On an off for years now, we’ve played Bunco with our family.
At family gatherings, after the little ones had gone to bed, the adults rocked out a little Bunco fun.
Complete with crazy prizes a la our fun Bingo bonanza, the adults laughed and rolled dice and played Bunco late into the night.
Now that Maddy, Owen, and Cora are older, though, we’ve introduced them to the fun of Bunco.
Bunco is a simple dice-rolling game that leaves little to skill and all to chance. It’s fun–and easy enough for families with mixed-age kids to play. There’s counting and adding and a whole lot of mathy-math in the mix.
Any sneaky learning is a win in our book.
Here’s the skinny. . .
How to Play Bunco With FAMILIES:
To play Bunco, you need a few simple things. Nothing will break the bank, and the biggest thing you need is a good number of people–twelve players will make it really fun. So grab another family or two, and you’re probably good.
To play Bunco, you need:
- dice (you’ll need about twelve dice total)
- a bell
- score sheets
- pens or pencils
- sometimes groups make players wear crazy hats or fun necklaces or hold silly stuffed things when they get a bunco
Grab our score sheets and table cards here, and make sure that you print enough!
You’ll need the Family Score Cards which are printed two per sheet.
You can download the Family Bunco Score Sheets here:
And you’ll need Table Cards.
You may only need three or four tables, and our printables have you covered through six tables.
You can download the Table Cards here:
The best way to teach kids to play Bunco is by showing them–it gets too confusing when you try to go through the rules.
So take a minute and show them a sample table, how each person rolls and adds and scores, and then you’ll be good to go!
To play Bunco:
- 12 players break into 3 tables of 4 players each.
- Tables are numbered; table 1 is the ‘head table’; table 2 is middle; table 3 is last.
- Players sit across from their ‘temporary team’ member at each table.
- One player at head table rings bell to signal start of game.
- Players at each table take turns rolling 3 dice, trying to roll the same number as the round (ex: roll 1’s during the 1st round = points earned; 2’s during 2nd round, etc.).
- Players keep rolling until they score no points, after which time they hand the dice to the next player. A table scorekeeper tallies points for both teams.
- When the head table earns 21 points, the bell is rung, and the round is over.
- Points are added. Each table will have a winning team and a losing team. Players write their score on their personal score sheet and indicate win (W) or loss (L).
- Players either stay or move tables depending on whether they won or lost the round. Instructions are on the table cards. ‘Temporary team’ members MUST switch after each game.
BUNCO = 3 of the same number rolled matches round number (ex: three 2’s during 2nd round = BUNCO! → BUNCO = 21 points
Baby Bunco = 3 of same number rolled does not match round number (ex: three 2’s during the 4th round) = Baby Bunco → Baby Bunco = 5 points
You can download our Bunco Rules Sheet here:
You can download the Bunco Rules Sheet here:
Remember, that the fun part about Bunco is the prizing!
Everyone pays $5 to play! And then, after all of the games are played, count the pot. Sometimes when we play with families, we only throw in $1 or $2 per person. Kids don’t care–the more singles they win, the better!
- 50% of total pot goes to the player with the most buncos
- 30% of total pot goes to the player with the high score
- 20% of total pot goes to the player with the most wins
- $5 goes to the player with the lowest score
- $5 goes to the player with the most losses
Make this as simple as possible! It doesn’t have to be perfect–just divide the money, give to the winners, and the kids will be happy!
But you cannot forget about the Bunco snacks!
Check out how we do snacks for our games:
The great thing about Bunco is that it’s crazy easy and that you need very little brain power to make it work.
It’s just enough counting and chance to make it fun for players of all ages. And the simple adding of numbers makes it a cool way of sneaking a little math into the mix.
Some helpful hints for playing with families:
- Make sure there’s an adult at each table to help move the game along;
- Have an adult keep score at each table;
- Make rolling a Bunco super fun–whomever rolls one must wear a silly hat or necklace or hold a funny toy;
- Everyone cheers for the winners as they move tables;
- Go easy on snacks–maybe keep something healthy at the tables and keep the sweets in the kitchen!
- Have fun!
And if you’re looking for a fun Girls’ Night Out, here’s everything you need:
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Just what i NEEDED TO GET OUR GROUP ORGANIZED
If a table has a tie and the head table has already run the bell to end the round, and a person at the tie bunco. Does this bunko count toward her number of bunko’s or does she just to add the bunko numbers (21) to her scoresheet.
HOLY. I have no idea. I’d say that the group decides. I’m sorry. I’m not a bunco expert.