How to Play Po Ke No

The game of Po-Ke-No is one that is a combination of two other well-known games. These two games are poker and Keno. By combining these two games together the result is a game that resembles quite closely to bingo.


  1. 1
    Label money holding containers (pots). Po-Ke-No is a game in which players play for money. In order to be organized and have the game run smoothly it is necessary to label these containers, also known as pots. It is possible to play the game without these containers but it is not recommended. This is because as the game progresses players will begin to add money to each pile respectively and it may be difficult to distinguish one pot from the next. There are several different labels that can be placed on each pot, but there are usually four standard pot labels that are typically used by players universally. The labels for the pots are Corners, Centers, Five in a Row, & Four of a Kind.
    • Centers is for when a player covers the center space on their game board.
    • Corners is for when a player covers the four corners of their game board.
    • Five in a Row is when a player covers five in a row across their game board. This can either be diagonally, horizontally, or vertically.
    • Four of a kind is for when a player has four of the same denomination, such as 4 Jacks.
  2. 2
    Determine who the dealer will be. The dealer will be the person who shuffles the cards and draws the cards from the deck.
  3. 3
    Select a game board. All game boards, mathematically speaking, have the same chance of winning any of the pots. (Although it should be said, some vets of the game find some game boards “luckier” than others.)
    • At the time of selecting game boards, if there are any game boards left over after everyone, except the dealer, has selected one, the dealer may then select a board themselves and participate along with the other players.
  4. 4
    Determine how much each pot will be worth. Each pot can have its own individual value or there can be a uniform value for all of the pots. Pots can range from 1 cent on up. Typically pots are worth no more than 25 cents, as this makes the game more fun. This is because the lower each pot is worth the longer the game can go on.
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    Add money to each pot.
  6. 6
    Have the dealer begin drawing cards. The dealer is to draw cards, one at a time, from the top of the deck. As the dealer draws cards, if the card matches one of the spaces on a player’s game board they are to cover it with one of the poker chips. This process of the dealer drawing cards and players covering the corresponding spaces on their game board continues until one of the players’ game boards meets the requirements needed to win one of the pots.
    • Centers
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    • Corners
      Image titled Corners
    • Five in a Row (Diagonal)
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    • Five in a Row (Horizontal)
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    • Five in a Row (Vertical)
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    • Four of a Kind
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  7. 7
    Yell “Po-Ke-No!”.
    • When a player yells “Po-Ke-No!” this is a signal to the rest of the players that they believe they have won one of the aforementioned pots
    • Before the player can claim the money that is in the pot, it is necessary to go back through the cards that have been drawn and to cross check them with the spaces the winner has covered.
  8. 8
    Change dealers (and game boards as necessary). After the winner of the previous round has claimed their prize, they will then become the dealer for the next round.
    • It is not required that a person change their game board after initially selecting one at the start of the game, but they may choose to do so if they want.
  9. 9
    Repeat steps 5 through 9 until completion of game. The game can go on as long as all the players have money and a desire to play. In the event that all players involved decide to end the game, it can end at that time. Players can count how much money they have at the end of the game and subtract how much they started with to determine who the overall winner was.
    • In the event that the players want to end the game but still have money in the pots they can do one of two things. They can either divide the money remaining money in the pots evenly amongst themselves or play one final round known as “cover-all.” In the “cover-all” round, all remaining pots are combined and game continues until one player has covered their entire game board.
      Image titled Coverall


  • Despite the game of Po-Ke-No resembling bingo quite heavily there are a couple of key differences that distinguish Po-Ke-No from bingo. In Bingo, random numbers are drawn and if they match the number on a players card the players marks his or her game board accordingly. In Po-Ke-No however, this is not the case. In Po-Ke-No instead of a random number being drawn, a person, known as a dealer, employs use of a standard deck of 52 cards, jokers not included. The dealer draws cards from the deck and if the card corresponds with a space on a player’s game board they cover that space.
  • The game board is another difference between bingo and Po-Ke-No. In bingo, the word ‘bingo’ is spelled out across the top of the board with five rows and five columns of numbers under the spelled out word. In Po-Ke-No, however, this is not the case. In Po-Ke-No, the board is covered completely with illustrations of cards that you would find in a standard deck of cards. The Po-Ke-No game board has five spaces vertical and five space horizontal, giving a grand total of 25 spaces.
  • Po-Ke-No is a game that is fun for hours on end. It is recommended for ages 7 and up.
  • The fun with this game is that it can change with each time you play it. It can change with the amount of money each pot is worth or what it takes for each pot to be won. Some other labels for pots include Straight Flush, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pairs, and One Pair.

Things You'll Need

  • A standard deck of cards (52 cards, 2 jokers not included)
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  • A game board for each player
    game board
  • At least four cups (or anything else that can be labeled and used as a container for money that will be used during gameplay)
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  • Poker chips
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  • Money (amounts may vary from game to game, see explanation about money in step 5.)
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Article Info

Categories: Card Games