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The United Kingdom became known as the unofficial home of bingo in the mid- 20th century. This is where the game of bingo reached the height of its popularity and where the game started to become what we know it to be today – visit

That goes for the jokes that are synonymous with bingo too. The calls, the banter, the puns- they all became mainstays of UK bingo. So, what should you be looking out for when playing UK bingo?

Bingo calls

As is tradition, the UK have their own set of bingo calls. These are unique to the country however and have their own connotations.

The number 18 is always called legal as it is the legal age that people are allowed to drink and gamble. In the USA, the legal age is 21 so this wouldn’t make much sense. It goes further.

The number 10 is called out as Prime Ministers Den. This is because the UK Prime Minister lives at number 10 Downing Street.

If you plan on having a game of UK bingo, perhaps you might want to brush up on your local knowledge. The brits know their stuff and these jokes are part of their bingo experience.

A witty host

Another tradition in the UK, bingo is usually played amongst a large crowd where the alcohol is flowing. How does one control such a group?

The answer is all in who you hire as the host. They are usually a big personality that knows the crowd and gets them working. UK bingo is a game full of banter and large in-jokes that run throughout the night.

This has taken a different turn in the online space as this banter now occurs in the live chat rather than by the host. You can take the banter out of the bingo hall but you can’t take the banter out of the players.


Part of the UK bingo banter is the idea of nicknames. If you go into a game of bingo with a dependable item of clothing or feature, sorry but you are likely to be given a nickname.

These are chosen by the host and picked up by the crowd. If you play a game of UK bingo and pick up a nickname, this name will stay with you every time you return no matter how unfortunate it is.

This acts as a great way for the players to bond and get to know one another. After all, bingo in the UK is a very social game.


There are plenty more jokes to know about when playing UK bingo but these are just the most common. The game has been going for so long that it is always picking up new traditions but the best ones stick.

Keep an eye out for some of these the next time you partake in a game of UK bingo.