What Happens if You Miss a Call at Bingo?

Bingo Missed Call

We all love a natter at the bingo don’t we? It’s a big reason behind why we go in the first place, for the social aspect.

But think back to your school days – what did your teachers always tell you?

“Stop talking Michelle and listen, otherwise you won’t know what to do. If I have to separate you from your friends I will.”

We might have got a bit carried away there, sorry Michelle.

Anyway, the point is that if you aren’t concentrating on what is going on, then you are likely to miss something, and in a game of bingo, that can have tragic consequences.

Whether because of chatting, day dreaming, or doing some doodling on the side, missing your final number in bingo and therefore missing your claim is a real punch to the stomach.

So what are the rules, and what happens if you do miss a claim?

Rules About Missed Bingo Claims

The rules surrounding claims are very strict in bingo clubs, and there is absolutely no wiggle room should the worst happen either.

This is to keep things fair for everybody, so if someone is lucky enough to have bought a winning ticket the responsibility is 100% on that player to stop the game.

The second you hear your final number, you need to let the caller know you have won without a moment’s hesitation.

You need to be fast, loud, and clear – if the caller doesn’t hear or see you, that’s your fault.

All clubs will have their own set of rules, which you should have read but many people don’t. We would recommend taking ten minutes to check through them, it’s for your own good.

As an example, Club3000’s terms state:

“It is the player’s responsibility to make him / herself heard by the Caller, or, in the case only of players in a separate room or annexe, the employee in control of that room or annexe.”

Making things even clearer, they go on to say:

“The first person who marks off all numbers on the line or lines or other combination in play must call out, claiming the prize, before the next number is called. A player forfeits any right to a prize for the game if he / she fails to do so before the next number is announced by the Caller, as a winning card must contain the last number called.”

So the person with the winning ticket has just 5 seconds or so to get the caller’s attention before they move on to the next number.

This might seem rushed, but actually, 5 seconds is plenty of time to hear the final number you have been waiting for and then shout and wave.

Try it now; say a random number then shout “Claim” and wave your hands in the air.

See. That took barely 2 seconds, did it?

Apologies if you are reading this on the bus or at work or something and are now getting funny looks!

The key thing here, is that once the caller starts to call the next number, you are too late.

Even if they have only managed to make the ‘th…’ sound that starts the word ‘Thirty’, for example, that counts, and you will have officially missed your claim.

The caller’s decision is final here, and they can’t make exceptions because they like you or because you are a good customer; they won’t want to disappoint you, but they have to adhere to the rules.

What if I Want to Make a Complaint?

Woman ComplainingIf you think the caller has made a mistake and that you should have been declared the winner, then you can take things further, but it won’t be an easy battle.

Bingo callers are professionals who do their jobs day in and day out. What’s more, you are going to be in a room full of other people who can act as witnesses to the way things unfolded, not to mention any CCTV that might be in place.

What we are saying here, is that if you do decide to make a complaint then you had better be 100% sure that you are in the right.

Sour grapes won’t get you very far and might even end up with you feeling unwelcome at the club.

If you still want to go ahead, the best place to start is the club manager.

Explain clearly and politely what happened from your point of view, and they will look into it. If you don’t get a result you are happy with you can contact the head office if you are playing with one of the big brands, and even the CEO.

You will need to do this in writing and include any evidence you might have. You will usually receive confirmation of the complaint before the matter is looked into at a higher level and a decision is made.

Finally, if you are still not happy after escalating the matter, you can ask for the company’s independent arbitrator.

This is a company not connected with the bingo club, who can therefore look at both sides of the argument with no bias either way. They are like professional argument settlers (you can’t hire them to settle spats with your other half, sadly).

If these guys decide you don’t have a case, then unfortunately that means the battle is over and you have lost. If that happens, then in all likelihood you were wrong from the start.

Missing a Claim Online

Missed Bingo Call OnlineAs you hopefully already know, missing a claim isn’t something you need to worry about with online bingo.

This is because the game runs to strict timings, and are designed so that players don’t need to mark their own cards or make any claims whatsoever, the software does it all for you.

All you need to do is settle in with a brew and a biscuit and enjoy watching your numbers coming up.

If you do get within a few numbers of winning, the tickets in question will be floated to the top of the interface and the remaining numbers will be highlighted to make things more exciting.

If you win, you will be congratulated by the game and paid out immediately without having to do anything.

Even if you are AFK (that’s ‘away from keyboard’ for those of you who aren’t as clued up as us!) you don’t need to worry.

You could technically buy a bunch of tickets in advance then go off and have a bath with the game running in another room, and if you were to win anything you would still get your money without even knowing about it.