Missed Claims: What Happens if You Don’t Call Bingo?

What Happens if you Miss a Claim in BingoIt’s every bingo player’s worst nightmare.

You play every week, you never flipping win but you love the game and the atmosphere so you keep coming back, and when lady luck does finally come your way, you are distracted and miss your claim.

Maybe you nipped to the loo, maybe you were admiring another player’s handbag, or maybe your friend was about to drop some juicy gossip about an old colleague – whatever the reason, you would be furious.

Believe it or not, missed claims do happen, even in this tech heavy world where numbers can be marked off for you using the portable bingo machines (bingo bees) the clubs often hand out.

When they do, an experienced player will probably know they have messed up and expect what comes next (even if they try to wriggle out of it), but those newer to the game could be in for a nasty surprise.

So, if you want to know what happens if you don’t call bingo in time, read on.

What Does it Mean to Miss a Claim?

male bingo caller in bingo hallI could just say something basic like “not calling out in time”, but there are rules as to what counts as missing a claim in bingo and what doesn’t.

Usually, a claim is valid so long as the caller has not announced, or started to announce, the next number. So the machine can select the next number, but until it is called by the caller, it has not officially be drawn.

A clear example would be if your final number was called, you were sending a text and missed it, then two calls later you looked up, realised your number had been called, and tried to make the claim.

Way too late, soz.

A less clear example would be your final number being called, you getting a frog in your throat, and you only clear it in time to make a claim as the dealer draws breath before announcing the next number.

This would be right on the limit of what would be considered a successful claim, because the caller hadn’t actually begun to vocalise the next number yet.

Had the caller even said the first syllable of the next number, let’s say the ‘t’ sound at the start of “Two and seven, twenty seven”, this would count as the next number being drawn, and any claim on a previous number would be too late.

The bottom line is that a winning bingo card must contain the last number called, so if another is called before you make yourself known, you have missed your chance.

What Happens After a Claim is Missed?

Carry on Bingo DabberIt’s perfectly possible that the person who misses the claim won’t realise they have done so – there’s a reason they missed it in the first place – and if that is the case, no one will ever know that the claim was missed.

It will just disappear into the ether as one of many missed opportunities, and the game will continue.

If the player makes their missed claim known soon afterwards, the game will probably be stopped while the claim is checked, and some poor member of staff will have to explain to the player why they are not getting any winnings.

The game will then continue as though nothing has happened until the next person claims, and that player will rightfully take the prize.

Usually, although they might not be very happy about it, players who miss a claim will accept the rules and move on. Occasionally though, they push back, and depending on how they do this, further action may be required.

For example, if they kick up a fuss there and then and hold up the game, they will probably be asked to leave and then be forcibly removed if they refuse.

If they choose to make some sort of complaint via the proper channels, then the complaints process will be followed by the book. However, they are unlikely to get very far provided the caller didn’t do anything wrong.

It is the player’s responsibility to make themselves known if they win, and that responsibility cannot be passed on to anybody else.

Can You Miss a Claim in Online Bingo?

man playing online bingoOne benefit of playing online, is that missed calls are a thing of the past. It is simply not possible to miss a claim playing bingo online.

In fact, it’s even possible to buy tickets in advance for games that you know you won’t be able to log on for, and your tickets will be played and marked off for you by the system – so you can still win even if you don’t have access to your account.

Of course, online bingo is a very different experience to bingo hall games in pretty much every way, so this alone isn’t a reason to choose between them, but it is certainly nice to know your claims are safe from distractions.

This is made possible because of the system that runs the online bingo games. It knows everything about the tickets that have been purchased for each game, marks off the numbers automatically, and makes claims automatically too, so as a player, it’s more about watching and enjoying the process than actually doing anything.

(You can change the settings to mark off your own numbers online, but even then, if you miss one, the system will catch you up so you don’t lose out).

This is why online bingo is a common past time for people who are are doing two things at once, such as keeping one eye on the tele and another on the bingo, or chatting in the lunch room at work at the same time as playing a few games on their phone.

So, online players can enjoy themselves on their favourite bingo site safe in the knowledge that they won’t miss a win if something else catches their attention for a moment.