Bunco has been around since the 19th century, as such it is no wonder that there have been many variations of the game created which affects the number of players needed to play it. So how many people do you need?
Bunco is Very Flexible
A great thing about Bunco is its flexibility when it comes to the number of players. It can be played in a form of 1-on-1 or in groups. To answer the question of how many people to play Bunco, the answer is 2.
However, as it is with most social games, the more the merrier, Bunco is no different. There is actually no limit when it comes to the maximum number of players. As long as you have enough room to fit them all and sufficient number of dices there should be no problem. However, with more than 4 people, the best thing to do is to split them into two or more groups, otherwise, each individual waits for his/her turn too long and might lose interest.
Since Bunco is a dice game with a rather long history it is only fair that we look at the way it was played in the old days. Traditionally this game was played by 12 players. They were further divided into 3 groups of 4 people, each group sitting at their own table. One of the tables was the “Head” table, then there was the “Middle” table. and the “Losing” table. The Head table was reserved for the round-winning group as such it was also called the “Winning” table.
Even back in the old days, when rules were more strictly followed, there were many times only 8 people playing the game. On the other hand, as many as 20 players taking part in a game of Bunco was also not uncommon.
Following the Tradition
As mentioned above, Bunco can be played by 2 or more players easily. Odd or even number of people can be further arranged into groups to fit a greater number of players. There is actually no strict rules on how many players should be in each group and whether there should be teams inside the groups. As long as you are having fun and all participants agree with the setup beforehand, there is no problem.
However, if you want to follow the traditional setup of Bunco more strictly, which means you must have the number of players that is divisible by four, they came up with a term called the “ghost player” or “Bunco baby”.
A Ghost player is used when you are short of a player. In that case one of the actual players rolls the dices in the name of the ghost player. Essentially at the table of four two players are playing against one. The two players take turns while the single player rolls the dices on his and the ghost’s behalf alternately. Some people even decide to place a stuffed animal or a doll in an empty chair to take the place of the ghost.
As you can see, Bunco is really very flexible as such it can be a great way to entertain all sorts of groups, even a one-on-one meeting with a friend can be turned into a healthy competition of Bunco.