Playing British bingo

Playing British bingo

British bingo is a type of 90-ball bingo played with a 9 x 3 bingo ticket. It is the dominating form of bingo in the United Kingdom, and it is also very popular in several other regions that used to be a part of the British Empire. In India, it is known by the name Tambola.

British bingo is played both offline and online, and the advent of online bingo has helped popularize British Bingo in parts of the world where offline bingo halls only offer United States-style 75-ball bingo played with a 5 x 5 bingo ticket.

The bingo ticket för British bingo

A typical bingo ticket för British bingo consists of 27 spaces, arranged like this:


As you can see, there are three rows, with nine spaces in each row, forming a 3 x 9 grid.

British bingo 2

Only some of the spaces contain numbers; the others are left blank. In each row, there will be five numbers and four blank spaces.

Typically, the numbers are arranged a certain way to make it easier to find them when they are called. Numbers in the 1-9 span (or 1-10 in some bingo halls) can only appear in the first column. Numbers in the 10-19 span (or 11-20 in some bingo halls) can only appear in the second column, and so on.

1 to 9 10 to 19 20 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 to 59 60 to 69 70 to 79 80 to 90


1 to 10 11 to 20 21 to 30 31 to 40 41 to 50 51 to 60 61 to 70 71 to 80 81 to 90

Strips of six

In the United Kingdom, players usually purchase a strip of six bingo tickets. Tickets are created in strips of six since this allows every number (1-90) to appear. When holding such a strip, you know that you will mark off one number each time a number is called.


Each time a number is announced, you look for it on your ticket or tickets and mark it if you find it.

If you play offline, you need to mark your numbers manually and alert the bingo caller when you have a winning ticket. If you play online, you can still mark off your numbers manually but you don´t have to, since each ticket is automatically checked by the software and wins are paid into your account even if you didn´t notice you had a win.


Exactly what you need to win something vary and it is a of course a good idea to check this before you start playing.

These are standard winning combinations for British Bingo:

  • Four corners. You have marked the leftmost top number, the leftmost bottom number, the rightmost top and the rightmost bottom.
  • Line. Covering a horizontal line of five numbers on the ticket.
  • Two Lines. Covering two lines on the same ticket.
  • Full House. Covering all 15 numbers on the ticket.
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