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How to Play Bunco

Today Bunco is one of the most popular group games that you can play. Even though it creates lots of excitement, it’s also a game that needs a lot of luck. This is a great party game when you have many people to entertain.

According to Wikipedia, the Bunco game started in the 19th century in England – that’s almost 200 years ago! The game was originally called ‘eight dice cloth’ and was introduced to San Francisco as a gambling game in 1855. Today Bunco is a family game that can be played by everyone who knows how to roll a dice!

If you haven’t played Bunco before, but you are a pro at throwing dice then you are the perfect person to learn how to play. By following these easy Bunco rules, you’ll be able to beat your friends and family in no time!

Bunco Setup

This is a game aimed at large groups so you will need 12 people to play with. These 12 people will be divided into groups of 4. You will also need 9 dice – 3 for each team. Give each group some paper and a pencil because they will have to keep score. You will also need 3 tables for people to sit at. If you don’t have 3 tables, you can create groups on the floor.

Bunco Playing Time

30 minutes to multiple hours

How to Play Bunco

  1. Divide the 12 people into groups of 3 – 4 people per group. Mark 4 sheets of paper and let them choose. The people who have chosen the marked sheets will be seated at the ‘head table’. The rest will be divided to the middle table and the end table. There should be 4 people per table.
  2. Then divide these 4 people into teams of two. The person sitting opposite you will play against you.
  3. The game starts with round 1. During this round players have to roll as many 1s in on the 3 dice as they can. For every 1 you roll, you get 1 point. If you roll 3 of a kind but they aren’t 1s then you get 5 points. If you roll 3 of a kind and they are 1s, you have rolled a Bunco. This will give you 21 points.
  4. When a person at the head table rolls a Bunco that signals the end of round 1. Players add their scores and the one with the most scores on each table is the winner.
  5. The losers from the head table go down to the middle table, and the losers from the middle table go to the end table. The losers from the end table stay there. The winners from the head table stay there, the winners from the middle table move to the head table, and the winners from the end table move up to the middle table.
  6. After round 1, it is time for round 2. The same rules apply, but here you have to try to get three of a kind in 2s. This will be a Bunco and will still count 21 points. If a player from the head table yells ‘Bunco’ it is time for a new round.
  7. Round 3 will be the same, except you’ll have to get 3 of a kind in 3s. Continue with this up until round 6.
  8. At the end of 6 rounds, the 2 people with the most Buncos play each other. The one who wins then will be the ultimate winner.

Bunco Game Variations

You can also swap partners every round if you want to. This will make the game more exciting and challenging as you don’t face the same person every round.

Bunco Video Tutorial