Keno is an ancient lottery game that has been around, in basically the same form, since it was used in Ancient China to fund the Great Wall, if legend is to be believed. It changed slightly when it made the leap to the Western world in the 19th century, in both its name, which changed from Pakapoo to Keno in Western countries, and its use of numbers rather than mandarin or cantonese symbols. Beyond that it has been played basically the same way for hundreds of years.
How Keno is Played
Which makes sense as there is very little that needs “fixing” about Keno’s gameplay. Like other lotto games, it’s about picking a group of numbers and the more those numbers match the combination of numbers that are drawn in the lottery, the higher the winnings. But it comes with its unique twist in that not only do players choose the numbers (in Keno’s case, numbers between 1 and 80), they get to choose how many they want to pick.
The Keno lottery draws 20 numbers, so players normally get the chance to pick between and 20 numbers on each Keno card, and the more those numbers match up – in relation to the amount of numbers chosen – the higher the winnings.
Let’s illustrate this with an example – or, more precisely two examples. These payouts are based on the most common payout table, but different Keno providers may use different payout scales, so always check what they offer, in particular.
In both examples, the drawn numbers are: 2,14, 22, 27, 28, 30, 35, 40, 46, 49, 51, 55, 56, 60, 62, 63, 64, 75, 78, and 80.
- The player picks 10 numbers
- The numbers are 18, 22, 29, 30, 40, 46, 50, 55, 60, and 77
- Of these, 5 of those match the drawn numbers (22, 30, 40, 46 and 60)
- The odds are 1 in 20 in this case
- The payout would be only $3 on a $1 ticket
- The player picks 6 numbers
- The numbers are 18, 22, 30, 40, 46 and 60
- Of these, 5 numbers match (all but 18)
- The odds are 1 in 324 in this case
- The payout is $50 on a $1 ticket
As you can see, the more numbers you pick, the more numbers will need to match the 20 drawn. The chances of all 20 matching is astronomically small and choosing only one or two numbers has both low odds and low payouts. As such, most experts agree that picking between 4 and 8 numbers is the way to go.
If the game of Keno hasn’t changed very much over the centuries, where and when you play it certainly has. Though Keno games have been staples of gambling houses, casinos and even many state and national lotteries for years, the digital age has made the game more accessible than ever.
You can buy tickets online for real-world draws and you can even join live draws via video stream to find out if you won in real time. You can also, however, play online Keno in the same way you can play online slots or online poker: against the computer.
The way it works is super easy:
- Find an online Keno game. They’re available all over, but your best bet is through a Keno 24/7 site or a reputable online casino.
- Choose how many virtual cards you want to play at once.
- Pick your numbers on the virtual card (or cards). Alternatively, let the game pick the numbers for you at random after inputting how many numbers you want.
- Deposit your bet (or bet based on a deposit you made earlier)
- Wait for the winning numbers to be drawn – that is, generated by a random number generator (RNG)
- See what and if you won.
- Draw your winnings or play again!
It’s really as easy as that.