Bunco Game

Bunco is a game that is played by many people in many different ways. The rules are always changing, which is one of the fun things about the game. This article will go over some of the variations people may use for their bunco groups.

Bunco Rules: How to Play Bunco (bunko)

These are the basic rules of a Bunco:

Set Up

  • The players are divided into groups.
  • Each group should have a set of three dice.
  • Each player should always have a pencil and a scoresheet.
  • Each table with players is assigned a number: Number 1 (head table), Number 2, Three, and so on.


The Head Table starts to play in the first round. This signals that other tables are about to start.

Each round has a target number. You must roll the dice to achieve the target number in the first round.

Record your target numbers while you roll. If you're playing "ones", record every "one" you roll.

If you do not roll a "one", it is the next player's turn.

Keep track of your score and add it to the score of the player directly behind you. This is your "partner" in that round.

The End

The play is over when one of the teams reaches 21 points.

The players then move to another table. The winner team moves up one table while the loser team remains where they are. Only one exception to this rule is at the top table. The winners are allowed to stay and the losers go to the "lowest", table.

Start Again

Start a new round in which players attempt to roll a "target number". Next, roll "twos" in our example.

More Bunco Rules

There are many variations because Bunco doesn't have any rules.

  • Play with a different partner after each round. It is okay (and expected) to play with more than one person during the course of the night.
  • It is worth 5 points if someone rolls 3 of the same kind.
  • Keep track of how many times you've won or lost a round.
  • You can call it "bunco" if you roll 3 of the same kind as the target number. Instant 21 points
  • Bunco rules are used by some groups that allow each table to play until a team earns 21 point.
  • You can play to any number you like, whether it's 1 or 21, or 100.
  • Let's say that the number chosen at the start of the evening is 1's. If three 1's are rolled, the scores of both the partners at the table change.

What happens when the head table rings the bell to end the game but someone is still in their turn?

  1. You can choose to stop the game if the bell rings. You have to.
  2. Optionally, points can be added if the bell rings when a player is rolling dice. No roll is permitted if the player is not ready to roll but the dice are still in her hands.
  3. Another option is for players to end their turn by rolling up until they do not get their target number.

Are 12 people required? I have more people who are interested.

Playing with more than 4 people is the best way to have fun. You can play with "ghosts" if you don't have the players you need. Partner will play with the ghost. The ghost will roll for the ghost.

How do we know which table belongs to which one? There will be more than one table.

Create a sign for each table and instructions on how to end the round. Example: "Table 2". The Head Table is where the winners are placed. Losers stay."

What's a "traveling" Bunco item?

To show who has rolled the most of a particular type of target number, many groups use a travel item. Our group uses a boa. Some people use a tiara or a stuffed animal. Others have a bunco night using a theme. An item that matches the theme.

Sometimes, a bunco prize is awarded to the player who is in possession of the item at night's end.

I've heard of players who dive for dice. What's the deal?

This is often called "scramble" by some groups. If someone rolls three of the target numbers (a bunco), everyone attempts to grab the dice.

What happens to a dice that falls on the ground?

Roll the first dice to hit the floor. You should not re-roll any dice that fell to the floor.


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