- 12+ players
- 3x standard six-sided dice for each table of players
- Bunco Score Cards for each player with their name on it to keep track of progress
- Pens or Pencils to mark scores
- Tables and Chairs: Depending on the number of players, you’ll need tables and chairs to accommodate multiple tables in different rooms or areas of the space
- Bell or Noisemaker: Used to signal the end of a round and to change tables
- Prizes: Optionally, you can assign prizes to winners
- Players earn points by rolling specific numbers on the dice; the score matches the round number being played (e.g., in Round 1, rolling ones earn points, in Round 2, rolling twos, and so on).
- Rolling one of the target numbers = one point.
- Rolling two of the target numbers = two points.
- Rolling three of the same that is NOT the number of the round = three points.
- Rolling all three of the target numbers = “Bunco”, worth 21 points.
- The player or team with the most points at the end is deemed the winner, although Bunco is more of a social pastime than a competitive game!
Additional Setup Notes
- All players should hold the dice in their hands prior to beginning.
The objective of Bunco is to have fun while playing this social game of dice to accumulate points by rolling the number that matches the round being played. For instance, in round four you’d try to roll four on the dice. The team with the highest score will win the game, and alternatively, the individual with the highest score is the overall winner.
Gather a group of players, the ideal number for Bunco is 12 or more participants. You’ll divide them into smaller groups of four or more at each table, always at an even number. Each table will have two teams of two people competing against each other.
Make sure each table has scorecards for each player with their names on the top and space to mark down scores for each of the six rounds, as well as pens or pencils.
Players sit around the table, and one person is named the table’s “Head Table Captain.” The Head Table Captain starts the round by ringing a bell, for instance.
Players will then take turns rolling three dice, seeking to match the number of the round (e.g., rolling ones in Round 1). Players will accumulate a point for each die that hits the target round number.
If a player rolls all three dice with the target number, that is called a Bunco and they need to yell it aloud to earn a total of 21 points.
Players continue rolling (and it is their turn) until they fail to roll the target number. Then, they pass the dice to the next player.
The Head Table Captain will ring the bell or make a noise to signal the end of the round. After each round, players move to a different table. How to rotate tables in Bunco:
- First table: The losing team goes to the end table, winners stay.
- Middle table(s): The losing team stays. Winners move up a table.
- End table, a.k.a the last table: Losing team stays. Winners move up to the first table.
Players keep track of their scores on the Bunco scorecards, recording the points earned for each round.
A game of Bunco comes to an end when players either decide to stop playing or arrive at the end of the number of rounds they decided to play before starting the dice game. Usually, each game of six rounds is considered “A set”, and typically, Bunco consists of 2-4 sets.
- Twelve players have gathered around three tables with four players each playing Bunco.
- Each table determines the teams of two that face each other on the table.
- Each table designates its Head Table Captain.
- The Captain rings a bell to start the round at each table.
- Players start rolling the set of three dice at each table, and they accumulate points in round one each time they roll a “one”.
- Once a player fails to roll the target number of the round, they pass the dice to the next player counter-clockwise who then keeps rolling until they fail, too.
- On table three, a player rolls “one” three times in a row, meaning they can yell “Bunco!” and claim 21 points.
- Round one comes to an end as the Captain rings the bell, players all shuffle tables, and continue the game.
- The players keep playing their rounds, passing the dice to the next player the moment they fail to roll the target number of the round.
- Someone in table three gets “six” three times in a row on the final round, calling out “Bunco!” and marks down 21 points on their scorecard.
- The first set of six rounds comes to an end. Table two has the highest total score and wins the set.
- The players go on to play the final set of six rounds as they had decided to play a total of two sets.
- Table four has the highest total score from two sets and wins the game.