Electronically-run games and automated callers are in vogue nowadays, but still, nothing beats the allure of good old-fashioned bingo. The bingo caller is not just for nostalgia, it is a role crucial to the pacing of any bingo game. A good bingo caller can turn even the most drab of games into memorable affairs that can be enjoyable for all.
But not everyone can do this role well. A good bingo caller should have:
1. No qualms about speaking in front of crowds.
His or her voice should be strong and clear. No one wants to shout out “Can you repeat that?” over and over again. A weak voice also makes for boring games.
2. A commanding presence.
This means no fidgeting and any other unnecessary movements when you’re up on stage. All eyes will be on the caller, and he or she must be confident and authoritative enough to handle all the attention.
Bingo is a fast-paced game. There will be times that two (or more) people will get a bingo at the same, or someone will call out bingo a little bit too early, or some other dilemma. A good caller should be able to iron out these kinks at a drop of the hat, and maintain composure while s/he’s at it.
Should You Use Nicknames?
If you’ve been playing bingo for some time, you might be familiar with some of the common nicknames that callers use for specific numbers. For example, 4 is “knock at the door,” 7 is “God’s in heaven” or “Lucky seven,” and 22 is “All the twos.” This is considered as part of bingo culture.
Yet more commercial bingo halls often eschew the cutesy nicknames in favor of a more straightforward approach to calling. A few advantages to this is that the game is run much faster, and misunderstandings (like “34, Ask for more” being mistaken for 54) are avoided altogether.
So, should you use nicknames or not? It usually depends on the setting and the type of establishment that you’re working for. Large and commercial halls would require you to be as straightforward as possible, while for games in smaller, more intimate settings such as pubs, you can probably get away with using nicknames.
Other Useful Tips for Bingo Callers
1. It’s imperative that you know your way around bingo equipment, whether it’s a roll cage or a terminal that you’ll be using. You don’t want to accidentally cancel the whole thing in mid-game just because you pushed the wrong buttong on the terminal or something.
2. Don’t be too monotonous. Vary your tone of voice as you go along. Your throat will be dry after a long time of calling, so always keep a glass of water handy with you.
3. Try to maintain a steady rhythm when calling out numbers. A rhythm helps set the tone of the game, and also gives people a rough time guideline when they search for numbers on their tickets.