After a comedy monologue, each player began with a bingo card that had three rows of six spaces each; one space per row was already blanked out, leaving 15 spaces uncovered. The first round was a race to fill in the four corner spaces by answering questions on the buzzer. However, answering incorrectly "wallied" the contestant, meaning they were locked out of the next question. The first to answer four questions correctly won one of three prizes of their choice.
Then came the Monkhouse Master Card round, focusing on filling the middle row; the numbers (1-60) were divided into six ranges assigned to categories. Contestants called a number from the middle row of their card, and then were asked a question from the corresponding category. A correct answer filled in the chosen number, but missed questions could now be stolen by opponents to fill in any number on their middle row. (The lockout rule applied only in these latter cases, meaning that a contestant could not play the next question whether it was their turn or not; a contestant who missed their own question was never locked out for the next one.) Each player also had a "Lucky Number" that awarded a bonus prize if they chose it and answered correctly. The first contestant to finish their middle row won a choice from another set of prizes.
This was followed by the Full House final round, which was a de facto Speed Round to fill in the remaining spaces on the card. The first to do so won the game (and one more prize), and advanced to the Bonus Round for a chance at a trip.
The original series ran from 1984 to 1990. However, it was revived a total of three different times (plus a short-lived U.S. syndicated version), each with a different host and title, and slight differences to the gameplay;
- Trump Card - a 1990-91 U.S. syndicated version hosted by sportscaster Jimmy Cefalo, taped at the Trump Castle resort in Atlantic City and produced by Fiedler/Berlin Productions and Telepictures. It played relatively similar, except that there were four categories used in the first two rounds, and the addition of the "Trump Card", which can be played by a contestant to lock an opponent's card until they answer a question correctly. The bonus round was basically the Blockbusters Gold Run on a 5x5 bingo card; in 45 seconds, answer questions correctly to form a line of 5 (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally), incorrect answers turn the chosen space into a block instead. The contestant could fill in one space for free at random, and another if they still had their Trump Card from the main game. Winners received $10,000 ($15,000 altogether if they'd won the other rounds) and qualified for a series-ending $100,000 tournament of championsnote .
- One to Win - a 1992 BBC revival with Andrew O'Connor, based mainly on Trump Card but with the original Bob's Full House bonus round reinstated. Also only lasted one season.
- Lucky Numbers - A 1995 version for ITV, hosted by Shane Richie. Contestants were chosen from the audience via a giant bingo-ball launcher, and the bonus game this time was the Trump Card style. Its biggest addition was a Home Participation Sweepstakes care of its sponsor, the Sun newspaper, which contained Bingo cards that could be filled from numbers used in-game to win prizes.
- The Biggest Game In Town - Another ITV revival in late-2001, hosted by Steve LeFevre; now broadcast live as a weekday show (with an additional evening edition on Fridays). Once again, it had a home game, except that this time the show actually kept track of how many players had cards that had won prizes.
Game Show Tropes in use:
- Bonus Round: The Golden Card Game; answer up to 15 questions in 60 seconds to mark off spaces on the final card, revealing either letters spelling out the name of a location, or adding the number values in pounds to a bank. Uncover all the letters (the clock does stop for each correct answer) to win a trip to said location, or just a Consolation Prize vaguely related to the destination. Either way, the contestant wins all the money in the bank.
- Bonus Space: The Lucky Number.
- Consolation Prize: A hamper of gifts if you didn't win anything.
- Golden Snitch: The final round is the only one that really mattered.
- Game Show Host: Bob Monkhouse for the original; Andrew O'Connor, Shane Richie and Steve LeFevre followed. Jimmy Cefalo (a longtime sportscaster in Miami) hosted Trump Card, and the Lucky Numbers pilot was hosted by Nick Weir (who later went on to host [and break his foot on] Catch Phrase).
- Lovely Assistant: Monkhouse sometimes joked that the prize model was not included.
- Studio Audience: Provided the traditional audience replies associated with certain numbers, like 22 ("Two little ducks", "Quack, quack!") For Trump Card, the audience had bingo cards distributed that allowed them to win small amounts of cash.
- Zonk: Subverted; the Lucky Number prizes were frequently played up as being a joke prize ... until it was revealed that they were actually a clue for the actual prize. (e.g. a bag of popcorn and an ice cream cone, leading into a pack of 12 movie tickets.)
This series provides examples of:
- Catch Phrase:
- "In Bingo lingo clickety-clicks, it's time to take your pick of the six."
- "It's open to the others."
- "Mix the six!"
- "Let's have a look at the state of play..."
- "You neeeeeeeeed [x] for a Full House."
- "You're wallied. You can't answer this..."
- Transatlantic Equivalent: Trump Card. One to Win lifted some elements from Trump Card, namely the set design, the category system, and the Trump Card itself (re-named the Wild Card, and only used in Round 3), while Lucky Numbers lifted the bonus game.
- Zeerust: Lucky Numbers' set design was inspired by the "Googie" architecture trend, giving it a very 1950's look.