Bingo is a game where players mark off numbers on their card as they’re being called randomly by the the caller. These callers are the game masters, their job is to preside the game, call out the numbers, and validate winning tickets.
Bingo calls are the terms or nicknames used by professional callers to refer to the numbers being called out in a game. Although originally from the UK, it has been adopted pretty much in other countries’ versions of the game too. These bingo calls are typically rhymes and phrases, so that instead of calling the actual number 3, the caller says “Cup of tea” or “You and me”. It’s a fun way to add variety and excitement to the hall. If you’re new to playing bingo, it may take some time to learn all of them, but you’ll eventually get used to it. There are 90 of them, with some numbers having more than one nickname.
For a potential caller, no doubt to you need to learn bingo calls one way or the other. If want to get a head start at learning the names, read the following tips and master them all in no time!
- Start the game right
It’s important for any game master to start with proper introduction. Before you start calling out numbers, make sure you announce how many games you’re playing. Also, let the audience know how you’re going to sell the tickets, and for what kind of combination you’ll be playing first.
- Learn the nicknames
Calling bingo numbers with their corresponding rhymes are a fun way to facilitate a game. Although it’s not not being used so much recently as it has a tendency to slow down the game, it’s still being actively practiced in charity and social events.
Check with the organizer if you’re required to use nicknames as some local bingo games don’t allow it. Don’t be afraid to make up your own, as long as it rhymes, and it’s fun. The entire purpose of bingo calls is to make it easier for the players to clarify the numbers. It also add a dash of wit and humor to an otherwise boring feat of crossing out digits from a bunch of tickets.
Bingo calls are generally grouped according to rhyme and reason. Some numbers have two nicknames. Say the number 20 could be called a score (reason) or “getting plenty” (rhyme). Whatever you use depends on your preference. Once you wrap your head around these rhymes and reasons, it’ll be easier to remember all the nicknames. Read up on the entire list and learn them by heart. Answer online quizzes and observe actual games too. Good luck!
- More calling tips
Professional bingo calling is a form of public speaking. Even if you’re just announcing number after number, the fact that you’re in front of an audience may give you stage fright. Remember to not rush. It’s better to go slowly and surely than have players mishear and mismark a number because you’re stuttering and not being clear.
Shake up the numbers before drawing. It gives the effect that you’re mixing them enough and is giving out a truly random call. This will make you look more credible to the players as well.
Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the game and have fun!