Bingo Lingo – A Guide to the Slang Used in Bingo Halls

Bingo lingo is a collection of slang words that are used in bingo halls. It includes terms that are used for player communication, game communication, and house rules.

Some of the most popular slang terms include calls, numbers and prizes. Some of these terms are very specific and have a long history behind them. Some are a bit more obscure.


Whether you’re playing online or at a bingo hall, wordplay is a great way to make a few jokes and have some fun. Whether it’s a simple rhyme, a clever shape or even a self-explanatory description, wordplay is essential in any bingo game.

In the UK, most bingo call names are based on rhyming slang or secret messages. Originally used by thieves in the London ghettos, these nicknames and puns were quickly adopted by bingo players.

These nicknames are also helpful when calling out the numbers to make it easier to tell which letter is called and which space is being marked on a bingo card. These terms are often very witty and are a perfect way to add extra clarification to the game.

The term ‘Man Alive’ is another visual reference to the number two, which is a duck, as well as the call ‘One Little Snake’ which is a reference to the number five, which looks like a snake. These are just some of the many bingo lingo calls you’ll hear in your local bingo halls!


In bingo halls, numbers are an important part of the game. They are used for various purposes, including marking called numbers on the cards and determining jackpots.

Players often use nicknames to refer to certain numbers, a practice that dates back to the early days of bingo when air-blown balls were the primary means of marking called numbers. As the popularity of bingo spread outside London, these nicknames became more regionally specific and some callers added pop culture references to them.

Numbers ranging from one to nine are referred to as shop, which rhymes with the word top and refers to the highest (or highest-numbered) number in the bingo board. They also appear as spot below, which is a reference to numbers that could be mis-read and had a dot or spot underneath to prevent confusion.


Bingo is a game where players win cash prizes for correctly calling out their numbers. Prizes can be in cash or merchandise, depending on the rules of the particular hall.

Admission – In most bingo halls, a player must purchase an admission pack of cards in order to play a game. The exact contents of these packs vary from hall to hall, but they usually include all the regular “session” games.

Specials – A type of bingo game played outside the regular session and often with higher jackpots and prizes than those of the regular games. The tickets for these specials are sold separately from the admission pack and are generally sold on the floor during the session, although some halls also sell these tickets in advance of the start of the main session.

Another term for a cover-all is a “blackout.” A blackout requires that all the numbers on the card must be called in order to win. Typically, coveralls are won within 50-60 of the 75 numbers, but occasionally they’re won lower than that.


In bingo halls, there are rules to follow if you want to play fair and respectfully. This will help ensure that everyone gets a chance to enjoy the game and that you have a good time.

First of all, it’s important to pay attention to the caller and the numbers that are being called out. They don’t have the ability to change the numbers that are drawn so it is up to you to respect their work.

This means you shouldn’t shout or interrupt them. They are just trying to do their job and you don’t need to add any extra pressure to them.

Similarly, it isn’t acceptable to be loud and chatter away during the game. It can distract others and make it harder for them to hear the numbers being called out.

Long-term playing of bingo can also improve a player’s hand-eye coordination, which is beneficial for children and seniors alike. It can also build memories with family members and friends.