What is a ‘Pattern’?
In bingo, a ‘pattern’ is the shape created by the numbers hit on a bingo ticket, which, when made, result in a win for the player. These patterns can be as simple as a line or a full card, or can involve complex shapes and designs. Patterns eligible to win are made clear in the rules of each game and available patterns vary across different games.
Bingo is a game in which numbers are called from a machine and players match those numbers to the ones on their card. When certain numbers are matched and ‘patterns’ are made before anyone else does so, the player can call out and get a win from their ticket. There are two main forms of bingo, and the ‘patterns’ being played for vary between each.
In UK bingo games, the standard ticket contains 15 numbers across three lines, with five on each line. There are 90 numbers in the game in total. Players usually aim to match a single line, then two lines, and finally the full house. In some games, ‘four corners’ – matching all the numbers in the corners of a ticket – also achieves a win.
US bingo is a little more complicated. There are usually 75 numbers in play, and tickets contain a 5×5 grid with a free square in the centre. Players aim to make one or more of the patterns accepted for that game. These patterns represent the shape made by the crossed off numbers on the board, and can be anything from letters and numbers to aeroplanes and champagne glasses. Patterns will be made clear before the game starts, perhaps with a highlighted shape on the ticket itself for the player’s reference. The first person to make the pattern (or one of the patterns) accepted in that game will win the prize for that round.