Bingo Lingo Glossary Guide
Bingo itself is a fairly simple game for all to enjoy, and these days with advancements in technology - more and more people are enjoying online bingo than ever before.
Sometimes, the ‘bingo lingo’ associated with the game can be a bit confusing, especially if you are new to the online bingo space. Chat rooms can only add to the bewilderment with what seems like a sea of abbreviations.
Bearing this in mind, we have put together a comprehensive guide on bingo lingo covering everything from all of the terms you are likely to see to the most frequently used acronyms used in bingo chat rooms.
Bingo Site Lingo A-Z
Without any further ado, we’re going to dive straight in and start with some of the terminologies you are most likely to come across on your bingo adventures.
Beside each common bingo term, you will see a short description to get you started.
- Best Card Highlighting: This means that when you are close to a win, you’ll get a heads-up. Your bingo card will be automatically highlighted by the platform’s in-house system.
- Best Card Sorting: In this instance, your cards will be automatically sorted for you. The bingo cards which are most likely to give you a win will be put at the top of the virtual pile.
- Bingo Board: When talking about land-based casinos, this is the big electronic board which displays numbers as they are called. In the online space, a section of your screen will be used to show you numbers called. This way you won’t miss a thing.
- Bingo Card: Every bingo site differs slightly, but you will always be given a digital form of a bingo card. Some platforms will randomly generate a card automatically, whilst others will offer you the opportunity to select your own card to play with.
- Bingo Networks: More commonly seen now, bingo networks are a number of bingo platforms all connected by a ‘network’. As a result, players can be on different websites but still playing against each other.
This, of course, means that each player is contributing to a much more impressive jackpot prize. Some networks are bigger than others, but generally the bigger the network, the bigger the prizes will be.
- Deposit: Before you can start playing bingo, a lot of sites will require a minimum deposit from you. This is essentially a case of you topping up your bingo account with real money via your desired payment method.
It’s a good idea to check the paytable on each site as they are all slightly different. Also bear in mind that your payment method will often determine how long it will take for your funds to reach your account. For example, if you want to play right away, you might want to reconsider using a bank transfer to top up your account.
- Eyes Down: This bingo phrase has been around for decades and was regularly yelled out by the bingo caller in the rowdy bingo clubs of the past. When you hear or see ‘eyes down’, then it’s time to focus on the game as it’s nearly time for bingo to start.
- Full House: Even if you’ve never played a game of bingo in your life, chances are you’ve heard of a full house. When a lucky player marks off the whole card they have been lucky enough to get a full house and win the big prize.
- Line: By marking off all numbers in a single line on your card, then you’ve bagged a ‘line win’. You win a smaller portion of the main prize on this one, which is known as a ‘house’.
- Minimum Buy-In: This is the lowest denomination of bingo cards (or tickets) that you can purchase in order to play the game.
- Payment Method: No matter what bingo platform you decide to play on, you are going to need to select a payment method. It might be a wise idea to check what payment options are actually available on the site before signing up. This is especially true if you have a specific method you prefer to deposit with.
- RNG: This is an acronym for the computer program ‘Random Number Generator’. Each and every bingo ball (number) drawn will be determined by an RNG. In a nutshell, this ensures that all games are fair, random and unique.
This software is considered to be cryptographically strong and each game is tested for true randomness with any change no matter how small.
- Software Provider: Sometimes called software developers, every bingo site you play on is powered by a software company. These providers design and enhance bingo and casino games for the online masses.
Some of the most recognisable names in software design are Dragonfish, Gamesys and Microgaming, but there are nearly a hundred. Each of these companies is individually licenced and regulated by the Gambling Commission.
You then get third party testing houses which test all games before they go ‘live’ for fairness and randomness.
The Most Common Bingo Calls
When it comes to numbers, each one has a different call attached to it, although bingo callers rarely attach a rhyme to every number.
Traditionally, calls give players a chance to check their card before the next number is revealed, whilst adding a bit of fun to the game.
We’ve listed just some of the most commonly used bingo calls and the number associated with them.
- 1 - Kelly’s Eye. This one is believed to have been named after an Australian outlaw with one eye.
- 3 - Cup of tea: This one is most certainly of English origin, not least the Brits are well known for enjoying a good old cup of tea!
- 9 - Doctors Orders: This call dates back to World War II, soldiers were given a laxative called ‘Number 9’.
- 10: Boris’s Den. This one changes with the times. It’s a reference to number 10 Downing street and changes depending on which Prime Minister is in power at the time.
- 11: Legs Eleven. So-called due to the resemblance of a pair of legs.
- 13 - Unlucky for some. 13 is considered unlucky in most Western cultures. On the contrary, in Italy, it’s a lucky number.
- 17: Dancing Queen. From the famous Abba song “You are a dancing queen, young and sweet only 17”. These days we’re seeing alternatives popping up like ‘selfie queen 17’
- 22 - Two Lucky. Mimics two ducks side by side.
- 30 - Dirty Gertie. La Delivrance was a statue installed in North London in the early 20s and was nicknamed Gertrude and later ‘dirty Gertie’ as it was considered risque. That is where this particular call originates.
- 76: Trombones. The music Man is a musical and back in the day, and Trombones was a popular song from it.
- 88: Two Fat Ladies. A decades-old call. The two 8’s are said to mimic 2 curvy ladies standing side by side.
When entering a chat room on any bingo platform that has one, you will notice a lot of abbreviations.
If you consider yourself a bit of a sociable bingo player then before you join in it’s a good idea to make yourself aware of chat lingo.
Although we haven’t listed every single term, below you will find the most commonly used acronyms seen in bingo chat rooms.
- 1TG: This is your 1 number warning, meaning one more number will be called before you win.
- 2TG: This indicates that there are 2 more numbers before you win.
- CM: Chat Moderator. Sometimes called the ‘chat host’. This person will be responsible for keeping a watchful eye on the chat space, making sure no one is being offensive or inappropriate in any way.Another major role for the CM is to run the bingo chat games. On most platforms, the chat host will also be available to enthusiastically answer any queries players might have.
‘Text talk’ - as it’s commonly referred to - tends to feature heavily in bingo chat rooms. So in the name of being thorough we’ve compiled a list of the most often seen, just in case you’re used to good old fashioned English.
- BRB: Be right back
- GG: Good game
- GLEV1: Good luck everyone
- HAGD: Have a good day
- HB: Hurry back
- JK: Just kidding
- JP: Jackpot
- K: Okay
- NP: No problem
- PLZ: Please
- THX: Thanks
- TTYL: Talk to you later
- TY: Thank you
- TYVM: Thank you very much
- WB: Welcome back
- WD: Well done
- WTG: Way to go
- YW: You’re welcome
- YVW: You’re very welcome
Bingo Game Varieties
As well as the traditional 90-ball bingo, which seems to have been around since the beginning of time, there are a plethora of variations.
Most online bingo providers offer players 80-ball and 75-ball bingo, but also a diverse amount of types and themes.
Below we have listed some of the most commonly seen varieties as well as a brief explanation on each.
- 75 ball bingo: Whilst in the UK 90-ball bingo is the most traditional bingo, in America the most common type is 75-ball. The bingo card has 75 squares and the main objective is to cover either a predetermined pattern or mark off all of the squares on your card. The first player to achieve this wins the prize.
- 80 ball bingo: This version of a classic was specifically created with online bingo players in mind. The difference is that you play with a 4x4 card, and there will only be 80 balls drawn.
Another major difference is that this game was not designed to be played against other players. Instead, you have to play against the computer. You win based upon whichever the highest paying pattern is on each individual card.
- 5 Line bingo: With this variety, there are 5 ways you can win. The first is to win with one line. Then matching two lines, three lines or four lines will also get you a winning ticket. Matching all 5 is considered a ‘full house’ with the top prize on offer.
- Progressive Jackpot Bingo: This is a really popular way to play. A progressive jackpot is a jackpot which continues to grow each and every time the game of bingo is played and not won (the jackpot that is).
It’s important to note that when it comes to the next game, the jackpot will have been reset to the previously determined prize value and will continue to increase following the same rule.
- Slingo: You might notice that some bingo bonuses will feature free spins. The reason for this is that some sites combine the fun of bingo with the anticipation of slots. In this case, you will see your bingo card on the screen, and then you will also see a slot reel. There are also loads of variants on this game including themes.
- Speed Bingo: As you might have guessed, this is a game which follows the same basic principles as your average 90-ball bingo but with a twist. The twist is that each game might last only a few minutes. This does vary from platform to platform but generally, a number will be called out every second or so. Speed bingo is loved by people who like to play their bingo on the go.
- Blackout Bingo: This game of bingo requires you to cross all 24 numbers off your card, and within a pre-decided number of bingo calls. Blackout bingo can be a little more lengthy than traditional bingo due to the pattern. Rather than needing to mark off 5 numbers in a line to gain a win, you must mark all 24. An example of this could be you have to mark off all 24 numbers within 60 calls.
- Themed Bingo: This variety of bingo comes in all different shapes and sizes and different sites will offer a different selection of themes to choose from. Themes can be as vague as ‘Egyptian themed’ and ‘popular culture themed’, but then within each section you will find more specific offerings such as movies, books and singers.
Bingo Bonus Terminology
With so much competition in the online bingo space, it's no wonder there are so many different bonuses being thrown at new and existing players.
Below you will find some of the most frequently offered bonuses on bingo platforms, alongside what they mean for you as a player.
- Deposit Match Bonus: This bonus can come in many forms. Some sites will offer players an all-round welcome bonus as a ‘thanks for choosing us’. Other platforms might tempt you with first, second and third deposit match bonuses.
This means that you might be given 200% on your first deposit, 100% on your second and say 50% on your third. Again this is a thank you, but for coming back.
- First Deposit Bonus: This is when a bingo platform will offer you a sign-up bonus, which can be as high as 300%. It will always be in a percentage and will usually be offered as part of a welcome package.
Different platforms use different terminology, so where one might call it a signup package another might call it a welcome bonus. Either way, what’s on offer will be shouted from the rooftops on each site to draw in new customers.
- Loyalty Program: Loyalty programs are great, especially for those who play fairly often. One of the many ways in which loyalty programs reward customers is by awarding points for every deposit.
For instance, they might give you 10 points for every £1 spent on bingo to start with, and as you go up through the loyalty levels you could end up being given as much as 30 points for every £1. often awarded to members of the loyalty scheme.
- No Deposit Bonus: When you sign up to a new online bingo platform you will usually come across a welcome bonus of some kind. If the bonus specifies ‘no deposit’, then you don’t have to deposit anything before you begin to play.
Please note that no deposit bonuses often come with high wagering requirements or a cap on the amount you are able to claim. More about wagering requirements below.
- Split Bingo Bonuses: In this case, a platform which offers bingo, as well as other casino games such as slots, might offer you a split bonus. The site will give you a bonus which might have to be used 60% bingo and 40% slots. So as well as free tickets you’ll also be given free spins to use within that particular platform
- VIP Scheme: Although we’ve already explained the loyalty program bonus, the VIP club usually differs slightly. Also confusingly, some sites do call loyalty bonuses VIP and vice versa.
When joining a true VIP scheme you will usually be given access to VIP only areas with big prizes and fewer players. On top of that, it’s not uncommon to be offered a bonus on your birthday and some really impressive prizes in general.
- Wagering Requirements: The wagering requirement will be shown as a multiplier. It’s essentially the number of times you are required to play through your bonus before you are able to get your hands on your winnings.
An example of this would be you are given a £20 bingo bonus along with a 4x wagering. This means you need to spend £80 on bingo before you can cash your winnings out.
As with all bonuses, check the T&Cs to see what conditions are attached to your bonus, as well as what the bonus is capped at.
Hopefully, by now you have a broader knowledge of the lingo and the terminology you’re likely to see on bingo sites as a whole.
It might sound obvious - but part of having an in-depth knowledge of the game you are playing often requires you to cut through the jargon. It saves any confusion and uncertainty in the long run.
Any seasoned bingo player will tell you that a great way to avoid pitfalls is to read the terms and conditions before committing to any single website. Wagering requirements and minimum deposits have also taken the shine off many a bingo bonus. Usually, in these cases, the player failed to do their homework.