Bunco Rules of Play
What you need:
- 3 Tables
- 12 Chairs
- 12 players
- 12 Score Cards (1 per person)
- 3 Tally Cards (1 per table, have a few backup in case they are needed)
- 12 Pencils
- 3 Table markers (High, Middle, Low)
- 1 Bell or noise maker of some sort (Placed on High Table)
- 9 Six Sided Dice (3 per table)
- Plus (not necessary) Snacks, drinks, prizes for winners.
Before you play:
- Set up the tables and chairs in the same room. On each table, place 3 dice, 4 pencils, one table marker and Tally sheets. On the High Table, place the bell or noisemaker. ALSO, check out our bunco printable rules sheet! (above)
- Take the 12 scorecards and place a discrete mark (star or X) on the backside of four of the scorecards.
- Have the any snacks & drinks set up and ready to go. They will be attacked before, during and after the game!
Have each player randomly select a scorecard from the stack with the secret marks hidden. The 4 marked scorecard players sit at the High Table. The remaining 8 players will sit randomly at the low and middle tables. Random partners are assigned and site across from each other at the table.
Each table selects one person to man the Tally Card for each round. These people are to keep track of points earned during the game to tally each number, each round. After each round, scribble out previous rounds and continue marking on the same paper. The Tally Sheet is really like a scratch pad. The real points are counted on the scorecards.
The first round begins with the High Table Ringing the bell. Then, the person in charge of the Tally Sheet takes the dice and rolls the first time. This player rolls the dice until they have a roll that yeilds no points. Each of the 6 rounds is based on the corresponding number being rolled. Scoring goes as this:
Round 1: Every ⚀ rolled is worth 1 point.
Round 2: Every ⚁ rolled is worth 2 points.
Round 3: Every ⚂ rolled is worth 3 points.
Round 4: Every ⚃ rolled is worth 4 points.
Round 5: Every ⚄ rolled is worth 5 points.
Round 6: Every ⚅ rolled is worth 6 points.
Mini Bunco: (some groups call these Baby Buncos) This is when 3 of the same number is rolled that does not correspond to the round number. This is worth 5 points on that team’s tally sheet.
BUNCO: This is when a 3 of a kind of the round number is rolled. The player who rolls the bunco must shout “Bunco!!!!” and receives 21 points on the tally sheet. If the players are on the middle or low table then they immediately roll again. If the player is at the High Table, they ring the bell and that ends the round. Once the bell has rung, the player currently rolling continues until they have a roll that yeilds no points.
The Tally keeper ads up the points for the round and declares winners and losers. Each individual player then writes on their sheet “W” or “L” in the corresponding spot on their own scorecard. Don’t forget to tally Buncos and Mini-Buncos on your own score card.
Then the teams switch tables as follows:
High Table: Winning team remains, losing team moves to low table.
Middle Table: Winning team moves to High Table and losing table remains.
Low Table: Winning team moves to Middle Table and losing team remains.
Each player also switches team members, sitting next to their former teammate instead of across.
The head table then rings the bell to start the next round and play continues until the end of round 6.
If the teams have a tie score there will be a roll-off to determine the winner. Each player is allowed to roll the dice again one more time to accumulate points. The scorekeeper begins rolling first and continues to roll and accumulate points as long as they are successfully rolling the number of that round. Each player is given a chance to roll and then the points are tallied for the tie breaker. If this is also a tie, do it again.
Typically the game is played for two complete sets (rounds 1-6 x 2). At this point, it’s a good time to take a break, refill drinks, grab some grub, etc. Two more complete sets are then played. Prizes are awarded at this time.