Fun Facts About the National Bingo Game

The popular and loved game called bingo has its origins in Italy. However, the National Bingo Game started a bit closer to home. The great thing about it is that you get to play bingo at one of the hundreds of bingo clubs across the country and partake in one massive game.

This main-stage game originated in 1986 and is operated by the National Bingo Game Association. Bingo players can play it during the afternoon and evening at a majority of licensed British bingo clubs, every day except on Christmas Day. It has seen some of the biggest prizes up for grabs at land-based bingo clubs. The locals always love to hear about the winners of these games. Let’s find out more about it.


This thrilling addition to the world of bingo came about thanks to two developments, namely, the rising popularity of bingo in the UK and technology advancements. It all started with bingo halls taking over from dance halls and theatres as the game grew in popularity during the 1960s. The second advancement came from the ability to link multiple bingo halls via a modem. This technological breakthrough enabled players in different parts of the country to join in the same game at the same time. Basically, it was the predecessor to online bingo sites without the ability to enjoy chatting to players around the country.

Thanks to these two modern aspects, the National Bingo Game was born and has taken place every day ever since (with the exception of Christmas Day, of course).

How to play this exciting game

Online bingo has taken off with full steam in recent years, which means bingo players can play this social game from the comfort of their home. But the National Bingo Game remains a land-based activity, so players must locate their local bingo club to participate. Today, entry into the game costs £1, which gives players access to six tickets. Once players have secured their tickets, they can start playing bingo. There’s something special about playing the traditional way with other local fans, which is just what this land-based game offers.

Let’s take a look at some fun facts about this great addition to the land-based bingo offering.

Fun facts

  • The national game uses the 90-ball format and, as usual, players compete to complete their bingo card in the lowest number of calls.
  • Before February 2017, the aim of the game was for all players to be the first to get a full house, but since then, prizes have been offered for more than just a full-house win.
  • Community prizes will reward the entire club instead of only rewarding the individual player.
  • On average, between 120 - 180 clubs link together to play the National Bingo Game twice a day, every day, except Christmas day.
  • In addition to playing the game, players also enjoy bingo calls which is a world of its own. Bingo lingo makes the game so much more fun. Over the years, modern bingo calls have been devised but the classics still conjure an unmatched feeling.
  • On a standard bingo card, a player can come up with 1,474,200 different winning combinations.
  • A person who calls BINGO before truly having won is referred to as “jumping the gun”.
  • There are several variations of bingo games and new styles of bingo keep emerging. Bingo variations that are popular online include 75-ball, 80-ball, and 90-ball.
  • The average bingo game lasts between 3 and 6 minutes. This calculation is made from the average amount of numbers a bingo caller makes every minute which is 23.
  • Before the bingo dauber, players used beans to mark their numbers. However, the slightest nudge could see them flying. In the late 19th century, a special pen was used to cover the number. Today, the bingo dauber is a bingo player’s staple tool.
  • Bingo remains one of the UK’s most popular leisure activities. Did you know? 8% of the UK’s population plays bingo with over 3 million people playing regularly (at least twice a week).
  • There are various bingo patterns such as Four Corners, Outer Edge, Multiple Rows and Full House.

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/ 20 September 2021