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October 16, 2007 > What is all the hoopla about Bunco?

What is all the hoopla about Bunco?

By Mona Shah

It's the hottest new game in town and the Newark Chamber is turning it into an event not to be missed. On October 19, the Chamber will host its second annual Bunco Tournament and Costume Party.

If you are new to Bunco-it is a game of dice. Put simply, the group splits into two pairs per table. Players roll three dice at a time over two six-round sets. Each round has a designated target number, which is awarded specific points when rolled. The aim at the end of each round is to score 21 points.

A growing number of suburban women have embraced Bunco to spice up their schedules, the way their mothers played bridge or mahjong. The number of players in the United States has increased six fold to approximately 1.5 million over the past five years.

According to the association's Web site,, the game has been played in this country since the 1850s, when a crooked gambler used an early incarnation of the game to cheat prospectors out of their new riches in Gold Rush-era San Francisco. Bunco spread throughout urban centers, particularly Chicago, through the 1920s.
After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Bunco seemed to disappear from public view, only to resurface in American suburbs in the 1980s. California was the game's geographical center, and it also thrived in Arizona, Texas and Illinois. Over the last 25 years, Bunco has spread eastward, and is now played virtually everywhere across the nation.

Rock the evening away with music courtesy of DJ Susan Harlow-Schott, while you taste food from local restaurants and hotels. Raffle prizes will also be awarded throughout the night. This second Annual Event will also include three rounds of Bunco, with prizes for:
-Most Bunco's-Airfare and 2 nights at the Las Vegas Hilton (to attend the Bunco World Championship)
-Most Wins-2 nights at the Las Vegas Hilton (to attend the Bunco World Championship)
-Best Costume- free ticket to the third annual Newark tournament.

To register or to get additional information, please call (510) 744-1000.

Second Annual Bunco Tournament and Costume Party
Friday, October 19
5 p.m. Registration
6 p.m. Competition
Newark Hilton
39900 Balentine Drive, Newark
510-490-8390 (Hilton)
(510) 744-1000 (Chamber)

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