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Tips To Win Keno

Keno is an ancient Chinese lottery game that is still popular in casinos today and is even offered as an option by  some lotteries. Like all lotto games, Keno is very much a game of chance. And those chances aren’t super high. The chance of matching all 20 numbers  is virtually nil (one in a quintillion, in fact: one in a billion billion), but you can win a decent amount from matching five or six of those 20 numbers. 

As a game of chance, though, is there any strategy to win at keno? Are there certain numbers that you should be picking?

Here are two important things you can do to maximize your chance of winning:

  1. Bet on 4 to 8 numbers. Less than this and you end up with far too small odds to win anything at all (80 is a large number, after all) and more than that starts requiring a heavy investment to pay off. See the table below to see what your odds are with betting on up to ten numbers and note the sudden decrease in payouts between numbers 8 and 9 in the first column.


How many numbers chosen Match 1 Payout Match 2 Payout Match 3 Payout Match 4 Payout Match 5 Payout Match 6 Payout Match 7 Payout Match 8 Payout Match 9 Payout Match 10 Payout
1 1:1 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
2 1:1 9:1 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
3 1:1 2:1 16:1 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
4 0.5:1 2:1 6:1 12:1 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
5 0.5:1 1:1 3:1 15:1 50:1 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
6 0.5:1 1:1 2:1 3:1 30:1 75:1 N/A N/A N/A N/A
7 0.5:1 0.5:1 1:1 6:1 12:1 36:1 100:1 N/A N/A N/A
8 0.5:1 0.5:1 1:1 3:1 6:1 19:1 720:1 N/A N/A N/A
9 0.5:1 0.5:1 1:1 2:1 4:1 8:1 20:1 80:1 1200:1 N/A
10 0:1 0.5:1 1:1 2:1 3:1 5:1 10:1 30:1 600:1 1800:1


  1.  Bet on consecutive or “cold” numbers. This is much less mathematically precise than the first point, but it’s a received wisdom that playing consecutive numbers increases your chances of winning, as does playing “cold” numbers – numbers that haven’t come up in a while. It’s highly unlikely this makes a massive difference, to be fair, and it almost definitely makes no difference on online versions of the game, but it’s certainly worth trying at brick-and-mortar casinos and lotteries.


Beyond these basic tips, it’s really up to the luck of the draw on whether you’ll hit those lucky numbers. Good luck!

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