A 5-Minute Guide to Keno

Keno is a simple, rewarding and exciting game; learn how to get started with this simple guide that covers all you need to know.

Why Players Love Keno

Thanks to the evolution of internet technology, you'll find plenty of Keno gambling games at online casinos. One of the major factors that make the game so enticing is that you don't have to wait for the next draw to discover the results. Online Keno allows players to see these instantly at the end of the game. Though the gameplay of online Keno is very simple in itself, there’s still a fair amount to learn if you want to become a Keno ninja. The information below is designed to get you up to speed as quickly as possible about the ins and outs of this simple game. Whether you're a brand new player or an experienced one who's looking for some tips and tricks, then we have all the information you need to help you be more successful.

Keno Offers Some Huge Prizes

The first thing to note is that Keno offers astronomical prizes, especially when you consider the cost of a ticket. Some Keno jackpots go up to $5 million and can be won with a single $2 ticket. Now you're beginning to see why Keno is so popular with so many players. For such a tiny investment, it’s possible to see a huge return. Part of the reason for this is that Keno is a lottery-style game, with the payouts being structured in a similar manner.

Zero Skill Required

Another reason the game has remained so popular is that Keno requires no skill to play. There are no difficult rules to learn or strategies to memorize. It’s a game based solely upon chance. This can be an attractive quality for those who don’t want to have to think, but rather prefer to relax and see how their luck unfolds as the game progresses.

There is a considerable difference between playing in person Live Keno or online Video Keno. These two options give the player the possibility to play either a fast or a slow game. For example, Video Keno can be played at around 16 to 19 rounds per minute. However, Live Keno plays one round every 5 to 10 minutes. As you can see, these numbers can have a significant influence on how quickly your bankroll is depleted.

Keno Game Rules

Just like the lottery, Keno is played by choosing a set of numbers between 1 and 80. Following on from this, 20 numbers will be drawn. Now if the numbers drawn match the numbers you selected, then you win. It's really that simple! Your payout will be determined by the amount of correct numbers you picked.

To win a jackpot there's no need to match all 20 numbers. To be honest, this is practically impossible as the odds are a staggering 1 in 3,535,316,142,212,174,336! Also, keep in mind that a jackpot is usually awarded for a 9 or 10-number ticket in which all the numbers are successful. Yet the average player normally plays between 3 to 9 numbers.

Keno Odds Table

The chart below illustrates the odds associated with every range of Keno numbers and the potential payout in a typical game (be sure to always check the payouts for the game you are playing, as they may be different):

Number Picked

Winnings (for $1 Ticket)




1 in 4



1 in 17



1 in 73



1 in 327



1 in 1,551



1 in 7,753



1 in 40,980



1 in 230,115



1 in 1,380,688



1 in 8,911,712


Online Keno Variations

They are three ways to play Keno: Video Keno, Live Keno and Mobile Keno. Each one of these variations will have its own pros and cons. Having said that, your choice of Keno is very much dependent on your own personal preferences.

Video Keno

The first thing you’ll notice when you start playing video Keno it's just how fast the game is. In fact, when it comes to speed, we can compare it to slot machines. Just like the slots, the results are determined by a Random Number Generator. There are many different types of Video Keno to choose from. There are games with different themes, similar to online slots, and some video keno games allow you to play multiple cards simultaneously.

Live Dealer Keno

If you're playing at a land-based casino, then head over to the Keno Lounge to try your luck. Conversely, for those playing online, head over to the Live Dealer Games. In truth, Live Dealer Keno is quite similar to bingo in both the structure of the game and the speed at which it’s played. You simply make a number selection on your Keno card, then place a wager. It's perfectly feasible to make several bets on a single Keno card. New Keno rounds start every 10 to 15 minutes.

Types of Bets Available

Straight Tickets

If you've chosen a specific amount of numbers, this is a Straight Bet. In order to win, either all of them or some of them will need to come up. With a Straight Bet ticket, there’s only one selection of numbers.

Way Tickets

There can be several different selections of numbers with a Way Ticket. That's because you are allowed to choose different groupings and different number amounts. For example, it's possible to have a group of 4 numbers, a different group of 4 numbers, and then form a group from all 8 of these numbers. In fact, there's no limit on the number of selections you can make. There’s a popular bet which is a 190-way ticket. In other words, this ticket has 190 different ways to win.

King Number Tickets

The King Number refers to a single number that will be added to all your other groupings of numbers. This number will also play as 1- spot by itself. Let's suppose you have a ticket with two 3-spot bets. By adding a King Number, you make this a 4-spot, plus the extra 1-spot bet which is solely the King Number itself.

Split Tickets

A combination of more than one Straight Bet is called a Split Ticket and it plays and pays in exactly the same manner as if you have marked a Straight Bet on two separate tickets. In truth, there's no special advantage to placing all your bets on a single ticket. Many Keno players feel that it's actually a disadvantage to play a Split Ticket. That's because you can't pick the same numbers twice. This means each ticket must be completely different.

Combination Tickets

Just as it says in the name, this ticket features combinations of several different grouping types. For example, you could choose Straight Bets or King Bets, with all of them combined on a single ticket. Keep in mind though, that you'll be paying for each combination separately.

Progressive Jackpot Games

With Keno being a lottery-style game, then it's no surprise that there are lottery-sized jackpots, especially if you're playing a progressive payout game. Many Keno games offer these ginormous prizes. It's important to read the rules before you start to play, as these can differ considerably from game to game.

Different Betting Systems and Strategies

Because Keno relies on luck, there are no winning strategies to employ. In other words, nothing is going to have an effect on your odds of winning. All the numbers are drawn at random, meaning that every number has an equal chance of being picked. How you play is entirely up to you. You will find an equal number of players who change their numbers with every round. Whilst others continue playing with the same number group. You may also come across players who believe that clustering number picks together will increase their odds of winning. There's no mathematics to back this up and it all comes down to personal preference.

Understand the Odds and Play for Longer

If you examine the odds table above, you will notice that there's a huge drop in the probability of hitting all 5 numbers when compared to hitting all 4. That's because the 5 number is exponentially larger than the 4. You can look at this as some sort of tipping point, which is why many players only pick 4 numbers. In spite of the fact that the prize for a $1 ticket is just $50, the probability of hitting a 4 number is going to be much better than had you picked 5.

At the end of the day, there is no correct way to play Keno that's going to bring you closer to the winning jackpot. We suggest that you keep an eye on your bankroll, and bet modestly as you play. This will allow you to play for longer and thereby increase your chances of winning, but more importantly, allow you more time to have fun.



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