Bingo Rules for Beginners

Our Guide Including Online Bingo Tips

Bingo was first documented in the 1500s and has been one of the most popular games played worldwide ever since. Bingo rules are very simple. Essentially, you begin with a card filled with 24 numbers and one blank space. Numbered balls will be drawn at random and announced by the caller. If the numbers on your card matches any being called, you mark them off. This continues until someone can call “Bingo!” Below, we’ll look deeper into the ins and outs of the game, provide a full guide to the Bingo rules and etiquette you’ll need to follow both on and offline, and much more besides…

Different Types of Bingo

UK Bingo Rules – Also known as 90-ball bingo or European bingo, consists of 90 numbers. Each card or bingo ticket as it’s usually referred to, is made up of 3 rows and 9 columns. There will be 5 numbers in each row along with some blank spaces. In the first column will have numbers between 1 and 9, the second column will have numbers between 10 and 19 and so on until the final column, holding the numbers between 80 and 90.

There are three chances to win each Bingo game. One would be to cover a line, another would be to cover two lines and the third would be to cover all lines, making it a full house.

American Bingo Rules – Also known as 75-ball bingo consists of 75 numbers. Each card has 5 columns and 5 rows making 24 numbered boxes and one blank space in the middle which counts as covered. The letters BINGO are above the top line. This is because each numbered ball will have one of those letters with them, making it easier for the player to find it on their card.

There are multiple ways to win playing American Bingo, you can play for a certain pattern of which there are many, or you will have to cover 1 to 5 horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines. Another way you can win is called coverall and it’s where the player covers all 24 numbers.

80-ball Bingo Rules – This game consists of 80 numbers and the card is a grid made up of 16 squares (4×4). Each column is coloured, the first is red and holds numbers between 1 and 20, the second is yellow and holds numbers between 21 and 40, the next is blue and holds numbers between 41 and 60 and the final column is silver and holds numbers between 61 and 80. Unlike 75-ball and 90-ball, each square holds a number, there are no blank spaces.

The winning patterns may vary with 80-ball Bingo. If you’re playing at a bingo hall, sometimes the winning patterns are displayed on the card, so look them over otherwise, there are usually members of staff that can inform you. If you choose to play online, each website should have their own winning patterns displayed. Some typical winning patterns you are likely to come across are 1,2,3 horizontal, diagonal or vertical lines and coveralls.

How to play

Now you have an understanding of the different types of bingo, we’ll take you through how to play.

First things first whether you’re playing online or in a bingo hall, you need to buy your cards or ticket/s. Depending on the bingo hall you visit, you will either be given a dauber to mark the numbers on your card or more modern bingo halls may have electronic tables where a player wouldn’t need to use a daub card as this is done automatically using a software program. These tables often cost extra and will likely need to be booked in advance.

In a UK bingo hall, you will most likely be playing 90-ball bingo, the rules of which we explained above. The caller will draw numbered balls at random and call them out to the room. If you have any of the called numbers on your card, you need to mark them off unless of course this is electronically being done for you.

If you’re the first to mark out a line, clearly shout out bingo, loudly enough for the caller to hear you so they can check your claim and award your prize.

Remember with 90-ball bingo, there are three chances to win any one game so if you win the first line, the game will continue to play after until someone wins with two lines and a full house. If you are first to mark out a line or two lines and you call bingo, make sure you’ve settled back quietly in your seat before the caller begins again as not to disturb other players.

Bingo hall etiquette

To play bingo in an official bingo hall, you must be at least 18 years of age. Some halls even require you to be at least 21 years of age, so always make sure you have a form of ID.

As a beginner, it may be wise to hold back a little before taking a seat to play bingo. A lot of regular bingo players tend to have their ‘lucky seat’ and can get territorial over them so it might be worthwhile to wait while they’re seated.

During play, remain in your seat and don’t talk unless calling out bingo or unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you have a problem or need help, it’s best to raise your hand or try to quietly grab the attention of a nearby staff member.

Always respect the caller. The numbers drawn are completely random and therefore the caller has no possible way to influence the outcome.

Don’t call false bingo. Every bingo hall has most likely had a punter who has purposefully, falsely called bingo. It’s not funny and will only waste time. Continuation of this will probably get you banned.

Finally, it may seem a little obvious but it does still happen, don’t try to alter your bingo card or ticket. It most likely won’t work, will just cause delays to the game and you may even be banned from the establishment.

How to play online

Online bingo has pretty much the same rules and gameplay as in bingo halls so it’s really easy and fun, so let’s look deeper at how everything works and even cover a few online bingo tips you can make use of.

The first of our online bingo tips is that you need to find a reputable and safe site. Utilise the mass number of reviews the internet offers and do your homework before deciding on the bingo site you like.

Once you have chosen the bingo site you trust, you’ll need to sign up and create an account so that you can play and put your online bingo tips to good use. The minimum you’ll be asked for is your name, age and the nickname you would like displayed whilst playing.

Most bingo sites will offer a welcome bonus which is usually in the form of bonus credit or money to play with, so it’s advisable to have a look at a few different sites and compare their promotions so you find the one that’s most suitable for you. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of each promotion.

Once you have purchased your cards or tickets, you will need to wait for the game to begin. Most sites will display a timer, counting down until the next game is due to start. Remember there are different types of bingo games (75-ball, 80-ball and 90-ball) and any one of these can be played online so make sure you’ve checked which one you are about to play. It should be displayed on the website what the winning patterns are.

If you play online, there is the auto daub option in which your card or ticket will automatically be daubed. This can be enabled or disabled at any time and reduces the risk of human error so we strongly advise that you utilise this option.

Online etiquette

When playing bingo online, there will likely be a live chat run by the host of the game. You should always be respectful within the live chat otherwise you run the risk of losing your live chat privileges.

Don’t interrupt or distract the host, it’s likely that there will be multiple people using the live chat at any one time. The host will usually type in capital letters to distinguish themselves from the players so if you’re typing, keep it lowercase.

Choose an appropriate username or nickname. This should go without saying but unfortunately there’s usually always one.

Arguments, harassment and any disrespect towards players or the host will not be tolerated and you’ll likely lose your chat privileges and perhaps even be banned from playing on the site. This also goes for any inappropriate language, racial or sexual harassment.

Solicitation, endorsements or promotions of other bingo sites are strictly prohibited and will most likely see you removed from the site.

Finally, the chat is not the place for complaints so if you have one to make, look into the sites complaints procedure and leave it out of the chat.

Top 5 tips for playing bingo online

Here are our top five essential online bingo tips for you to keep in mind:

  1. Check certifications before giving your personal details – make sure a site is secure, reliable and legitimate by ensuring they have the correct and legal certifications.
  2. Give yourself a daily limit – Bingo is an incredibly fun game making it very easy to get carried away so set yourself a daily limit and stick to it.
  3. Utilise the fact that you can play with multiple cards – remember there’s the autodaub option so using this will eliminate the chance of you missing numbers
  4. Ask – the online bingo community is very friendly and there are often live chats running on each site so if you have any queries, just ask.
  5. Avoid busy rooms – Simply, the less people playing, the more chance you have of winning.

What other betting/casino guides & strategies are available?

There are a vast selection of betting and casino guides and strategies available at so if you’ve enjoyed this one, have a look at our other guides such as live casino rules, Blackjack rules, Baccarat rules and roulette rules!


When it comes to games, Bingo is probably the most recognised worldwide. It’s simple and fun, making it really easy for new players to get into.

Bingo will however only stay fun if the players adhere to the rules and have good bingo etiquette whether playing in a bingo hall or online so remember to be respectful to other players and those hosting or calling out the numbers.

Finally, always remember to check which type of bingo you are about to play and the winning patterns available for that game. In halls, it’ll likely be European or 90-ball bingo unless stated otherwise but online it’s likely to vary so don’t get caught out for example by following rules to 90-ball bingo whilst actually playing 75-ball bingo.

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