It is believed that bingo first appeared in 16th-century Italy, where it was called “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia” at that point. It later migrated to other European countries and eventually, in the 20th century, across the ocean to other continents, as well. Bingo might have travelled a long way through centuries, but it continues to be a game that attracts players from around the world, even today.
To win at bingo, players need to form certain patterns on their bingo cards, both when playing an online bingo game and in a land-based bingo hall. Some games have more than one winning pattern and award various prizes for each of them. Even though there are numerous bingo-winning patterns out there, you should learn about the most common ones so it will be easier for you to look for them the next time you play bingo.
What Are Bingo Patterns?
Simply put, patterns are systems and shapes that the called-out numbers form on participating bingo tickets. Different types of games also have different bingo patterns players need to form in order to win. That’s why it is crucial for players to learn more about them and the probability of winning with each pattern.
Bingo patterns come in many forms and shapes. They can come in straight lines or form letters, numbers, and geometrical shapes. Some are quite easy and straightforward, while others are typical only for certain games and don’t appear that often, making them a bit more difficult to spot.
Remember that bingo is a game of luck, and there is no way you can predict a winning pattern or somehow influence the numbers, but you should know how to recognise common bingo patterns and the odds of getting them. You should also make sure to check out the rules of every game you join so that you wouldn’t miss a bingo win.
What Are the Most Common Bingo Patterns?
If you are a beginner at playing bingo, before learning about patterns, we recommend that you read our guide on how to play bingo to ensure you come prepared for your next (or first) game. Once you are certain you get the gist of it all, then it’s time to tackle the common bingo patterns.
We can distinguish between two types of patterns: standard and crazy bingo patterns. Standard bingo patterns are also called static because they are tied to certain lines, you can’t move or shift them on the ticket, and you need to cross out certain numbers to form them. Crazy bingo patterns are a bit more complicated but offer more possibilities to players as they can move around the ticket.
We will start with the standard ones, which are also quite easy to learn bingo patterns.
Lines Bingo Pattern
Line standard patterns are present in most bingo games. When the pattern forms one string or line of numbers, we are talking about a 1 Line pattern. In the 75-ball version of bingo, the pattern can go horizontally, vertically or diagonally, and as long there is only one string, it falls into the 1 Line pattern category. In the 90-ball bingo, the only eligible direction is horizontal.
If the pattern requires a formation of two strings of numbers, then these numbers are forming a 2 Line pattern. Two-line patterns also differ depending on whether you are playing 75 or 90-ball bingo, and the rules are the same as for the 1 Line patterns.
Full House Bingo Pattern
The full house pattern is also a standard bingo pattern. It requires that the player covers all available spaces or every number on the ticket. Full house pattern awards the final and ultimate prize, so when a player gets it, it means that the game is over.
The four corners pattern is only used in 75-ball bingo, and it is probably the simplest pattern in the game. To win with this pattern, you need to cover all four corners of the ticket, meaning that you only need four numbers to complete it. It seems easy, but in reality, players need the bingo slot machines to draw the right four numbers, which is tricky, considering there are 75 balls in the game.
Letters and Numbers
Letters and numbers are also common among the standard bingo patterns. They are easy to spot, as people quickly recognise the shape of a number or a letter. Common number patterns are, for example, number 3 or lucky number 7, and letter patterns are T, H, or X.
Number and letter patterns might not be easy to form, but they are quite straightforward, and players know what numbers they need to cross on their tickets to win. Alongside lines and full house patterns, this is one of the most common patterns in bingo.
Outside Edge - Outside Numbers
Outside numbers or outside edge pattern requires you to cover all the numbers along the edges of the ticket. It is no easy endeavour, as it means that you need to get all 16 numbers that are on the outside edge of your square-shaped ticket.
Any outside-line bingo pattern is exclusive to 75-ball bingo, and it’s not a very common pattern. It is sometimes used to award a progressive jackpot or similar prizes.
Special Bingo Patterns
Special bingo patterns are usually more complicated and less frequently used than common standard patterns. They come in various shapes, and some of them are easily recognisable, whereas others could be hard to spot. Since they each got their name by the shape they formed, you can guess what they might look like when you hear what they are called. Some of the most popular special bingo patterns are clock, windmill, bell, and wine glass patterns.
Clock Bingo Pattern
You will recognise the clock pattern by the large circle on the outside edges of the ticket and a small clock hand pointing in any direction. It is a popular special bingo pattern in both land-based bingo venues and online, and it brings some lucrative rewards, as it’s not easy to form.
The clock bingo pattern could specify the direction of the clock hand (for example, bottom left corner), or it can be flexible and allow the hand to be anywhere on the clock.
Windmill Bingo Pattern
The windmill bingo pattern is also quite easily recognised by four 2x2 squares in each corner of the ticket and a single number in the middle. It is a 75-ball bingo pattern, and it requires 17 numbers to complete, meaning that the game could last a long time before one lucky player forms the winning pattern.
This pattern can also award a jackpot in some bingo halls as it is so difficult to form.
Bell Bingo Pattern
The bell pattern is typical for the Christmas season because the bell is a popular Christmas decoration and because its shape looks a little like a Christmas tree. That’s why it is sometimes called a Christmas tree pattern, especially around the holiday season.
You need 13 numbers in their right spots to form this particular pattern, and these games can also take a long time to get a winner because of the uniqueness of the shape.
Wine Glass Bingo Pattern
The wine glass pattern is also popular among bingo players and easily noticed on the ticket. It requires 11 numbers to form the shape when the glass is empty, but it can also be full. It is considered one of the easier bingo patterns to win, and it is often attached to several bingo games in one room.
What Are Crazy Bingo Patterns?
Crazy bingo patterns are also static but can rotate by 90, 180, or 270 degrees around the card, allowing them to form in different places and directions and therefore provide more ways to win. They might not be suitable for beginners, but experienced players love them because they bring more thrill to the game.
An example of a crazy bingo pattern is the crazy T that can present itself in any direction on the ticket. The same goes for a crazy pyramid that can be at the bottom of the card or hanging from the top, for example. Kite and aeroplane patterns can also form in any direction, making them very exciting to form but, at the same time, very difficult to spot.
What About Bingo Pattern Odds?
Without getting too much into the mathematics behind the odds, a few factors influence the probability of forming a winning bingo pattern. For example, how simple or complicated the pattern is or how many numbers you need to complete the pattern. One simple rule in bingo says that the more numbers a pattern requires, the lower the odds of winning it.
Some patterns come with a requirement that they need to be achieved within a certain number of balls, which lowers the chances of success.
If you want to do some math, you can factor in the number of spaces to complete the pattern, the type of bingo you’re playing, the number of tickets you have, and the overall number of tickets in the hall. If all this sounds like too much calculation, maybe you should start with easier, simpler patterns and then graduate to the more complicated ones when you have enough experience with the game.
Complicated and difficult patterns are lucrative because they often come with a bingo jackpot, but they also have some prerequisites that decrease the odds of winning. These are all the factors you should consider when choosing what game to play and which patterns to chase.
Practice is the Best Way to Learn
Now that you know a little more about some of the most common bingo patterns, you can choose your favourites and start crossing out those numbers. Whether your choice is online bingo or a land-based bingo hall, these patterns are the same. The only question is which ones to choose.
If you are a beginner in the world of bingo, our advice is to start with the simple patterns and work your way up to the more complicated ones. After all, practice makes perfect, right? If you are not a novice but are here to learn about the more complicated and different bingo patterns, maybe you can try out a few of these and pick your favourites. There are many more patterns out there, waiting for you to try them out, so - good luck!