5 Musts for your Next Bunco Bash

5 Musts for your Next Bunco Bash

5 Musts for your Next Bunco Bash

Borrowed card tables and folding chairs sit in various corners of my downstairs, none of which fit particularly well for the space.  I did, however, dress the tables with some of my vintage tablecloths that look cute in a bohemian kind of way.  It’s almost time for the group to arrive and I take a moment to pause and look around to make sure nothing major is missing. “Check, check … and check”.  My mom’s training in the art of throwing parties (on a budget) has paid off.  Thanks Mama.  I fill a glass with ice and pour in the ‘skinny margarita’ I just mixed in a glass pitcher.  I really love these nights.  I never in a million years thought I’d be into playing group games but we all know it’s not about the game and more about the friends.  I take a sip of the cool citrus concoction.  It’s warm out, it’ll be nice to sit outside for a while before we start.  I realize suddenly that I forgot to get salt for the glasses.  The doorbell rings.  Oh well, the margaritas won’t be trimmed in salt tonight.  I think we’ll live.   I walk to the door and grab the handle to welcome in the crew.  It’s Bunco night!

I am new to BUNCO and as far as I can tell the rules are, for lack of a better word, somewhat pliable.  There are the basics that need to be adhered to of course, but it seems that each time we play a new rule or standard comes forth.  In my group there is one member who is the master of ceremonies, and we truly couldn’t have a party without her being there.  For the most part we all take turns forgetting the rules from month to month. That ‘re-learning’ the game each time almost makes it more fun.

If you’re a Bunco aficionado or a newbie just subbing in occasionally, here are my 5 ‘must do’s &  ‘must haves’ for your next Bunco bash.

1. Make it a Party and Start with an Invite

I like to make ‘everyday’ parties, and whether it’s Bunco Night or Coffee with your Book Group, it doesn’t matter where you live, how many people you’re inviting, or what your budget is, sending themed and personalized invitations is the best way to set the stage for a successful get together.  I know I’m EXTREMELY biased.  Having themed notes, invitations, and cards on the ready is one of the main reasons I created the poppynotes app.

I use my poppynotes Bunco designs and personalize them with the party information.  As a host I like to text the invite anywhere between 1-2 weeks ahead of the assigned date.  Even though everyone on the text thread already knows the day and time, having an invitation sent with my address, what to bring, and any other unique information is a much more personal way to let your group know that this will be something special.

2. Create a ‘Bunco Bag’

This completely morphed by accident with my BUNCO group but now is a thing and I love it.

A BUNCO Bag is simply a grab-and-go bag containing everything needed for the party.

Here’s what’s in our bag (I’ll include some links too):


  • Dice – I found these fabulous pink ones and I ordered enough for 6 tables of play.
  • Fuzzy Dice’ – for the mini-bunco. This gets tossed around during the games so it’s important to make sure it’s both small and soft (you don’t want anything to get broken while it’s exchanging hands).
  • BUNCO Score Sheet Cards – I made custom ones for our group but you can find templates online that you can download and print. Keep a stash of copies in your bag.
  • Bell – Any bell will do. The louder the better so the table in the other room can hear when the game starts and ends.
  • Pencils and pens. The more the merrier because they always seem to get misplaced or dried out from game to game.
  • Something to be the ‘Ghost’ (the ‘stand-in’ in case someone can’t make it at the last minute and you can’t get a sub). Weirdly my group has now adopted a small chihuahua stuffed animal to sit in for absent players. You can use anything though.

3. Personalized or Theme Bunco Score Cards

As I mentioned before you can make your own themed BUNCO cards or buy a template that can be downloaded online (Etsy has some fun ones).  You can also buy books or tablets with pull out sheets.  Those can get a little pricey if you have a large group so I like to use one template sheet and just make copies.  It really doesn’t matter what the theme of the card is as long as the main sections are in place.

4. Make Traditions

This is something that will vary from month to month and where you live, but having a tradition in your group adds a lot of fun to the dynamic.  Some ideas to do this could be with the food served (seasonal around a holiday or celebratory around a birthday).  It could be a special dessert (we have a member who is a master at everything she cooks so having her attend means something yummy and new), or a signature or themed cocktail.  Maybe everyone wears a certain color or accessory to the party.  There’s no wrong or right way to do this.  The bottom line is to create fun. For my group’s party last month I picked up some gummy bears for the candy bowls on the tables. These gummy bears ended up being a big hit and weirdly addicting (they were super light and non-sugary tasting) and now a staple for future parties.  You just never know what’s going to be the next big thing. 

5. Text or Email a Thank You note to the Host 

Just like sending an invitation before the party, the thank you note needs to be equally important on the backside.  Like most protocols around thank you notes the rule of thumb is to send it within 12-24 hours of the event. With the ease of texting and email this is accomplished beautifully with the poppynotes app.  It’s a lot of work to throw a Bunco party and it’s always nice to let the host know you appreciate all that they did.

The most important thing to remember for your Bunco nights is to have fun.


By Kate Pitner
(the ‘poppy’ behind the poppynotes app)

Download the poppynotes app from the Apple App Store today and check out our collection of fabulous and fun Bunco game night designs.  E-greetings made simple & fun.


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