Oh, I’d heard about Bunco before, even subbed in a group once. But last week marked the first time I had ever shaken the dice as an honest-to-goodness member of a bunco group.

“What’s next, Mahjong?” asked my son Charlie-the-New-Yorker when I told him how excited I was to play the game.

“I feel like Bunco is the Midwest’s answer to Mahjong,” I said.

Am I right?

Here’s what I know about Bunco:

  • It can be spelled three ways – Bunco, Bunko or, hilariously, Bonko.
  • It’s the easiest dice game I ever played. (Oh Craps! Now you know I have dabbled in other dice games).
  • Even for the most competitive among us, it’s really just a backdrop for neighborliness and nibbles.
  • It’s fun!

The group that kindly added me to its tables would be intimidating in any other setting. These are confoundingly competent people. Want proof? Like many empty nesters, Mary and her husband Pete have been traveling around the country in a state-of-the-art camper THEY BUILT THEMSELVES!

Crimeny! I can’t even change a tire.

But, I can count to six and that makes me qualified to play Bunco (though I will admit to a rather embarrassing scoring snafu when I inadvertently tracked the wrong player). They forgave me. Whoot whoot!

Here’s to Bunco! And cute little pencils! With erasers!

Most of all, here’s to friendship and the simple ways we all celebrate it.

Let’s roll!

I was lucky enough to squeeze in on this Bunco group’s inaugural round. It’s a big group with plenty of extremely crafty people. They let me tag along.
Here’s my Bunco card. You’ll note I did not manage to put my name in the right spot, but I did manage to roll four baby buncos (that’s three of the same number) in my first four rounds. I felt a little smug and then my dice lost their magic.
Meanwhile, my friend Mary, who built her own camper, could not stop rolling actual Buncos. That’s her on the right, camped out at the winner’s table, looking all sly and competent.
Here’s our first attempt at a group shot, in which us perennial back rowers (read tall drinks of water) were nearly eclipsed.
Round two, shot from a satellite. We liked both the angle and the distance. Photo cred: @WillCookForAnyReason.
An artful, mid-round Bunco shot.

3 thoughts on “Bunco!

  1. I was in Bunco in North Texas. (as you know we just moved to NC). I miss my group — a great group of ladies with so many diverse backgrounds. We didn’t hold our group at 12 — we played with as many as in the 30s and as few as 5 using ghosts to even out. People don’t know what they’re missing until they experience playing Bunco. Takes no skill or decision making; just the luck of the dice. And talk about luck…. what a night you had for a beginner!!

    1. I really love the idea of not limiting the group to 12 and I’m going to pass that tip along. Thanks!

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