Understanding bingo calls and numbers
When you first start playing tombola you might think that every other player knows this secret language and some of it might seem quite weird. Well you’d be kind of right; bingo does have its own language, or bingo lingo. There’s a whole set of phrases that go hand in hand with playing bingo, but don’t worry we’re here to help you learn the different names for bingo, sayings used in our Chat Rooms and some bingo general knowledge.
Bingo numbers and calls for tombola games
Ready to get started? Here's some useful bingo terms for when you're playing our bingo games.
90 ball bingo – this is a game of bingo that has 90 balls, ours is called bingo90.
Call – this refers to each number as it is drawn, in a bingo hall these numbers would be called out, hence the term call.
Dab/auto dab – in a bingo hall players would mark their ticket with a round ended pen known as a bingo dabber. When we play online bingo we can choose to dab our own tickets or set the game to auto-dab or auto-mark the tickets as the game plays out. There’s no need to worry if you think you missed a number, our games will catch you up and let you know if you are a winner.
1-Line prize – this is a prize awarded to the first player to mark off one horizontal line of numbers on their ticket.
2-Line prize - this is a prize awarded to the first player to mark off two horizontal lines of numbers on the same ticket.
Full House prize – this is a prize awarded to the first player to mark off all their numbers on one ticket. Multiple players can win the Full House prize at the same time.
Jackpot – this is a prize awarded to the first player to mark off all their numbers on one ticket within a certain number of calls. The number of calls varies from game to game and can be found in each game’s ‘how to play’ section.
Link game – in some of our games every half hour, all the clubs join together to play one big Link game, so called because the games are all linked up. Everyone will play one big game together. In the night when it is quieter some of our games link together for longer.
What are bingo number names?
Although bingo number names have changed and evolved over the years, many of the traditional bingo calls were formed back in the 1950s and ‘60s to help players distinguish between two different numbers. For example in the bingo hall, the numbers 22 and 32 may sound very similar for those sitting far away from the bingo caller. By giving the number a nickname, it makes it easier to identify which number was called.
Traditional bingo numbers and bingo calls
It's traditional that every number called from 1 to 90 has a different phrase associated with it. Some of these have historical links dating back to when the game first became popular, others change regularly - such as Number 10 which always uses the name of the current Prime Minister!
What are the classic bingo number calls?
More than half of the bingo number calls are made up of rhyming words. Classic examples of calls that rhyme include turn the screw for number 62, garden gate for number 8, and pick and mix for number 26. There are also some, such as legs 11 for number 11, two little ducks for number 22, and two fat ladies for number 88, which are derived from the appearance of their number. Others popular calls, such as two dozen for number 24, half a century for number 50, and top of the shop for number 90, are represented by certain milestones.
Traditional bingo calling numbers
One Little Duck
Cup of Tea
Knock at the Door
Half a Dozen - Tom Mix
(Prime Minister)'s Den
Unlucky for Some
Young and Keen
Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Kissed
Coming of Age
Royal Salute - Key of the Door
Two Little Ducks
Thee and Me
Duck and Dive
Pick and Mix
Gateway to Heaven
In a State - Overweight
Rise and Shine
Get up and Run
Buckle my Shoe
Dirty Knee - All the Threes - Fish, Chips and Peas
Ask for More
Jump and Jive
More than Eleven
Time for Fun
Down on your Knees
Up to Tricks
Four and Seven
Half a Centry
Tweak of the Thumb
Danny La Rue
Here Comes Herbie - Stuck in a Tree
Clean the Floor
Make them Wait
Turn the Screw - Tickety-Boo
Tickle Me Sixty Three
Old Age Pension
Stairway to Heaven
Favourite of Mine
Three Score and Ten
Bang on the Drum
Hit the Floor
Strive and Strive
39 More Steps
One More Time
Eight and Blank - Older callers might use 'Ghandi's Breakfast' -"Ate Nothing"!
Stop and Run
Straight on Through
Time for Tea
Between the Sticks
Torquay in Devon
Two Fat Ladies
Top of the Shop
Bingo lingo in our chat rooms
Come and join the friendly conversation in our Chat Rooms, and get to grips with some of the popular bingo lingo we use there.
WDW – Well Done Winners. You’ll see this a lot as our players congratulate each other.
GL – Good Luck. Players will send each other luck just before a game starts.
GLE/GLA – Good Luck Everyone/All.
3tg – this means 3 to go, the player is saying they just need 3 more numbers to reach the next prize.
CM – This means Chat Moderator.
WB – this means Welcome Back.
LTNS – which means Long Time No See. Our CMs are always happy to see you!