How to play Tambola? Which Tambola game to download?

How to play Tambola? Tambola is a lottery-style fun number board game where the players are handed tambola tickets with numbers on them. Generally, the caller/organizer of the tambola game randomly announces the numbers (ranging from 1 to 90) one at a time, and the audience needs to strike out those numbers. To win, the players need to match the winning combos.

Tambola or Indian Housie can be played in various ways depending on the competency level of the audience. It is also known as ‘Bingo’ in the US, Europe, and Canada and as ‘Housie’ in Australia and New Zealand. Today, it has gained vast popularity, and millions of people have developed a crazy addiction to this game. 

This article will discuss the traditional gameplay of tambola, how to play tambola online vs. offline, and some of the best tambola games to download on your smartphone. Let’s get started!

How to play Tambola?

To play tambola, you need to buy at least one tambola ticket. A traditional tambola ticket consists of three rows and nine columns. So there are 27 spaces with 15 numbers marked on them ranging from 1 to 90. Also, no tambola tickets feature the same numbers on them.

The players’ objective is to strike out all the numbers announced by the dealer in their respective tambola tickets. Players need to aim and match tambola winning patterns to win the game. Below is the step-by-step procedure for playing tambola.

Winning in Tambola is purely chance-based. Why not try playing skill-based games where you can apply your knowledge and craft strategies to win the game! Zupee App offers real cash games like Ludo, snakes and ladders, and carrom which puts your time management, and decision-making skills to the test.

Step 1 – Know the prerequisites

Before the game starts, the organizer needs to:

  • Decide the winning points of the game and inform the audience. Generally, the ultimate winning pattern for a tambola game is to have a ‘Full House,’ which means all of the numbers on the ticket are struck.
  • Sell out the tambola tickets to everyone who wants to play the game, i.e., the target audience.
  • Hand out a pencil/pen/toothpick to the audience so that they can strike out the number on their ticket when announced by the caller.
  • Arrange a non-transparent container or a box that will hold all the numbers, starting from 1 to 90.

Take a look at the Tambola rules you need to follow to play the game.

Step 2: The caller announces the numbers

Organizers of a tambola game are known as callers. The caller holds the responsibility of drawing the number and announcing it to the players.

First, callers will jiggle the box or container in which all the numbers are placed. This way, no question of bias arises. Next, the organizer picks up a number from the box without looking inside and loudly reads out the chosen number. Some callers announce the numbers in funny ways, bringing more excitement and fun to the game.

They will call out the actual number at the end after using the funny phrase or rhyme. Some examples are ‘Top of the house number 1’, ‘Uncle Ben number 10, ‘Goodbye teens at number 19’, and many more.

Also, you don’t have to be the caller during all the rounds. You can assign a different caller for each round so that everyone gets a chance to play.

Step 3: Dab the announced numbers

Once you hear the number announced by the caller, it will be your responsibility to check all the rows or columns thoroughly. If the number exists on your tambola ticket, you must dab it.

If the number called out by the organizer is not present on the ticket, you must not get impatient. Relax and wait for the caller to announce the next number.

Players must be careful when striking out the numbers. If they strike off a wrong number by mistake, it will create problems for matching a winning combination.

Step 4: Match a winning combination

You need to be aware and constantly check if you have completed matching a winning combination. There are nearly 22 different winning combinations in tambola. Some major winning combinations include Early 5, Topline, Middle line, Bottom line, Four corners, and Full house.

Once you have achieved a particular winning combo, claim it immediately. Stand up and shout out loud to report to the caller. If you fail to claim your winning points, you will not be considered the winner. Hence, you will miss out on the exciting prizes.

The prizes will also be different for each of the various winning combinations. The player who first matches a ‘Full House’ winning combination usually gets the highest prize amount in tambola.

In cases when more than one player has matched a winning combo, the first player to announce a winning combo gets the chance to go to the caller and get their ticket verified.

Step 5: Verify the tambola ticket

If you are a caller, you will also be responsible for verifying any winning tambola tickets. Ticket verification is essential to ensure that the numbers struck out by the player claiming to have won the game are correct.

If the claimed ticket matches a winning combo, report to the audience that the player is the winner of the game. If a player fails to match a winning combo, you can continue to play the game by calling the next numbers until someone claims the ticket correctly.

Usually, a player who has claimed and verified the winning point is declared the winner of the game. You can end the game there or continue to give prizes for second and third place.

Step 6: Award prizes to the winners

Once the game winners are known, it’s time for the organizer/caller to reward the respective winners with the amount collected by the sale of the tambola tickets. Usually, in a traditional tambola game, pre-declared cash prizes are awarded to the winner of the game.

If you are playing with friends and family, i.e., it is a friendly in-house game, you can tweak the awards by giving a certificate of recognition, e-gift vouchers, a tasty treat in a restaurant, and many more.

Take a look at 10 creative ideas to play Tambola with a twist.

How to play Tambola online?

You have seen that offline or traditional tambola gameplay requires a caller, physical participants/players, a container carrying numbers, a tambola ticket, a pen or pencil, and cash prizes. Thankfully, with smartphones and advanced applications taking over, you just need your phone/PC, with a good internet connection.

How to play tambola online vs. offline

Here are some ways that online tambola has taken over its traditional style of gameplay:

  • While you play tambola online, the organizer/caller will be an AI speaker, so you can play the game instead of calling the numbers.
  • In online tambola gameplay, some applications provide the ‘Autocut’ feature. That means you don’t have to worry about striking the numbers. It will happen automatically.
  • You can play tambola online multiplayer games with friends across the globe.
  • You can create a private tambola game only for a selected group of friends or family. More group cohesiveness will ensure more entertainment.
  • Opportunity to join any public game being currently played without any prior invitation.
  • Some mobile applications offer in-game chat features which allow you to chat with the other players while playing.

Winning in Tambola is purely chance-based. Why not try playing skill-based games where you can apply your knowledge and craft strategies to win the game! Zupee App offers real cash games like Ludo, snakes and ladders, and carrom which puts your time management, and decision-making skills to the test.

Play Tambola online – Top platforms to play in 2022

Worried about where and how to play tambola online? Many mobile applications and websites offer players a fun and engaging platform for playing tambola online. Each application has outstanding features. Here is the list of the 6 online places for playing tambola:

  1. Octro Tambola
  3. Tambola
  5. Tambola Housie – Indian Bingo Game
  6. Tambola Fun

Octro Tambola

Octro Tambola is an online Indian Housie app. This application allows players to play with friends, family, and millions of real players worldwide. You can download this game for both Android and Apple phones. Some features of Octro Tambola include:

  • Offers to join different types of tables depending on your mood.
  • Create a private tambola party for friends.
  • Exciting tambola modes and tournaments.
  • Opportunity to win big in the tambola lottery.
  • A unique voice chats feature to chat with friends while playing.
  • Special caller voice feature to announce the numbers in 3 different languages. is one of the best websites to play tambola online. This website offers a quick and straightforward board to generate random numbers for the game. There is also the option of automatic call mode with a call gap timer that you need to set from 6 to 30 seconds. Some of the unique features of this website are:

  • Personalize the board with name, brand, and host/group.
  • Multiple theme choices & custom nicknames.
  • Share tickets on Whatsapp.
  • Number grid + number generator screenshot, which you can copy, save, and share.
  • Wait Timer Auto or Manual, which you can show/hide.


Tambola is another gaming platform to play tambola online. It has over 1L downloads on the Google play store.  Some features of this app include:

  • Excellent graphics and top-notch UI.
  • Play with one, two, or three tambola tickets and win big.
  • Auto-cut feature, which helps to strike the called out numbers automatically.
  • Play with real players across the globe.
  • A global leaderboard that displays scores, winnings, and claims.

Games2master is another fantastic platform to play tambola online. Some unique features of this website are:

  • You can play with your Facebook friends.
  • Claim options are simple and easy.
  • It lets you play with multiple tickets.

Tambola Housie – Indian Bingo Game

This game can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or App Store. The game has set some winning combinations similar to traditional tambola such as Early five, top line, full house, etc. Some features of this app include:

  • It allows playing with multiple tickets.
  • It offers premium auto-cut features using game coins.
  • Players can host a private room to invite friends and challenge them.
  • In-game chat is available.

Tambola Fun

This is a web-based gaming platform for those who wish to play free tambola online with family and friends. Some features of this app include:

  • No sign-up or registration is needed. Just open the website and start playing.
  • Configure the game as a host, share the invitation code with friends, and enjoy.
  • It is absolutely free to play.
  • Each tambola ticket generated on this website is 100% unique.
  • You can also generate and download unlimited free tambola tickets.
  • Customization of ticket title and colors.

Winning in Tambola is purely chance-based. Why not try playing skill-based games where you can apply your knowledge and craft strategies to win the game! Zupee App offers real cash games like Ludo, snakes and ladders, and carrom which puts your time management, and decision-making skills to the test.

How to play Tambola? FAQs

What is Tambola?

Tambola is a number-based board game where you can test your luck and win exciting prizes. The game involves dabbing out the numbers in your tambola ticket announced by the caller and then making various winning combos to win the game.

Can I play tambola online?

Yes. You can play tambola online on various mobile applications and websites. Some of the best platforms are mentioned above in this article.

What are the rules of Tambola?

As a rule, each tambola ticket has 3 horizontal rows and 9 vertical columns. There are 27 boxes in total, with 5 numbers written in each horizontal row. Take a look at this article to know the 8 must-know rules of the game.

What are the different ways to play Tambola?

Apart from the top line, middle line, bottom line, and full house, there are numerous variations to playing Tambola such as Ludo tambola, pyramid tambola, and Danda. Here are 10 creative ways to play Tambola.

What is the difference between Tambola and Housie?

There is no difference between tambola and housie. Housie, Tambola, and Bingo are all different names for the same game.