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Bunco From Mans Gambling to Ladies Social Event


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The loud roars of laughter and the smell of delicious food as you hit the door makes one wonder what could be going on. An event that is so special that it happens once month in neighborhoods all over the country. Women leave their children home with the men to get the chance for some “me" time and socialize with their neighborhood buddies. The name of this social event is called “Bunco". The game is a 100% game of chance with no skill involved. You have set of three dice at 4 separate tables. The players rotate around and get a great chance to socialize with different friends. Anyone who has ever played the game says it is best to play with at least 12 players. Most get together of bunco have a 5 dollar buy so the winner of the night can win a little money and help pay for gag prizes. Now the game itself is fun but what really drives this social event is . . well. . to be social. You get to eat food and enjoy a few adult beverages with your buddies. No one is competitive to go outplay anyone for a small cash prize and since its 100% luck even an unexperienced player can win her first night. The dictionary word for Bunco is very interesting. In general, Bunco is called a gambling game or scheme.

Many believe the game derived from the 1700-1800s in England. The game found its way to America as a gambling game. Many a man lost his weekly wages throwing those three dice in hopes of winning the big “pot" from others. This game was not played in a saloon or parlor until after the civil war in America. The Bunco gambling became so bad that during the prohibition era that police had to break up the game in gambling parlors. This pretty much quelled the game for many years.

In the 1980s, the game reemerged as a social event with suburban women in their neighborhood. Its as if tea time or poker nights with wife and husband had been replaced with Bunco. Just as easy as it was to set up card tables with cigarettes and beer to play poker. It is easier and more acceptable to have the same card tables and use dice. Cigarettes are frowned upon now and food has replaced it.

All a hostess has to do now is download score sheets from and figure out what food to make.


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