The time when the bingo game actually begins. This is when the caller will call the first number in the first game. Generally, bingo games begin selling thirty minutes before eyes down.
To have a bit of fun with the game and to clearly identify the number being called out, bingo callers correlate numbers to people, events and items. Common number references include:
22 Two little ducks, twenty-two
8 At the gate, number eight
11 Legs, eleven
66 Sixty-six, clickity-clicks
1 On its own, number one
4 On the floor, number four
90 Top of the house, nine oh, ninety
Jackpots v standard games
Whilst each session's games differ, there will generally be four or five books of standard games and four or five jackpot games. In total, every session has about 34 games.
All jackpot games have just one winner and one prize. To win, you must be the first person to fill your card. So all jackpots (unless otherwise specified) are played as a FULL-HOUSE.
Standard games will have two winners, depending on the game itself. Usually, there is a first prize winner (minor) and a second prize winner (major) based on how the called numbers sit on the card.
An unlimited jackpot is a cash jackpot amount that will be won. So, if there is a $1,000 unlimited jackpot on the pink jackpot sheet, whoever fills their card first will win $1,000 cash. These games are advertised as "$1,000 unlimited" jackpots (or whatever value the prize is).
Some jackpots are not won every session. Instead, they put a fixed condition on your win. These 'in-call' jackpots require you to fill you card within a certain number of calls. If the winner fills their card within the specified number of calls (or less), then they win the specified jackpot value. If the winner fills their card after the specified number of calls, they win a consolation prize of a lesser value.
For example, if a jackpot is $1,000 in 48 calls, and the winner fills their card within 50 calls, they do not win the $1,000 cash. Instead, they win a consolation prize of a lower value (ie $100). If, during the next game a winner is found in 45 calls, then they will win the $1,000 cash.
Progressive jackpots are the same as in-call jackpots but increase the jackpot cash prize value and/or the number of calls every time that jackpot game is played. So, should the jackpot not be won, the number of calls required will increase by one number each week (or session, depending on the jackpot), and the prize value may also increase by a designated amount.
For example, if a progressive jackpot is $1,000 in 48 calls, and the winner fills their card within 50 calls, they do not win the $1,000 cash. Instead they win a consolation prize of a lower value (ie $100). The next time that game is played, the number of calls required will be 49 and the jackpot value could increase to $1,100. If, during the next game a winner is found in 45 calls, then they will win the $1,100 cash. Once the jackpot value is won, the prize value drops down to the designated starting value - $1,000.
Screamers are unlimited jackpots with a very large cash prize value. Generally, screamers are jackpots with a cash prize value of over $1,000.