Are you a lottery junky? If so, Keno is the game for you. This game requires you to pick the numbers and then wait and see if they are drawn. If you numbers are drawn, you receive a payout based on a payout table.

You can also develop key strategies to better the odds of winning on this payout table. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know to dive into Keno and win.

What is Keno?

Keno is a game similar to the lottery where you have to pick the numbers, and then a drawing of 20 numbers happen. Most casinos offer a version of Keno in the brick and mortar casino and online. Even some states offer a type of Keno available for the state lottery.

A Keno card, buttons, and a pay table make up a typical online Keno game. Each casino has a different version of Keno, but all have similar elements when playing online. These items are:

• A Keno card which is a big grid labeled with numbers 1-80. Typically, eight rows and ten columns create a divided grid.

• The payout table provides you with the amount you will win based on the number of catches you make.

• A quick pick is used to allow the system to pick your numbers instead of you picking them.

The first step in playing Keno online is to choose your numbers. Frequently, an online casino will allow you to choose up to fifteen numbers, and the minimum is two. Some casinos allow you to play only one number, but the returns are not high. As stated above, you can pick your numbers or ask for a quick pick.

The payout is based on the percentage of the numbers caught. So if you catch 5 out of 5 numbers, you can win 1800 times the amount you bet, but if you catch 5 out of 13 numbers you selected, the payout may only be two times your bet.

A payout table is created once you begin picking your numbers when you are playing online. However, if you are playing in a brick and mortar casino, you have to wait until the game starts to see the payouts. A variety of payout tables are available, but most casinos have what is called a house edge.

A house edge can range from four percent to more than thirty-five percent. In non-slot games like Keno, the house edge is usually around or below five percent.

Most payout tables have two columns which are labeled Hits and Payout. This chart tells you the amount of winnings if you catch a particular amount of numbers. For example, if the table says 10/2000, you will earn 2000 times the original bet if you catch five numbers.

You can increase and decrease the amount you want to bet by clicking arrows next to the bet amount in most online games. If you are playing for real money, the arrows point up and down or left and right. These arrows will be in color, so you can tell that you can click them.

Unlike slots, Keno does not have a spin button because Keno does not involve spinning. It does, however, have a Play 1, Play 5, and a Play 10 button. You choose the number of rounds you wish to play by selecting one of these buttons.

The casino then plays that many rounds in a row. The game begins with numbers being choosing with a ball machine similar to bingo or with an RNG (random number generator).

After choosing the rounds, the real cash online casino will begin to draw at least 20 numbers. The casino will typically check off the number in some fashion on the grid. You will then get paid according to the numbers you have caught.

History of Keno

The history of Keno can be traced back 3,000 years ago to the Han dynasty of China. Cheung Leung is the ruler who created Keno to help raise money to fight a war. During this time, Keno had an educational aspect to it. It contained part of a Chinese poem that would teach you 1000 Chinese characters.

The game only included 250 characters in the beginning but was later reduced to 120 characters to make it easier to play. To play the game, you had to put these characters into groups of eight. You then had to get all eight characters of one group correct to win.

Pigeons were used to carry the results from town to town which made people call the game the ‘Game of the White Pigeon.' Some historians disagree with this version of the origin of the game.

This doubt comes from the meaning of the name. In French, five winning numbers is the definition of the word ‘quine.' Quini means five each in Latin. So some people suggest that Keno began in a French or Latin country.

It is important for you to remember, however, that Keno was hugely popular in China before spreading to other parts of the world. This game raised the funds necessary to build the Great Wall of China.

Again, historians would disagree with this statement because many historical accounts do not mention a lottery system with regards to the Great Wall. Another factor that you should consider is legal gambling was not approved in China until the 1800’s which was well after the wall was built.

The Chinese brought the game to the West when the Transcontinental Railroad was being built. The Chinese would play the game, and when the Westerns realized how easy it was, they started to play also. Many countries had gambling laws that required the game to be played in secret.

While being played in secret, Keno underwent many changes. The first change was to replace the Chinese symbols with numbers so that it could be read easier. The number of characters was also decreased to only 80 instead of the original 120 characters. The name was also changed to Boc Hop Bu and Puck-Apu.

During this time, a rule was created where you had to choose between four and ten numbers and the rule that twenty numbers had to be drawn. Some casinos introduced Keno as Horse Race Keno, but it was still considered technically illegal in many parts of the world.

When gambling began to spread and be legalized, the name was changed back to Keno, and it was that name that stuck with the people around the world.

Today, even China has adopted the underground rules created and uses 80 Chinese characters instead of numbers. Keno is now available in many countries online and in brick and mortar casinos.

When playing Keno online, it does not demand an unusual amount of attention. The tickets for online Keno are also typically cheaper online, and the winnings are higher than in a traditional casino. These two factors have made online Keno a favorite of today's players.

Probabilities/Odds of Playing Keno

The payouts for Keno are based on how many numbers are chosen by the player and how many of those numbers are hit. The number of hits is then multiplied by a portion of your original wager to the pay table’s base rate.

A variety of different payouts is offered at various casinos. Some casinos allow wagers of all 20 numbers, but others only allow 1 through 10, 12, and 15 numbers (spots). The probability of you getting twenty numbers on a twenty spot game is 1 in 3.5 quintillions.

This possibility makes it almost impossible to hit all twenty numbers. However, you would still get some prize money for catching 1, 2, 3, etc. Many times if you catch 17 through 19 numbers, the winnings are the same for catching all 20.

The odds for a 20 spot ticket are:

• 0 hits (1 in 843)
• 1 hits (1 in 86.4)
• 2 hits (1 in 20.1)
• 3 hits (1 in 8.0)
• 4 hits (1 in 4.8)
• 5 hits (1 in 4.2)
• 6 hits (1 in 5.2)
• 7 hits (1 in 8.8)
• 8 hits (1 in 20.0)
• 9 hits (1 in 61.4)
• 10 hits (1 in 253.8)
• 11 hits (1 in 1,423.8)
• 12 hits (1 in 10,968.7)
• 13 hits (1 in 118,084.9)
• 14 hits (1 in 1,821,881.6)
• 15 hits (1 in 41,751,453.9)
• 16 hits (1 in 1,496,372,110.8)
• 17 hits (1 in 90,624,035,964.7)
• 18 hits (1 in 10,512,388,171,906.5)
• 19 hits (1 in 2,946,096,785,176,811.5)
• 20 hits (1 in 3,535,316,142,212,173,800.0)

These probabilities can change dramatically depending on the number of spots chosen on a ticket.

Where Should You Play Keno?

Choosing a casino online that offers you the features you need can be a hassle. However, you can easily pick a casino based on a high payout percentage. The payout percentage is the amount a casino pays on the initial wager.

For example, with a 95% payout rate, a casino would pay you $95 on every $100 you made in your wager. The casino keeps the other five dollars as profit. This percentage is not based on your individual bet because it is taken from hundreds of players who play over many months.

With this in mind, you should choose a casino which offers a high payout rate. Another item to consider when selecting a casino is the bonuses that are available. You should shop around before choosing a premium to make sure you are getting the best one for your gaming needs.

You should also read the terms and conditions when playing online. These terms can help you identify the fine print associated with any deposit bonuses, withdrawal rules, wagering rules, etc. before you commit to an online casino.

Keno Strategies

Keno is a game of chance, and you cannot improve your odds of winning. However, you can use the following strategies to help provide guidance while playing the game online.

Strategy #1: Practice Keno
Before you use real money to play, you should pick an online casino and play a few rounds of free Keno. This practice will help you understand the rules and give you confidence when you play for real money for the first time.

Strategy #2: Look for the Best Bonus Deal
It is important to choose the best casino for you. One of the most important aspects of an online casino is the bonuses. These bonuses can range from free spins to cash to prizes depending on the casino. If you are not sure about the requirements to receive the bonus, look at the terms and conditions of the online casino.

Strategy #3: Consider Your Odds
The first step in playing Keno is to choose a number of spots. The odds are listed above, and it is important to consider these when placing your bet.

Strategy #4: Don’t Waste Energy on Numbers
When choosing numbers, you cannot get upset or bent out of shape. The drawing is purely random and so picking numbers does not affect the outcome. You can pick personal numbers which would include numbers such as birthdays, anniversaries, lucky numbers, or randomly just mark numbers. You can also have the system pick your numbers using Quick Pick.

Tip #5: Consecutive Numbers
Many Keno players believe if you chose consecutive numbers, you are more likely to win. This belief has no scientific data to back it, but if nothing else works, it does not hurt to try it.

This same tip can be said of playing the same numbers all the time. Some Keno players believe you should play the same numbers because they will eventually be drawn.

While technically this can be true, you cannot know how many games must be played before they appear. So, you could play a million games before your numbers are drawn.

While these are fun strategies, you must remember you cannot improve the odds of winning.

Keno Questions

Can I increase my chances of winning?
No, because Keno is a game of pure chance.

What is the legal age to play Keno?
The legal age for gambling can be different for various countries. Online casinos can also set age restrictions.

Is Online Keno Free?
Almost all online casinos offer a form of free Keno. These games do not offer any payout and do not require any real money.

Do you have to pay taxes on Keno winnings?
The amount of taxes required depends on where you live. Some countries do not have taxes for winnings, and other countries do. The important thing to remember about taxes is online casinos typically do not withhold any taxes. If you are lucky enough to win and are required to pay taxes, you must pay them at tax time for your country.

How do I know if an online Keno casino is fair?
Most honest casinos are regulated by the home country’s gambling commission. Licensed casinos have to follow this commission’s regulations and laws to keep the license. These casinos also offer in writing the terms and conditions of their games. These terms can help you determine the fairness of the casino.

Do I need special equipment or software to play Keno online?
Most online casinos can be accessed with a Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, and other mobile devices through an internet connection. Some online casinos may require you to download software.

Keno Glossary

To completely understand Keno, you have to understand the definitions for some commonly used terms. These terms are:

Aggregate Limit: the casino’s total payout liability

All or Nothing: This type of Keno ticket only pays if all numbers are drawn, or none of the numbers are drawn

Ball Game: Plastic balls that represent the numbers in a Keno game

Bankroll: This term is used to describe the amount of money you are prepared to wager and possibly lose.

Bet: The amount wagered in one game

Blank: An unused Keno ticket

Buy-In Tournament: This tournament requires you to pay a fee up front and purchase a certain number of games. You are allowed to keep any winnings from these games.

Catch: This term describes the number you mark on a ticket when it is called or drawn.

Catch-all: This type of Keno game requires you to catch all numbers you mark on your ticket to win.

Catch-zero: This type of Keno game requires you to catch none of the numbers you mark on your ticket to win.

Combination Ticket: This ticket has more than one wager for a Keno game on it.

Computer Ticket: A computer generated Keno ticket.

Conditioning: A wager comes with certain terms when other than straight tickets are played. This word describes those terms.

Deuce: A group of two keno spots

Draw: The draw is the twenty numbers drawn for the game.

Enhanced Payoff: This payoff is greater than an average payoff because a combination of games is played on one ticket instead of multiple tickets.

Exacta: A special payout ticket that is played for two games.

Field: Uncircled group of marked spots

House Edge: Percent casino which is the percent the house can expect to win of all wagers placed over a certain time period.

Random Number Generator: The program on a computer that randomly draws the Keno numbers.

Video Keno: Keno that is played on a computer.

Wager: Money bet on Keno game

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