Rules and Strategy

The Rules of Keno

keno rules

Keno is a lottery game of Chinese origin. It became known in the United States of America in the 19th Century when Chinese immigrants established themselves in the country. It’s a very easy game to play but quite a difficult one to win because the odds against winning the jackpot are so high. Keno is the ideal game to play in-between rounds of other casino games. Each round of keno is called a race and there can be a long time in-between ‘races’. Some casinos offer one round after the next continuously so there’s no need to wait.

How to play keno

The general game of keno is fairly straight forward. There are 80 possible numbers of which 20 will be drawn. All you have to do is choose 1-10 numbers that you think will be drawn during the game and mark them on a ticket. You pay your wager as you hand in your ticket and then you wait for the draw and see if any of your numbers came out. You can only compete for the main jackpot if you choose 10 numbers. This style of play is very similar to a national lottery game. When you play keno online it’s not much different. Instead of filling out a ticket you simply select the numbers you wish to bet on and place your bet value via the games interface.

Bets and pay-outs

The minimum price per bet depends on the casino you play at but it’s usually set at around $1. If you play online or via a keno machine you can see what the payout tables are on the screen. It will always vary based on the quantity of numbers that you’ve chosen. For example if you’ve chosen 4 numbers in total then you only need to hit 2 of those numbers to win and if for example you’ve chosen 10 numbers in total then you only need 5 to win and so on. The bigger the amount of numbers selected then the bigger the payout.

Keep in mind that one of the main drawbacks of keno is that the percentage levied on wins sits at around 30% which is huge. It’s not the most profitable game in terms of being able to pile up small wins but if you do hit the jackpot then that’s when keno becomes the most attractive.

Machines designed for keno

In some casinos it’s possible to play at specially designed machines dedicated to keno. The advantage of this type of machine is that it allows players to avoid having to wait for specific rounds to finish or start up again to play. With this type of machine there is no need for a keno ticket because it works much the same as online keno in that you select your numbers via the screen. In this format keno becomes what’s known as an ‘instant game’.

Where to play keno

At a land based casino, keno is played in specially designated rooms. Once you’ve paid to play you then have access to the main keno room. In here the results of each round are displayed on large screens. There is usually a system of ‘couriers’ in place to take your tickets and bring you your winnings. It’s therefore really important to keep track of your games at a land based casino. At an online casino things operate pretty much automatically in that the computer will automatically pay out on any wins and it’s able to auto recognise what you have compared to the draw.

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So now you’re up to speed with the rules of keno, are you itching to play? Check out another of our keno articles for more info on this classic casino game: