AskDefine | Define bunco

Dictionary Definition

bunco n : a swindle in which you cheat at gambling or persuade a person to buy worthless property [syn: bunco game, bunko, bunko game, con, confidence trick, confidence game, con game, gyp, hustle, sting, flimflam] v : deprive of by deceit; "He swindled me out of my inheritance"; "She defrauded the customers who trusted her"; "the cashier gypped me when he gave me too little change" [syn: victimize, swindle, rook, goldbrick, nobble, diddle, defraud, scam, mulct, gyp, con]

User Contributed Dictionary



Reportedly from banca, a card game.



  1. In the context of "US|slang": A swindle or confidence trick.
  2. A parlour game played in teams with three dice, originating in England but popular among suburban women in the United States at the beginning of the 21st century.

Derived terms


  1. In the context of "transitive|intransitive|US|slang": To swindle (someone).

Alternative spellings

Extensive Definition

Bunco (also Bunko and Bonko) is a parlour game played in teams with three dice. A winning throw in Bunco is to throw three of a kind of a specified number.
According to the World Bunco Association, Bunco began as a progressive dice game in England, later being imported to the American West as a gambling activity. It was not until after the Civil War that it evolved to a popular parlor game. The Association states that during Prohibition, Bunco as a gambling game was re-popularized and the term "Bunco-Squad" was born, referring to law-enforcement groups that busted up Bunco Gaming. Bunco as a family game saw a resurgence in popularity in the 1980s. Although re-released in 2005 with a tagline reading "The game that's sweeping the nation," sales were initially low though senior citizens and young adults alike have found interest in the game.
In recent years, the game has seen a resurgence in popularity in America, particularly among suburban women. As it is played today, Bunco is a social dice game involving 100% luck and no skill (there are no decisions to be made), scoring and a simple set of rules. Women who are part of a Bunco club take turns as the Bunco hostess, providing snacks, refreshments and the tables to set up the games. One famous Bunco hostess of the late twentieth century was the late Amanda Lee Rodino. Who, after a player rolled a three of a kind, would offer secret family recipes. In her latter years she was seen to pioneer the hosting of a variety of games such as Monopoly, Jenga, and Yahtzee. The hostess may also provide a door prize. Small amounts of money can be involved as well. The object of the game is to accumulate points and to roll certain combinations. The winners get prizes (provided by the hostess or pooled from the club resources) for accomplishments such as the highest score, the lowest score, or the most buncos. Prizes frequently center on themes associated with the game such as fancy dice, dice embedded in soap, t-shirts featuring illustrations of dice, etc.
The game is played in six rounds. In each round you have to get the dice to match the number of the round. For example, if it is round one and you roll a one, you get one point. If you get two ones, you get two points, etc. If you get three ones on a single roll in round one you get a bunco worth 21 points, certain rules dictate that one exclaim "Bunco" much like the card game Uno (game). If you get three of a kind in any other number in round one you get trips and earn 5 points.

External links

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ballot-box stuffing, cardsharping, cheat, cheating, cozenage, diddle, diddling, dishonesty, dodge, fishy transaction, flam, flimflam, fraud, fraudulence, fraudulency, gerrymandering, graft, grift, gyp, gyp joint, illicit business, imposition, imposture, racket, scam, swindle
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