Bunco addiction is a thing . . . and it’s serious
(Photo: Lance Cpl. Joshua Pettway)

By Julie Provost

“Want to come to Bunco?” a friend asked me a few years ago.

I had played before back home in California in my early 20s. At Ft. Campbell, I saw how popular Bunco was, especially within the milspouse community. After that first night, I was hooked. Now I play almost once a month with a local Bunco group. There are several here at Ft. Campbell and on other military installations throughout the country. . . and even the world. There is just something about this game and milspouses can’t help but get addicted to Bunco once they start to play.

The Rules

 from Flickr via Wylio
© 2010 Homini:), Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Bunco is a dice game played with groups of people. It’s easy to learn and easy to play. If you have never heard of Bunco before, you can attend a game, listen to the directions, and Bunco should start to make sense to you. If nothing else, you will pick up how to play once the game gets going. What sounds a little complicated at first really isn’t. Bunco doesn’t have a lot of rules you need to remember so even if you haven’t played in a while, you can easily jump back into the game.

Make friends

Blond Girls Talk from Flickr via Wylio
© 2013 x1klima, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio

Bunco is one of the best places to make friends for military spouses. Within the game, you will always move around and switch partners, allowing you to get to know the other players. You can’t stay in your comfort zone; even the most introverted spouse can meet others this way. In a lot of milspouse social settings, talking to new people and breaking into their conversations can be difficult. In Bunco you are forced to, and you can’t help but talk to the other players during the game. You can’t just stick by the one person you know and only talk to them.

The food

Salad from Flickr via Wylio
© 2011 NatalieMaynor, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Bunco is also an excuse to have a potluck. In our monthly Bunco group, we always have plenty of yummy food from meatballs and casseroles to cakes and brownies. Some groups offer alcohol; Adding that glass of wine or Jello shot can help you relax a bit and let loose with your friends and enjoy kid-free fun.


rule no.04 from Flickr via Wylio
© 2005 Aart van Bezooijen, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Bunco is a game of pure luck. You can’t study or work on your technique. There is no real strategy. Bunco is truly anyone’s game. Bunco is competitive, but everyone has a chance of being the winner, especially since there is more than one way to win.


Cash from Flickr via Wylio
© 2009 Ed Ivanushkin, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Who doesn’t like prizes? My monthly group gives out cash which is perfect for spending money for the rest of the weekend. Other groups may have other kinds of prizes for winners.

Perfect for groups

Friends from Flickr via Wylio
© 2011 Pepe Pont, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio

Whether it is the FRG, your local MOPS group, or just a group of friends getting together, Bunco is a way of getting people together, having fun, making memories and doing so without having to spend a lot of money. It’s no wonder that milspouses are addicted to this game.

Julie Provost is an associate editor at Military One Click and a National Guard spouse. She can be reached at