Here’s how to play Bunco solo, online, and for free
Bunco is a game of chance played with dice and, traditionally, twelve people scattered across three tables, and players switch tables as they play. Having that number of players makes for a fun social game, but you can learn to play Bunco online, for free, by yourself to learn the rules, how to score points, and all without needing to find eleven other people.
How to play Bunco in this online game
- Click "Start" above and select three other virtual players, along with your name. Your name is not used anywhere except in this session. Among the four players here, three are virtual AI players.
- The game will automatically select who goes first.
- When it's your turn, click "Roll Dice". Your score, turn, and rounds are calculated automatically. You'll play for six rounds.
How Bunco rules work and the game score is counted
Learning how to play Bunco involves understanding the scoring. Your goal is to get to 21 points each round before the other players. Points are scored based on the number of the round. For instance, in Round 1...
- If you roll one 1, it's worth one point and you roll again.
- If you roll two 1s, it's worth two points and you roll again.
- If you roll three 1s, it's a BUNCO and you win the round with 21 points.
- If you roll three-of-a-kind, not matching the round number (for example, 4-4-4 in Round 1), it's worth 5 points and you roll again.
Special dice rolls and rolling a Bunco for 21 points
There are two special dice match combinations that earn you more points:
- Roll 3 of a kind of any number other than the round number, for 5 points. For instance, if you roll a 2-2-2 in round four, that's five points.
- Roll three of a kind of the round's number and that's 21 points and the player rolls a Bunco. Traditionally this scores 21 toward the team's points for the whole table, but in our free online Bunco game, your score is attributed to yourself against the three other players.
Dice rolling rules in Bunco
- If you score at least 1 point in a turn, you get to go again.
- You must roll all three dice on each turn. Our online game does this automatically.
- You can keep rolling until the dice rolled earns you no points.
- Play moves clockwise as each player rolls and finishes their turn.
How to win Bunco and when the round ends
- Having the most points doesn't necessarily matter when you play Bunco. Instead, whoever is first to 21 wins.
- Each round ends when a player rolls up to 21 points.
- The winner of each round earns a win for that round and all players attempt to keep up in the next round.
- The end of the game comes after round six is played. The player with the most rounds won, wins the game.
- If a game is tied, the player with the most buncos wins the game.
- If a game is still tied, the player with the highest total score wins the game.
FAQs about Bunco and Bunco rules
What is a "Mini Bunco"?
A mini occurs when a player rolls three dice that don't match the round number. For instance, rolling 3-3-3 in round 5 would be a "Mini Bunco". This roll would earn the player 5 points since it is not a Bunco.
Is there a difference between "Bunco" and "Bunko"?
It's believed "Bunko" is probably the correct spelling, but the terms are interchangeable.
What's the difference in PlayBunco.com and an in-person game of Bunco?
The spirit of Bunco is preserved in this online game. But when you play Bunco in-person with other players, you traditionally need 12 players sitting in teams of 4 across 3 tables. One table is labeled the "head table", and they are responsible for indicating the start of each game when the head table rings a bell. In addition, the losing team and winning team (each table has a pair of players each in a team of two) travels to different tables after each round.
A middle table exists, too, and the result is a social dice game that makes for a fun Bunco night out. If you've never played Bunco with a passionate Bunco group, consider starting one or finding one near you! As teams move around between tables in rotations, you get to chat and sit opposite new people as players switch tables.
PlayBunco.com has simplified the rules and eliminated the need for multiple tables, quite so many players (to speed up game play), and reduced the number of supplies needed such as score sheets, bells, fuzzy dice, and Bunco prizes.
Can I play Bunco online with other human players?
PlayBunco.com currently uses virtual AI Bunco players.
What are the odds of rolling a Bunco?
1-in-36, since each dice is an independent event and on a six-sided die, you have a 1-in-6 chance of rolling the round number in each Bunco game.
How long does a game of Bunco last?
A physical round of Bunco can last about half an hour, but in our online game you can breeze through a full round in about 4-6 minutes.
Is there any skill required in Bunco?
Not really. There is no skill or strategy to rolling dice. It’s all luck, especially in our free online Bunco game where you can’t even claim to have some “special flick of the wrist”. This is great because it’s easy to learn and anyone can play.
What are these “big fuzzy dice” I hear about from my friends in Bunco?
Many in-person Bunco group award a prize for things like a “traveling Bunco”, which is the last person to have rolled a Bunco when the game ends or some other chance accomplishment.
The fuzzy dice—the kind you might see hanging from a car rearview mirror—are oversized so people wear them around their neck or hold on to them until someone else earns the prize.
They’re pretty meaningless but fun. In our online Bunco game, you won’t have to worry about holding onto a pair of fuzzy dice.