Bingo Equipment: What does a Bingo set include?

Whether you play online, in a land-based hall or with a homemade version, Bingo remains to this day the height of popularity. The anticipation of waiting to see which ball is called, the collective laughter for the witty Bingo calls and the excitement of getting to shout out ‘Bingo’ — it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the top games to play. 

So, if you been inspired by online Bingo at Paddy Power, for example and want to set up your own game of Bingo at home, here’s all the equipment you need to get started. Add in a few of your own made-up Bingo calls and you’re ready to go! 

Bingo Machine

The Bingo machine is key to the game, as its how the balls get jumbled up, and allows for a random number to be selected. It usually consists of a circular cage or drum, and a form of ball selector. At home, this can could be simple cage that can include a blade to jumble up the balls, and manual lever to turn the cage. It also comes with a selection mechanism, such as a passageway or ramp, through which the ball falls. This is then the selected number for the Bingo caller to call out to the players. 

A professional Bingo machine that you’ll find in Bingo Halls, involves a much larger and more complicated mechanism, where a forced-air device, known as a blower, mixes all the balls together inside an enclosed sphere. It does so by pushing them with air and then dispensing them to the caller, one by one, blowing a random ball up the tube. 

With either mechanism, the ball is collected by the Bingo caller, who reads out the number shown on the ball, and then places it into something called a master board or tray. This consists of a number of holes, relevant to the game being played, and is where the caller places the balls once it’s been called, to ensure that the same ball isn’t selected twice. 

An online version of Bingo is completely different, as this game uses a random number generator (RNG) to digitally generate the number being called. Its advanced technology ensures that the selected ball is completely random each time. 

Bingo Cards 

These are the collection of numbers that you play with in a game of Bingo, with each number needing to be marked off in a particular pattern to win a prize. These cards can be either digital or physical, depending where you are playing, and can be known as boards or tickets. A strip is the term for a bundle of tickets, and can be bought in this form for both land-based and online Bingo games. In theory, the more Bingo cards you have, the more likely that one of the numbers will be called. 

The pattern of the card depends on the type of Bingo you are playing, but all consist of a grid of numbers in some shape or form. Each card is different to the other, in terms of the layout of numbers, to ensure that the game is completely fair. 

Bingo Balls 

These, as the name suggests, are the balls included in the game. They can vary in size and amount, but will be coloured and display a different number on each. The range of numbers i.e., one to 90 or one to 75, will depend on the variation of Bingo. The numbers on the balls will correspond to those on your Bingo card, in which you are attempting to mark off. As Bingo is a completely random game, there is no ball that appears more frequently than the other, or has more chance of being selected. 

Bingo Dauber 

The dauber is unique to the Bingo game, and is a large pen that you use to mark off the numbers on the Bingo card. It usually consists of coloured ink, and has a tip that is designed to completely cover the numbered square in one ‘dab’, meaning you can do it quickly and easily, ready to hear the next number being called. 

Online Bingo games have made it even easier, as players have the option to let the computer mark off the numbers automatically, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything.

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Last modified: June 25, 2021

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