How to Play Keno Online for Real Money

Date:2022-11-16 Category: Games

If you are new to gambling or do not want to risk and spend much on gambling, keno is the perfect game for you. Keno has straightforward gameplay and rules, making it easy to learn and play. Unlike other casino skill games, like blackjack, keno does not involve complicated strategy or reasoning. You probably have played the game at a restaurant, bar, land-based casino, or even your granny’s house. The good news is that the game is now available online, and you can play keno online for real money.

If you are new to the game, this article with walk you through it step by step. If you know how to play the game but need some tips to increase your winning chances, this article will equally help you.

In this article, you will find:

  • What is Keno
  • Keno Rules
  • Different types of Keno
  • How to play Keno online and win


What Is Keno and Where Does It Come From?

Although the word Keno sounds French and has Latin roots, it originated in China. You may be surprised if I tell you the Great Wall of China was built with the funds raised from playing keno. Before the late 19th century, it was not acceptable to raise funds using lotteries for public projects in China.

The Chinese keno was played using sheets with printed Chinese characters on them. In the 19th century, Chinese immigrants introduced American people to the game, and it soon became a widely popular gambling game.

Keno is a lottery-like gambling game. It is often played at modern casinos. Also, some state lotteries offer it as a game.

To play the game and gamble, you should choose numbers from 1 to, typically, 80 and wager on that. When you and other players have placed their wagers, 20 numbers(in some variants, fewer numbers) will randomly be drawn. The numbers will be drawn using a random number generator(RNG) or a ball machine similar to lotteries and bingo.

Depending on where you play, the payouts vary. Because each casino sets its own payouts, which are called paytables. Payouts vary depending on your selected numbers, the number of matches out of the chosen ones, and your wager.

Although I mentioned that keno paytables vary from casino to casino, this game’s house edge remains higher than other casino games. The house advantage ranges from less than 4% to more than 35%. However, non-slot casino games typically have a house advantage of less than 5%(on average).


Keno Terminology

Before we get into the details of playing and gambling, let us review some of the most common keno lingos:

Keno Term Meaning
Aggregate Limit This is the maximum amount the casino pays to all the winners in any one keno draw. For instance, if an aggregate limit for the keno game you play is 100,000, you pick 10 numbers, and you hit all 10 numbers, you will be paid the aggregate limit. In other words, players cannot win more than the aggregate limit amount.
Balls Keno Balls are similar to dice in Craps and the wheel in roulette. These balls are ping pong balls labeled with numbers from one to 80.
Caller (keno worker) If you play at a land-based casino, the caller, a casino worker, will call out the winning numbers during the game.
Closed Time before keno balls are drawn is considered closed. During this time, no casino tickets can be written.
Draw The panel of 20 keno balls that are drawn and shows the winning numbers.
Field This is the collection of unmarked circled spots on the keno ticket.
Hit This is the other word for winning a spot when your number matches the keno board.
Open In a word, this is the opposite of closed.
Pay Table A diagram that specifies payouts for any given win.
Random Number Generator(RNG) A mechanism used by land-based and online casinos to generate random results to assure the unpredictability and fairness of each game.
Spot Any number you mark on your keno ticket is known as a spot.
Ticket To make your keno wagers, you use keno tickets. A grid with 80 numbers- 1 to 80- that allows you to mark your spots and choose your bet size.
Tournament A series of games hosted by a casino. Tournaments have a totally different feel and pace than traditional keno sessions. Also, tournament prizes are generally more considerable than classic keno sessions.
Way Ticket If you use a ticket containing two or more distinct bets, you are using a way keno ticket.


How To Play Keno

As I have said, keno has pretty straightforward gameplay. Although depending on whether you play it at a land-based or an online casino, some rules may vary, but the basics remain the same. The objective is to choose numbers, and if your chosen numbers come up in the drawing, as you can see in the following picture, you win money.

To start the game, you should fill out a keno card and mark how many spots, i.e. numbers, you want to play. You can choose one up to 10 numbers and decide how much you want to wager on. The typical wagering amount is from $1 to $20. Obviously, the higher your wager, the more you win if your numbers match.

Remember to mark how many games in a row you will be playing because you should pay for each game and your keno card is only valid for the number of games you have chosen.

Fill in your selected numbers on your card, as you can see in the picture below. In the first section, mark how many numbers you want to play. In the second section, you mark your wager amount, and in the third section, you mark the number of games you want to play. There is a quick pick spot in the fourth section where you should mark your spots. The quick pick spot allows the computer to randomly select the numbers for you.

The fifth section belongs to the bonus multiplier. Playing with a bonus multiplier will cost you more. Still, you will have the chance to get your win multiplied by a randomly selected multiplier of up to 10. If you decide to play with the multiplier, just mark the box, as shown in the following picture.

Once you fill out your keno card, turn it to the keno worker and get your ticket with all your numbers printed, similar to the picture below.

Now, all you have to do is wait to see if your numbers are drawn or not. The more numbers on your ticket match the drawn numbers, the more money you win.


Typically, you will find the list of payouts on the back of your keno card. Still, you can request a keno worker for a prize chart. A rule of thumb here is the more number match, the bigger the payout. If your ticket wins, you should refer to the keno worker to collect your prize money.

Keno Odds Explained

Odds of happening something simply refers to the probability of its happening. Similarly, keno odds refer to the probability of any random number out of 80 balls. When we say probability, we talk about pure mathematics and an absolute thing. In other words, the chances of one specific ball being drawn out of 80 balls remain constant odds. Similarly, the choice of one from 79, 78, and so on has constant odds.

Although multiple factors are involved in almost all casino games, and game odds may vary from casino to casino, keno odds remain the same across all casinos. However, keno payouts can change from casino to casino. However, remember that one thing is always true; the more unlikely the result to happen, the higher the payout. In other words, lower odds offer higher payouts.

Although it is impossible to change the odds of the ball that may be drawn, many believe it is not impossible to affect your winning odds. I believe the best way to increase your winning chances is to carefully check the keno payout table and act sensibly.


What Do We Mean By Keno Payouts?

Payout refers to the amount of money you win after your chosen numbers are drawn. As I have said, keno payouts vary from casino to casino. For this reason, you should read the pay tables of the keno game you want to play before starting.


How Do Online Keno Payouts Differ from Land-based Casino Keno?

In general, online casinos offer better payouts compared to land-based casinos. The main reason is that online casinos have far fewer expenses than land-based ones. However, the video keno machine is the major exception to this rule. Because this is the only keno version of land-based casinos that can beat the online games in terms of payouts. Video keno has good payouts because of the lack of overheads and the game’s high speed.


How To Read Keno Payouts

Keno payouts are presented in a percentage. For instance, a keno percentage of 97% or 90% means the casino will pay out 97¢ or 90¢ for each dollar you wagered. In fact, the payout percentage refers to the average amount the casino will pay out for each dollar wagered. This is what payout percentage means. The specific game payouts will be listed in a table known as the keno paytable.


A typical keno paytable looks like this:

Keno Bets/Tickets Uncovered

Keno is by far the easiest casino game where you only need to mark a few numbers and cross your fingers as the keno board fills up with the drawn numbers. However, when it comes to betting, there are a few variations to playing the game and filling your keno tickets, as I will cover below:


Straight or Standard Ticket

This is the most simple and the standard keno ticket to play. This ticket allows you to mark up to 15 numbers. If you are lucky and any of your chosen numbers are drawn, you get paid according to the paytable. You can bet as low as $1 or as high as any multiple of that for each ticket. The straight ticket is definitely the easiest way to play keno — especially for beginners.

Top/Bottom Ticket

This ticket allows you to bet on 40 numbers in the Top half or 40 in the bottom half. To do so, mark the ticket “T” for the top or “B” for the bottom. Your ticket wins if 13 of the 20 numbers you marked are drawn.


Odd/Even Ticket

This ticket is similar to the previous one, except you bet on more odd or even numbers that will be drawn here.


Split Ticket

This ticket is, in fact, two or more straight tickets that you play on the same card. In other words, with this ticket, you will play two games on one card. To play with this ticket, you should designate which numbers to go with which game by circling or separating them with a line.

The drawback of playing with this ticket is that you cannot use the same numbers in both games.

Way Ticket

With this ticket, you will play two or more sets of numbers in the same game. This is somewhat similar to the split ticket. To differentiate each set, you should circle it. Playing with a way ticket allows you to split your bet into fractions. Fractional rates vary depending on the casino but generally, you can play for as little as 25¢ per way instead of the $1 you should bet on a straight ticket. However, remember that since you split your bet into fractions, the payout also will be lower.

What Types of Online Keno Are Available?

Online keno games typically look the same, except each has a different visual perspective. For instance, Keno TV Show is the same keno game. Still, its graphics are more appealing, as if you are watching a keno session on television.

Caveman Keno, Cleopatra Keno, Klub Keno, Power Keno, Superball keno, and 4 card keno are among the most popular online keno games. Each game offers unique graphics and features. But the principles of the game remain the same in all of them.


How And Where To Play Keno Online

Pretty easy! Playing online keno is as easy as playing it at a land-based casino or any other place. Because the basics and rules of the game do not depend on where you play it. To play keno online, you should first find the right place to play it.

Over 85% of online casinos across the United States and Europe offer at least one format of the keno game. Hence, you will not have a hard time finding an online casino that offers the game. However, not all online casinos are legit and trusted. Before I give you a list of our verified and trusted online casinos to play keno, let me review the essential factors you need to consider while choosing an online casino.

  • Does the casino offer keno games in flash mode or download?
  • Does the casino offer the most popular keno games and the ones you look for?
  • Does the casino offer free-play for keno games, or it only offers real money keno?
  • Does the casino offer bonuses and promotions?
  • Are bonuses wagering requirements reasonable?
  • Does the online casino hold a license?
  • Does the casino offer full customer support?

Although our recommended online casinos check all the boxes, remember to check the above factors before you sign up with an online casino to play keno.

Online Casino Based/Available Keno games offered Paypal Support 24/7 Customer Support
BetOnline Casino USA 3 keno games
Ignition Casino USA Best for Multi-card Keno
Betway USA Best for real money Keno
JackPotCity Casino Worldwide Keno variations
Spin Casino Worldwide Keno variations
888 Casino Worldwide Keno variations
Wild Casino USA 5 keno games, best for Keno Megapays


Playing your favorite keno game at any of the recommended online casinos is pretty straightforward. Take the following simple steps to play:

1️⃣ Pick one of our recommended trusted online casinos.

2️⃣Choose to download or flash play.

3️⃣Choose to play for free or real money.

4️⃣Head to the lobby and select your favorite keno game.

5️⃣From there, everything will be self-explanatory. Pick your numbers, make your bets, cross your fingers, and collect your winning! No kidding, it’s really that easy.


How Do You Improve Your Winning Chance in Online Keno?

If you are already familiar with lottery or lotto games, you probably have no problem understanding and playing keno. Because as I have said and you have seen, the game is pretty easy to learn and follow. No complicated strategy is involved because it is purely based on chance. However, this does not mean you are destined to lose. Although you cannot strategize a win, you can follow simple guidelines to minimize losses.

🔸Stick to what works for you. In other words, play with the betting pattern and ticket you are comfortable with, like straight tickets.

🔸Try to stick to the casinos that offer the best odds. Look for the best paytables for both live and video keno. Do not forget that the odds of you hitting your selected numbers remain the same; only payouts will change.

🔸Try to keep it small. Although the house advantage in live keno varies depending on where you play and how many numbers you bet on, it is still high. So, try to keep your bets small to minimize your losses.

🔸Be realistic. Do not waste your money on bets with astronomical odds. Hitting 15 out of 15 numbers is near, if not totally impossible. So, it does not worth trying.


To Sum It Up

Although Keno originates from the East, it soon becomes a popular game in the west. The game is based on chance and does not involve complicated strategy or thinking. For this reason, people of all ages have fun playing it. The unpredictability and simplicity made the game popular to the extent that you can play it in restaurants, bars, land-based, and online casinos. Betting adds to the game’s fun and allows players to burn some time and win cash simultaneously.

Suppose you have not played the game before. In that case, I suggest starting with one of the recommended online casinos on this page to practice free plays, then start small and hopefully make some money.


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