• The predecessor to Bingo was a game called "Beano" and it was played with dried beans.
  • Mathematician, Carl Leffler, is rumoured to have gone crazy while figuring out the number combinations for the original 6000 bingo cards.
  • Bingo is known as the greatest fundraising game in the world.
  • There are one million, four hundred thousand different possible bingo card combinations.

Bingo is one of those age old games that draw people together, it is always a fun outing with players interacting with the bingo caller, screaming out BINGO when they have completed a line, full house or whatever version is being played at the time.

Players love the bingo calls, enthusiastically acting them out as in “duck with a crutch” 27 = quack thud, “legs 11″ = wolf whistles all around, and “sweet sixteen” = kiss, kiss, kiss. The more players there are the noisier it gets, bingonistas just lap this stuff up but a good time is had by all with laughter ringing throughout the bingo hall.

It is easy to spot the seasoned bingonistas as they set out their stands for the cards, their daubers and any lucky charms they strew around them on the table. Some go as far as bringing their own snacks complete with the snack bowls whilst others prefer to buy their eats at the venue.

A bingo session usually lasts a couple of hours, and bingo cards are bought at the beginning of the evening. Rounds are played for different prizes or cash growing in value as jackpots and snowballs are played during the session. Some bigger bingo halls even have holidays and cars as prizes, drawing huge crowds.

VivaBingo have set up bingo halls in Pretoria and Gauteng with more branches opening soon in KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga and Northwest Province. For smaller venues check your local community centres as many of them run bingo evenings with part of the takings going to charity or for building school classrooms.

Wherever you choose to play, have fun, don’t take it too seriously and check the bingo calls below for reference.
1 – Kelly’s Eye

2 – One Little Duck

3 – Cup of tea

4 – Knock at the Door

5 – Man Alive

6 – Tom’s tricks

7 – Lucky Seven

8 – One Fat Lady / Garden Gate

9 – Doctor’s Orders

10 – 10 Downing Street

11 – Legs Eleven

12 – One Dozen

13 – Unlucky for Some / Baker’s Dozen

14 – Valentines Day

15 – Young and keen / Rugby Team

16 – Sweet Sixteen

17 – Dancing Queen

18 – Coming of Age

19 – Goodbye Teens

20 – One Score/ Blind 20

21 – Key of the Door

22 – Two Little Ducks / All the Twos

23 – Thee and Me

24 – Two dozen

25 – Duck and Dive

26 – Half a crown

27 – Little duck with a Crutch

28 – Over Weight

29 – Rise and Shine

30 – Blind 30

31 – Get up and Run

32 – Buckle my Shoe

33 – All the Threes / All the Feathers

34 – Ask for More

35 – Jump and Jive

36 – Three Dozen

37 – A Flea in Heaven

38 – Christmas Cake

39 – Those Famous Steps

40 – Naughty Forty

41 – Time for Fun

42 – Winnie the Pooh

43 – Down on your Knees

44 – Droopy Drawers / All the Fours

45 – Halfway There

46 – Up to Tricks

47 – Four and Seven

48 – Four Dozen

49 – P.C. / Copper

50 – Half a Century/ Blind 50

51 – Tweak of the Thumb

52 – Danny La Rue/ Weeks in a Year

53 – Stuck in the Tree

54 – Clean the Floor

55 – Snakes Alive / All the Fives

56 – Was she worth it?

57 – Heinz Varieties

58 – Make them Wait

59 – Brighton Line

60 – Five Dozen / Blind 60

61 – Bakers Bun

62 – Turn on the Screw / Tickety Boo

63 – Tickle Me

64 – Red Raw / The Beatles’ Number

65 – Old Age Pension

66 – Clickety Click / All the Sixes

67 – Made in Heaven r

68 – Saving Grace

69 – Either Way Up /The Same Both Ways

70 – Three Score and Ten / Blind 70

71 – Bang on the Drum

72 – Six Dozen / A Crutch and a Duck

73 – Crutch and a flea / Queen Bee

74 – Candy Store

75 – Strive and Strive

76 – Was She Worth It

77 – All the Sevens / Two Little Crutches

78 – Heavens Gate

79 – One More Time

80 – /Blind 80

81 – Stop and Run

82 – Fat lady with a Duck

83 – Time for Tea / Ethel’s Ear

84 – Seven Dozen

85 – Staying Alive

86 – Between the Sticks

87 – Fat lady with a Crutch

88 – Two fat ladies / All the Eights

89 – Nearly there

90 – Top of the Shop / Blind 90 / End of the Line