Girls Night In: Pokeno

by Nicole Hempeck on April 10, 2021

Quality time with girlfriends is a must, but when you become a parent those times become fewer and farther between. It becomes very easy to come up reasons why we can’t make time for a dinner out or an evening movie with a friend. It’s your week for carpool or your husband is deployed or you are just plain exhausted, and that makes sense - but when you do make it out, how often do you tell yourself, “I need to do this more often!” Or “Why didn’t we make this happen sooner?!”

It’s because we all need that time where we focus on us, where we focus on our relationships with our peers, with those who can relate to our interests, to the place and time that we are experiencing in our lives and with whom we can just let our hair down with and stop being “Mom,” if only for a few hours.

That’s where a regular “Girls Night In” commitment comes in. Here on Modern Home, Modern Baby, I’m going to be featuring regular ideas for Girls Night In to help you accomplish your goal of reconnecting with your friends - so be sure to check back for those fresh ideas.

Whether you commit to getting your ladies together for these events once a week, once a month or once every three months, I promise you, you’ll be glad that you did and you’ll be refreshed and ready to tackle the responsibilities that are waiting for you at home.

On to the first idea for a regular Girls Night In:


What It Is:  A Bingo Game, but with cards.

How It Works:

Like anything else, there are slight variations to this game. But here’s how our group plays. We have a group of about 10 regular ladies that meet each month and we have 2 regular sub openings to total 12 ladies each month. We rotate homes and take turns hosting each month, each host provides the 2 subs to get the 12 spots filled.

Each person brings $5 and one small gift. The gifts can be themed or random. Our dollar limit for the gift is $20, but you can set that at your preference. Sometimes we dress up and put on our sparkle heels and cocktail dresses to make it a little more fun, other times we have a pajama themed get together, which is part of what makes it so fun.

The host provides the dinner for their month as well as dessert. Each person attending brings what they want to drink - usually their wine of choice! We arrive about 7 p.m., pop open the wine, chat and eat.

The game starts at about 8 p.m. where we go through 12 rounds of “Bingo” with playing cards. The set that you buy comes with traditional playing cards that you call out and then a set of “bingo” type cards that have randomized playing cards featured.

If someone gets a line of cards - horizontal, vertical or diagonal they call out “Pokeno” in lieu of the normal “Bingo!” They can also win with four corners. They do a check with the caller and if they are in fact a winner, they pick up a prize. The caller is the person who won the previous round. Once all of the prizes are gone from that first round of 12 games, we take a break and have dessert.

We then begin a second round of 12 games where gifts are stolen. This is where the game gets interesting…and the claws do sometimes come out. Many of the ladies take pride in the gifts they buy simply because they want them to be fought over. It’s pretty comical.

A gift can only be stolen twice. Once it’s stolen the second time, it is frozen and that person gets to take it home.

The 12th round in the second half of the evening is the blackout round - that’s the money round. You would be amazed at how quiet everyone gets. The rule is, no repeating of the card calling, so if you miss it, too bad. It’s a cut throat round folks! Whoever fills their cards with their chips first, wins the pot of money. If you have a full table of 12 ladies, that person is going home with $60! Not too shabby for a Girls Night In!

Why You’ll Love It:

It’s a mindless game that requires no real technique to win, you can sip wine, win fun prizes, have conversation, enjoy a little friendly competition with gift stealing and maybe win a little bit of money at the end of the night! It’s been a sanity saver for me over the past year and I highly recommend it. Commit to this fun game once a month with a group of ladies and you will no doubt have a fantastic night out/in to look forward to.

You can find the game set on Have fun and I’ll see you next time with another girls night in idea!


Images: Polyvore & Amazon

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