What is Bunco?

Bunco is a game of dice, often played in social groups at monthly game nights.  To add to the excitement, groups have the option of adding in a little gambling via a pot of cash or prizes to be won at the end of the night.  Food, cocktails, and a little witty repartee between players often accompany the rolling of the dice.  After all, Bunco is a fun and fast-paced game of chance, but it’s also an excuse to be with friends and cut loose a little! 

The game is played at tables of four in competing teams of two.  An arrangement of three or four tables of players is common, with tables ranked “high” to “low” to organize movement between the tables between rounds.  A round consists of “rolling for” a specific number on the di.  A game is complete after six rounds, or, when each number on the di (from 1 to 6) has been “rolled for.”  During each round, a team gets 1 point whenever they roll the number being rolled for, 5 points when they roll three of a kind of any number (a “Baby Bunco”), and 21 points when and if they roll three of a kind of the number being rolled for (a “Bunco”).  Players take turns rolling the three dice and attempting to be the first team at any table to reach a cumulative score of 21 or to be the first to roll a Bunco for that round.  An individual player gets to keep rolling as long as she scores 1 or more points with each roll.  Once she fails to score, she passes the dice to her left and the opposing team gets a chance to score.

Once a team at any of the tables has reached 21 points or rolled a Bunco, the round is completed, final scores for the round are recorded, and winning teams move up to a higher table.  The losers at the head table move to the lowest table.  Players also switch partners at the end of the round, so you never play with the same partner twice in a row.  Remember, it’s a game of chance, ladies!  There’s no rhyme or reason to it. 

During the evening, players track the number of rounds they win (and lose), their cumulative points from round to round, and also the number of Buncos (scored individually). Some groups also keep track of Baby Buncos.  Click here to find Free Buncolator Scoresheets.  At the end of the night, overall points, wins, losses and Buncos are tallied and prizes are awarded.