Pokio app review (Updated 2023): Licensed, regulated Real Money mobile gaming

Update: As of June 1, 2023 the Pokio App has ceased its operations

We live during an era in which more and more poker players are turning to mobile apps to scratch their itch to play. As such, the question of what distinguishes one poker app from another is bound to come up. For a poker app to stand out from the competition it has to offer something unique, and that uniqueness is something certainly delivered by Pokio.


The Pokio app was originally developed by a Chinese company called Qufan Internet Technology Ltd. The company’s Chief Executive and his team are based in Malta and the app is regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Right there, then, is its critical distinguishing factor: Pokio is the first ever regulated app via which you can play poker for real money.

The aforementioned Chief Executive is Manuel Lopes. In order to obtain approval from the MGA regulators, Lopes led his team through a turbulent few months, which included an independent audit. The efforts, however, have paid off, as the Pokio app – first launched in December 2018 – is operational in all jurisdictions where a license is either held or not required.

Poker Game Selection

The second primary area in which the Pokio app distinguishes itself is through offering a wider-then-usual slate of poker variants across both cash game and tournament formats. These include:

Cash games

  • No Limit Hold Em
  • Pot Limit Omaha
  • 5 Card Pot Limit Omaha
  • Pineapple Open Faced Chinese (OFC)
  • Drawmaha (Pot Limit Sviten Special)
Pokio cash game lobby

Pokio cash game lobby

Tournaments and Sit N’ Gos

  • No Limit Hold Em
  • Pot Limit Omaha
Pokio MTT lobby

Pokio MTT lobby

Of note, as far as tournament offerings, Pokio gives you three selections to choose from: sit n’ gos, multi-table tournaments (MTTs), and progressive knockouts (bounty MTTs).

While the terms “poker” and “Texas Hold’em” are synonymous to many people in mainstream society, anyone with a more-than-cursory familiarity with poker understands that there are numerous variants of the game. Sure, Hold’em will always be the most popular variant, but having multiple variants available to play is always a competitive advantage.

Drawmaha | Sviten Special

One poker variant completely unique to the Pokio app is Drawmaha (a.k.a., Sviten Special).

With drawmaha being a longtime favorite of home game aficionados and mixed game enthusiasts, it’s a true pleasure to see innovation of this sort from a poker app catering to the desires of true recreational players.

Thus, with plenty to offer besides “plain old boring NLHE”, the Pokio app is a cut above the rest in my book.

Other features of the Pokio app include, but are not limited to:

  • All-in insurance
  • Running it twice or three times
  • High hand jackpots (for NLHE and PLO cash games)
  • Pre-programming customizable bet sizes
  • Social features (e.g., animations, avatars, throwing tomatoes at other players)
  • Real-time, in-app customer support
Pokio customisable bet sizes

Pre-program your own customizable bet sizes

Pokio high hand jackpot

Pokio high hand jackpot

Pokio run it twice

Pokio’s run it twice option

Pokio’s Clubs and Circles

Pokio was developed as a social poker app, which makes it perfectly suited to home game players. Each player who joins Pokio has to join a club to access any action. The clubs themselves are part of circles, which set up games for all the players in the clubs that are members of the circle to join.

With a relatively large player pool, there’s always some action running on Pokio. For instance, on a random Monday afternoon I noticed 12 cash game tables running with a good selection of game types and stakes.

Pokio OFC table

Pokio OFC table

Further to the concept of being a social club, you can join the Pokio app’s Facebook group, where you can ask questions directly to club owners and interact with your fellow players.

Payment Methods

The Pokio app offers numerous widely used payment methods via which you can make deposits and withdrawals, including:

  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • MuchBetter
  • Paysafe card
  • and more

Deposits are almost instant, while withdrawals are processed smoothly and almost always within 24 hours.


Each club’s owners run their own promotions. These can include freeroll tournaments, leaderboards, and bonuses for high volume cash game play.

All Pokio club owners all have extensive poker backgrounds and have an interest in helping to promote and grow the game of poker. Some better known club owners include:

  • Chris Cullen (Internationally known poker room manager)
  • Andreas Høivold (Norwegian poker pro)
  • Ivonne Montealegre (Founder, Malta Poker Festival)


List of Forbidden Jurisdictions

As mentioned earlier, you can play on the Pokio app from all jurisdictions where a license is either held or not required. As such, you cannot use the Pokio app for real money poker play if you are physically located in any of the jurisdictions listed below. Rest assured that as more jurisdictions allow for poker play on the Pokio app, we will keep this list updated.

American Samoa Guyana Palau
Australia Hong Kong Pitcairn Islands
Belgium Hungary Portugal
Bouvet Island Isle of Man Puerto Rico
British Virgin Islands Italy Qatar
Bulgaria Japan Romania
China Jersey Saint Barthelemy
Christmas Island Keeling Islands Saint Martin
Columbia Latvia Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Cook Islands Lithuania Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Croatia Macau Saudi Arabia
Czech Republic Martinique Spain
Denmark Monaco Syria
Estonia Mongolia Tokelau
Falkland Islands Montserrat Turks and Caicos Islands
Faroe Islands Nepal United Arab Emirates
France Netherlands United Kingdom
French Guiana Netherlands Antilles United States
French Polynesia New Caledonia U.S. Virgin Islands
Greece Norfolk Island Vanuatu
Guadeloupe Northern Mariana Islands Vatican City
Guernsey North Korea Wallis and Futuna