “75-ball”, don’t get confused. In the past, bingo numbers were printed on a ball and given to the bingo caller to announce.

It has been a long time since bingo was played with printed numbers. Now some halls play bingo electronically, and some offer online bingo games. Despite this, cheeky bingo calls remain a staple of bingo. These rhymes could be used as part of bingo games or online chats by your bingo caller.

Several factors can influence the outcome of a bingo game. For example, you could win a full house by covering all the lines on your card. Also, if your numbers are called, and the pattern can be crossed off, you may win additional cash. However, you may not win the game.

For instance, you might win an additional prize if you cross off a certain number or pattern of numbers before anyone else or if you mark a certain number of numbers when the game ends. It’s possible to win cash prizes, additional game cards, or other rewards as part of these bonuses or jackpots. Furthermore, some bingo halls offer progressive jackpots that any player can win regardless of their performance. During the breaks, mini-games with cash prizes are available in addition to a standard bingo game.

How to Win in Bingo?

Buying a bingo card is the first step toward winning a game of bingo. How do you win in bingo, though? It’s a big question for new bingo players. As the bingo caller calls out these numbers, you’ll mark them on your bingo card. Bingo games have different patterns, such as squares, diagonals, full houses, or specific shapes, depending on your game type.

Purchasing multiple cards will increase your chances of winning. Also, you can determine which numbers are more likely to be called next based on the numbers being called. However, there’s no guarantee that you’ll win the game since your odds mainly depend on luck.

Strategies for Bingo Game

However, there are ways to increase your chances of winning bingo despite being an easy-to-play game. Here are some tips that will help you win more often.

Buy More Tickets

It’s always better to purchase more bingo tickets at any bingo game to increase your chances of winning. If you plan on buying many cards, be sure you can handle them as you play. You can reap huge rewards if you get it right.

Carefully Select Your Seat

It’s important to consider your location in a bingo hall. The most important thing is to sit where you can’t get distracted. If possible, seat yourself close to the caller. To win, you must not miss any numbers!

Play with Fewer People

It’s harder to gauge the chances of winning big, but you can increase your chances with a little luck. Attendance at bingo halls varies from day to day and from time to time. You’ll have a better chance of winning if you can figure out when these times are.

Get Familiar with the Rules

In order to play any game well, you need to familiarize yourself with it. The same goes for bingo. Learning the basic bingo rules is a must to master the game.


The game of bingo is popular among people of all ages. A typical bingo card has a 5×5 grid and 25 squares with numbers. A random number generator generates the numbers and the host calls them out. A specific pattern for that game is formed by matching the numbers on your card to those called out. Forming the pattern by crossing the numbers off is the first step toward winning. There are different rules for different types of bingo. Bingo is usually played in 75-ball and 90-ball variations.

It’s possible to earn extra rewards or bonuses if you cross off numbers before anyone else. A bonus or jackpot can be a cash prize, additional game, or other rewards. Overall, people of all ages can enjoy bingo because it’s a fun, simple game. Of course, you’ll understand the game better by following our how to play bingo guide.


How do I play bingo?

A bingo card consists of a 5×5 grid with 25 squares containing numbers except for the square in the center. The host calls out the numbers at random. Matching numbers on players’ cards are crossed off.

What are the rules of bingo?

In general, bingo rules differ according to the game, but you have to match the numbers on your card to the numbers called out. Players win when they match a specific pattern of numbers, such as a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line.

What are the different types of bingo games?

Bingo games have a few variants, including 75-ball bingo, 80-ball bingo, 90-ball bingo, and speed bingo. The rules and patterns depend on the game.

What is the objective of the bingo game?

Be the first to complete a specific pattern or fill a full bingo card by matching the numbers on your card with the ones called out.

How is math used in bingo?

Even though bingo is a game of chance, there are some elements of math involved. For instance, probability is a significant factor in bingo. In math, for instance, the most common type of probability distribution is Gaussian distribution, found in statistics, engineering, and probability theory.

What do you shout in bingo?

There are no strict rules, but players mostly shout “bingo,” “house, ” or “yes” when they have a winning card. It’s more important, however, to learn how to play bingo than to think about these expressions.