Sometimes it can be challenging to find a game that suits the whole family, especially when you’re playing with a mixture of young and elderly or are introducing someone to board games for the first time. This is why Pokeno is a great place to start.
Although you have to be relatively quick thinking, the rules of Pokeno are simple, and the instructions are easy for anyone to understand.
An Overview of Pokeno
Invented in the 1930s, Pokeno is a classic board/card game that mixes elements of Poker with Bingo.
It can be played with 2-13 players and is recommended for players aged 7 and older. It involves a set of game cards and a board of 25 squares.
The game starts with each player being given their own Pokeno board. They are then dealt 20 chips each. The chosen dealer in the group then shuffles the cards before turning over the top card.
After calling out the suit and value on the card, each player uses their chips to cover the suit (if they have it on their board.)
This game is suitable for all ages because it’s easy to learn, the rules are simple, and it’s fast to play with just a ten-minute total game time.
It also requires no expertise or skills. So it’s the perfect game for anyone who isn’t familiar with card or board games or those who don’t want a long, drawn-out game such as Monopoly.
The aim of the game is similar to Bingo. To win the game, the players must cover 5 squares in a row, vertical or horizontal, using their chips.
So now that I’ve briefed you on what the game involves, I will go more in-depth with the rules, instructions, and what you’ll need to play.
What Will You Need to Play?
All you will need to play is the official Pokeno gaming set. It can be found on sites such as Amazon and eBay.
There is also another version of the game, called Pokeno 2, which can be bought as a bundle with the original. Extra cards can also be purchased independently online if you ever need to replace lost or damaged cards.
The set consists of 12 boards with images of a card and 200 chips. You will need to source your own deck of cards, as these aren’t included. Just a standard deck of cards is fine.
Rules And Gameplay
Preparing to Play
Before starting, look at which version of the game you want to play. The rules vary slightly for each version, so you want to ensure that everybody follows the exact instructions.
Select a dealer; this person will deal out the chips, shuffle the deck, and call out the cards to the rest of the players.
Rules For Standard Play
At the start, each player has their own Pokeno board and is dealt 20 chips. After the dealer has shuffled the deck, they will take the top card and turn it over, calling out the value and suit on the card. For example, 8 of spades, or 3 of clubs.
If the players have this card on the board, they cover it with a chip.
The game continues until a player has covered 5 squares in a row on their board. These rows can be vertical or horizontal. When they do this, they must call out Po-Ke-No! To let the other players know they have won. You see now why it is so similar to bingo.
Once someone has matched a row of five and called out, it will then be their turn to be the dealer for the next game, and they also win everyone else’s chips that remain on their boards.
You can keep going with this for as many rounds as you like. At the end of the games, the overall winner is the player that has the most chips.
If anyone finds themselves out of chips at any point during the game, then tough luck. You’re out!
And that’s pretty much it. Unless.
Additional Rules – Rank For Poker
This is where you can make it slightly more complex. Each individual board has poker hands amongst the rows. Each hand is worth a different amount of chips, so if you have completed a row, check how many chips you’ve won according to the point system below.
- Straight Flush – 8 Chips
- Four of a Kind – 7 Chips
- Full House – 6 Chips
- Flush – 5 Chips
- Straight – 4 Chips
- Three of a Kind – 3 Chips
- Two Pairs – 2 Chips
- Single Pair – 1 Chip
Don’t worry, though; this version is only for people who want to play a more advanced game of Pokeno. It can still be great fun by playing it in the traditional way.
How to Win Pokeno?
There are three ways you can win Pokeno, and each one depends on which version of the game you’re playing.
Standard Play: To win a game during a standard game, the winner simply has to get four chips in a row and yell out Po-Ke-No! To let the other players know.
Claiming Chips: If you’re opting for the version of the game where each person who wins takes everybody else’s chips from their boards, then the person with the highest amount of chips at the end of the game is the winner.
The Rank of Poker: Similar to above, to win this version, it’s all about having the most amount of chips at the end of the game.
To Sum Up Pokeno
Overall, Pokeno is a great traditional family game that can be kept simple or mixed up to be slightly more complex for those more experienced players. Whichever way you choose to play, it’s bound to bring the family together and be a talking point of the night.