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Bingo is a popular game in many locations around the world. It gives people the chance to play an exciting game in a social way, which means that its popularity has grown both in the UK and the US. Plus, there is always that little thrill and chance that you might win some money, too.

The UK and US versions of bingo are quite different, and in this guide, we’re explaining the differences between British and American bingo. The principle of the game is still virtually identical, but the fact that the two countries play a little differently is worth understanding, and it can be worth reading up on.

It is also worth keeping in mind the fact that you can play the other versions of the games online. If you are in the US but prefer the UK version of bingo, or you are in the UK but prefer the US version, you’ll still be able to play and enjoy the game. There are many promotional offers for signing up, and you can use your online bingo bonus to get used to the different ways the games are played.

British Bingo

If you play bingo in the UK, the grid is likely to be on a board of five squares by five squares. The main difference is that there are more balls. In the UK version of the game, there are 90 “balls” that can be called out.

Of course, in both the UK and US versions, if you are playing online there will not be actual balls used, rather an online number generator giving a random number to mark on the cards, but calling them “balls” dates back to the origins of the game when balls were drawn out of a container.

In the UK version of the game, the tickets are usually created as strips of six different cards, which means that all of the numbers from one through to 90 appear on the tickets. This means that, if you buy a strip of tickets, every number should be on there somewhere for you to mark.

US Bingo

Americans tend to play a smaller version of the game, with a slightly different card. The board size is still the same (5×5) in the majority of scenarios, meaning that the process of marking the card is still the same, but there are only the numbers 1 through to 75 used in the game. The letters B I N G and O might be at the top of the card, which means there are specific columns. For instance, a ball might need to fit into “G1”. This effectively provides a grid system throughout.

Unlike the UK game having strips of six, the US version of the game sells cards that are all totally independent and the numbers don’t run in the strips, so if you use multiple cards then you might well get the same number to appear on both. Even if you buy 10 cards, you may not have a specific number on any of them. It’s all totally random. The game is sometimes a little slower because of this, it isn’t inevitable that someone will win once you reach a certain time in the game, it all depends on the luck of the draw and what has happened on each of the cards.


Though there are some differences in these versions of the game, they are subtle and easy to get to grips with, so if you want to experiment with other types of bingo, it is really straightforward to do so.