How to Split Up Dollars for Bunco

By Molly Thompson
Bunco is a fun and easy dice game played at social events and fundraisers.

Bunco is a popular dice game played by groups of adults across the United States. Many groups meet monthly to play and socialize; each player pays a small amount to play. There are several categories of winners, and prizes are awarded based on the perceived value of the category. For example, a prize for winning the most rounds is ranked higher than the prize for losing the most rounds. Prizes can be either gift items or cash. Many groups use the cash contributed by each player at the beginning of the game and divide it up based on the number of prize categories winners.

Collect a fixed amount of money from each player before starting Bunco play -- $5 is a standard amount for monthly groups of 12 to 16 players.

Base prize money allotments on the following percentages: first-place category winner receives 30 to 35 percent of the pot; second place receives 20 to 25 percent; third place receives 15 to 20 percent; fourth place receives 10 to 12 percent; fifth- and sixth-place winners divide the remaining amount with the fifth-place winner getting $1 or $2 more than the sixth-place winner. This percentage breakout allows you to adjust the actual prize amounts based on the total in the pot.

Use the following example to help you determine how to split the Bunco pot: If you have 12 players playing at a rate of $5 per player, you have $60 to divide. The first-place winner receives $20. The second-place winner receives $15; third place wins $12; fourth place gets $6 and the last two winners divide the remaining $7 for $4 and $3, respectively.

Pay out the amounts of the pot determined to the winning players upon completion of play.


Determine the prize categories and value of each prize (percentage of the pot) in advance of your group's first game. Put this information in writing so all players are aware. Most groups include some combination of the following winning categories: most Buncos, last Bunco, most wins, most losses, most baby Buncos, even number of wins/losses and door prize. Determine which category is first place -- usually most Buncos -- this will receive the largest prize payout. Continue ranking the remaining categories in prize value order. Many groups rank in this order: most Buncos, most wins, last Bunco, most losses and even wins/losses or most baby Buncos. The door prize category is usually determined by collecting all non-prizewinning score sheets and drawing one at random.

Having this established in advance and in writing helps prevent disagreements and confusion and makes it easier for substitute players to understand your group's way of dividing the prize pot.

About the Author

As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.