What Are the Differences between Bingo and Tombola?

Bingo vs Tombola
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Bingo and tombola are two hugely popular games, both of which involve matching up numbers for a chance to win a prize. But although there are some similarities between the two games, there are also a number of differences that make each game unique.

In this blog we’ll explore the history of both bingo and tombola, how to play, and more. And don’t forget, if it’s exciting online bingo games you’re looking for then Slingo is the place to be. Our games catalogue includes a fun selection of bingo games, from 75 ball bingo to jackpot bingo and more.


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What Is Tombola?

Tombola is played differently depending which country you live in, but since we’re in the UK we’ll start with the British version! In this country a tombola game usually involves a metal drum or cylinder filled with numbered raffle tickets. You’ll often find this game at fairs or markets, and to participate you’ll buy a certain number of tickets. 

Prizes are usually items that have been donated to the raffle and assigned a number that matches a ticket. If you get a winning number in the prize draw (usually one that ends in a 0 or a 5) you’ll win the corresponding prize!

Tombola is also popular in other countries, such as India and Italy. However, the way the game is played there is slightly different to the UK. Players use cards that are similar to bingo cards and attempt to match up numbers on their card with those that are drawn in the tombola. In the Italian version prizes are awarded for getting between two and five numbers on a single horizontal row, or a full house.

In Indian tombola games there are many possible winning patterns, including prizes for the first person to mark off five numbers, four corners and more.

How to Play

Here’s how to play the UK version of tombola:

1) Buy tickets for the tombola (you can often buy a strip of tickets).

2) If your number is called, you win a prize!

3) It’s possible for a participant to win multiple prizes in tombola.

What Is Bingo? 

Bingo is another popular game that involves matching up numbers for a chance to win a prize. The origins of the game can be traced back to 1530s Italy, where a game called ‘Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia’ was becoming increasingly popular. In the original game players were given cards divided into squares, and the host would draw the numbers from a bag.

Similar games continued to be played around the world, until in 1929 an American toy salesman invented the first bingo card and created a game that is similar to the one we know today. The main premise of bingo is to match up the numbers on your card with those called out by the bingo caller. If you match up certain lines or patterns on the grid, you’ll get a chance to win a cash prize.

Bingo has become extremely popular as an online game, and today there are thousands of different online bingo games. From 30 ball bingo to progressive bingo and more, there really is something for all tastes.

How to Play

Here’s how to play online bingo:

1) Register at an online casino like Slingo, and make a deposit.

2) Choose your bingo game.

3) Buy bingo tickets.

4) Play bingo! Matching numbers will be automatically marked off your card (or you can daub them manually if you prefer).

Similarities between Tombola and Bingo

Although tombola and bingo are different games, they have a few things in common. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Both games involve matching up numbers with those that are drawn.
  • Tombola and bingo both have variations that are played in different countries.
  • Both games offer a chance to win a prize.
  • Tombola and bingo are both thought to have originated in Italy.

Differences between Tombola and Bingo 

Here are some of the key differences between the two games:




Online or in person

Can be played online or in person

Usually only played in person


Game is over when a player has completed a certain pattern

Game continues even if someone has got a winning ticket


Prize is often a physical prize that has been donated 

Prize is usually cash


Play Exciting Online Bingo Games at Slingo.com 

You can find all your favourite online bingo games here at Slingo.com, home to all the best online casino games. If you’re not sure where to start, why not try a few different games to see what you prefer? Sign up at Slingo today and start your online bingo adventure.

Slingo Editorial Team

Slingo.com is the official site for Slingo games and thousands of online slots and live table games. Our editorial team is geared towards promoting fun, spontaneous, and responsible gameplay and is dedicated to creating high-quality content around the most popular games and more! If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to get in touch.




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