Bingo Terms M – P

main stage Bingo

The main event of a session of Bingo.

minimum buy-in

The least amount you must pay or the least Bingo cards you must buy to be eligible for prizes.

money ball

A number drawn before the game that will double a Bingo player’s winnings if Bingo is hit on that number.

moonlight Bingo

A session of Bingo that starts late at night, usually at about 10:00 PM.

multiple winners

Two or more players Bingo at the same time. When this happens, the cash prize is divided among them.


A group of Bingo displays that takes its name from its shape – it has a narrow tubular base, and a wider head with the machinery used to play the game and collect money from players. Customers sit around the mushroom to play. There are usually 6 to 8 positions at each mushroom.


In Bingo, a name assigned to each number that the caller uses to announce each number drawn. Many of the common nicknames rhyme with the numbers they identify or relate to the shapes of the numbers, as in “two fat ladies” for the number 88! For Bingo online terms commonly used as nicknames for calling out numbers, check our Bingo calling page.

on the way

The Bingo game played on the way to the blackout game. It is played prior to the blackout on the same card. First the preliminary games are played and then more numbers are called until there is a blackout.


A player is said to be On when one or more cards they are playing lacks only one number for a Bingo.


Short for participation Bingo, a type of slot Bingo or cash Bingo where the prize is cash and depends on the number of players. The cash prize is at least 50% of the money paid in. The most common boards used for parti Bingo are inlaid cards and hand-held shutter boards.


The shape you need to cover on your Bingo card with called out numbers. You only need the numbers that form the pattern to win the game. The most basic patterns are straight lines in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal direction. One popular pattern is the “blackout” or “coverall” where you have to cover the whole card to win.


The percentage of sales paid out by the House to Bingo winners. The average payout among Bingo halls is about 75 percent. This compares with a payout of approximately 45 percent on state lottery games.

postage stamp pattern

Matching four numbers to form a postage stamp (a 2 x 2 grid) in any of the four corners.

prize Bingo

Until recently, this game was only played for a set prize or vouchers. Recent changes in UK law mean that now the prize may be cash of up to £15.

progressive jackpot

A jackpot that gets bigger until it is won. It builds daily, weekly, or monthly if it is not won in a specific number of calls. If there is no winner, consolation prizes of lesser amounts are paid. Different variations of progressive games add pounds, numbers, or both to the jackpot. There is usually a separate buy-in for progressive jackpot games.

For Bingo online terms from Q onwards, visit our Bingo terms Q – Z page.