90 ball bingo is the game most people mean when they talk about bingo in the UK. It’s the most widely played version of the game and recognised as the ‘standard’ set up.
A 90 ball bingo card will have three horizontal rows or lines containing 9 squares each. Five of these squares will be filled with numbers, the other four will be blank. The numbers on your ticket will be random but, as you will see shortly, there is a structure to it.
If you look across the card from left to right you will notice that the numbers get higher as you go along. This is because each vertical row can only contain numbers from within certain parameters.
It works like this:
|Row 1||Row 2||Row 3||Row 4||Row 5||Row 6||Row 7||Row 8||Row 9|
This basically means you have 15 numbers out of a possible 90 on your card, so these are the numbers you want to hear called out.
The other numbers on the card, which you can see in the top right of each ticket in the image below, is the unique number of each ticket. This has no impact on the game and is just a way to identify each ticket.
There are usually 3 winning stages to a 90 ball bingo game:
- 2 Line
- Full House
The prizes for each usually increase too, so you will win more for a full house than you will for getting 2 lines, more for 2 lines than you will for a single line, etc.
A line win is when you can daub all five of the numbers on one of your three horizontal rows; no prizes for guessing that a 2 line win is the same thing but for two horizontal rows; and a full house is when every number on your card has been called.
You only win any of these rounds if you are the first player to manage it, but winning one round does not mean that you cannot win another – so it’s possible to be the first to get a line and also be the first to get a full house, for example.
If you are concerned about someone cheating then consider that the number of possible unique 90-ball bingo tickets comes out at over 24 quadrillion (24 followed by 15 zeros).