Bunco is a dice game for a group of twelve. Back when I lived in Salem my family was part of a group that met and played monthly. Last night I "subbed" and played with a group of women in my neighborhood.
Bunco is pretty simple to play. If you are interested in learning about how the game is played you can click here to read the rules.
But in my experience Bunco groups are not generally "just" about Bunco. They are about groups of friends (or families) setting aside time to get together. It's a time to relax and share what's going on in everyone's lives. The game is simple enough that everyone can carry on a conversation while playing. As winners and losers rotate between the tables everyone gets a chance to chat as a smaller group as well.
Bunco consists of four rounds; after the second round the Salem group observed a half-hour "halftime". Everyone brought a potluck dish and all the families would dig in and taste from a wide variety of dishes. It was a chance to regroup with the kids (who invariably wander off and play together) and your "date" (sometimes your spouse... and sometimes not!). As kids and adults mixed, talking and laughing, the volume would grow. As halftime wound down everyone pitched in to help clean up, corral the kids, and get ready for the final two rounds.
The group I played with last night didn't have halftime - but the need to regroup wasn't the same since it was just the girls. There was still plenty of food, lots of laughter, and fun.
Someone asked me, do you like to play Bunco? There are really two answers to this question. As far as the game goes... no. I prefer to play games that involve strategy or imagination. But as far as events go... yes. Bunco is a fun way to get to know your neighbors, keep up with busy friends, and relax and have a good time.