Land-based bingo games, until fairly recently, have been the exclusive domain of bingo entertainment. Bingo halls and bingo clubs remain popular destinations for playing bingo games. On a very basic level, land-based bingo differs from online bingo in the following ways:
  • Physical bingo tickets (paper tickets or cardboard tickets) are used with land-based bingo games.
  • Players actually attend a bricks and mortar bingo venue in person to participate in land-based bingo games.
  • Players may be required to manually daub (using daubers or dabbers) the called bingo numbers with the respective numbers on the bingo cards.
  • Land-based bingo games take place at scheduled times at fixed venues. There are weekend games, and/or weekday games for players to enjoy.
  • The land-based bingo games are hosted by a bingo caller (announcer) who selects bingo balls from a hamper/basket/bucket and announces them to players in attendance.
  • Once you form a winning combination on your bingo card, push the buzzer, or shout out. Bingo. Your ticket must be validated before prizes are awarded.

What Do You Need to Know About Playing Land-Based Bingo?

Getting ready for a session of land-based bingo is an exciting proposition. If you’ve never played land-based bingo games before, read on for valuable tips, tricks, and advice. Very few chance-based games are quite as exciting, social, and lively as land-based bingo. There aren’t any complicated rules to follow, and there certainly aren’t any complex strategies to learn either.

With bingo, like any lottery game, you simply have to match numbers on your bingo tickets with the numbers that have been called out (or selected by RNGs). Bingo RNGs are random number generators which randomise the selections of bingo numbers from the possibilities that are available. In a 90 ball bingo game, the RNG will randomly select numbers between 1 – 90. Once numbers have been selected and displayed, they are removed from the available set of numbers until the next bingo game.

For example, in a 90 ball bingo game the probability of any one number occurring is 1/90, but after 25 numbers have been called, the probability of a number being called increases to 1/65, then 1/64, et cetera. In other words, it becomes easier to complete a winning bingo card as more numbers have been called because you’re not dealing with as big a set of numbers any more. By the same token, it’s much easier for every other player still involved in the bingo game to form a winning bingo ticket as well.

That’s why bingo rooms tend to offer big prizes for players who bingo within the first 20 calls.

Getting Ready to Play Bingo in Person

The anticipation of attending an in-person bingo game is off the charts. Players tend to get dressed up to the nines, donning their best garments, hair beautifully coiffured, makeup stylishly applied, with an avalanche of eau de cologne, and fabulously-scented perfumes. It’s a fabulous assault upon the senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. And we haven’t even gotten to the bingo component of it all yet.

Before you venture out to a bricks and mortar bingo game, it’s important to get all your ducks in order. There are scheduled times at specific venues, for bingo games. It’s always best to attend a bingo game with friends, family, colleagues, or acquaintances, since it’s a really social experience. If you’re going alone, no worries – you’re probably going to make some friends playing bingo. Nowadays, bricks and mortar bingo games a.k.a. bingo hall games take place on land and at sea – cruise ships are the #1 favourite destination for bingo fans.

Once you arrive at the venue, you’ll be asked to buy your bingo tickets for the evening, or the session. Typically, bingo halls charge more per play than you would pay at an online bingo room. When you play bingo online, there are free bingo games, penny bingo games, and BOGOF bingo games to enjoy as well. In person, it’s a different experience and you’re paying for the pleasure of it all. Bingo halls are big – much bigger than your bedroom, lounge, or playroom where you typically play online bingo games.

A bingo host will show you to your seats – whether preassigned, or randomly selected. It is a good idea to arrive well ahead of time, so that you don’t miss any of the scheduled bingo games for the morning, afternoon, or evening session. Yes, you guessed it – there are early bird specials for people who like to get up early and play bingo in the AM. As a matter of course, it’s always handy to have several pens with you, on your person. Black or blue will do. Nowadays, with coronavirus it is advisable to bring a facial covering/mask into the venue so that you can enjoy a safe and secure session of bingo.

Next up, familiarise yourself with the rules of bingo. It’s pretty easy to understand. Buy your bingo tickets, wait for numbers to be called, dab the numbers, and form winning combinations on your bingo cards. That’s it. Naturally, there is bingo etiquette to consider. Etiquette refers to the social nuances, the graces that one is expected to abide by when playing bingo games in person. For example, one would certainly not act in a disruptive fashion to other players who are trying to enjoy themselves. It is polite to refrain from belching, farting, arguing, or otherwise behaving in an inconsiderate way.

Prepare the area in front of you with your bingo tickets and your bingo dauber so that you’re ready for the first bingo call!

Bingo Procedures at Land-Based Bingo Halls

Now that you’re comfortably seated at the bingo hall on deck, up the road, in your neighbourhood, or in town, it’s time to check out the procedures that need to be followed. For starters, you don’t want to take on more bingo cards than you can manage at any given time. It’s difficult to manually daub more than 3 cards as a newbie, but each person is different. We recommend always starting with a manageable selection so that you can focus your attention on the called numbers. If you play too many cards, you run the risk of missing important numbers that are called. Plus, it can get expensive if you keep playing bingo games with too many cards.

There are lots of different attractions available at bingo halls. These include jackpot bingo games, warmup bingo games, and even special bingo games. Decide which games you want to play, and prepare yourself accordingly. If you are seated and you’re making your selections, simply hold up a wad of £ notes to indicate to the attendants that you would like to purchase additional bingo cards. As a rule, it’s probably best to make all of these purchases as you walk in, or before you attend in person.

PS: You may want to write down the name of the bingo game on each bingo card that you have purchased, and your name too for that matter.

The bingo caller is undoubtedly the most important person at the bingo hall. These folks inspect all of the high-tech bingo equipment, including the colours of the bingo sheets to be used, the balls, the lights, the microphone, screens, et cetera. Once everything has been given the green light, it’s all systems go for bingo fun and games. There are always intervals between bingo calls. This is done to ensure that you have enough time to mark off the numbers on your bingo cards. Anywhere from 10 seconds – 20 seconds is the norm. Nowadays, big-screen TVs are used to display the bingo numbers that have been called for everyone to see.

There are no shenanigans, and no guesswork – the numbers that are called are either air-blown through a mechanism using high-pressure blowers in sealed containers, or randomly generated via RNGs. Many players prefer the air-model mechanism, since this is a physical, visual, and credible means of selecting bingo numbers. Don’t forget to grab your bingo dauber and mark off all of the called numbers on your bingo cards. If you happen to get lucky with a winning bingo pattern, don’t delay. Call out Bingo! so that the bingo caller doesn’t continue on to the next call. To emphasize your bingo call, raise your hand holding the winning bingo ticket up in the air.

How Are Bingo Cards Verified at a Bricks and Mortar Venue?

As you might expect, it’s easy to accidentally call out bingo. All bingo cards called as winners must be verified by the bingo hall before payments are made. There are several ways to verify winning bingo cards. First of all, the ushers, attendants, or personnel can perform a quick check of your bingo card to ensure that it indeed meets the requirements of a winning ticket. Sometimes, the bingo card will be held up in the air and the cameras will focus on them to ensure that they are indeed winning tickets. Third-party players can also be used to verify the authenticity of the bingo win, at different tables to where the winning bingo player was seated. This is part of the social aspect of bingo. Once the card has been verified, the attendant prizes will be paid out.

Who Attends Land-Based Bingo Games?

In the good old days, land-based bingo games were attended by middle-aged folks and retirees. It was your nanna and her friends. Nowadays, land-based bingo games have benefited from the resurgence in the popularity of bingo – thanks to online bingo. You can expect to find players across the spectrum playing bingo games, starting from as young as 18+ all the way up. Both men and women love land-based bingo, and so do people who identify any other way. It truly is everybody’s game; that’s why bingo is the world’s favourite social gambling game.

People of all styles and persuasions love land-based bingo. There are educated professionals, quirky characters, fuddy-duddies, blue-collar workers, millennials, baby boomers, Generation Xers, and pretty much everyone else you could ever hope to meet. People just love playing bingo, and if a game is in session, you’ll likely notice every persuasion somewhere in the bingo hall. It’s pretty much like online bingo – it’s a big tent welcoming of everyone who wants to have some fun.

What Type of Machinery Is Used at a Land-Based Bingo Hall?

There is plenty of variety when it comes to high-quality, credible, electronic bingo equipment used at bingo halls today. The wide range of bingo equipment options includes things like bingo handheld devices, bingo consoles, flash boards, and bingo ticket vending machines or bingo lottery machines. Beyond the basics, there are also bingo hall management systems which encompass cashier functions as well as reporting, and inventory management. Bingo consoles are sophisticated devices with top-tier technology systems. Naturally, the virtual bingo flashboards are also a staple at bingo halls around the country.

In the 2020s, you’re much more likely to see a combination of electronic bingo portable devices and bingo cards are used simultaneously. The electronic devices look like little tablets, which mimic iPads with electronic renderings of bingo cards. These do not require players to manually daub numbers; rather they are linked to the main bingo console where the bingo caller is operating from. Everything is synchronised and updated in real-time. It’s a sign of the times that land-based bingo halls operate just like online bingo halls, with the added benefit of an in-person experience.

Another high-quality accoutrement that is readily available at land-based bingo halls today is the tabletop bingo station. This is a touchscreen device which works similar to the smaller tablet portable version, except that it’s fixed on the tabletop. It’s convenient, easy to see, and easy-to-use. One of the most important mechanisms available at bingo halls is the actual bingo console which randomly generates selections of bingo balls. There are many such options available nowadays, with top-tier operators creating state-of-the-art systems designed to provide credibility, reliability, and accurate outcomes.


Attending an in-person bingo experience is a fantastic opportunity! This social game must be experienced to be appreciated. When you play bingo with other players in attendance, it’s an unforgettable feeling. Getting prepped is part of the fun. Buy your tickets, your bingo daubers, and take your seats. Understand what patterns are required for forming winning combinations, and listen carefully to the bingo caller, doublecheck the called numbers, and yell out Bingo when you have formed a winning ticket. Once your ticket has been verified, you can enjoy the spoils of victory.