Bingo Calls : Complete Guide | LeoVegas

Bingo Calls: Complete Guide

Summary: Originating in London during the 1900s, the bingo calls use rhymes associated with numbers to clarify announcements in noisy bingo halls. With 90 different calls, such as "Kelly's eye" for number 1 and "Two fat ladies" for 88, players mark their tickets accordingly.

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There are an estimated 1.6 billion bingo players around the world. The game attracts all types of players thanks to the excitement it generates. If you have ever been to a traditional bingo hall, you will understand the energy bingo creates. It is fast and fun and provides thrilling highs when you win.


A unique characteristic of the much-loved game is the bingo calls. You may have played in a traditional bingo hall and heard some strange phrases called out over the PA system. You may not have understood what the announcer said. That is because traditional bingo has unique bingo calls to clarify the numbers.

Rather than simply saying the numbers one, two, or three, bingo callers use a special lingo. The phrases may sound a tad strange, but let us assure you, bingo calls are one of the funniest aspects of this unique game.


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How to Call Numbers in Bingo?

Bingo is one of the easiest games to learn and traditional bingo halls and online casinos like LeoVegas provide players with the chance to win cash prizes. It shouldn’t take you long to learn the rules of bingo even if you have never played it before.

Players receive a ticket with different numbers on it. The announcer, or bingo caller, will draw balls out of a blower and call out the number on the ball. Players will then mark the number off their ticket if it is on the card. A player wins the game by crossing off all the numbers on their ticket before another player does.

There are different versions of bingo, but for the most part, all of the games are played the same. You can play 90-ball, 75-ball, and other types of bingo online. The number of balls will determine the numbers on the bingo ticket. If you play bingo at a bingo hall, you may even see some players using multiple tickets at once.

Some bingo halls still use traditional blowers to select the numbers. However, some bingo halls will generate the numbers electronically. Online bingo games use random number generation (RNG) to select the numbers.

Online bingo games will use the same bingo rhyming phrases as traditional bingo games. This gives the online versions of bingo a real-life feel. Bingo websites always want to make the game engaging for players. Providing a real-life feel allows the website to engage with an audience even more. Compared to casino games like roulette, blackjack, and slots, bingo is incredibly social. That is one reason so many people enjoy playing it. Once you get comfortable with the bingo lingo, you will find the game even more enthralling.

How Did Bingo Calls Originate?

Most bingo calls are associated with rhymes. For example, the number will rhyme with the bingo call (‘3 a cup of tea’). Bingo calls originated in London during the 1900s. Indeed, the calls are part of Cockney rhyming slang, which was used by people in London’s East End to pass messages, secrets and to speak without the police knowing what was being said.

The rhymes were adopted by bingo players in the many bingo halls in London. The lingo was used to ensure players heard the correct number clearly when it was read out loud. Some of the numbers can sound similar in a noisy bingo hall. Bingo calls clarify which number players should mark on their tickets.

Some bingo calls and rhymes were added over time. Rhymes were added to reflect the locations of bingo halls and the regional dialect. Every bingo number has its very own nickname. It can be difficult to understand the different bingo calls in the beginning, but with some practice, you will know the difference between numbers based on the unique nicknames. Now, you won’t confuse 34 and 44 when the announcer calls the number out.

There are 90 bingo calls. Some phrases are more understandable than others. A few phrases may make you shrug your shoulders due to their meanings not being immediately recognisable.

Bingo calls and lingo list:

  • 1 – Kelly’s eye
  • 46 – Up to tricks
  • 2 – One little duck
  • 47 – Four and seven
  • 3 – Cup of tea
  • 48 – Four dozen
  • 4 – Knock at the door
  • 49 – PC
  • 5 – Man alive
  • 50 – Half a century
  • 6 – Tom Mix/Half a dozen
  • 51 – Tweak of the thumb
  • 7 – Lucky seven
  • 52 – Danny La Rue
  • 8 – Garden gate
  • 53 – Here comes Herbie/Stuck in a tree
  • 9 – Doctor’s orders
  • 54 – Clean the floor
  • 10 – [UK Prime Minister’s name]’s den
  • 55 – Snakes alive
  • 11 – Legs eleven
  • 56 – Shotts Bus
  • 12 – One dozen
  • 57 – Heinz varieties
  • 13 – Unlucky for some
  • 58 – Make them wait
  • 14 – Valentine’s Day
  • 59 – Brighton Line
  • 15 – Young and keen
  • 60 – Five dozen
  • 16 – Sweet 16 and never been kissed
  • 61 – Baker’s bun
  • 17 – Dancing queen
  • 62 – Turn the screw/Tickety-boo
  • 18 – Coming of age
  • 63 – Tickle me 63
  • 19 – Goodbye teens
  • 64 – Red raw
  • 20 – One score
  • 65 – Old age pension
  • 21 – Royal salute/Key of the door
  • 66 – Clickety click
  • 22 – Two little ducks
  • 67 – Stairway to heaven
  • 23 – Thee and me
  • 68 – Saving Grace
  • 24 – Two dozen
  • 69 – Favourite of mine
  • 25 – Duck and dive
  • 70 – Three score and ten
  • 26 – Pick and mix
  • 71 – Bang on the drum
  • 27 – Gateway to heaven
  • 72 – Six dozen
  • 28 – In a state/Overweight
  • 73 – Queen bee
  • 29 – Rise and shine
  • 74 – Hit the floor
  • 30 – Dirty Gertie
  • 75 – Strive and strive
  • 31 – Get up and run
  • 76 – Trombones
  • 32 – Buckle my shoe
  • 77 – Sunset strip
  • 33 – Dirty knee/All the threes/Fish, chips & peas
  • 78 – 39 more steps
  • 34 – Ask for more
  • 79 – One more time
  • 35 – Jump and jive
  • 80 – Eight and blank
  • 36 – Three dozen
  • 81 – Stop and run
  • 37 – More than eleven
  • 82 – Straight on through
  • 38 – Christmas cake
  • 83 – Time for tea
  • 39 – 39 steps
  • 84 – Seven dozen
  • 40 – Life begins
  • 85 – Staying alive
  • 41 – Time for fun
  • 86 – Between the sticks
  • 42 – Winnie the Pooh
  • 87 – Torquay in Devon
  • 43 – Down on your knees
  • 88 – Two fat ladies
  • 44 – Droopy drawers
  • 89 – Nearly there
  • 45 – Halfway there
  • 90 – Top of the shop

Bingo Calls FAQ

What does 69 mean in bingo?

A. The bingo call for the number 69 is ‘Anyway up’. This means that the number 69 looks the same right-side up or upside down.

What does 88 mean in bingo?

A. The bingo call for number 88 is ‘Two fat ladies’. This is self-explanatory, as the number 88 looks like two overweight women sitting next to each other.

Why is 44 droopy drawers?

A. Number 44 is claimed to look like sagging trousers. It is a difficult visual to understand. However, the number 44 creates a partial rhyme with ‘droopy drawers’. So, perhaps that is the reason the bingo call stuck.

What is the bingo call for 30?

A. The bingo call for number 30 is ‘Dirty Gertie’. There is some history behind the number 30 bingo call. Dirty Gertie is the nickname of the La Délivrance statue. La Délivrance is a bronze statue of a naked woman. It was created by French artist Emile Oscar Guillaume in 1914. It is a tribute to the First Battle of the Marne, a military battle in which Germany was stopped from reaching Paris in World War I. In 1927, the statue was placed in Barnet, London. In addition, Dirty Gertie was a song the Allied soldiers sang during World War II.

Which number does bingo call time for fun?

A. The number 41 is the bingo call for fun. The bingo announcer will call, ‘41, time for fun’. The reason behind the rhyme is that life begins at 41, so it is time to have some fun.

Bingo calls are one of the unique characteristics of the game. It can take some time to understand and remember the different and traditional bingo calls. Once you know the different bingo calls, you won’t be confused by the different numbers again. Bingo calls make it easy to differentiate between the numbers, so you won’t make mistakes and mark the wrong numbers.

What are different ways of calling bingo numbers in Canada, the US, and the UK?

There is a difference between the English language used in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. In a way, Canada uses a combination of the two versions of English thanks to its proximity to the US and its long ties to the UK.

The bingo numbers in Canada and the US may have different rhymes. Some of the changes may be subtle, while others may be completely different. The traditional bingo rhyming slang from the UK may not make sense to a Canadian or American audience. Some bingo halls in Canada or the States may be unaware of the traditional British bingo rhyming slang.