Bingo Lingo

When you first enter the Bingo Hall, head past the Snack Bar and look for the lines!  While you’re waiting your turn, pick up a schedule of what to expect in terms of what you’ll pay and  if you win, how much. If you’re a Bingo Newbie, be sure to grab one of the pieces of paper called *7 Ways to Win* which shows the different Bingo Patterns you’ll be playing as part of your…

Regular Packet Games. This packet contains the Bingo Cards you’ll need for every regular game, usually six cards per game, but that can change if you’re playing one of the special games. When you buy your Regular Packet Games or additional bingo cards, it’s called your Buy-In. If you’re on a budget, you have the option of doing a Minimum Buy-in which is the least amount you can spend and still be eligible for prizes. Another way to buy-in is one of the Bingo Machines which allow you to play multiple packs at the same time (remember: one machine per player, please).  Other options you’ll be presented with includes games not included in the Regular Packet which are played on a different set of cards.  Also, if someone asks you: “Do you want the Jackpot Balls?”, say “yes”. In short, it costs you $1 and gives you a crack a lot more potential winnings – up to $2500.

Under each letter in the word B-I-N-G-O are columns of five numbers, randomly assigned from a specific range of 15 numbers.

B: the five numbers appearing under “B” are selected from 1 – 15

I: 16 to 30

N: 31-45

G: 46-60

O: 61-75

In the middle of the card, in the column under “N” is a space that is free every game and counts toward your winning pattern. The result is that there are usually thousands of unique & unduplicated cards to choose from.  While perusing the odds, peruse your neighbor’s Bingo Bling, aka those fat ink-filled “pens” with the foam tip that stand upright & are used to keep track of any numbers on your Bingo Card that have been called by daubing a mark on it. Sure, you could get by with a single Dauber, but when they come in a bazillion colors (including glitter!) – why stop at just one?!

Okay, it looks like your Session is beginning, so turn off your cell for the next 2.5 to 3+ hours. (And if you’re playing Moonlight Bingo, it’s probably not a school night ‘cuz it doesn’t let out ’til around 1am or so). It’s the warm-up or Early Bird round where the prizes are a tad more “petite” shall we say than the Blackout games, but hey – you can still win a lil’ sumpin’ sumpin’ for your troubles!  And we’re off. The Caller up on the stage gets the party started by turning on the Call Stand, taking one of the bingo balls from the Blower at random, calling it out and then displaying it on the video monitors scattered throughout the room. They then appear on the main electronic Bingo Board, which lights up each number as it’s called. Numbers are usually called 10-15 seconds apart.

On this Flash Board, be sure to look at the bottom left-hand corner as this shows you which Bingo Pattern is being played so you’ll know what you would need to be able to win, including:

Hard-Way: Any of the 7 Ways without the use of the free space.

Work up: Played at the beginning of the Blackout game. Blackouts usually take 50-60 numbers before someone bingos. The Workup Games are usually won in less than 30 numbers. Bingo fun played on a Blackout card on the way to the Blackout.

Blackout: A Bingo Pattern where you must cover the whole card to win, which usually takes at least 50 bingo numbers…although there have been rare blackouts in as few as 43 numbers.

Oregon Blackout: This variation on the basic Blackout has a fun twist: you get to mark off either all the Odd numbers or all the Even numbers on the Blackout Card for Free. Don’t worry if you haven’t played before and things will become clear when you’re there.

And when (notice we didn’t say if) you win:

  1. To wait until the Caller shouts out the number & it shows up on the Flash Board, which is provide for your convenience only.
  2. Act fast & call out “BINGO!” really enthusiastically and loud enough for the Caller to hear you & stop – and make sure you announce your Bingo before the next number is called.
  3. Your Bingo must include the last number called.
  4. Collect your winnings or payout.
  5. If someone else called out a Bingo at the same time as you, don’t be shy about letting a Floor Worker know you also have a Bingo. We wouldn’t want you to be shut out of your winnings.  You both split the payout.  If, say, five people won on a $500 game, then each would receive $100.

Bingo for Speed Demons:

T-up: A bingo game in which the numbers are called every 3 seconds and the winner splits the sales of the game (the pot) with the bingo hall or House. For example, the winner might get 70% of the sales and the house would keep 30%.

 (image: source)