How Many Balls are in a Bingo Game?

By Alan Donahue

Bingo is an extended lottery game in which players attempt to form a pattern by dabbing their cards according to which numbered ball is randomly pulled out. The amount of bingo balls differs from other lotteries such as Keno, and depending on which country you play in, the amount of balls used in a bingo game could differ as well.

Features

An American bingo game features 75 multi-colored balls. The balls are numbered 1 to 75, with each number being assigned a specific letter in the word "Bingo." Numbers 1 through 15 are part of the "B" column. 16 through 30 are in the "I" Category. 31 through 45 are located in the "N" section. 46-60 are in the "G" section and 61 through 75 are in the "O" section. These assigned numbers will never appear in another row, so when the number 14 is called, the only place you will find this is the "B" column.

Identification

Bingo balls can vary from hall to hall, but they are usually designed with a solid base color that represents a number and a white circle on one side to showcase the number. A small letter is placed above the number to indicate what column it is under and then the number is displayed in a bold font. Colors are assigned to each ball for easy identification as well. Usually blue will represent the "B" balls, red will represent the "I" balls, white is for "N" balls, black is for "G" balls, and yellow is for "O" balls. Dark green is also used for "G" as well.

Types

While bingo games feature 75 balls, other lottery games use different amounts of balls. Keno, for example, uses 80 balls when selecting the winning numbers. This is 5 more balls than bingo, and there are no letter categories in Keno.

Benefits

Having 75 bingo balls makes the game easy to follow. Each row has 15 numbers assigned to it, and by knowing which balls belong to which letters, you can dab your cards faster and more accurately. Having the assigned balls also lets you keep track of potential winners in the middle of a game. For example, if you are playing a "letter L" bingo game where only the "B" line and bottom line are covered, you know there cannot be a winner if only 4 "B" balls have been called.

Geography

In other countries like the United Kingdom and Australia, Bingo is played a little bit different. Instead of 75 numbers on a 5" by 5" grid, they play with up to 90 numbers depending on the location. Their bingo grids are set up as a 3" by 9" as well. The B column would only have three numbers, and there would nine columns of three instead of five columns of five.

About the Author

Alan Donahue started writing professionally in 2003. He has been published in the Norwich Free Academy "Red & White," UNLV's "Rebel Yell" and on various websites. He is an expert on wrestling, movies and television. He placed second in the NFO Screenwriting Contest and received filmmaking awards from Manchester Community College and Norwich Free Academy. He currently attends Academy of Art University.