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How to Play the Pokeno Board Game

How to Play the Pokeno Board Game

Pokeno derives its name from two popular casino games, Poker and Keno. It obviously does contain aspects from both the games, and is suitable for both kids and adults. Learn how to play Pokeno by referring to this Plentifun tutorial.
Vibhav Gaonkar
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As a variation to the original game wherein a player needs to get five squares in vertical, diagonal, or horizontal rows, one could introduce four corners (a player needs to get all four corners occupied by chips), or a full card house (full board) to make the game more fun and lasting.

Pokeno was developed and is marketed by the United States Playing Card Company. The game package consists of 12 game boards with unique card combinations, 200 chips, and a standard deck of 52 cards. As said above, the game combines the probability factor of Keno and some basic elements from Poker. Every board of Pokeno is arranged in a way such that each horizontal or vertical line forms different Poker hands. Since Pokeno boards are so thoughtfully designed, one cannot play unless he/she buys the original game.

Although the standard game resembles the game of Bingo in many aspects, it can also be played by introducing several variations. There are a total of four ways to play this game, each categorized by a different method of scoring.

Take a look at the standard Pokeno game rules and its three additional versions.

Instructions to Play the Pokeno Board Game

The Standard Version

The objective of the game is to obtain five squares in a line, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Distribute the Pokeno boards among all the players, and give each player 20 chips, except to yourself.

You are the host of the game, and would draw cards as you announce each of them aloud.

Shuffle the card deck and place it in front of you.

Pick one card at a time and announce the rank and suit of each aloud. For instance, you must say "Ace of Spades", and not just "Ace" or "Spades". You should be very clear while announcing a card to avoid further confusion.

If players possess the announced card on their board, they must place a chip over it.

Draw and announce cards until one of the players completes the five-in-a-row sequence, and calls out Pokeno. He/she wins and plays as the game host in the next round.


The Poker Version (18+)

Begin the same way as in the previous version; however, in this version, the game waits till all the players have successfully completed the five-in-a-row formation. The player with the highest poker hand wins.

The Blackjack Version (18+)

This is another quick and interesting variation to the original game, which could be played if you know the basic concept of Blackjack (beating the dealer's score to win).

Distribute the Pokeno boards and give all the players a starting amount (chips) to bet.

In this version of the game, the dealer/host plays against the other players keeping his board covered until he/she completes his/her five-square sequence.

If any player fails to acquire the five-in-a-row sequence before the dealer, he loses the round and hands over his on-board chips to the winner (not necessarily the dealer) of the round.

In case a player's poker hands weigh less than the dealer's, they lose; however, if a player's hand is greater than the dealer's and other players, he wins and receives all the chips.

The Roulette Version (18+)

Distribute the Pokeno boards and a certain starting amount (chips) among the players except yourself; you are the host-cum-dealer-cum-banker of the game.

When playing Pokeno like Roulette, each player places his/her bet on a square, which automatically covers other squares in the respective row and column of the Pokeno board.

The banker draws one card at a time to a total of 25 cards, and announces each card aloud.

If the card drawn matches one of the squares in the respective row or column of a player's board, he/she is 'out' and receives a previously determined reward in a certain proportion like 2:1.

In case no player is 'out' at the end of 25 cards, all the bets go to the host/banker, which is you.

Although the standard version is quite easy to understand, you might find the other three a bit tricky in the beginning; however, you would surely get used to them once you've played a couple of rounds. Enjoy!