Dimmi Tombola

A warm-up game for intermediate learners that can be adapted to any level!

In Italy ‘Tombola’ (Bingo to you and me) is traditionally played at Christmas with your family and friends. Our version swaps numbers for nouns and adjectives. Have fun!

What You Need

6 x Random DimmiDeck Cards per student
2-4 students or groups
Print off and cut up the phrases in this table. These are the clues that replace the ‘numbers’ in traditional bingo.


  1. Tombola is basically ‘Bingo’. However instead of numbers, each student will be looking for details within their cards to complete a ‘full house’ of six matching cards.
  2. Deal 6 cards to each student.
  3. Have a student choose a phrase from above ‘out of the hat’ and read it aloud.
  4. If the student finds the phrase on one of their cards they should make a mental note. It might be subjective so, for example, ‘something hot’ could be a fire, a cup of tea, or a good-looking person!
  5. The first student to match all five cards shouts ‘Tombola!’ and, assuming they are correctly matched, win the points.
  6. Clarify the meaning of each phase as it comes if students are unsure, but if a student shouts ‘tombola!’ because they understood it correctly, they get the point.

Note – Adapt the game yourself to use vocabulary that the learners have recently studied to fit this exercise into any part of the course. You could do this with jobs, clothes, colours, physical description, personality and moods, workplaces, verbs and more. It’s simple and versatile – just like DimmiDeck!