Keno is a widely popular lottery-style game. Practically every casino offers it, whether online or land-based. The game was invented in China in the 19th century and became a top casino game over the years despite its relatively poor player odds.
In this guide, we’re going to provide you with the ultimate rundown of keno. I will look at everything, from rules and odds to strategies and tips, as well as where and how you can play the game online.
The primary reason why anyone should give keno a go is the potential winnings. With a ticket as cheap as $2, you could potentially win up to $5,000,000, depending on where you play. Minimal investment is required for a chance to win a life-changing amount of money. At this point, you probably understand why I called it a lottery-style game earlier.
Another big reason for the game’s enduring popularity is the fact that it requires no skill on behalf of the player. There are no strategies to memorize or complicated rules to learn. The game is based entirely on luck and doesn’t try to hide that fact.
We all like to just relax from time to time and not be required to think and strategize. Keno is perfect for those moments when you want to unwind and see if Lady Luck will smile on you.
Although the game itself is quite simple, keno offers a high level of flexibility in terms of gameplay. This means you can aim for a higher chance of winning per round, which would decrease your potential jackpot. Or go another route and aim for a higher payout with a lower likelihood of winning.
The gameplay options do not end there. If you’re playing online, you can choose whether to play live keno or video keno. The main difference between the two is the game speed.
In live keno, it takes about 5–10 minutes for each round to play out, while in video keno you could play more than 15 rounds per minute.
Rules and Gameplay
To play the game of keno, you must pick a set of numbers between 1 and 80. In each round, 20 numbers will be randomly drawn. As you might have guessed, if the drawn numbers match those you selected, you win. It’s as simple as that. The amount of your payout is determined by how many numbers you picked and how many you got right.
You don’t have to match all 20 numbers to win the jackpot. This would be quite a ridiculous requirement since the chance of getting it right is less than 1 in 3 quintillions. No, that’s not a number we just made up, it exists, and it has 18 zeros.
Jackpots are, in fact, usually awarded for 9- or 10-number tickets on which all numbers were hit. People tend to play anywhere between three and nine numbers, depending on their strategy.
What to Look for in a Keno Site
The first thing you’ll want to make sure of, as with any other online casino game, is that the website you choose to play on is reputable and well-established. I have a dedicated page for Keno Casinos for your convience.
Most online casinos are fair and legitimate, but there are always a few that make the rest look bad. The best way to confirm that a casino is reliable is by making sure it has a license from a trustworthy gaming authority.
Customer service and varied banking options are other areas you should look into — the more ways you have to contact a casino’s customer support team, the better. Many sites offer live chat options, and you should focus on these, in our opinion. Some even tell you how long it will take them to provide you with a response.
If you already have a preference in terms of deposit and withdrawal methods, look for casinos that offer them. If none of them do, look at other available options and consider changing your preferred method. Some casinos may process your withdrawal requests faster but have higher fees, and vice versa.
When it comes to keno specifically, you should check the game’s payouts as they can vary significantly from one casino to another.
In case there’s a specific variation of keno you like playing, you’ll want to make sure that the casino offers it. If you’re just starting to play keno, you may not know much about different variations, so we’ll talk more about those below.
In the most basic terms, there are two ways to play the game of keno — video and live. Aside from the round duration I mentioned earlier, both variants offer their own set of pros and cons.
It is mostly a matter of personal preference, and it might be a good idea to try both versions before making a decision. I will now go into a bit more detail about both versions to give you an idea of what to expect.
You can play live keno in a land-based casino or a keno lounge, but it is also available in online casinos. In terms of structure and pace, live keno is similar to bingo. You use a keno card to select your numbers and place your bet. You can make several selections on the same card.
Typically, live keno offers higher jackpots, so if you’re hoping to win millions of dollars, this is the way to go. Keep in mind that a live round lasts between 5 and 10 minutes in most casinos.
As I stated earlier, the primary difference between the two game types is the pace. Video keno functions a lot more like a slot machine, and a random number generator determines the results, rather than a machine from which the numbered balls are drawn.
Video keno usually offers a higher payout percentage compared to live keno, meaning that the house advantage is lower in this version of the game. However, you can lose your money a lot faster simply because you will be playing a significantly higher number of hands at the same time.
Systems and Strategies
Keno isn’t a game for the strategic thinker in you. As I explained at the beginning of this guide, no matter what you do, you can’t influence the odds. Numbers are drawn randomly and every number has an equal chance of being drawn at any given moment.
Some people choose to stick to their “lucky numbers,” while others decide to change things up in every round. It is all a matter of personal preference, and if you think you can affect your chance of winning in any way, it might be time to take a break.
All in all, online keno can be a fun experience. Whether you choose to play the video or live version, it can be a welcome change and a beak from the games you’re already used to. Just make sure you’re playing in a reputable and reliable casino and gamble responsibly.
Kevin was raised on sports since a young teen and following a (fortunate) injury pursued new hobbies in table games such as Blackjack and Poker. Since 2009 Kevin has been writing for casino sites for various big names in the industry and CasinoSites.us is but one of his latest passion projects.