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Keno Rules

If you want to play Keno, you have chosen a game which is relaxing and its rules are quite easy. It does not require too much of reasoning and is easy to recall and understand. Keno has become popular in casinos, online casinos and is a party game as well. 

How It Began

Keno’s origins are in China and the game was brought to the United States by Chinese immigrants in late 1800s. It is played with 80 Chinese characters which later changed to 80 Arabic numerals. It was played in Nevada in the fifties, with names of horses with the numbers and was known as Racehorse Keno. Even now many casinos call each game a race and if you bet on many games at the same time it is called a multi race ticket.

In casinos, lounges are specifically allocated for Keno but there are “Keno runners” who will collect your ticket, and deliver the winnings if you play from outside the lounge area. Television monitors are there to inform you about the winners. You can play the video version of Keno which is played with slots-like coin operated machine. The results are much faster than the normal keno.

How To Play

In recent times, Keno has gained popularity and has acquired a prominent position among the other main games played. A traditional live keno game consists of a circular glass enclosure called a “bubble” containing 80 balls which determines the balldraw result. Each ball has a number printed on it. The number can be anything from 1 to 80. During the balldraw, a blower pushes air into the bubble and mixes the balls. A “caller” presses a lever which opens a tube, where the balls lift one at a time into a V shaped tube. The caller and a verifier record the balls drawn and the system calculates all bets based on the numbers drawn.

Keno is also played with Keno cards or tickets. The numbers are displayed on the tickets. The numbers on the tickets are on the ping-pong balls inside an aerated machine on the Keno table. The machine selects 20 balls randomly from the 80 present. You pre-select your 20 numbers and mark them on the cards. 

Keno tickets are placed on tables throughout the casino. You have to select at least four but not more than ten numbers between 1 and 80. Mark the ticket with the crayon provided with the numbers of your selection. You can decide on how much money you would like to wager and how many games you would like to play. You can write this on the blank space on your tickets. The runner will take your tickets and give you an electronic ticket in return. This is important as your numbers are put into the system which records the winnings. 

The house then draws twenty numbers randomly by using balls from a bin or using computer application called the random number generator. If the numbers match yours, you win. The prize money is distributed according to the numbers matched. 

The house Keno brochures will give you the information about the payoffs and various tickets you can play. The amount of money you win is dependent on the type of ticket you play. In some casinos you could win as much as fifty thousand on a wager. The round of Keno game is called a Keno race. In some casinos you can play a number of consecutive races at one time.

Winnings And Bets

Winning tickets are paid according to house rules. In some casinos a three numbered hit may pay $6 and all four $124. In another, the payback may be $5 and $110. Paybacks range from 70 percent to more than 80 percent.

Bets could be of different types of tickets among which are

  • Combination ticket: You mark several number groupings and play a combination of them.

  • King ticket: A single number circled and used in all the combinations marked is called the king.

  • Progressive jackpots: Some casinos offer progressive jackpots for higher number totals or for bigger bets. Sometimes if it gets higher the house offers more than a hundred percent payback. In this type the results could vary wildly over a brief period of time.

  • Straight ticket: Betting marked as a single wager.


You may think how can there be a strategy to a game that rests on chance and requires no analytical thinking? Though this is true, your winnings depend on the numbers you select. There is no clear winning strategy. But if you adhere to some simple rules you can increase your chances of winning. You can play Keno online as well where you can use strategies to win better.

The first important point is that you should keep a constant check on the numbers announced in the game. You can bet on the numbers not announced even after the game begins. This is important due to the law of averages. The possible numbers decreases with each draw, so the odds increase of your number being drawn.

Another strategy is to select numbers which appear often in the draws. It happens that some numbers get repeatedly drawn in every game. Tag a number and it may get hit. You could use the same numbers and win the game. Some Keno players believe in picking numbers that have not come up recently. The theory is that all numbers will have to be drawn eventually. Some pick successive numbers such as pairs of 33 and 34. There is no proof that this actually works but this is a popular belief among Keno players.

Keno is a very enjoyable and relaxing game. The Jackpot is the best part where you get chances of winning big, online. If you love the excitement and stimulation of lotteries and want to have fun, Keno is the right game for you.

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