Housie – A Game of Chance Unlike Any

Often times, you may feel the temptation to test your luck, and as humans, the emotion is only natural. One of the best ways to do so is by engaging in a game of Housie, also called Bingo or Tambola. It is one of the most popular timepass game played across the country.

Housie is a game of chance where people assemble, buy numbered tickets, and try to match those numbers with ones that are drawn by the host. As for the winnings, there are 5 options – Early Five, Top Line, Middle Line, Bottom Line, and Housie.

With the best luck, you can win all the winning point options, but with many people playing and competing at the same time, the chance for that to happen is very rare.

The game ends when either all 90 numbers are called out by the host or when one of the participants matches all the numbers on their ticket, claiming Housie.

Introduction to the Housie Game

The invention of the Housie or Bingo game dates back centuries ago. The game is said to be invented in the 1500s in Italy, later making its presence felt in other European regions of Great Britain and France, to name a few.

Today, the game is worth millions and is one of the most popular ones around the world. Depending on the region you play Housie in, the design of the ticket may vary, as well as in some locales, you can find the 75 numbers variant as opposed to the traditional 90 numbers.

There is no limit to the number of people that can play this game; the more the merrier. The Housie game rules are simple. Before commencing, however, you need to designate a host or caller.

Once done, distribute the tickets among the attendees for a predefined amount which will then be used as part of the winnings.

It is important to be attentive and sharp because you require to interrupt and call out immediately any time you strike out a line or all the numbers on your ticket. The host will then verify your ticket.

If all the numbers accurately match, you will receive your reward. If the numbers do not match, your ticket shall be deemed invalid for the remainder of the round.

Understanding the Housie Game Rules

Housie is a fun game to play when you have people around, as it acts as a great pastime activity. To play the game, you will need a Tambola set containing tickets and numbered tiles/numbered balls. As one of the players, you need to follow certain rules to seamlessly transition to the end of the game.

Read through to know what the Housie Game rules are –

Purchasing the ticket:

You cannot play Tambola without buying a ticket. The price of the tickets can be predetermined with the money collected used as a reward for the winners.

Striking the numbers:

Only by striking the numbers on your ticket can you remember which numbers are out of play. Another reason why you strike the numbers is to keep a note of which line you may have crossed out, making you eligible for a reward.

Calling out:

Since you compete with several other players and the reward can be won only by one individual at a time, it is important to call out and let the host know that you have completed either a Line or Housie.

The caller will then evaluate the ticket and decide whether or not you have won the prize. In case of a tie, the first person to call out is declared the winner, making calling out an important aspect of the game.

Housie Gameplay

Housie is one of the most loved group games in India as well as some regions of the Indian subcontinent. Its gameplay is relatively simple and does not require advanced knowledge of any kind. The instructions are sound and clear, and when followed to the T, the players enjoy as well as win the games.

Sometimes, as per the predefined rules, you may have the option to choose the price of your ticket. In that case, go for the minimum one and make your way up once you start feeling confident. Keep striking out the numbers that the host calls.

They will ensure to repeat the number for audiences to catch on in case they missed it the first time. Finally, see to it that you immediately call out either the Line name or Housie loud enough to bring the game to a pause if you have stricken out the numbers.

Handy Tips to Win the Housie Game

Though Tambola is largely a game of luck, taking into account a few pointers can help you play better than others. Below are some Housie game ideas for you to consider –

Buy more than one ticket:

Yes, buying more than one ticket at a given time is an option if you can afford the price. This way, you will receive tickets with varied numbers, which improves your chances of winning Housie.

Carefully listen to the host

It is vital to be attentive when the caller is calling out the numbers. Any kind of miss can result in you losing out on the prize by the smallest margin.

Additionally, it will help you make certain that you do not strike out the wrong numbers that may have the same sound as the number that is being called out.

Don’t target only Housie:

Given, Housie always carries the biggest reward, that does not mean that you should chase only one objective. You have the Lines to play for and they, too, have some form of prize associated with them. Imagine winning multiple Lines as well as Housie!

Abide by the rules:

It can become frustrating when you are not crossing out more numbers than the others. You may as well be tempted to resort to aggressive tactics such as distracting other players or criticizing their gameplay.

See to it that you follow the unwritten rules, as winning and losing are a part of Housie.

Do not risk more money:

Now, this point may seem contradictory to buying more than one ticket, but risking more money than you can afford is never a good move. Spend more money only when you feel your luck is going the way you wish for it to go. Sometimes, less is more.

Read About - Pachisi Game

Housie Board Game Terminologies You Should Know

Like other games, Housie too has its specified set of terminologies that you will hear during the course of the game. The caller normally is someone who possesses vast experience in hosting Housie games and they will speak terms you may not have heard of before.

This makes it essential to be knowledgeable about these terms, as they will make your experience more cherished –

Tambola or Bingo:

Tambola and Bingo are other names for Housie. Housie is often referred to as Tambola in India and Pakistan as well as in some other regions of the Indian subcontinent.

Bingo, on the other hand, is often heard in the regions of the United States. Housie is a name you will also commonly hear in the countries of Australia and New Zealand.


The caller is the designated host responsible for carrying out the proceedings during the Housie event.


Tickets refer to a slip of paper containing numbers you need to buy to play Housie. These numbers must be stricken out using either a pen or a pencil as and when the caller calls them out.

Early 5/Jaldi 5

The player striking the first 5 numbers on the ticket before other players, regardless of the row, win.

Top Line:

Top Line refers to the first row on the ticket and it contains 5 numbers. The first player to complete this Line wins the Top Line reward.

Middle Line:

The Middle Line is situated in the center of the ticket and it comprises 5 numbers, too. The first player to strike out the Middle Line wins a prize.

Bottom Line:

The set of numbers at the bottom of the ticket is called the Bottom Line. Like other Lines, a person can win a reward by claiming the Bottom Line.


Claiming Housie is the objective of playing the game. The goal is achieved by striking out all the numbers on the ticket before anyone else does. The first player to do so must call out “Housie” in order to contest the prize.

These are traditional terms used while playing Housie, ones that you will always hear.

Depending on the environment you play in, the caller may also use other terminologies that include Corners (striking out the numbers sitting on the corner of the ticket), Lucky Seven (striking out the first 7 numbers), Ellipse (striking out 2nd, 3rd, and 4th number of the Top Line, 1st & 5th number of the Middle Line, and 2nd, 3rd, and 5th number of the Bottom Line), Alternate (striking out only the alternate numbers on the ticket), etc.

There may be cash rewards for these as well.

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