How to Play the Game Bunco

By Vicki Elander
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Bunco is a dice game played with teams of four players each. Play rotates depending on who wins and who loses each game, allowing just about everyone a chance to play with all participants at some point in the evening. There are many similar, but different, ways to play the game. The following is one of them.

Playing Bunco

Step 1

Set up the tables and chairs. Place three dice, four scorecards or pieces of paper and four pens or pencils on each table. Put a bell on one table (this is the high table). Put something small and stuffed on another table (this is the low table).

Step 2

Players choose a spot to sit and decide who will be the scorekeeper at each table. The scorekeeper will keep a tally of the scores for each pair. Partners are those players sitting across from one another.

Step 3

The bell at the high table is rung and play begins. Each player rolls the three dice. There are six rounds and the "mark," or target number, is the number of the round. If it is round four, the mark is four. One point is scored for each die that rolls a mark. If all three of the dice come up with a number other than the mark, the player receives five points. "Bunco" is yelled when all three dice come up with the mark and 21 points are received. In order to get 21 points for a Bunco, it must be yelled by the player that rolled it.

Step 4

Each player continues to roll as long as he scores at least one point. If no points are received, then the next player to the left rolls the dice.

Step 5

The round for all tables ends when the high table reaches a score of 21 and rings the bell. The other tables continue to play and score until the bell is heard.

Step 6

The winning pair from the lower tables move up one table. The winning pair at the high table stays put. The losing pair from the high table moves to the low table. Partners need to switch as no two players can be partners two rounds in a row.

Scoring

Step 1

Each player has a scorecard or a piece of paper to record their scores.

Step 2

The number of Buncos will be recorded on the scorecard.

Step 3

For each round that is won, a "W" is recorded on the scorecard. For each round that is lost, an "L" is recorded on the scorecard.

Step 4

Prizes are received for the people with the most wins, most losses, and most Buncos. Feel free to award prizes for other things, if desired.

Step 5

If there is a tie, then a "roll-off" is performed. Each player rolls one die. Points are received as described earlier. The partners with the most points at the end of the roll-off are then the winners. If there is still a tie, another roll-off is performed.