Australian Bingo is not even called bingo in Australia, instead, the locals call it Housie. This is because they tend to shorten many words, and this is no different. Housie is short for full house, which is the most popular bingo game in Australia.
Given that bingo is not a complicated game that offers plenty of thrills and excitement, it’s no surprise that it’s become a tremendous hit around the world, over the years. It was out of favor for a while, but now with an influx of many new players, it is as strong as ever.
While it has a lengthy history in certain places, it has been prospering in others for decades and is an especially popular pastime in Australia. Here, we look at how the game has grown to be a craze in Oz, as well as an outline of what to expect from Australian bingo calls if you decide to play there.
History of Australian Bingo
While it is generally assumed that bingo originated in Italy in the 1500s, the game is supposed to have gained in popularity in Australia at the turn of the twentieth century. We know for sure that it was very popular in the 1970s.
For a long time, it was known as ‘Housie,’ and winners would call ‘house’ instead of shouting ‘bingo’, as is now customary around the world. According to a variety of sources, bingo games were first held in marquees across the country before being moved to the more traditional bingo hall setting. The next time you play bingo with Australians, shout House and see what the reaction is.
The game, like in many other countries, grew in popularity throughout time but became associated with elder generations as time passed. Bingo did, however, spawn a game show at one point, with National Bingo Night aired on the Seven Network for a limited time in 2007. The show had an interactive approach, with the studio audience, competitors, and households, all having a chance to win cash prizes. It was presented by former Home and Away star Tim Campbell. We would love to see a similar show come back one day.
Of course, the introduction of internet versions of bingo has given Australia’s love of the game a big boost in recent years. For many individuals, the ability to play bingo whenever and wherever they choose has brought the game back to life, and online bingo is offered in a variety of formats, giving players a lot of options. The pokies are also drawing a lot of new players in.
How to Play Bingo in Australia
So, now that you have a better sense of how bingo has evolved as a pastime in Australia, what should you expect if you decide to play the game there?
Some countries are more stringent than others when it comes to the sort of bingo that is historically played, with the United Kingdom, for example, considering 90-ball to be the traditional way to enjoy the game. Australia, on the other hand, has been rather accommodating in terms of how it chooses which game is best. As a result, if you were to play bingo in Australia, you may expect to see 90-ball, 75-ball, and several other varieties. That being said, 90-ball bingo still has an edge over the newer formats.
Furthermore, if you were playing online, you may expect to see providers provide a variety of incentives that can help you gain a head start on your game.
Learn about Charity Housie
Charity Housie, also known as Cash Housie, is a game similar to Bingo. It is played with numbered squares on electronic or printed tickets. At the start of each session, players purchase ticket books to play.
A Housie Caller chooses numbers at random and announces them to the players. As the numbers are called, each player crosses them off their ticket. A player wins if they are the first to mark off all of the numbers on their ticket. This is known as a Full House.
The main difference between Charity Housie and Bingo is that Charity Housie prizes can be cash, whereas Bingo prizes can only be non-cash. Players enjoy the social aspect as well as the possibility of winning. Prizes for Charity Housie can range from less than $50 to $5,000. The prize amounts are determined by the amount of money raised from ticket sales at the session.
Charity Housie is only permitted in Australia if it is used to raise funds for a charitable organization. The charitable organization must receive at least 12.5 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the Housie books. Charity Housie has a devoted following of players who enjoy it as a social outing as well as the chance to win. You can learn more at the Charity Housie Australia website.
Australian Bingo Calls
Given Australia’s long history and profound affection for the game, it’s not unexpected that the country’s culture is said to have influenced bingo calls in the past.
The traditional call for number one, ‘Kelly’s Eye,’ is perhaps the most famous example. Many people assume this is a reference to Ned Kelly, the country’s most renowned outlaw. He is infamous for committing several crimes in the late 1800s, and he became a folk hero to some before being apprehended and hanged by authorities. Some contend, however, that the term is purely slang that originated in military circles.
Another bingo call mentions a specific type of animal with a strong connection to Australia. The number 5 or 55 is frequently represented by the phrase ‘Snakes Alive.’ The country is home to more than its fair share of snakes, with hundreds of different species roaming the country.
In addition, the Australian bingo call for 85 – ‘Staying Alive’ – mentions a musical group with a significant connection to Australia. While the Bee Gees were born in the United Kingdom, they relocated to Queensland and found success there before going on to become one of the most successful pop groups of all time. The usage of ‘Staying Alive’ could be interpreted as a nod to one of their biggest successes, which was featured on the disco-infused Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
As you can see from the above examples, Australian bingo calls are, for the most part, very similar to those used in the United Kingdom. However, the Daily Telegraph newspaper in the United Kingdom reported in 2012 that old-school clichés like “two fat ladies” were being phased out. The adjustments were attributed to a variety of factors, including a rising need for the game to be faster, as well as a desire to draw younger generations to the game.
More Common Calls for Australian Bingo
These bingo calls are used when playing 90-ball housie.
2 – ONE LITTLE DUCK
3 – UP A TREE
4 – ON THE FLOOR
6 – DOROTHY DIX
7 – HALFWAY TO HEAVEN
8 – AT THE GATE
9 – DOCTORS ORDERS
10 – DOWNING STREET
11 – FOR THE WHISTLERS – LEGS ELEVEN
12 – JUST A DOZEN
13 – LUCKY FOR SOME
16 – SWEET SIXTEEN
20 – BLIND TWENTY
21 – KEY TO THE DOOR
22 – TWO LITTLE DUCKS
30 – BLIND THIRTY
33 – ALL THE THREES
39 – ALL THE STEPS
40 – NAUGHTY FORTY
44 – ALL THE FOURS
46 – UP TO TRICKS
50 – HALF A CENTURY
54 – CLEAN THE FLOOR
60 – BLIND SIXTY
66 – CLICKETY-CLICK
70 – BLIND SEVENTY
77 – ALL THE SEVENS
80 – BLIND EIGHTY
88 – TWO FAT LADIES
90 – TOP OF THE HOUSE
Australia is a Bingo-Obsessed Country
Bingo is a popular recreation throughout the world, and Australia has long embraced the thrills of the game. Furthermore, the introduction of online bingo sites has probably elevated the game’s fun to a whole new level.
With the country’s ties to the game showing no signs of fading, it will be fascinating to see how its culture influences Australian bingo in the coming years.Author : John Davies
Please inform us of any inaccuracies or omissions.
Last Updated : February 28, 2023