Keno Rules

How to play Keno Games, Keno Bets & Strategies


Keno Rules

Keno is a game that came to the US from the Far East towards the end of the 1800s. It is a lotto-style game that is enjoyed for its simplicity and also its opportunity to win huge amounts of cash for little outlay.


The game has grown in popularity and is now a game that is commonly found at online casinos, as well as land-based casinos. Keno at an online casino is even simpler than the game offered at a land-based casino. It is important to understand how to play the game in a land-based setting to make sure that you do not miss out on opportunities to win.


When played in a land-based casino, keno can be found in the special keno casino lounges. Players will need to buy a keno ticket from one of the casino desks that sells them. Players can watch out for wins by keeping an eye on the television monitors around the casino that will display the numbers. Keno runners are in charge of collecting tickets and paying out prizes.


When you play online keno, the principles will be the same, but the process is much simpler and faster. Results and payouts are available immediately.


Keno Rules

A keno card offers 80 numbers, from 1-80 and players are required to select at least 4 numbers for a game. You can choose up to 10 numbers in a typical keno game. Keno spots are the numbers that you choose so a game where you choose 5 numbers would be known as a 5 spot game.


When you pick up your keno ticket you will be given a keno crayon to be used to mark your spots on the ticket. You will then need to give your ticket to a keno runner or take it back to the keno desk, along with your bet. You will be given a duplicate keno ticket that you must keep for the end of the game.


When the game plays, a barrel of 80 numbered balls will be used and 20 balls will be drawn out. The results of the game will be displayed throughout the casino on keno boards. If your spots match the randomly drawn numbers, you will win. The more numbers you match, the greater your winnings will be.


Keno Layout


Multi-Race Keno

The simplest way to play keno is to play one race, or one keno game, at a time. All casinos will offer this option, but some may also offer the option of multi-race keno. This allows you to play in a few consecutive keno races at once. It means that you do not need to rush off to check your ticket at the end of each game, but can play a few games in a row.


When you begin your game you need to let the dealer know if it is for the "red keno game" or the "green keno game" or for both. Be aware that each game will have separate balls and separate keno boards, but both games will be played by the same dealers, in the same lounge. It is common for players to bet on both games to reduce the chance of your numbers coming up on the game that you don't bet on and the disappointment of not winning. Of course, the most obvious outcome is that house's take will be increased. From a mathematical point of view, you are at no advantage if you play both games; although some casinos may offer special prizes if you win in both games.


In order to work out your odds of winning on both games, you must multiply the odds for each payout. In other words, if the odds of hitting 4 out of 6 numbers in one game of keno are 0.02854, then the odds of hitting 4 out of 6 numbers in two keno games would be 0.02854 x 0.02854 = 0.0008 (which works out to 1 in 1228).


Strategy in Keno

Keno is a random game where past numbers have no bearing on future numbers. This means that using strategies will not affect the outcome of your game or improve your chances of winning in any way. That being said, there are a number of keno strategies that exist and many players insist on playing according to the strategies. If nothing else, they can offer you a systematic way of playing and a bit of fun at the same time.


"Playing the old man" is a strategy that is also used in roulette and can be applied to keno. It suggests that you keep betting on the numbers that have been coming up more often with the theory that they will continue coming up. Some people go the opposite way and "let the old man chase you." This suggests that you choose numbers that have not come up recently with the assumption that over the long-term, the number of times each number comes up will even out and so numbers that have not come up in a long time will be due to start coming up again soon.


In truth, these realities have no bearing on which balls will come up. If ball 20 has not come up in the past 15 keno games, it is just as likely to come up in the next game as not. The balls are drawn randomly and just because one number has not been drawn in a long time, does not mean it will be jumping up to be the first ball drawn this time. In the same vain, if a number has been coming up often, it may come up again, but it also may not.


Some people are very careful to spread their numbers across the whole keno card. Keno cards are made up of two sections – an upper section and a lower section. These players will make sure that the number are evenly spread out with the assumption that in a typical game an equal amount of numbers will be called from the top half as the bottom half. It is true that in general, the numbers are relatively spread out, but this is certainly not a rule. The numbers are not interested in how the keno card looks and the fact that they are random means that the numbers could all fall in one section in any one game.


Some people look around the casino for discarded keno cards in the hopes that if that card was not successful in a previous game, it is more likely to be successful in the current game. Quite convincing is to pick up a discarded keno card from a person who was sitting next to you and left, give it to the dealer and tell him to "play it again." In reality, a losing card may just be a loser again.


Keno Bets

The bet sizes on a game of keno vary between casinos, but can be as low as 10 cents or even 5 cents. On the other hand, $1 bets may be the lowest denomination available at some casinos. You can find information about the bets that you can place with the keno brochures for the house. These will also explain the different types of tickets available and the payouts you can expect.


You can choose to play many keno tickets at one time to increase your chances of winning. Payouts will be dependent on the house, the type of keno ticket you are playing and how many numbers you hit. Keno is attractive for the odds it offers when you hit a high amount of numbers with some casinos offering the possibility of walking away with up to $100,000 off a $1 bet.


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