How to Host the BEST Bunco Night!
Do you want a fun way of reconnecting with your girlfriends? Start a bunco club! My club has been meeting on the second Monday of every month for over 15 years! This is one night of the month you just don’t want to miss. What’s better than a good meal that you don’t have to prepare (unless it’s your host month), good drinks, and good laughter? I want to share how my group hosts our party nights. We don’t follow the official bunco rules, but we think it makes it easy.
Bunco is a mindless dice game, so you can spend time catching up on each other’s lives instead of focusing on strategy. And depending on how many glasses of wine you’ve had, the most you’ll need to focus on is the current number that you’re rolling.
GATHER THE CROWD
Be sure to choose your 12 wisely. Our group is so awesome, people are on the waiting list to become a “regular”. We choose the players for the following year at our Christmas party in December (more on that later); however, the others that want to play will be put on a sub-list. Usually, there is at least one person that can’t play due to family obligations and we are always needing a sub. We stay connected with a private Facebook group and email.
The host’s responsibilities include:
Organizing Monthly Players-this includes finding subs needed.
Preparing Food– this can be as simple or as gourmet as they choose.
Some of our favorites are breakfast for dinner, soup night, pasta night, and steak night for our Christmas celebration.
Buying the Booby-prize- this prize goes to the person with the least amount of points at the end of the evening. In our group, it isn’t much of a “booby” because it’s usually something nice, around $10-$15.
Each member of the group only hosts once per year. This takes relieves the pressure for the other eleven months.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 3 tables, 12 chairs
- 9 dice
- 6 scorepads/pens
- individual score sheets-usually a cut-out shape or something to put our stickers on.
- booby prize
HOW TO SET UP
- Set up 3 tables with 4 player spots, player spots get an individual score sheet.
- Each table gets 3 dice, 2 score notebooks, 2 pens, and bowls of snacks. Ha, ha!! That’s just what we do.
- The Head Table also gets a bell and bunco bracelet (necklace, hat, or whatever you prefer) One of our players brought our bell from Spain.
HOW TO PLAY
This is how our group is different from most. We have 4 games of 6 rounds (1-6). You only have the same partner for 1 round and that is the person sitting directly across from you. Our Head Table is the one centrally located and controls gameplay.
Game 1 round 1, each player rolls for ones, keeps count of how many they roll and stops when they no longer roll a one, their turn is over. Their partner keeps tally marks on the score pad for how many her partner rolled. Play then moves to the next person in a clockwise motion.
The round ends when 1) a team at the Head Table gets to 21, 2) someone rolls a BUNCO.
A BUNCO is when someone rolls 3 of the same number that you are on for that round. ex) round 1, is rolling three 1’s. If someone rolls three of another number, their play stops, they add the number they rolled to those they previously rolled. ex.) If you are rolling 1’s, and you roll three 3’s, you add three to whatever you had already rolled and your turn is over.
The next round is rolling 2’s, then 3’s…and so on until everyone completes 6’s. Six rounds of each number are considered a game. We play four games, usually taking a break after two games for dessert and coffee. The winners of the round move on to the next table, the losers stay at that table, but switch seats so they aren’t partners. Everyone has a different partner for each round.
One person from each team keeps tally marks of their score. The team with the highest tally marks, or the team that buncos, wins. If you win, add a sticker to your individual scorecard. If you bunco, add 2 stickers.
The individual at the end of the night that has the most stickers WINS! In our group, we pay $5 to play. Our payout at the end is as follows:
$30- 1st place
$20- 2nd place
$10- last bunco of the night
booby prize- lowest score of the night
For our December bunco month, usually, the host makes a fancier dinner. We only play 2 games of bunco. The money we would have paid to play is donated to the winner’s charity of choice. We also have a $5 Christmas ornament exchange white elephant style.
This is also the night we make our plan for next year. Since we drew numbers for white elephant, we use those numbers to draw for our choice of hosting month the next year. We rarely have someone that doesn’t want to be a regular for the next year, but if we do, this is where someone from our sub-list can step in to become a regular. The group has changed a bit over the years, but it seems like 15 years have flown by. Our bunco group not only has fun getting away from family responsibility for a few hours each month, but we’ve shared a lot of milestones and have become lifelong friends.