Bingo Strategies for Experienced Players
The patterns that you can expect to see in a typical bingo game are nearly limitless. These patterns range from traditional patterns that have been used for a long time, to more recent patterns that are relatively new. Many are well known to callers and players alike, while a few are the creations of passionate bingo players and are not as widely known or used. These variations can make one player’s “magic wand” another player’s “kite”.
In this comprehensive article, we will cover how familiarizing yourself with the various card patterns can give you a competitive edge over others. We will also discuss how using the same cards, non-duplicate cards, as well as other tips, can help to increase your chances of hitting the jackpot.
During a typical session of bingo, the patterns that will be played are announced before the game begins. Keep in mind that it is possible to hit two bingo jackpots during the same game since a single game is not limited to a single pattern. A caller may call a picture frame pattern and then continue on to a blackout pattern. In such a scenario, it is possible for one person to win both prizes or for two people to win each game. Some patterns are also not limited to a single card. Giant bingo, for example, is a straight-line pattern that extends across more than one card.
The T Pattern
The T pattern is created when the top line of the card and the center “N” column are blacked out. This results in an upper case “T” being left on the card, hence the name, and is required to win the game. One variation is the “crazy T”. With a “crazy T” pattern, the “T” can be completed traditionally, or sideways, or even upside down. And to make it more challenging, if the caller calls out “the hard way” the free space cannot be used as the winning pattern.
Most bingo halls with frequently change patterns in order to keep the game interesting. This frequent change in patterns can make it challenging keeping track of complex patterns on multiple cards. If you are faced with a complex pattern that you are not familiar with, don’t worry. The pattern called will usually be displayed on an electronic board located somewhere near the caller, printed on a program, or explained by the caller before the game starts. However, that does little in making the process of picking out complex patterns on cards filled with blotches easier for inexperienced players. In this type of situation, attention to detail is crucial if you don’t want to hit bingo without realizing it.
Breaking a pattern down into its basic elements is one of the best ways to simplify a complex pattern. Here you find descriptions of some of the more commonly used patterns that are grouped by shared similarities. For some, you will also find suggestions on how you could think of the patterns to make them easier to spot when you are scanning the cards. Make sure you pay attention to the special rules some patterns have.
Straight Line Patterns
The most simple pattern used in bingo is one-line, or regular bingo. With this pattern, a player only needs to cover five numbers diagonally, vertically, or horizontally. In double and triple regular bingo, two-line and three-line bingo, the lines do not have to run in the same direction. In three-line bingo, for example, you could win by having one line running vertically, one running diagonally, and the third line running horizontally.
Line Combo Patterns
Line combo patterns are simply variations of double and triple bingo. Two lines have to run parallel, making up railroad tracks (as shown in this image) that run either vertically or horizontally. The Asterisk pattern is two diagonal lines with the vertical center line blacked out. Add a line horizontally through the middle of a Starburst pattern. For the Bow Tie pattern, you need two diagonal lines and a vertical line running down each edge.
Letter patterns can be confusing during the game. However, if you break them down to their basic formation, it really is nothing more than straight-line combos. Just keep in mind if the caller designates the pattern to be “crazy”, it can be in any position.
Lucky Seven Patterns
This pattern is self-explanatory. The pattern is simple double bingo that consists of a diagonal line running from the top right corner to the bottom left and a horizontal line that runs along the top edge. The blacked out numbers will form a “7”.
Coverall, Odd-Even, Speedball Patterns
Blackout, also known as coverall, is typically used for larger progressive jackpot games. The goal is to black out all of the numbered spaces within a 51-numbered game. If bingo is not achieved, then the jackpot rolls over. However, some areas prohibit progressive jackpots. In these areas, a coverall game will continue until someone hits bingo without a limit to the number of balls called.
Odd-even is a variation of coverall. In this game, will let the players know which numbers to blackout, even numbers or odd numbers. The caller will then call only the selected numbers until there is a winner. The method used to make this determination vary and is the caller’s decision.
The fast-paced version of coverall, speedball, can be a challenge for the inexperienced player. In speedball, the caller will quickly call out numbers until all spaces have been covered. And to make it even more challenging, the caller may omit the letters.
Picture Frame Patterns
Blacking out all of the numbers along the sides, top, and bottom edges is the goal of the picture frame pattern. A variation to this game, inside frame, is the same principle except you have to black out all of the numbered spaces one line in.
A little diamond pattern consists of the four squares that are directly above, below, and to the sides of the free space square. The points of the big diamond (as shown in the image) touch each side at the center square.
Postage Stamp and Double Postage Stamp Patterns
In order to win in a round of bingo that is using a postage stamp patterns, you have to black out the four squares in a corner. Usually, the top right corner has to be covered in a single postage stamp game. In double postage stamp, any two corners could be blacked out.
Six-Pack and Block of Eight Patterns
Similar to a postage stamp pattern, six-pack pattern consists of two rows of three squares that resemble a six-pack of beer or soda when blacked out. For the block of eight and block of nine patterns, you will need two rows of four squares or three rows of three squares.
Magic Wand(Kite) and Arrow Patterns
These types of patterns are simply variations to the postage stamp pattern we mentioned above. The kite consists of a box of four squares in an upper corner, with a diagonal line that extends to the opposing lower corner. If a game is determined to be a crazy kite, the tail of the kite can point to any corner. Similar to a kite, an arrow pattern has a triangle that is made of six squares.
The American flag pattern has the top three rows blacked out as well as the last two squares in the “O” or the “B” column. The three rows make the flag while the two squares make the flagpole.
In a castle pattern, the bottom two rows of the bingo card are blotted, as well as every other in the middle row, creating the image of a castle and its turrets.
Five squares in a zigzag line, starting in the “B” column, create the snake pattern. Just keep in mind that in a crazy snake round, the snake can start in any corner, but retains the same pattern.