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How To Play Bunco

Bunco can be a wild and hilarious diversion for people who want to feel like they’re rolling dice in Las Vegas without risking the money.


  • Step 1: Win before the Head Table has reached 21 and rung their bell. The losing team moves to the low table and winners move up. All partners switch.
  • TIP: You can also play Bunco online with friends.
  • Step 2: Finish the pre-determined number of games, tally points, and split the pot for Most Buncos; Most Wins; Most Losses. Even the last person with the bunny gets some money.
  • FACT: Bunco dates back to the late 19th century.
  • Step 3: Roll three of one number – but not that round’s – and it’s a “birdie,” for which you lose your turn. Three of that round’s number is 21 points. Shout “Bunco!” and get a stuffed bunny to hold until the next person shouts Bunco.
  • TIP: Bunco clubs and gatherings tend to have their own versions of how to play the game, so feel free to experiment.
  • Step 4: Select numbered cards, one to four, to determine your seat and table. The Head – or High – Table is numbered one, two is Medium, and three is Low.
  • Step 5: Decide how many games to play, each consisting of six rounds. Track scores on the cards with pencils, recording beneath two columns marked Us and Them. All kick in five dollars to the pot.
  • Step 6: Ring the Head Table bell, scoring points by rolling ones with the dice in the first round, twos in the second, and so on. The Head Table bell will end the game, too.
  • Step 7: Rotate turns clockwise, each person rolling the three dice till they fail to make the round’s number. You must reach 21 with your partner before the Head Table bell rings.
  • : Several states officially bar all gambling, including pools in which the organizer does not profit. Know your local laws before playing games for money.

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