Final ultimate Bunco tournament is May 15

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - More than 50 Soldiers and family members were ready to roll the dice as they gathered at the Tropics, here, for an exciting game of "Bunco."

Family member Criztina Jean sat at a table for four holding three dice in her hand. After casually shaking the dice, she let them roll across the table.

Frowning slightly with no points to document, Jean passed the dice to opposing player Elizabeth Terry.

The game of Bunco has been popping up at Army installations all over and continues to grow in popularity.

Jean holds weekly games in her home on Schofield Barracks.

"Spouses are always getting together for various games and book clubs," said Jean. "Bunco is another way to come together, talk and have a little fun."

As it is played today, Bunco is a social dice game involving luck and no skill.

"It's all luck," said Jean, "just a roll of the dice."

The object of the game is to accumulate points by rolling certain combinations of a target number.

A turn consists of rolling three dice aiming to obtain the target number. Players earn one point for each target number rolled. If the player gets three-of-a-kind, or a Bunco, he or she earns 21 points. The round stops when a player at the head table obtains 21 points.

The game continues for six rounds. Whoever wins the most rounds is the overall winner of the game and receives a token prize.

Shouts and cheers rang from the team tables as players continued to build points with the hopes of moving into the number one spot.

Family member Melody Martel yelled, "Bunco" indicating she had rolled three-of-a-kind of the target number and a large pink fuzzy die flew through the air in her direction. Martel caught the stuffed die and laid it next to her, only to give it up a few moments later to another lucky roller.

"The die is sort of like a trophy," said McKenna Elder, recreation specialist, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. "It shows who is the last to roll a Bunco, which isn't easy to get."

"It's a fun game," continued Elder. "Everyone is constantly moving tables and playing with and against different people. It's a great way to meet new people and interact with ones you already know."

The game continued for several hours and participants took home prizes, including T-shirts, Bunco bags and stickers."Even if you don't know what you're doing, you'll have fun playing," said Jean.

The last ultimate Bunco tournament will be held during Family Fun Fridays, May 15, 6 p.m., at the Tropics. Visit or call 808-655-5698.