What Are the Rules of Bunco?


According to the rules of the World Bunco Association, Bunco requires 12 players, three tables, nine dice, six pencils, six scratch pads, 12 score sheets, a bell and a fuzzy die. The traveling fuzzy die starts at the head table. Teams roll dice to collect points until the head table rolls three of a kind, also known as a "bunco."

One player acts as a host and organizes the game. This player should draw a star or other distinctive mark on four of the score sheets. Each of the players that draws one of these marked sheets starts at the head table. The other players are arranged at the "middle" and "losing" tables.

Each table is divided into two teams consisting of two players each. The two teams sit facing each other. One team member rolls the dice and the other tallies points. The head table decides when to begin the game by ringing a bell. One player rolls at a time at each table. A number is selected as being "up" and players attempt to roll it. One point is awarded for each die that lands on that number. Three of a kind of any other number earns five points. If no die land on the number that is up, play is passed to the other team at the table.

Rolling three of a kind of the number that is up earns a "bunco", or 21 points. When a team at the head table either rolls a bunco or collects 21 points, the round is finished, and they ring the bell. Winning teams advance a table, switching places with the losing team. A new number is selected as being up, and play continues. Four sets are played in total.