American Bingo vs British Bingo: How To Play & Rules

Bingo is a popular game enjoyed by people around the world, but did you know that American Bingo and British Bingo have different rules? Though both versions are easy to learn, they each have unique elements that make them special.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the basic rules of both American Bingo and British Bingo. We’ll outline how the games differ and what you need to know to play each one.

Whether you’re new to bingo or just curious about the differences, this guide will help you understand both versions of the game.

How To Play American Bingo

American Bingo uses a 5×5 grid, making it a 25-square ticket. Each square has a number except for the centre square, which is a “free” space and can be used to complete any line.

The game is played with 75 balls, each marked with a number from 1 to 75. At the start of the game, you receive a card, and the caller randomly draws and announces numbers.

As numbers are called, you mark them off on your card if they match. The aim is to complete a specific pattern to win. Common patterns include horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines, as well as shapes like a “T” or full-house (covering all numbers).

If you complete the required pattern, you shout “Bingo!” to signal your win. The card is then checked to make sure it matches the called numbers.Â

If your card is correct, you win the game. If not, play continues until someone else gets a correct “Bingo”. Remember, staying attentive is key to catching all the numbers and making sure you mark them correctly.

American Bingo Rules

American Bingo is played with a 5×5 grid, with each square displaying a number between 1 and 75, except for the centre square, which is a “free” space that can help complete any line.

The game uses 75 numbered balls. The game progresses with the caller randomly drawing and announcing numbers one by one.

If a number is called and it matches one on your card, you mark it off. The aim is to complete a specific pattern of marked numbers on the bingo card. Common patterns include horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines, as well as shapes like a “T” or full-house (covering all numbers).

Once you complete one of the patterns, you need to shout “Bingo!” to claim your win. The caller will then verify your card to make sure it matches the called numbers.

If your claim is valid, you win the round. If not, the game continues until someone else gets a correct Bingo. Sometimes, there can be numerous prizes in a single game, so a prize for the first to complete a line, the first to complete a pattern, and the first to get a full house, but this can vary from one game to the next so be sure to check the rules beforehand. This is also more common in British Bingo.

It is important to stay focused and mark the numbers accurately as they are called.

American Bingo vs British Bingo: Differences Explained

While both American and British Bingo are simple and enjoyable, they have some key differences.

Number of Squares and Balls

American Bingo uses a 5×5 grid with 25 squares, including a “free” space in the centre. It is played with 75 balls, numbered from 1 to 75.

In contrast, British Bingo uses a 9×3 grid. Each row has 9 columns but only 5 are filled with numbers, making a total of 15 numbers per card. The game is played with 90 balls, numbered from 1 to 90.

Patterns and Winning

In American Bingo, you win by completing specific patterns like horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines, or sometimes full-house. The centre “free” space can be used to complete these patterns.

British Bingo usually involves one of three winning stages: completing one line (any horizontal line), two lines (any two horizontal lines), or a full house (all numbers on the card). There are no “free” spaces in British Bingo.

Speed and Enjoyment

American Bingo tends to be faster-paced due to the smaller grid and fewer balls. British Bingo can take a bit longer because there are more numbers and more stages to win.

Understanding these differences can help you navigate both versions of Bingo.

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American Bingo Calls List

In American Bingo, the caller announces numbers randomly from a pool of 75 balls. Each ball has a letter and number combination corresponding to the 5×5 bingo card grid.

The letters B-I-N-G-O each have a specific range of numbers:

B: Numbers 1 to 15

I: Numbers 16 to 30

N: Numbers 31 to 45

G: Numbers 46 to 60

O: Numbers 61 to 75

For example, if the caller announces “B-12”, you would look for the number 12 in the “B” column of your card and mark it if present. If they call “G-55”, you would check the “G” column for the number 55.

Listening carefully to the caller and marking your card promptly is crucial for keeping up with the game and ensuring you don’t miss any numbers and potentially miss out on a win.

The process continues until a player completes one of the required patterns and shouts “Bingo!” to claim the win.

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