Tambola is played on a basic principle. The organizer/caller calls the Number/CUE one at a time and players need to strike Numbers on their tickets. Tambola (also called Houzee) can be played in many different ways depending on the competency level of the target audience.
American version of Tambola is called ‘Bingo’ and it is slightly different from Tambola.
Generally, Tambola is played with Numbers (1-90) being called out by 1 person/caller and players striking out those Numbers on their Tickets.
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Prepare to play Tambola
- Sell Tambola Tickets at a fixed or mutually-agreed upon price to everyone who wants to play.
- With the ticket(s), hand out a pen/pencil/toothpick to the players to strike the called Numbers/CUEs in their tickets.
- Decide the cash-prizes for the decided winning points. Winning points can be like:
- Early 5: the ticket with first five struck numbers
- First Row/Top Row: the ticket with all numbers struck in top row first
- Second Row/Middle Row: the ticket with all numbers struck in middle row first
- Third Row/Bottom Row: the ticket with all numbers struck in bottom row first
- Corners: the ticket with all 4 corner numbers struck first (1st and last numbers of top and bottom rows)
- Corner with Star: the ticket with all 4 corner & center-most numbers struck first (1st and last numbers of top and bottom rows along with center-most number of the middle row)
- Full House/First House: the ticket with all its numbers struck first
- Second House: the ticket with all its numbers struck second
and so on…
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Start Playing Tambola
- The CALLER needs to pick a Number/CUE without seeing the box/container containing CUEs. The caller generally shakes the box/container containing CUEs before calling next CUE.
- If a number called by CALLER exists on a player’s ticket, then the player has to strike it.
- Once a particular Winning point is achieved by a player, he has to claim for it immediately.
- CALLER has to verify the winning by matching the struck numbers on the ticket with the called out numbers. CALLER then declares if the winning has been successfully claimed. If not, the winning point is still available to be claimed.
- Game ends when all the FULL HOUSEs are successfully CLAIMED.
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Award the winners at the end of Tambola
The pre-declared cash prizes are awarded to the respective winners from the amount collected by the sale of the tickets. If it is a “on-the-house” game, let the host award the winners with prizes.
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Some popular phrases to use while calling out Numbers
1 – First on the board, no. 1; lone ranger no. 1
2 – Kaala dhan (number “do”); one little duck no. 2
3 – Happy family; goodness me no. 3
4 – Hum doh humare “do”; 2+2=4
5 – Punjab mail no. 5, Come for a drive at no. 5
6 – Bottom heavy, In a fix no. 6
7 – Lucky no. seven, Colours of rainbow, days in a week
8 – One fat lady/major no. 8
9 – Doctor’s time no. 9
10 – A big fat hen no. 10
11 – Beautiful legs; sexy legs
12 – One dozen
13 – Unlucky for some no. 13, Baker’s Dozen no. 13
14 – Valentine’s Day; Tender chick, age is 14
15 – Yet to be kissed, age is 15
16 – Never been kissed, Sweet sixteen
17 – Not so sweet, often been kissed, Dancing Queen
18 – Now you can vote, marriageable age no. 18
19 – Goodbye teens at no. 19
21 – Watch your son at 21, Women’s age never crosses 21
22 – Two little ducks; All twos no. 22
23 – You and me is 23
24 – Two dozen
25 – Wish to have a wife at 25, Silver Jubilee (25)
26 – Republic Day
27 – Gateway to heaven no. 27
28 – Not so late at 28
29 – In your prime, Gin and lime 29
30 – Women get flirty at 30; Flirty thirty
31 – Flavours at Baskin Robins
32 – 32, Mouth’s Full
33 – Lovely lips, All the 3s, Knocking knees 33
34 – Dil mange more at 34
35 – Flirty wife 35
36 – Perfect vital stats 36, standard size 36, three dozen
37 – Mixed luck
38 – Oversize
39 – Watch your waistline
40 – Naughty 40
41 – Life begins at 41
43 – Down on your knees 43
44 – Chor & chor, All the fours
45 – Halfway there
46 – Up to tricks at 46
47 – Year of Independence
49 – Rise and shine at 49
50 – Half a century, Golden Jubilee (50)
51 – Charity begins at 51
52 – Weeks in a year; Pack of cards
53 – Pack with a joker
54 – Time for more
55 – Nagging wife, All the fives
56 – Pick up sticks
60 – Diamond Jubilee (60)
66 – Clickety Click
69 – Ulta Pulta, Any way round
72 – Lucky couple, lucky two
74 – Lucky chor 74
77 – Hum “saat” “saat” (Hindi) hain, luck-a-luck, double hockey sticks, two little crutches
78 – Lucky “seth” (Hindi) 78
79 – One more time, lucky nine
82 – Last of the two 82; Fat lady with a duck
83 – India won Cricket World Cup
84 – Last of the chors
87 – Last of luck, fat lady with a crutch
88 – Two fat ladies
89 – Nearly there; All but one
90 – Top of the house, no. 90 !
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