Bongo is an analytical dice game that requires players to roll the dice and be the first to interpret and call out the situation depicted by the pictures on the dice. There are seven to 10 dice in play at any time during a game of Bongo, and all of them have to be rolled at once. There are three types of dice: bamboo, animal and poacher.
Bamboo and animal dice are required for all levels of play. Two dice are bamboo dice with sides one through three. If the roll of the bamboo dice both show the same number, that is the number for the round. If the dice show different numbers, then the number not showing is the lock number for the round. Five of the dice have animal pictures on the sides: a gnu, rhino or antelope. The lock number determines how many of an animal the player needs. If the lock number is three and out of the five animal dice, three of them feature a rhino after the roll, the first player to call out "three rhinos" wins the round.
A stick is awarded when a player wins a round. If a player calls out a wrong answer, a stick is lost. If there is not a match between the lock number and the animal dice rolled, the player who calls out "none" receives a stick, while a player who calls out an incorrect number loses all accumulated sticks. Poacher dice are used for advance play. If both poacher dice display the same animal, that animal is eliminated from regular play for the round.