Everything you need to know about Bingo variations

Like any other popular game, when it comes to Bingo there are plenty more options than just the classic format to choose from.

The phrase ‘classic format’ is a bit misleading, even, since it’s actually different depending on where you’re from!

Whether you’ve played in Bingo rooms in the US, UK or Australia, here’s the rundown on just some of the most common variations of Bingo to look out for. 

90-ball Bingo

If you’re from the UK then this is what you’ll know as classic Bingo. The 90-ball version is the one that’s most commonly played on this side of the Atlantic and is the most popular variant in the world.

Numbers are laid out over a 9×3 grid, with only five numbers occupying spaces in each row. When players get a full strip of six tickets they’re guaranteed to be able to mark off every number that’s called.

Of course, whether that will get them the correct pattern and a winning ticket is another matter entirely!

It’s here where Bingo lingo comes from, with each of the 90 numbers having its own unique phrase associated with them.

Contrary to what you might think, not all 90 of these actually rhyme. Several of the Bingo lingo names are references rather than rhymes, such as ‘one little duck’ for two or ‘unlucky for some’ for thirteen.

75-ball Bingo

This is the more US flavour of Bingo, with fewer overall numbers making for a slightly faster pace of play.

Here is where you’ll find the familiar 5×5 card that tends to be the one riffed on by other games and makeshift Bingos.

The first the mark off a full horizontal, diagonal or vertical row of five is the one who gets to call ‘Bingo’ here.

That said, win conditions aren’t always the same and some games will go until someone gets a full house instead.

Speed Bingo

If it’s real speed that you’re looking for, then you can’t go wrong with the 30-ball speed Bingo variant.

With even fewer numbers in play, and only nine spaces to mark off on a card, these games are always bound to go by in a flash.

This version has really gained in popularity in recent decades, especially with the rise in online and mobile Bingo rooms.

And, as only a full house will win you a 30-ball Bingo game, it’s even more competitive.

Slingo

Possibly the most popular spin-off from the more classic Bingo offerings, Slingo is a fusion game that has gained a significant playerbase.

Players aim to fill out lines on a 5×5 grid using numbers that come up on a set of spinning reels, combining key elements of Bingo with Slots.

This shakes up the Bingo formula, especially as the reels can land on wild symbols as well as numbers.

With special effects, such as the Joker’s ability to stand in for any number in a row, these add a whole new dimension to the game for players old and new.

No matter the number of balls in play or the shape of the card you’re using, Bingo is still the same game down to its core.