Tambola is a popular game that involves calling out numbers in a random order.
Full house! Tambola is one of the most popular games in India and enjoys international variations throughout the world. The simple gameplay and ability to have fun with it, while also being incredibly exciting, means the game became an instant classic. But with more and more people opting for other ways of entertainment, could Tambola be going out of fashion? Technology has advanced osrs gold so far that many traditional things are migrating online. In this digital age, is there still a place for playing Tambola?
What is Tambola?
Tambola – also known as Indian Bingo, Tombola, or Housie – is a bingo-style game developed in Italy in the 1500s. The game migrated to France in the 18th century and was played with tokens and cards, calling out numbers. Hugh J Ward developed a standardised version of the game in New York City in the 19th century, while Edwin Lowe took the game to Atlanta, and it became popular with churches and charity organisations. The English then noticed the game and brought it to India, and hence Tambola was born.
The Dainik Bhaskar newspaper even added an additional element to the game. Every day in the newspaper is a new number, which you mark off. This reinforces the communal excitement that the game can bring. The game is incredibly popular in India and in other regions of Asia, such as Pakistan. This may be due to the inter-generational pull of the game. Unlike other forms of traditional games, and especially modern ones, Tambola has the right ingredients to attract all members of the family, so it can be played at many different events. The simple nature of the game also means that there is little explanation required, so it can be played quickly and without too much hassle. But, is the game on the decline due to the digital nature of how people are interacting with games? Are we finally outgrowing Tambola, 500+ years on?
Tambola’s Place in the Digital Age
With around 627 million people in India now active online, and an annual growth rate of internet users being 18%, it is estimated that around 46% of those living in India are internet users – with nearly 90% of these being regular internet users. This is partly due to the speed of progress and the facilitation of internet services in rural areas. Mobile internet use has grown especially popular, but could the fact that so many people are online and not playing traditional games mean that Tambola is forgotten about
There are a few versions of Tambola online – from mobile versions to PC games – but it is heavily overlooked when compared to a range of other games people might choose to play instead. If we look at another traditional game that has managed to find a place to thrive in the digital age, it might give us some hope for Tambola.
Indeed, bingo has migrated online and through further innovation has found success. Classic bingo has managed to find a following online, largely due to the way it was able to tap into a new market and offer them something different. While the essence of the gameplay remains the same, a lot of online bingo games use updated formats to appeal to a new demographic – such as 90 Ball Bingo, which incorporates a running chat bar to add further fun and Bingo Roulette, which uses digital technology to merge together two classic games. Bingo realised that to thrive online, it would need to adapt to what online players might want to engage with and was able to do so. Should Tambola do this, then it too might find its footing online.
Caption: We are becoming increasingly reliant on internet technology, so could Tambola go out of style?
How Do You Play Tambola?
The gameplay format for Tambola is incredibly simple to master and can be either a relaxing way to pass the time or an alternative for a highly competitive, tense game. Tambola is usually played with the numbers 1-90 being called out one at a time, with players crossing off the numbers they have on their corresponding sheets. The sheets are made of nine columns and three rows, with each column representing a series of 10 numbers (e.g., column one is 1-9/10, column two is 10/11-20 etc).
This layout helps players find the numbers being called out easily as they will be able to tell instantly where on their grid the number called would be. Expert players are able to quickly find these numbers, while beginners make take longer to get used to the format. The game begins with the draw of a ball and continues until someone has been able to cross off every single number on their grid. If the winner declares their ticket and is found to be mistaken, the claim will be deemed ‘bogus’ and the game will continue. If a winner isn’t called, the game ends when all 90 numbers have been called. There are multiple chances to win, and usually prizes are staggered depending on how difficult it is to win each match-winning combination.
These include: Early Five, where the first five numbers are dabbed; Top Line, Middle Line, and Bottom Line, where each of the corresponding lines are dabbed; Four Corners, where the four corner numbers of the grid are dabbed; and finally Full House, where all 15 numbers on your grid have been dabbed. The game is similar in gameplay style to bingo.
Tambola is an enjoyable game and one that would be missed if it is relegated to history. While it has more than 500 years of history on its side, the game relies on being played and passed down. The digital age provides an exciting opportunity for the game of Tambola as it could follow in the footsteps of other traditional games and find a way to thrive in an online setting.
As long as Tambola remains popular, there will be someone still playing it. Newer generations might end up engaging with the classic game in a digital way, but it will still contain the essence of the game that many Indians know and love.