As great as bingo can be, learning how to be a caller can be tricky. However, that can be overcome with some time and practice. Looking at the key aspects of bingo calling, we want to explore how you too can learn this skill, to better host games of your own.
Before we get into the specifics, it’s important to first understand that bingo callouts are very much a reflection of where you live. Though there are some callouts that have long served as a base among different cultures, some make sense in one area that would be utterly alien in another. A callout like “number nine, Brighton line” in the UK wouldn’t work in France, for example, and not just because it’s not in French. For this reason, before starting to learn, it’s important you ensure your callouts are appropriate for your area and audience.
Of course, callouts don’t need to be completely strict either. Though there is a huge list of accepted callouts in major markets like the UK and USA, it’s also widely accepted that callers can get more personal with it. If you have a game among the local community, feel free to adopt in-jokes as surprises, as long as they’re not too alienating. You also need to ensure they rhyme most of the time.
With the basics in mind, it’s time to start going over the list. While we’re usually cautious about referencing Wikipedia as accurate, they do a surprisingly great job here at listing the callouts for up to 90-ball bingo, and where the callouts come from. As for whether you’ll want to start off going for all 90 callouts or would prefer starting at the 30-ball version for a softer launch, that’s up to you.
Just reading through the list once or twice should let you memorise a handful thanks to the rhyme scheme, but there’s no realistic way to learn them all at once. Instead, we’d recommend drilling the list into yourself over a period of days and even weeks until all the gaps begin to close. It might seem an insurmountable task at first, but your brain is better at this stuff than you might think, so keep with it.
Once you can go through all of bingo’s callouts, you then need to ensure you can perform them in real-time. Don’t think that just because you can run through a list sequentially you can automatically find the right callouts when they’re randomised, it’s not quite as easy as that.
Understanding this, consider using the random function on your phone or a calculator to generate numbers to call out. Just work from the last two digits, ignore anything in the 91-00 range, and you can get an accurate feel of what calling the real game is like. Alternatively, if you have a bingo machine at home for whatever reason, that’s an even better choice.
From this point, it’s just a matter of practice, practice, and then, more practice. Remember it’s okay to struggle at first, and mistakes even for the pros are natural. Now get out there, and start calling!