#TravelGames – How to Play French Bingo

♪ B-I-N-G-O…and Bingo was his name-O ♪

Ok Ok I’m stopping with my antics but doesn’t that song remind you of childhood? Did you guys sing that song in school like I did?

When my french neighbours/landlords (love them to pieces…they’re the best!) invited me to bingo night at their kids’ school, I was game! #punintended

Then I got there and paid for my cards and markers and realised that it wasn’t the Bingo that I knew and grew up playing. The French (or probably more specific…this school in Toulouse) played some other version of bingo that I have never seen or heard of. Quite ethnocentric of me but I prefer “my version”

The french version of Bingo goes something like this…

french bingo game
French Bingo or Loto card. ©2011, Diedre McLeod

First there’s the card that looks very different. The markers are very chic though.

I’m accustomed to Bingo cards looking more like this

Childhood Bingo card.

Then there are the rules #iDunno #iDunno #iDunno
To be honest, the rules are much simpler than “my version”. Basically, you listen for your number and when you match the numbers in a horizontal line then it’s #BINGO!

And then you shout a french word that sounds a lot like “keen” in english <—I have no idea how to spell it but this was my favourite part of the night!

Oh! and apparently only Toulousains say “keen” when they Bingo (french readers…qu’est-ce qu’on dit quand on gagne au loto?).

This made it way easier and quicker for other people to win #notamused.

The Bingo of my childhood was way more complicated. You had to match the numbers with the right letter in the right column and form the correct “shape” before you could Bingo. Whoo! (I had to reread that sentence to make sure I got all the steps right.)

The prizes tonight were super funny. They kept on giving away a Lace Tablecloth. We would all roll our eyes and shout it out with each win. It was hilarious!

But of course there were cheaters. Well that’s what I’m calling them because only people who were sitting in the canteen would BINGO. I was sooo annoyed!

My room was the most unlucky…we got so annoyed that every time the speaker said “Bingo in the canteen” we would groan out loud in frustration. Nobody BINGOed in our room.


So that was my Bingo Night 🙂 I’m all geared up for the second one…cuz I’ll be sitting in the canteen and I will be winning that ish (plus the Lace Tablecloth).


P.S. I tried to explain my childhood version of Bingo to a few European friends and they all just kinda stared at me in confusion. Then the Spanish guy said “well your Bingo is the weird one cuz this is the Bingo we play in Spain too :p lol”

I was outnumbered…so I gave up hahaha

Which BINGO do you play…My version or the French version?



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