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Differences between British and American bingo


We did several pieces on bingo and while bingo halls are getting closed down, that doesn’t mean that bingo is losing popularity, in Warrington and all over the UK.

On the contrary, bingo is becoming increasingly popular, the only thing that’s changing is the way people play bingo. Namely, until a while ago you had to visit the local bingo hall, now you can just choose a site and play your favourite bingo games online.

Speaking of bingo games, two variants of bingo really stand out and are the most popular and most played at pretty much all bingo sites. These bingo variants are 90-ball bingo and 75-ball bingo. In fact, 90-ball bingo is the version of bingo that is predominantly played in the UK, whereas 75-ball bingo is played on the other side of the Atlantic, in the US. The terms ‘UK bingo’ and ‘US bingo’ are often used as synonyms for 90-ball bingo and 75-ball bingo respectively.

British Bingo Explained

We’ll go through the rules and specifics of 90-ball bingo first and then we’ll talk a bit more about the American variant. As the title clearly indicates, there are 90 balls that can be drawn. There are three rows and nine columns on a 90-ball bingo card, so a total of 27 positions. The first column features numbers from 1 to 10, the second numbers from 11 to 20 and so on up until the ninth column which features numbers from 81 to 90.

A ticket features 15 numbers, five in each row which means that there are four empty squares per row. There are only three possible ways to win in 90-ball bingo, but even though there aren’t a lot of options the game is in no way dull. The winning options in 90-ball bingo are one line, two lines and full house. Full house is basically three lines, or all numbers on the ticket. The winning amounts are set accordingly, based on the number of lines.

90-ball bingo tickets are usually sold in groups of 6 tickets called strips and, on a strip consisted of six tickets, all numbers from 1 to 90 are featured. Let’s get back to the prizes for a bit now. As we mentioned there are three possible prizes, although some online bingo sites organise additional side games that take place in the chat room. You might be asked to provide the right answer to a particular question where the first player to answer correctly gets a symbolic prize.

In line with the British bingo tradition, bingo callers often use alternative slang terms for the different numbers.

The Specifics Of 75-Ball Bingo

The American bingo variant, 75-ball bingo appears to be a lot more dynamic as there are multiple patterns that can form winning combinations.

The game features 75 numbers, that’s a given, but the ticket’s outline is five by five, so a total of 25 squares on the ticket. However not all squares are filled, there are certain variants where the midmost place on the ticket remains empty, i.e. is marked with a star, or another symbol.

Now we reach the possible patterns in this version of bingo and the possibilities are virtually endless here. In addition to lines, that can be horizontal, vertical and diagonal, the numbers can complete an airplane shape, the letter O, the Letter P, a six pack, only the four corners, a bow tie and multiple other options.

The prizes in 75-ball bingo depend on the available options, i.e. the winning partners that the game features. If the game features multiple patterns, then the potential winnings would be lower.

Plenty Of Options

In the past a lot of bingo fans from Warrington and other parts of the country were only familiar with 90-ball bingo, but now with the online bingo expansion a lot of players have experienced some of the 75-ball bingo variants and there are really plenty of options.


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