Bingo rules and payouts and play variations vary from place to place. Bingo brochures detailing particular Bingo games, Bingo rules and payouts are usually available at each respective location, or online.
Basically, there are two different versions of Bingo. There is the American Bingo with 75 balls, played on a 5×5 grid card. And there is the British and Australian Bingo, played with 90 balls on a 9×3 card.
American 5×5 75 ball Bingo
Players buy their 5×5 cards with numbers on them corresponding to the five letters in the word B-I-N-G-O. Numbers such as B2 or O68 are then drawn at random until one player completes a ‘Bingo’ pattern, such as a line with five numbers vertical, horizontal or diagonal row. The lay-out of the 5×5 Bingo cards makes it possible to play for hundreds of Bingo patterns, which adds to the suspense of the game. See here for more information about Bingo Patterns.
A 5×5 Bingo Card contains 24 numbered spaces and one free space (blank), with which you can play Bingo. The numbers are assigned at random on each card and are arranged in five columns of five numbers each by five rows (5×5=25 in total including the blank square). The numbers in the B column are between 1 and 15, in the I column between 16 and 30, in the N column (containing four numbers and the free space) between 31 and 45, in the G column between 46 and 60, and in the O column between 61 and 75. Players have over 6000 of unique cards to choose from.
British and Australian 90 ball Bingo
The rules are the same as the rules for American Bingo. More so than in American Bingo, the tradition in England is to give each number a nickname. The Bingo caller will add a humorous name to each call he makes. The lay-out of the card, however, does not allow for that many different patterns as on the American 5×5 Bingo card. See the 90 Ball Bingo pages for more information on 90 Ball Bingo.