Introduction to Keno

Keno originated in China, and rumours abound that this fascinating game of chance was used to raise money for the construction of the Great Wall of China. Nowadays, Keno is a wildly popular lottery-style casino game. In fact, it is found at land-based casinos and online casinos the world over. A typical Keno game requires players to select 10 - 15 numbers from a pool of numbers ranging from 1 – 80. There are however certain Keno variants with fewer numbers to choose from. All of the selections in Keno are randomly drawn by what is known as a random number generator (RNG). This randomizes outcomes of numbers to ensure fairness and transparency with every call that is made. Your winnings in Keno are determined by your bet, the number of matching numbers on your Keno card with the called numbers, and the amount of numbers that you actually selected. The house edge in Keno has a wide variance from under 4% to well over 35% depending on your chosen gaming destination.

How to Play Keno

Once you are ready to play Keno, you must buy a Keno card from the online casino, or a regular casino. There are 80 numbers on each Keno card, and you are tasked with selecting several numbers on the Keno ticket. The numbers range from 1 through 80 and you will be required to mark off up to 10 or 15 numbers on your ticket. Once you have selected numbers on your Keno ticket, the random number generator (RNG) at the casino will then begin selecting numbers for that particular round of Keno. Payouts are determined by 2 elements: How many matches you have made with the called numbers on your Keno ticket, and the payout rate at the casino. Take note that there is no standardized payout percentage, or house edge, for Keno games. In some instances, you can play Keno by wagering on the top 40 numbers or the bottom 40 numbers – 1 – 40 for the top, or 41 – 80 for the bottom.

Keno Odds

While there is no generally accepted house edge for Keno games, there are a wide range of Keno odds. Typically, the odds will range from under 4% house edge to 35%, depending on when you play. In Las Vegas, Nevada the house edge ranges between 20% and 35%. It is for this reason that many serious gamblers avoid Keno entirely. However, the enticement of winning a lottery-style Jackpot game proves too hard to resist for many players. Returns can range from 50% – 74%, or 84% - 95%, a gain depending on where you play. There are ways and means to reduce the odds against you, thereby increasing the odds for you. The good news is that the odds of any particular ball coming up in a Keno call are always 1.25%, since there are 80 numbers to choose from. A great way to calculate the odds of winning with Keno is a Keno calculator. Keno calculators allow you to pick anywhere from 1 number all the way up to the maximum selection possible.

This Keno odds calculator shows you precisely what the odds are when there are 80 balls in play, with 20 balls drawn, and 20 spot numbers (matching numbers). Note that the odds of matching 0 balls when you have 20 selections are 843.379 to 1. This means that it is rather unlikely that you will not match any number during any round of Keno. However, the odds of matching at least 1 spot are vastly improved at 86.446 to 1. It is even more likely that you will match at least 3 numbers with odds of 8.008 to 1, or 4 numbers with odds of 4.877 to 1. Notice how the number of ‘spots’ matched with the number of Keno numbers selected diminishes after 5 matches. This is because it becomes more difficult to match all 20 selections. In fact, if you were to match all 20 numbers on a Keno card, the odds of that happening are 3.535 E + 18 to 1. In other words, there is an infinitesimally small percentage likelihood that you would hit all 20 numbers on any individual Keno card. If you were to only pick 5 spot numbers, the odds of matching 5 out of 5 would be 1550.568 to 1. As you can see, the lower your number of spots, the greater your odds of winning.

Winning at Online Keno

It should be known from the get-go that the odds of winning really big amounts in Keno are small. This is because your odds diminish as you attempt to match more numbers on your Keno card. The standard house edge in Keno ranges between 20% and 35%, and this means for every $1 that you wager on the game, you’re going to walk away with $0.65 – $0.80 over the long-term. This is significantly lower than the house edge on games of blackjack, video poker or even slots games. If you think of Keno as a standard lottery game, you get an idea of how it plays out in practical terms:

  • There are 80 numbers on a standard Keno card (1 – 80)
  • Depending on where you play, you are required to choose between 4 and 10 spots per card (sometimes 15 spots)
  • Place your wager per spot – the higher the wager the bigger the payout when you win
  • Check around for the Keno paytable – it may not be advertised because Keno payouts are notoriously low
  • A good way to play is by selecting a progressive Keno Jackpot game

Game Strategy

Mention has been made of 4 Card Keno. While most folks believe that only blackjack and video poker offer players a competitive advantage against the house, there may be a case for Keno to offer the player an advantage too. In fact, short video poker games have odds that are comparable to 4 Card Keno games. Consider that hitting a 7 spot on a 4 Card Keno card offers the same possibility as hitting a Royal Flush in a game of video poker. The difference being that the 7 spot pays out substantially more than a Royal Flush. It should be pointed out that 4 Card Keno offers better odds than 1 Card Keno. By running mathematical calculations on a computer, you can conjure up different spots on Keno cards and potentially win more Jackpots more frequently. However, it should be remembered that complex mathematical charts and calculations may be outside of the purview of everyday players. For the most part, Keno is a game of chance and hit or miss. As such, players should be cautious about paying for Keno strategy guides.

Keno FAQ

  • What is Keno?

Keno is a lottery-style game featuring 80 balls numbered between 1 – 80. 20 balls are randomly drawn with a random number generator (RNG) and displayed on the screen. The player must select between 10 and 15 balls and the more numbers that are successfully matched the greater the payout.

  • Is there any benefit to playing the same Keno numbers or should you change numbers every time you play a new game?

Since Keno is a game of chance, it makes no difference whether you play the same numbers every time or switch it up every new game. It’s entirely up to you. If you believe that you are lucky and this has been proven during your gaming sessions, it may be worth your while to go with your gut instincts.

  • What are the odds of hitting all 20 numbers in a game of Keno?

Apparently the mathematical odds of hitting all 20 Keno numbers is 3.5 quintillion to 1.

  • Are the outcomes of online Keno games completely random?

It depends where you are playing online Keno games. CasinoCruise guarantees safe and fair gaming by using random number generators to ensure the complete randomness of all outcomes of our Keno games.

  • How much can you win playing online Keno?

The statistical probability of winning a huge jackpot in Keno or online Keno is slim to none, however you can win sizable jackpots by hitting several numbers on your Keno cards.

  • Is there an effective strategy to beating the game of Keno?

The truthful answer is no. Keno is a game of chance and anyone who promises you a winning strategy in the game is merely attempting to sell a lie. There is no way to predict the outcomes of a truly random game. Remember, like roulette, every game of Keno is based on chance. Each new game is independent of the previous game and all outcomes are unrelated to one another.

  • What is video Keno?

Video Keno is simply an electronic version of the game, and there should be no difference between the electronic variant and the games you would play in a typical casino.

  • Is Keno a high stakes or low stakes game?

Keno games allow for low minimum wagers and high maximum wagers. Depending on where you play, you can wager from as little as $1 all the way up to several hundred, perhaps even several thousand dollars per game.

Licensing and regulation

Our website is owned and operated by Genesis Global Limited, located in Tower Gate Place, Tal-Qroqq Street, Msida, Msd 1703– Malta. With registered business number C65325, Genesis Global Ltd. is incorporated under the Maltese law, operating under a Class 1 on 4 license number MGA/CL1/1150/2015 (issued August 5th, 2016), licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority as well as by the UK Gambling Commission, with License Number 000-045235-R-324169-003. For players wagering from the UK on our website, you are doing so safely as per the regulations of the UK Gambling Commission. Our game providers include Microgaming, Quickspin, Play'n Go, Evolution and NYX, all of which are regulated by the Government of Curacao. Please remember, gambling can be addictive and it is your individual choice to play responsibly. If you find you’re facing any problems with addiction, please seek help with Gambling Therapy or Gam-Anon.

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