Highly sought-after by parlor game lovers, Keno is more popular than you might imagine. Both Keno enthusiasts and those who are new to the game will enjoy this page where we teach you the rules and best strategies for online Keno.

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What is Keno? | Winning At Keno | How To Play Keno


What Is Keno?

What exactly is Keno? Well, if you've ever been in a live casino, you may have taken a break to eat at a restaurant, bet on some horseracing or sports betting at the casino's sports book betting parlor. While there, you may have seen someone come around offering small pieces of paper, which patrons fill out and return to the Keno runner with a certain amount of money. Once that's done, you will see these patrons watching a board on the wall with rabid interest. This board contains a wide array of numbers, many of which become highlighted once the game begins. These individuals are playing Keno, and now, thanks to the magic of online casinos, you can too.

Winning At Keno

You should know that online Keno is essentially a lottery and luck decides the winner. Keno games are in many ways similar to Bingo, in that you are hoping that one or more of your numbers will be selected. Once you have navigated to the Keno screen from your online casino's main page, you will be presented with a board of 80 numbers. When the game begins, 20of those 80 numbers will be selected by the computer, one at a time. The trick is to make sure the computer selects as many of your numbers as possible.

There are no winning strategy that will teach you how to win at Keno and you should know that the only price you could win for sure is the excitement of playing.

How To Play Keno

Before the number selection begins, you will make your own selections. In most Keno versions, you will get to pick up to a maximum of between ten and 20 spots. The more of your spots that are selected by the computer, the more you win when your spots hit. However, you must also hit more spots to be paid off. For example, if you select only three numbers, you will get some kind of payout if even one of your numbers hits, and a significant payout if all three hit. If you select ten numbers, however, you will get little or nothing for hitting three spots, but an enormous payout for hitting all ten.

These are the basics of Keno. Simply click on as many numbers as you want to play and start. Once all 20 numbers have been picked, you will be paid according to how many of your numbers were selected. You may then play another game with the same numbers, choose new numbers, or quit with your winnings. That's all there is to it. If you can play Bingo or if you have ever played the lottery, you can play online Keno.

Managing Your Bankroll

The first thing you need to understand is the paramount importance of managing your bankroll. The inherently elevated level of chance involved in keno can wipe out a pile of money with devastating speed, especially when a player adopts a reckless betting pace. While online keno is generally kinder to fast-and-loose plan than the brick-and-mortar variety, you will still be well served by taking a measured approach when it comes to placing wagers on any given ticket. For example, you might elect to establish a bankroll of no more or less than $50 and make $1 bets by choosing seven spots per ticket. Under this arrangement, you'd need to hit three spots in order to win your sawbuck back. Obviously, what you really want is for all seven spots to hit. A long shot, certainly, but one that could pay out anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000, depending on the site where you are playing. Some online casinos only allow minimums of $1 tickets and you are allowed to bet 11 spots on a $1 ticket. Under this structure, you'd only need to hit three spots in order to get your dollar back. The payout structure you will find here is a bit less massive, but still respectable. You could pocket a nice $3,000 for hitting all 11 spots.

Managing your bankroll, as you can see, is largely based on the number of spots you choose on a ticket (so much for the elitist theory that there's no strategy involved in keno!). The difference in your potential winnings, not to mention the amount of time you'll be able to play with the same bankroll, will vary wildly depending on how aggressively you wager.

As a general rule of thumb, you should remember that going with anything less than four spots on an online keno ticket will only yield moderate winnings, and this holds true even if you should be fortunate enough to hit all four spots. Say, for instance, you're playing at a casino that enjoys a house edge of about 30percent. Hitting all four spots on $1 ticket will kick you back about $80. Not too shabby, but that is hardly enough to elevate the heart rate of your average gambler. By picking more spots per ticket, you raise your potential payout, but you also raise the risk. This is the thrill of keno.

Game on - good luck!

" Many players who originally enjoyed live casino keno have made the transition to video keno.

Video keno players can play at their own pace rather than having to wait for a keno caller to start the action. Those who enjoy video keno should consider taking the next step to online keno.

Online keno is indistinguishable from video keno and you don't need to do any travelling to get to the game.

Keno Terminology

There is very specific terminology that goes along with keno. You don't need to know this terminology to play, but it establishes a useful way of talking about the game. Each keno game is called a ""race."" The numbers you pick are called ""spots,"" and when one of your numbers hits it is called ""catching a spot."" So if you choose eight spots, you may have to catch at least five to win any money during a given race.

Choosing Your Spots

Your chances of winning are not necessarily better if you pick 15 numbers as opposed to seven. The payout odds are whatever the software is set to and may be different from one keno game to another. The only exception is a single number bet, which is universally the poorest odds bet in keno pretty much anywhere you play.

Setting Limits

Unlike live keno, online games can go very quickly and you can play 10 games or more in about 30 seconds if you choose the same numbers every time or have the computer randomly select the numbers. Be sure to pace yourself and make sure your bankroll is sufficient for the stakes of keno you are playing.




"" Keno is quite possibly the oldest of all the gambling games that you will find at any casino, either online or off. Its roots go back to an ancient Chinese game that started over 3000 years ago. In fact, though the game has changed some since that time, it is quite surprising just how close the modern-day game is to the age-old one.

Three thousand years ago in China, the country was straining under the financial and emotional strain of a very costly war. In the many villages of the extraordinarily large country, the villagers refused to pay for anymore weapons or supplies for the war. A man named Cheung Leung decided he had to raise the money to fight the war, so he made up the game, hoping it would catch on and he could sell tickets to buy the much-needed supplies for the soldiers. His plan worked brilliantly.

The original game that Cheung invented was similar to today's Keno in that it had 80 choices to pick from. The difference is that today we pick from 80 numbers, but back then they picked from 80 characters that were based on a very popular poem called the 1000 Characters poem. It is rumored that the game started with 120 characters, though this, like much of history so old, is unconfirmed. The game was sometimes referred to as the White Pigeon Game, because carrier pigeons were used to send the results from village to village, since roads at the time were scarce or poorly routed.

The game came to the US during the railroad boom in the 1800s. As railroads were being built along the newly-settled West coast of the United States, many Chinese immigrants came to work on them and settle there. In doing so, they brought much of their culture, including Keno. In fact the game was so much a part of the new Chinese-American fabric that it was known as the ""Chinese Lottery"" for years.

Though the casino operators in Las Vegas heard about the popular game in the early 20th century, they actually could not legally begin to offer the game in their city. The reason- gambling was completely legal, but lotteries were not. So some casinos changed the name from ""Chinese Lottery"" to ""Race Horse Keno"", replacing the numbers with race horses. When track betting was banned, they simply changed the name to Keno, and the name has stuck.

If you would like to try a game of Keno we recommend the Spin Palace Casino.

" " The odds in keno are not the most favorable in the casino. However, they are more favorable than the state lottery, which is essentially a larger version of keno. This article will help to know the basic odds of hitting various keno spots in order to know how many spots to play and which casino to choose for keno.

The Odds

If you play a single spot in keno, your odds of hitting are 3-to-1 against. Play two spots and you are about 16-to-1 against to hit.

If you play three spots, your odds of hitting all three are 71-to-1 and of hitting two about 6-to-1. For four spots, you are 325-to-1 against to hit all four and 22-to-1 to hit three.

Hitting five spots out of five is a 1,550-to-1 long shot, four out of five is 81-to-1 and three out of five is 11-to-1. The odds of going six for six are 7,752-to-1, while five out of six is 322-to-1 and four out of six is 34-to-1.

For seven spots, a clean sweep will happen very rarely, at 40,978-to-1, but you are 18-to-1 to get at least four out of the seven. Eight out of eight is 230,114-to-1 against with an 11-to-1 chance of hitting at least four. Chances of hitting all the spots when picking nine or more numbers gets into the astronomical range.

House Edge in Keno

The House edge in keno will depend on the payout odds for each number of spots relative to their true odds. However, the worst edge is almost always for picking one spot, which is usually about a 25 percent edge for the House. Most other numbers of spots fall in the five percent to eight percent range.

You should look at a few different keno sites to see which ones offer the best payout odds for the amount of spots you like to play. This will result in the lowest House edge.

More Keno Tips

Many people like to play a middle amount of numbers, like seven, eight or nine. This allows a chance at a big price depending on the rules, but it can still result in a decent payout if you only catch a few spots.

" " Keno glossary - all important terms used in keno games online.

Aggregate Limit: The total amount of money liability a casino has during any one game of Keno.
Balls: Used in Keno to pick the winning numbers on a given game. They are numbered 1-80.
Bankroll: The amount of money a player has to bet on Keno or any other game.
Bet: Amount of money wagered on a single game of Keno.
Combination Ticket: A Keno ticket that has several different bets on it.
Conditioning: Slang name for the terms and conditions of a particular game variation at a brick and mortar casino.
Draw: Name for the numbers drawn in a single game of Keno.
Free Play: A Keno game that does not include a wager. Many online casino offer this type of game as a ""practice"" or ""demo"" game.
Hit: Occurs when one of your marked numbers comes up in a Keno draw.
House Edge: A mathematical number that represents the number of wagers that the house can expect to win over time. In Keno, the amount is typically 20-30%.
Payoff: The amount of money won by a player who has numbers that hit.
Progressive Jackpot: A large sum of money that can be won by a player if they played the max amount of numbers, and every one of those numbers hit.
Random Number Generator: A program generally used by casinos to randomly pick the winning numbers of a Keno game.
Split Ticket: Ticket that has more than one group of numbers played separately on it.
Ticket: Piece of paper with a player""s selected numbers marked off.
Wager: An amount of money placed on a single game of Keno.
Way Ticket: Keno ticket with multiple bets.

" " Although Keno is a game of chance; it doesn't mean there isn't any strategy involved. Study our keno strategy tips and lower the house advantage as much as possible.

Decide if you want to win a large amount of money once or twice, or small amounts over several games. This will play hugely into your strategy.

If you wish to win bigger amounts, you will want to place a larger bet on a smaller number of games. For instance, if the minimum bet is $1, you may want to place several dollars on a game, that way your payout is much larger if you win. You will also have to pick the max amount of numbers, as this is the only way to get the large jackpot.

If you wish to simply have more playing time and don't necessarily care if you win the huge jackpot, you can pick fewer numbers. Doing so makes it easier for you to hit 100% of your numbers, thus ensuring a payout. However, the amount will be small, as your keno payout is proportional to the number of picks you made. Also, you would bet a smaller amount on each ticket, so that you can play more games. Your bankroll will last a whole lot longer this way.

Realize that numbers in Keno are randomly generated. Therefore, just because a number has not come up for several games, it does not mean that the number will 'hit' the next time out. Technically speaking, a single number could never come up for dozens of games in a row because of the random number generators used at most casinos may simply never pick it.

If your online casino offers free practice games, it is advisable to take advantage of this, as it can help you get a feel for the game and ensure you do not make a mistake in picking your numbers.

Play for fun only. This is good advice for any game of chance. If you play expecting to win, you will be sorely disappointed, as big wins in Keno are rare. Play for fun and without expectations of winning, and you will then be pleasantly surprised if you do win.

Decide on a bankroll and stick to it. Whatever amount of money you decide on, do not spend more than that. If you do, it will likely only lead to further loses.

" " Many people who have spent innumerable pleasant hours playing keno in Las Vegas or other gambling hotspots across the globe have not yet availed themselves of the great keno opportunities awaiting them in cyberspace.

This is an unfortunate, if not entirely unpredictable trend. For a large percentage of avid keno players, much of the pleasure this game affords comes from sitting in a comfy chair ensconced within the glittering, bleeping walls of a brick-and-mortar casino, sipping an adult beverage with an umbrella floating near the rim and looking up at the big keno board as the numbers come and go. How, these folks are apt to wonder, can the experience of playing keno while sitting in front of a computer possibly measure up? The good news is that more people are gradually discovering how much fun online keno really is. However, it's a good idea to understand that the game, and how you should approach it, differs somewhat in the online format.


Game Selection

Choose your online keno game with care, taking special consideration for the size of your bankroll. There is a huge variety found in cyberspace, as relates to the range of bets you can make on a single $1 keno ticket. Obviously, the payout structure varies in accordance with these different tiers, and it can be easy to become so seduced by the possibility of colossal winnings that you don't pay attention to the rate at which you are gambling. Depending on how your luck holds out that day, it could be a very short round of keno indeed.


Pick the Right Spot

Remember to be very judicious when it comes to picking the amount of spots you wager on per keno ticket. This number is in actuality a percentage of the total number of spots on which a given casino will allow you to place a bet. Again, you are sure to encounter a huge range of variants in this respect.

While no fixed rule is bound to serve you well in every situation, you may want to consider choosing an amount of spots that ranges from approximately 50 percent to 75 percent of your ticket's total spot limit. For example, if you are holding a ticket that lets you bet on a total of 10 spots, then five spots would represent 50 percent of the ticket's limit, seven spots would represent 70 percent of the limit, and so forth. Applying the rule of thumb, you would want to choose no less than five spots, and no more than eight spots. Outside of those parameters, both your risk and your potential winnings reach undesirable levels.

Finally, you will always want to select the greatest amount of spots that will not affect an even return. For example, if your ticket allows for 15 fifteen spots, the most productive range of is be anywhere from seven to 11 spots. One added benefit of online keno is that, at most sites, by clicking on the screen's spots you can update the payout scale in real time! This makes your calculations all the easier. So clearly there's no need to wait to start playing online keno, now is there?

" " Online Keno is also sometimes referred to as Video Keno. Either way, it is a fun game for lottery lovers, although the house advantage (which usually hovers around 20%, on average) is very great.

The rules of online Keno are simple and actually much easier than if you played the game at an offline casino, where there can be many confusing rules and variations. The game is usually pretty straightforward at an online casino. Here is how a typical game will play out:

There are 80 numbers to choose from. At an online casino, you will typically be asked to pick anywhere from 2 to 10 numbers (though some go as high as 15 numbers) per game.

Once you have chosen your numbers, you must choose how much to wager. There is usually a $1 minimum bet, though you can certainly bet more. Be careful in how much you bet, as any payout you receive will depend on how much you wagered.

Next, you have to choose how many games to play. Many new players choose to only play the numbers once, but you can play them as many times as you wish, up to the limit for that particular casino. In some cases, you can buy a certain amount of tickets at once and receive a bulk discount.

At this point, you are ready to place your bet and watch as the machine picks which balls win. Though it is rare that all of the numbers you pick will hit, you will still get paid out if only some of your numbers are selected. Each casino has a chart that tells you how much will be paid out to you for a given number of matches.

If you are playing at an offline casino, there are several variations that you can try to make the game a little different and possibly more exciting. You can choose a way ticket that allows you to bet on more than one set of numbers on the same ticket, and multiple times. Though this may make the game slightly more intriguing, it can also be confusing.

If you are offered a discount for using a way ticket, please remember that you only get paid out based on what you paid for each ticket, so financially, there is no advantage to getting a cheaper ticket.


If you played the max amount of numbers allowed, and all of those numbers are chosen, you win whatever jackpot is attached to that particular game. Though this is rare, it is a thrilling experience when it does happen.

Read more about Keno strategy.