How to Play Bingo - A Beginner's Guide - foxybingo

How to Play Bingo - A Beginner's Guide

How to Play Bingo - A Beginner's Guide

Since bingo was invented in the 16th century, the game has made its way around the world, taking many nations by storm in the process. While the game itself is relatively straightforward, there are a few aspects that can cause confusion for newer players. This is particularly true when it comes to identifying different winning patterns, as these can vary greatly depending on the type of bingo.

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The most popular versions of Bingo use 90 balls in total, with this also being known as 'British Bingo'. It's a game that relies on luck and probability for the most part. However, players still need to make sure that they aren't making any mistakes when crossing off their numbers.  

In this article, beginners can find a comprehensive guide to the game. We will be covering bingo lingo, offering a variety of bingo tips, and explaining the rules of bingo, amongst other things!

Understanding Bingo

Throughout a game of bingo, different numbers will be announced by the caller. The goal is for these numbers to match those on the ticket, and when they do, they are crossed-off, or marked with a bingo dabber. When these crossed-off numbers form patterns, such as lines, or players match every number on their card, they will be awarded with the corresponding potential winnings. 

When it comes to bingo variations, there are two things to consider. First is the number of balls that are used, with 30, 75, 80, and 90 all being relatively common. Players should also check the winning patterns for each game, as they can vary from title to title, especially when 75 balls are being used. 

Now that we've discussed the game briefly, let's take a look at some bingo terms before diving more in-depth: 

  • Bet - The amount of funds wagered on a round. 
  • Betting Limit - The minimum or maximum that can be staked during a round.  
  • Board - A place where all previously called numbers are shown. 
  • Eyes Down - This is called immediately before the game begins. 
  • Full House - Marking off all numbers on the ticket. 
  • Vertical Line - This is formed when all numbers on the same row are crossed-off. 
  • Horizontal Line - Horizontal lines form when all numbers on the same column are marked off the ticket. 
  • On - This is a term used to describe someone that is one number away from winning. 
  • Free Space - When playing an 80-ball game, tickets come with a space in the middle that is crossed off automatically. This is known as the 'Free Space'. 

Starting with Bingo

When compared to other casino games, bingo is relatively simple. Players only need to learn a few mechanics and on average, each round lasts less than 10 minutes. Here's how to play bingo, either online or at land-based venues:  

1. Get Tickets - In order to play bingo, a ticket is needed. Most places will let players buy a minimum of 1 ticket, up to a maximum of 6. With online alternatives, players can simply adjust their bet size within the user interface. 

2. Eyes Down - Gameplay will then start with the caller announcing different numbers. Players need to focus to ensure that they don't miss any numbers, crossing them off on their board along the way. 

3. Call - Should a winning pattern appear on the ticket, players can announce their combination to the caller. 

4. Check - The ticket will then be checked by a member of staff to ensure that all numbers have been correctly crossed-off. 

5. Award - If all numbers are marked correctly, the potential winnings will be awarded. This may signal the end of the game, or progression onto the next winning pattern. 

 When playing the British version of bingo, which is also the most popular across the world, a total of 15 numbers will be featured on each ticket. British bingo uses a total of 80 balls, and the patterns to look out for include a single line, two lines, and a full house. It's worth mentioning that these lines must be either horizontal or vertical to count. 

With the 90-ball American variation, players are given a 5x5 ticket, with the middle being occupied by a 'Free Space'. This leaves behind a total of 24 numbers to be crossed off, in order to achieve a full house. Depending on the rules in this game, players may find that lines can be formed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. There may be other unique patterns, too, such as the four corners, the entire outer frame, or various letters being covered.  

Playing Bingo Online

So, when playing bingo online, what differences can players expect to encounter, when compared to land-based alternatives? In addition to playing from virtually anywhere in the world with games optimised for mobile devices, here's what players should know:  

  • Faster Gameplay - With online bingo, players can play against a computer, decreasing the wait time between rounds. Each game is also typically much faster when playing live online bingo, as purchasing tickets doesn't take anywhere near as long. 

  • Automatic - Interestingly, a large variety of online bingo games will require little to no input from the player. Numbers will be marked off automatically from the board, and should a pattern form, the associated potential winnings will be awarded immediately.  

  • Wider Variety - At bingo halls, players have a very limited choice, and typically only one game will be running at a time. Adversely, when playing at Foxy Bingo, players have a huge assortment of rooms, variations, and themes to choose from. 

One tip when playing online bingo is to only use reputable providers. Here at Foxy Bingo, all games are offered by trusted bingo software creators for everyone's peace of mind. Additionally, players can implement our responsible gambling features, including deposit limits, to always stay safe and in control. 

Bingo Strategies

Just like we discussed earlier in this article, bingo relies mainly on luck in regards to which numbers are called. However, there are some common bingo strategies that players can use to improve their chances. Of course, these do not guarantee a win, but can increase the player's probability of a successful round. 

The first involves buying more tickets if permitted. While this may sound incredibly simple, it does make sense, as having two tickets instead of one will naturally double the player's chances of winning. Another thing to consider is the time of day when playing, as some periods will be busier than others. Picking a time slot with fewer players will mean less competition and improved chances as a result. 

For those that opt to play bingo online, taking full advantage of promotions and bonuses could also be considered. These offers can help to make a player's funds go further, and even though they almost always come with wagering requirements, such bonuses can prove hugely beneficial. Here at Foxy Bingo, we update our promotions on a regular basis to keep things fresh for players! 

Bingo for Different Audiences

Interestingly, bingo can be a fun and educational way for kids to learn new words, as well as being entertaining for adults. Furthermore, it can help children identify patterns, promotes communication, and boosts brain development. Of course, no wagers should be incorporated when playing with anyone under the age of 18. 

Another way that bingo can be used in a positive way is through fundraisers. As the name suggests, a bingo fundraiser can be used to collect money for a charity, while also offering a lot of fun to everyone involved. Here's a checklist of things that can be useful during the organising process: 

  • Choose a theme - This could include a specific dress code or decorations. 

  • Food and drink - A must for any fundraising event.
  • Music - A playlist could also be created in line with the theme. 

  • Equipment - This includes all of the tools required to play the game, such as bingo cards, balls, and dabbers. 

  • Prizes - The number of required prizes will depend on how many rounds are scheduled. With fundraising events, reaching out to local businesses or asking around for donations is a great way to acquire prizes. 

Bingo Tips and Tricks

Last but not least, we're going to cover a few simple bingo tips and tricks, starting with land-based games. In person, it's crucial that players can clearly hear all numbers, so getting a good seat is key. This can also help players with reading the bingo board, which contains all of the previously called numbers. Staying focused throughout each round is also necessary, as bingo is essentially a race to each pattern. Missing just one number can mean that no potential winnings are awarded. 

The final tip for land-based bingo is to always follow the rules. This includes knowing the patterns required to win, remaining quiet so that everyone can hear the numbers, and staying in the seat until the round is over. This makes everything fun and respectable, ensuring that a good atmosphere is maintained. 

With online alternatives, players can make full use of demo games in order to familiarise themselves with the rules, while also checking for any unique winning patterns, such as outer frames or the four corners. One other useful tip is to be careful with side bets, as these can be confusing and require additional input. 


While some bingo variations are incredibly simple, it's important that players check the rules carefully before purchasing a ticket. Once the round has begun, gameplay can occur rather fast, so pausing to check the rules is out of the question. This doesn't apply to single-player online bingo games, however, as these are often saved for more than 24 hours. 

 Trying both online and offline bingo could be worthwhile for players, too, as everyone has their own preferences. Some people prefer to interact with friends, grab a drink, and cross off their numbers, while others may opt for a more relaxed setting from within their own home. 

However people decide to play, it's clear that bingo has been a source of entertainment for many years, with different variations, rules, and themes all being introduced to keep things fresh. The straightforward gameplay combined with the potential rewards has made bingo a staple in the casino space, with this not changing any time soon!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic rules of bingo

Bingo involves different numbers being selected and called, with players trying to match these to the numbers on their card. This continues until someone matches all of their numbers.

How do I get a bingo card?

When playing offline, tickets are often purchased from a vendor. Online alternatives will see players select a bet size per card, alongside the number of tickets they'd like to purchase, if applicable.

What is the objective of the game?

The objective of the bingo is to cross off as many numbers are possible. If these form certain patterns, such as lines, players will be awarded with the corresponding potential winnings. The same applies if all numbers are matched, which is known as a full house.

How are numbers called in bingo?

Traditionally, numbers in bingo are picked at random from a machine. These are then announced by the caller and shown on a board.

What happens if I have a winning pattern?

Players can announce their pattern by shouting 'line' or 'house'. Of course, they can also loudly pronounce 'Bingo!' as well.

Can I play bingo online?

Yes, bingo can be played online. Here are Foxy Bingo, we have a large variety of single-player and live options to choose from!

Are there different variations of bingo games?

Yes, bingo games come with many different variations. These include 30-ball, 80-ball, and 90-ball, to name just a few.

How do I increase my chances of winning in bingo?

Buying more than one ticket or opting for a quieter time can help to increase a player's chances of winning at bingo.

Can I play bingo with friends and family at home?

Yes, playing bingo at home with friends and family can be a lot of fun. It can also be used for fundraisers, provided that organisers have the required equipment, such as bingo balls and tickets.

What are some common bingo terms and phrases?

Some of the most common bingo terms are 'Full House', meaning that all numbers have been crossed off, and 'Eyes Down', which means the next round is starting.