8 Tambola Rules & 15 winning patterns to make the game interesting

Tambola is a well-known board game and widespread across many countries. It is also known as Housie or Bingo. One basic tambola rule is that each player must buy at least one ticket to play the game. Each ticket has 15 numbers (1 to 90) in a 9×3 format.  A caller randomly draws numbers and reads them out to the audience. To win, the player has to get the tambola winning patterns, which are decided at the starting of the game. Generally, there is a full-house winning pattern, where the tambola ticket will have all 15 numbers marked.

This article talks about the rules and winning patterns in tambola.

Per-requisites of the Tambola game 

Before learning the tambola rules, you need to organize a few things. These are:

  • The audience or the players who will play the game.
  • Designating a caller/dealer/host, responsible for drawing and calling out the number to the players.
  • Tambola tickets for the players where they will mark/strike off the numbers announced by the caller.
  • Pen or Pencil to strike off the numbers.
  • A non-transparent box or container that will contain the numbers to be drawn.
  • Deciding and announcing to the audience/players about the tambola winning patterns.

8 Must-know Tambola rules

Below mentioned points are the fundamental rules of tambola. Make sure to check these rules before starting the game:

  1. The game begins with the caller picking up a number from the box/container without looking into it. After drawing the number from the box, the caller must announce the number to the players.
  2. The player who first strikes off all the numbers and matches a winning combination can claim to have won the game.
  3. A player can claim a winning combo only before the caller announces the next number. For example – Say 35 was announced, and a player matched a winning combination on 35. If the player fails to claim the winnings before the next number is announced, they cannot claim their winnings.
  4. If a player claims to have a winning combination, they need to report to the caller. The caller/organizer then needs to check the player’s ticket to see if the player has adequately marked all the numbers announced.
  5. If the caller observes that the claimed ticket is false or wrong, it will be a foul. This foul or mistake is called BOOGY, and from that time, the player cannot play with that ticket further.
  6. The player does not lose the prizes they have claimed previously on that ticket in case of a BOOGY.
  7. In the case of a TIE, the prizes for that particular winnings are either:
    • Distributed among the players involved in a TIE.
    • Awarded to the player who has claimed their winnings first.
  8. The game ends when all the 90 numbers are called out or when a winner is declared for all the tambola winning patterns, whichever comes first.

15 Winning Patterns In Tambola

There are plenty of unique tambola variations. Prizes in a tambola game are also known as winnings or dividends. Here is the list of 15 most interesting tambola winning patterns used in the game:

  1. Full House
  2. Top Line
  3. Middle Line
  4. Bottom Line
  5. Corners
  6. Centre, Laddu
  7. 123
  8. Early 5
  9. First Half
  10. ‘H’
  11. I Love You 143
  12. Naughty
  13. Reverse Pyramid
  14. Smallest 5
  15. Triplet Column

Full House

When you strike off all the 15 numbers of your tambola ticket, you can claim a Full House. The below-given image will make it easier to identify a Full House winning pattern:

Tambola rule for Full House winning pattern

You win the game’s grand prize by claiming a full house. If there is a huge audience, the caller/host might distribute the grand prize like Full House 1, Full House 2, and so on, depending on the amount raised for playing that particular tambola game.

Top Line

In the Topline winning pattern, you need to strike off all the first-line numbers, i.e., the top row of your tambola ticket. The below-given image will make it easier to identify a Top Line winning pattern:

Tambola rule for top line winning pattern

Middle Line

A middle line winning combo can be achieved when you strike off all the numbers of the middle row, i.e., the 2nd row in a tambola ticket. The below-given image will make it easier to identify a Middle Line winning pattern:

Tambola rule for Middle line winning pattern

Bottom Line

You can claim a Bottom Line if all the numbers in the bottom row, i.e., 3rd row, are marked/cut in your tambola ticket. Here is an illustrative image of the same:

Tambola rule for Bottom line winning pattern

Corners

When your winning combination is such that the first & fifth numbers of the top row and bottom row are marked in your tambola ticket, you can then claim for Corners tambola dividend. The below-given image will make it easier to identify a Corners winning pattern:

Tambola rule for corner winning pattern

Centre, Laddu

It is a winning pattern in which you have to strike out the third number of the middle or 2nd row in your tambola ticket to claim the tambola dividend. Here is an example:

Tambola dividend  - Laddu

123

123 is a winning combination that you can claim only by striking off the first number of the first row, the first two numbers of the second row, and the first three numbers of the third row. Here is an illustrative for the same:

Tambola winning pattern -123 - Rules

Early 5

You can claim an Early Five winning combo when the first five numbers in your tambola ticket are marked/cut.

First Half

To claim a First Half tambola dividend, you have to strike off the first three numbers from each row. This implies striking off the first three numbers from Row 1, 2, and 3. The below-given image will make it easier to identify a First Half winning pattern:

First Half tambola winning pattern

‘H’

H is one of the unique tambola winning patterns you can claim in a tambola game. But for that, you need to strike off all the numbers of the first vertical line(1st Column), all the numbers of the middle horizontal line(2nd row), and all the numbers of the last vertical line(9th column) from your tambola ticket. The below-given image will make it easier to identify the ‘H’ winning pattern:

Tambola winning pattern - H - Rules

I Love You 143

To complete & claim the I Love You 143 tambola dividend, you need to strike off the first number of the first line (1st row), the first four numbers of the second line (2nd row), and the first three numbers of the last line (3rd row) from your tambola ticket. Here is an illustrative for the same: 

Tambola dividends -143

Naughty

A Naughty winning combo can be achieved when you strike off all the numbers having digits 6 and 9 on your tambola ticket. These numbers could be 6, 9, 19, 46, 39, 60, etc. The below-given image will make it easier to identify the Naughty winning pattern:

Tambola winning pattern -Naughty - Rules

Reverse Pyramid

It is another tambola winning pattern that can be claimed when you strike off the 1st, 3rd, and 5th numbers of the first line (1st Row), 2nd & 4th numbers of the second line (2nd Row), and 3rd number of the third line (3rd Row) on your tambola ticket. When you closely observe the strike numbers, it will look like a Reverse Pyramid:

Tambola reverse dividends

Smallest 5

In a Smallest 5 winning combination, you need to strike off the first five smallest numbers on your tambola ticket. The numbers should be cut vertically starting from the 1st row, then the 2nd row, etc. The below-given image will make it easier to identify the Smallest five winning patterns:

Tambola rules for smallest 5 winning pattern

Triplet Column

To claim a Triplet Column, you have to strike off the number in any three adjacent columns of your tambola ticket. For example, you have to cut the numbers of 1st, 2nd, 3rd column or 2nd, 3rd, 4th column, etc. The below-given image will make it easier to identify a Triplet Column winning pattern:

triplet column winning pattern

Tambola Rules – FAQs

How to play Tambola?

To play Tambola, you need to buy a tambola ticket first. The game’s objective is to strike off numbers to make a winning combination. Here are 6 steps to playing tambola.

What are the winning patterns of tambola?

There are many tambola winning patterns such as early five, top line, bottom line, H, and smallest 5. Take a look at this article to know 15 tambola dividends to make the game interesting.

How do I claim Bamboo?

To claim a Bamboo, a player has to make a winning combination by striking off all the numbers of the middle column (5th column).

What is the Blood pressure(BP) winning combo?

Blood pressure or BP is a tambola dividend. To make a BP-winning combo, a player has to strike off the highest and lowest numbers of their tambola ticket.

What are the rules of Housie?

Tambola and Housie are similar games and have the same set of rules. Take a look at this article to know 8 must-know rules of Housie.

What are the rules to play Tambola online?

Depending upon the online game, the set of rules might be different. Take a look at the popular platforms where you can play Tambola online.