Keno number balls

What are Keno Payouts?

Keno payouts (and odds) refer to the maximum prize payouts on offer for a single draw in a game. Typically, Keno payouts are based on a wager of $1, ranging all the way up to $2 million in some games. Payouts and odds can vary from one Keno game to another, and it’s important to be aware of this when playing. We cover everything you need to know below.

Catches and Payouts

Keno is usually played with a pool of eight balls, from which twenty are drawn. Players with matching numbers or combos win a prize. The term ‘catch’ relates to the numbers that players picked that matched the numbers drawn. Payouts are calculated based on how many selections a player made and how many catches they got from the draw.

Keno Payout Examples

If you make a $1 wager on Keno at most land-based and online casinos, you’ll typically receive the following payouts (a ‘spot’ refers to a number that the player has marked on their card).

Spot Catches Payout
2 2 $11
3 3 $27
4 4 $72
5 5 $410
5 3 $2
6 3 $1
6 4 $7
8 6 $50
10 8 $500


As you can see, payouts are substantially less in cases where the number of catches is smaller.

How the Wager Amount Affects Keno Payouts

The amount a player wagers on a Keno game will also affect the level of payout on offer. So, typically, a player will receive a fifteen-to-one payout where there are two spots and two catches and a forty-five-to-one payout on three spots and three catches.

However, if a player has three spots and makes two catches, the payout will usually be two-to-one, while six spots to two catches will typically generate a one-to-one payout.

It’s vital to always check the payout tables of whichever Keno game you’re playing to fully understand the odds of the game and the best amount to wager in terms of possible return.

3 number balls

Examples of Keno Payouts

So now we’ve had a look at Keno odds and how the number of spots chosen and catches made affects the payout rates, it’s time to look at some real-world examples to get an idea of how much you could win playing Keno.

If you make a $1 wager, pick one number, and this number matches, you’ll typically win $2. If you pick three numbers and match three, you can expect to win $25…but if you only match two, your payout will go all the way down to $2!

Selected five numbers and matched five numbers? Congratulations! You’ve won in the region of $500. Match four, and you’ll receive $15, and $2 if you match three. Looking for higher stakes? Choose ten numbers and match ten, and you’ll be in line for a cool $200,000! If you match just five, though (or none), you’ll receive just $3.

The Odds of Winning in Keno

Figuring out the odds in any given Keno game is a complicated affair – you’ll need a math formula known as the combinatorial function. It’s an unwieldy equation that boils down to this: the odds of one of your number selections matching one of the drawn numbers is 20/80. If you get a match, the odds that the second selection will also be a match become 19/79. Therefore, overall, the probability of winning stands at 6.01%

This means that, roughly, you have a one in four chance of selecting one number, and that number is a match, and a one in seventeen chance of getting two catches from two picks. Say you pick four numbers. You have just a one in 327 chance of getting four catches but a one in twenty-four chance of getting three catches and a very tempting one in five chance of getting two. And for the life-changing payouts? If you select ten numbers, you’ll have a one in 8,911,712 chance of getting ten catches.

2 number balls

Keno Games with Unusual Odds

Some Keno games offer slightly different rules and odds, and it’s important to be aware of these when working out your best bets (pun intended!). Keno variations include Packaged Keno Odds, Caveman Keno Odds, Club Keno Odds, and Cleopatra Keno Odds. The latter works like a fusion of a slot game and classic Keno.

Keno Payouts: The Takeaway

Learning as much as you can about how Keno odds work and the nature of the payout system will help you to make informed choices about your gameplay – this can help to potentially maximize your chances of a win and minimize your losses, as well as ensure that you play within your means.

While the payout system may seem complicated, it’s easy to get to grips with, and understanding the probabilities inherent in the game can make Keno an even more exciting proposition.

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