How to play Keno

If you’ve ever found yourself in a casino, the chances are high that you have at least heard of a little game called Keno. But what is Keno? How do I play Keno? Is Keno even fun? Those questions, and more, will be answered in today’s article: The Ins and Outs: Your Informative Guide about Keno!

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What is Keno? – Origins and Basics

Dating as far back as at least 2,000 years ago, Keno is a Chinese game that is comparable to the Italian game of Bingo. Originally, Keno was known by its Chinese name of baige piao, which roughly translates to “white pigeon ticket” (this is in reference to the tickets used in betting games).

Although Keno originated in China, it was imported into western culture via Chinese immigrants in the 1840s. Since then, the game has maintained its popularity in both China and the western world. Originally, casinos adopted Keno and called it the “Chinese lottery,” a name that was eventually changed to Keno as a means to be more consumer-friendly.

Keno is a gambling game that is played with tickets. On these tickets, you’ll find squares containing the numbers from 1-80. Before we begin with how to play, we want you to understand that the concept of Keno is essentially the same as the lottery. If you understand how to play the lottery, you’ll catch on to Keno pretty quickly.

How to Play Keno?

Before the game begins, you need to decide both how much to play per draw and how many consecutive draws you want to play. In most casinos, Keno is offered on a fairly consistent basis – normally once every 5 minutes or so. If you play Keno on a machine or a mobile app, these games can be delivered on-demand as the house, or “provider” in some contexts, allows.

After you pick your numbers, you select how many numbers you want to aim to match from 1 to 10. In keno, matches are called Spots… essentially these correlate with the amount of numbers you pick. As a rule of thumb, you want to pick as many numbers as you do spots.

On average, each play usually costs the player £1. However, many casinos or dealers offer the option to scale your potential prize with the level of buy-in that you select. For example, if you opt to play for £1, your prizes are regular. If you opt to play for £2 per drawing, your prize will be doubled – £3, tripled… and so on. In general, these are known as “multipliers” and they may apply to your game of Keno differently across casinos or dealers. Therefore, do your due diligence in understanding specific multiplier rules as it relates to your dealer/house.

Example Game Walk Through:

  • Step 1: Access a provider of Keno whether it be a casino, mobile app, or lottery provider. You can find top picks on our Keno Games page.
  • Step 2: Purchase a Keno ticket and opt-in how much you’re willing to pay for the ticket – most of the buy-ins are £1, so we will just assume you picked this option and continue the example.
  • Step 3: With a £1 buy-in, our reward is regular… which means that there are no multipliers attached. Most Keno tickets will now ask you how many consecutive times you want to play… in this case, you pick 3. Therefore, we take our base cost of £1 and multiply it by 3, bringing our total cost up to £3.
  • Step 4: Now we pick how many numbers, or spots, that we want to play. You opt to match 8 numbers. This makes your 3 rounds of Keno into what is known as an “8 Spot Game.”
    [NOTE: Different games have different payouts for how many numbers you match, you will also want to know how much your payout will be if you win at each level, you can often find this information on the casino’s website or the back of your Keno ticket if playing at a live casino.]
  • Step 5: After selecting your 8 numbers, you are now ready to play and let the house call out the numbers that are randomly picked.
  • Step 6 (Optional): Many casinos and dealers often present the player with an even larger multiplier option. In most cases, this will be accessible to the player if they opt to double their base ticket cost. Using our example, this would bring your ticket cost to £6, but your reward (should you win) will be multiplied by the value the house proposes.

We hope that you have found this guide helpful and perhaps you have a general idea for how to play the beautifully addictive game of Keno.

Other Popular Ways to Play Keno Games

There are many other games available in addition to regular keno. Shake it up by playing some other keno varieties, such as:

Mark your ticket with the half you wish to bet, for example, “TOP,”
“BOTTOM,” “RIGHT” or “LEFT.” If you hit 12 or more you win!

Sweet Sixteen
Mark your ticket Sweet 16 and pick 16 numbers. You may bet £2 or more.
Depending on how many of your 16 numbers come in, 0 to 16, you can win from £16.00 to £25,000!

Big Bang
Mark your ticket “BB,” and pick 3 to 5 numbers. You may bet £1 or £3 and
get an even bigger bang for your bet!

Mark your ticket “CA” and pick 2 to 6 numbers. Bet £1.25 or more and win
much bigger if you catch all numbers picked, but you must “HIT” all of you
numbers to win on this bet.

No-Lose 17 Spot Special
Mark your ticket “No-Lose 17 Spot,” and pick 17 numbers. It usually costs £3 to bet this game, but no matter what numbers are drawn you’ll get money

Mark your ticket “Quarters,” and pick 1 to 15 numbers. This game usually has a £1 minimum ticket, with a 25p minimum wager per way or per game.

Please be sure that you gamble wisely and research as much as you can on your terms to formulate the Keno strategy that works best for you.