To start, what is Keno?

Players of the casino game keno select a set of numbers from a given range in the hopes that some or all of those numbers will be picked at random. Legend has it that a forerunner to modern Keno was played in ancient China to help pay the construction of the Great Wall. We can neither confirm nor refute this, but we can tell you that Keno, or a form thereof, has been played for hundreds of years and has influenced the creation of games like bingo and lottery draws.

A Guide to Playing Keno.

The basic Keno board, as found in land-based and virtual gaming establishments, features 80 digits in sequential order. Players in Keno choose up to 20 numbers from 1 to 80 in the hopes of matching as many of their selections as possible with the numbers drawn.

During the Keno draw, 20 numbers between 1 and 80 will be chosen at random. The winning numbers in land-based casinos are no longer selected by bingo-style ball machines, but rather by a computerized Random Number Generator, much as they are in internet casinos.

The greater your luck at Keno, the more numbers you should try to match. This means that if you get 6 out of 20 correct, you’ll win more than if you got 7 correct. A player who has spent $10 and selected 15 numbers will have a larger chance of winning than a player who has bet $5 and selected fewer numbers, but this is to be expected since the prizes up for grabs are proportional to the number of picks and the amount wagered.

Picking and matching all twenty numbers is achievable in theory, but the odds of doing so are astronomically low. Even though the odds of winning a casino’s top prize for matching 17 or more numbers are much lower than those of winning a state or national lottery jackpot, many casinos nonetheless offer such games.

Because the game constantly chooses 20 numbers out of 80, the odds of a player matching zero numbers out of a selection of 20 are higher than one might imagine. You have a 1 in 843 chance of getting zero matches, 1 in 86 odds of getting one, and a 1 in 20 shot at getting two. If you choose fewer than 20 numbers, the probability will change accordingly. All of those calculations are based on someone choosing all 20 numbers.

For the aforementioned reasons, the typical number of numbers chosen by ordinary Keno players ranges from 1 to 15. The casino sets the payouts for such wagers, and they are meant to roughly match the players’ odds of winning. If you play Keno and have any short-term success, don’t assume that your good fortune will continue. The house edge in Keno can range from 5% to 35% or more. However, if you make it big, you might only need one major win.


In certain versions of Keno found at online casinos, players can select up to 20 numbers from a pool of 80, while in others, players are limited to selecting 10 or 15 numbers. Matching the first or last number drawn is one way to get a bonus, but there may be others as well. All versions of Keno have the same basic rules, but some, like Microgaming’s Monkey Keno, put a twist on things by setting the action on a tropical island populated by monkeys.






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