For most people, the mention of the words “bingo game” sends their minds into a frenzy. They picture halls or clubs with a caller up on a podium in front of a crowd of players intoning the lingo as the caller yells out the numbers.
And in recent times, there’s also the scenario of droves of players on websites indulging in games and getting interactive with fellow players and chat room hosts in online rooms.
A majority of people might not know that bingo has since grown to incorporate different cultures and variations. The core concept of bingo—the simple rules and numbers games—largely remains intact.
But some changes have come into the picture due to several variations and game adaptability by different sections and populations of players across bingo halls and online bingo platforms worldwide. For this reason, you’re likely to encounter all sorts of variations.
A good example is Slingo that combines a five-reel slot machine with a bingo card. The slot machine at the bottom of the card becomes your random number generator as you cross off any number that comes up on the slots and happens to appear on your card.
Another variation revolves around hacks that some players devise to make the game more fun. For instance, some players will use pictures instead of numbers. So the caller switches from bingo lingo to picture descriptions as the players match a description with a particular picture on their picture card and inch closer to a one-line, two-line, three-line, winning pattern, or full house win.
Slingo and picture bingo aside, the most common bingo game variations revolve around the card grid, and the total numbers that the caller draws before games come to an end. In the same vein, players should master the four numbers games variations as they’re the most common in both halls and online sites. These are:
- 30 Ball
- 75 Ball
- 80 Ball
- 90 Ball
It’s not the ultimate list of numbers games because there are other unique variations, although rare. For instance, it can be a 52-ball or 40-ball game with a slightly different card grid and rules for winning from what most 30-, 75-, 80-, or 90-ball players are familiar with.
Here is the complete breakdown for more insights on these four popular variations:
30 Ball Bingo
As the name suggests, the caller must draw 30 balls or numbers before a player can mark off the winning numbers on the ticket. The card for a 30-ball game has a 3×3 square grid and a total of nine squares or numbers. Of the four common variations, 30-ball has the least amount of numbers and often requires just one session to finish the game, making it perfect for folks who want a fast and efficient game. It’s the reason why players dub 30-ball speed bingo.
The 30-ball ticket has 30 random numbers, with the first column having random numbers between 1 and 10, the second column housing numbers 11 to 20, and random numbers between 21 and 30 falling in the third column. You might not get a 30-ball variant on offer at your local club because the game is relatively new on the bingo scene. However, it’s a staple of UK bingo sites and a fan favourite due to its rapid-fire nature.
Most platforms allow you to purchase multiple 30-ball bingo tickets as you can get through several games in one session. You’ll need to call a full house to win at 30-ball bingo.
75 Ball Bingo
Here players pay attention as the caller wades through 75 possible winning numbers. The 75-ball bingo grid is a five-column, five-row (5×5) ticket with twenty-five random numbers. It’s important to note that 24 squares contain numbers while the middle square is left blank. The blank square is known as the free square in the bingo circles.
The topmost row spells out BINGO, and each column has 15 numbers. So under B in the first column will be random numbers between 1 and 15. The rest of the letters will have 15 arbitrary numbers below them as follows:
You can daub numbers vertically, horizontally, or diagonally to bag one-line, two-line, three-line, four-line, or five-line prizes.
Unlike 30-ball bingo, you get a set of winning patterns that you aim to achieve as you cross off numbers on your card. The patterns include full house/coverall/blackout, crazy kite, letter N or another specific letter, and four corners, among other patterns.
80 Ball Bingo
80 ball is the bingo game style most popular on online sites. The grid is a 4×4 row and column square, with 16 squares or numbers in its entirety. Each column houses random numbers within a specific number range. The first column will have random numbers between 1-20, and the second column contains the 21-40 number range.
There are several ways to win an 80-ball game, including vertical and horizontal lines, winning patterns, and single-digit combinations.
The first winner is the player to daub a complete single line vertically, diagonally, or horizontally. The subsequent winner must mark off two columns/8 numbers, while the third punter needs three columns/12 numbers to call bingo. The final game winner is the player to have a full house or achieve one of the patterns that the caller defines at the start of the 80-ball game.
90 Ball Bingo
It’s by far the most widespread variation. All bingo halls and online platforms front 90-ball as their foremost variation. It entails drawing 90 balls or numbers in one game, so the sessions are a bit longer and require breaks in-between to keep the players active. 90-ball has the most numbers, yet its grid and winning formula are the simplest.
The card is a three-row and nine-column grid, with a total of 15 random numbers. Each of the three columns holds three numbers. Similar to 30-, 75-, and 80-ball versions, the 90-ball grid columns have numbers from a specific range. The first contains random numbers in the range of 1-9, the second column or number range cover numbers 10-19, and the rest of the seven columns follow that drill.
When it comes to winning a 90-ball bingo game, the first winner is the player that marks off all the numbers on a single line on the ticket. The second winner must cover two lines on their card. The ultimate 90-ball champion is the player that’s first to call a full house.
We know what you’re thinking: there are other game variations that you might have seen or heard of that don’t feature on our list above. And you’re right.
Some variations are popular in the US and Canada, like the 75-ball, for instance. On the other hand, the 90-ball is an original format that first took hold in the UK.
Similarly, different variants are popular elsewhere around the globe. It shouldn’t surprise you to come across variations such as deal or no deal, cash cubes, joker bingo, math bingo, death bingo, bingo bonanza, and others that could be in the works as we speak. Nonetheless, the 30-, 75-, 85-, and 90-ball options “rule the streets of games.”