Bunco Etiquette

According to the World Bunco Association[1], Bunco began as a progressive dice game in England, later being imported to the American West as a gambling activity. It was not until after the Civil War that it evolved to a popular parlor game. The Association states that during Prohibition, Bunco as a gambling game was re-popularized and the term “Bunco-Squad” was born, referring to law-enforcement groups that busted up Bunco Gaming. Bunco as a family game saw a resurgence in popularity in the 1980s. Although re-released in 2005 with a tagline reading “The game that’s sweeping the nation,” sales were initially low though senior citizens and young adults alike have found interest in the game[
In recent years, the game has seen a resurgence in popularity in
America, particularly among suburban women. As it is played today, Bunco is a social dice game involving 100% luck and no skill (there are no decisions to be made)[2], scoring and a simple set of rules. Women who are part of a Bunco club take turns as the Bunco hostess, providing snacks, refreshments and the tables to set up the games. The hostess may also provide a door prize. Small amounts of money can be involved as well. The object of the game is to accumulate points and to roll certain combinations. The winners get prizes (provided by the hostess or pooled from the club resources) for accomplishments such as the highest score, the lowest score, or the most buncos. Prizes frequently center on themes associated with the game such as fancy dice, dice embedded in soap, t-shirts featuring illustrations of dice, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunco

So there’s your brief history of Bunco…

I’m not saying our group is better than the definition, but we roll a pretty good dice game once a month. The hostess normally has a theme which the prizes are part of, and we have 3 prizes – Winner, Loser and Travel – which is the last person to roll a full bunco of a predetermined #. And she ALWAYS has alcohol…
  • I’d now like to address a few etiquette “by-laws” if you will:
    It’s always polite to “pass the dice” to the next person in succession at your table. This is a pretty subtle move, but a gesture to let the next person know “hey, it’s ok to grab the dice” otherwise you’ll probably get your hand slapped. It’s very much similar to the black jack dealer showing that all bets are in and the next portion of the game is beginning – if that makes sense… it does to me.
  • Another politeness is that the other 3 at the table should count along {out loud} the number of rolls/points the roller is up to – and it helps to do it in a sing-song fashion, the cadence helps when Bunco becomes Drunko. We’ve also determined to that this will come in handy if we ever have to teach a toddler to count… to about 6 – we’ve got that covered!

{thanks to AB for highlighting these “rules”}

I love going to Bunco each month, it’s fun and relaxing and as you read in the definition, there is no skill nor thinking involved which is great! My mom played Bunco when I was little {like 3 and 4}, it was a huge ordeal when she hosted, she always made perfect little party treats and I always got to taste them! The highlight of the evening was that my dad and I got to go out to eat Chinese food which NEVER happened since my parents were pretty poor back then. In hindsight, however, Chinese food in Southeast Arkansas probably wasn’t such a treat, might should have been scared of that…


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