A Guide to Bingo Calls

Last Updated on . Written By Beth Taylor

Even if you have never played a game of bingo at a real bingo hall, most people will be aware of the most famous bingo calls. These unique phrases can sound peculiar on the first listen but the fun bingo call names are an integral part of the game that make it light-hearted and a joy to play. Plus, it helps to distinguish exactly what number is being called to avoid any mix-ups over familiar sounding numbers.


The Origin of Bingo Calls

The Origin of Bingo Calls

What most people don’t know about bingo calls is that they actually originate from cockney rhyming slang! They were first used in games back in the 1950s and it is thought that they were stolen from a game called Housey-Housey which was played by the army in the 1930s. Consequently, during this time it was a gambling game mostly played by men, compared to today where it is now seen as being predominantly a game targeted at women. While some of these bingo calls have stayed the same, of course, many have changed and been updated over the years. Some numbers will also have multiple bingo calls that can be used for them.

Even though many players have moved online to play bingo games, there are still virtual bingo callers who do just as excellent a job as the highly skilled and knowledgeable bingo callers at real life bingo halls.


Common Bingo Lingo

Some bingo calls have remained very consistent and are incredibly popular with players. They can vary a little from region to region, but overall, these are calls you are sure to hear when playing a game of bingo, no matter where you are playing from in the UK.

Some of the most common bingo calls you’ll recognise are:

  • Cup of Tea – The number 3 rhymes with this traditional British drink.
  • Lucky Seven – The number 7 is widely thought of as a lucky number.
  • Prime Minister’s Den – The number 10 refers to the PM’s quarters on Downing Street.
  • Legs Eleven – The number 11 looks like it could be a pair of legs.
  • Unlucky for Some – The number 13 is thought to be unlucky for many.
  • Dancing Queen – The number 17 is referenced in this popular Abba song.
  • Two Little Ducks – The number 22 looks like it could be two ducks.
  • Old Age Pension – The number 65 is associated with retirement age.
  • Stairway to heaven – This number 67 rhymes with this iconic Led Zeppelin song.
  • Two Fat Ladies – The number 88 looks like it could be two larger females.

It takes a while to get used to the calls made in bingo, but we promise, once you get the hang of them it will make the overall game that much more enjoyable to play.


American Bingo Calls

Bingo is known as a British game, however, it has made its way around the world and been adopted by many other countries who then, of course, put their own spin on it. The United States is one of the countries which has made this game its own by changing many of the bingo calls to better reflect their culture. Some of the most interesting bingo calls in the US include:

  • Tom Mix – The number 6 rhymes with this famous actor from silent films.
  • Burlington Bertie – The number 30 rhymes with this song from the early 1900s.
  • Hawaii Five 0 – The number 50 is associated with the title of the American television police drama from the 1970s.
  • Big Daddy – The number 75 is usually the biggest number in bingo games across the pond.


Bingo Calls in Pop Culture

As we previously mentioned, some bingo calls are constantly changing to reflect pop culture. This helps the game attract a new, younger audience and sells the game to this demographic. You’ll be happy to hear that even if these pop culture references make no sense to you, they are mostly rhyming bingo calls and easy to work out.

  • Little Mix – The number 6 rhymes with this popular British girl band.
  • Tinder Date – The number 8 rhymes with this well-known dating app.
  • Selfie Queen – The number 17 rhymes with the act of taking pictures of yourself.
  • I Don’t Know About You – The number 22 is associated with the lyrics of Taylor’s Swift’s single 22.
  • Jimmy Choo – The number 32 rhymes with this famous designer brand.
  • Tag a Mate – The number 48 rhymes with the popular past time of tagging people on social media.


What’s Next for Bingo Calls?

What’s Next for Bingo Calls

New bingo calls are constantly being thought of and each year they get even more witty and inventive. As new up and coming generations become acquainted with the game of bingo, these pop culture references are likely to change again with the times as it’s always evolving. Both online and offline bingo will need to keep up with these changes in order to stay relevant as a game for years to come.


The Complete List of Bingo Calls

If you’re new to playing online bingo or just want to freshen up on your bingo lingo, keep this tab open and use our handy guide below on all the bingo calls you can expect to hear during an online bingo game.


  1.  Kelly’s Eye
  2. One Little Duck
  3. Cup of Tea
  4. Knock at the Door
  5. Man Alive
  6. Half a Dozen/Tom Mix
  7. Lucky Seven
  8. Garden Gate
  9. Doctor’s Orders
  10. Cameron’s Den
  11. Legs 11
  12. One Dozen
  13. Unlucky for Some
  14. Valentine’s Day
  15. Young and Keen
  16. Sweet 16
  17. Dancing Queen
  18. Coming of Age
  19. Goodbye Teens
  20. One Score
  21. Royal Salute
  22. Two Little Ducks
  23. Thee and Me
  24. Two Dozen
  25. Duck and Dive
  26. Pick and Mix
  27. Gateway to Heaven
  28. Over Weight
  29. Rise and Shine
  30. Dirty Gertie
  31. Get Up and Run
  32. Buckle My Shoe
  33. Dirty Knee/Fish, Chips & Peas/All the Threes
  34. Ask for More
  35. Jump and Jive
  36. Three Dozen
  37. More than Eleven
  38. Christmas Cake
  39. Steps
  40. Naughty 40/Life Begins
  41. Time for Fun
  42. Winnie the Pooh
  43. Down on Your Knees
  44. Droopy Drawers
  45. Halfway There
  46. Up to Tricks
  47. Four and Seven
  48. Four Dozen
  49. PC
  50. Half a Century
  51. Tweak of the Thumb
  52. Danny La Rue
  53. Stuck in the Tree
  54. Clean the Floor
  55. Snakes Alive
  56. Was She Worth It?
  57. Heinz Varieties
  58. Make Them Wait
  59. Brighton Line
  60. Five Dozen
  61. Bakers Bun
  62. Turn the Screw
  63. Tickle Me 63
  64. Red Raw
  65. Old Age Pension
  66. Clickety Click
  67. Made in Heaven
  68. Saving Grace
  69. Either Way Up
  70. Three Score and 10
  71. Bang on the Drum
  72. Six Dozen
  73. Queen B
  74. Candy Store
  75. Strive and Strive
  76. Trombones
  77. Sunset Strip
  78. Heaven’s Gate
  79. One More Time
  80. Eight and Blank
  81. Stop and Run
  82. Straight On Through
  83. Time for Tea
  84. Seven Dozen
  85. Staying Alive
  86. Between the Sticks
  87. Torquay in Devon
  88. Two Fat Ladies
  89. Nearly There
  90. Top of the Shop




Beth Taylor

Editor-in-Chief Beth Taylor is Editor-in-Chief at BingoSites.com and has been writing about online bingo for the past 5 years. She is considered an industry expert and is a regular attendee at industry events and conferences. Having studied journalism at King's College London, she combines this with her passion for bingo to produce the independent content for this website.