Poker + Keno = Pokeno

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:

Add together two of America's favorite gambling games, poker and keno, and you get the suddenly red-hot game of pokeno.  Original publication date December 7, 2009.


And just what is pokeno?

It's a game that combines the popular casino games of poker and keno, although in all actuality, the game is most like bingo.

Pokeno is not new, but like anything else poker-related, it's experiencing a boom in popularity.

So how is it played?

Any number can play.

Players each get a pokeno card, similar to a bingo card, consisting of 25 squares (five rows each with five squares).

Unlike bingo, however, where numbers from 1 to 80 are printed in the squares, pokeno cards have little pictures of the 52 cards in a standard deck of cards.

And also unlike bingo, where balls numbered 1 to 80 are blown out of a chamber and the ball numbers are matched with the numbers on the players' bingo cards, in pokeno a deck of cards is flipped over one by one and the cards are matched with the playing cards on the players' pokeno cards.

But, as in bingo, the most common form of pokeno has the first player getting five squares in a row, either horizontally, vertically or diagonnally, winning the game.

And also as in bingo, there are game variations, such as the winner being the first player to form the letter T on his pokeno card, or an X, or to cover all four corners or all 25 squares on the card.

An extra twist to pokeno which in not available in bingo is that pokeno can also ibe played like draw poker.

For example, instead of simply declaring the first player to cover five squares in a row the winner, players wait until everyone has five squares in a row covered and then the player with the best five-card poker hand, based on the covered squares on his pokeno card, wins.

In another variation, players hide the covered squares on their pokeno cards from each other and bet with each other on the hands formed by the covered squares.

Players use real money and check, fold, call and raise, just as in real poker.

(Pokeno cards are available at various Internet sites that sell gambling supplies, just do a search for "pokeno.")

Despite its rising popularity, don't expect to see pokeno played on television any time soon.

Although it's fun to play, as bingo is, it's not much fun to watch others play, just as bingo isn't much fun watching others play.

In other words, pokeno ain't poker.

But it's close.

Tom Somach

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