Keno: A Complete Game Guide

Keno is an incredibly popular lottery-style gambling game. You will find it
at practically every casino, both land-based and online. It is originally from
19th-century China. For a game with relatively poor player odds, it has remained
a top casino game for a long time.

We are going to give you the complete rundown of the game of Keno. We will
cover everything from odds, to rules, tips, and strategies. We have done the
work for you and compared the best online casinos that offer Keno. Below is our
list of the best online casino Keno sites.

Best Keno Casino Sites

Benefits of Playing Keno

Keno can pay a jackpot of up to $5,000,000 on a $2 ticket. It’s easy to see
why Keno is so popular. Big money can be made on Keno for a very small
investment. It’s a lottery-style game with payouts structured similarly as well.

Another reason the game has remained so popular is that Keno takes no skill
to play. There are no difficult rules to learn or strategies to memorize. It is
a game consisting solely of luck. This can be an attractive quality for those
who don’t want to have to think, but rather just relax and see how their luck
unfolds while gambling.

Keno offers a high amount of flexibility in choosing the type of gameplay you
want. You can aim for higher payouts with a lower chance of winning. You can
also choose to pick a lower amount of numbers, decreasing your jackpots but
increasing your wins per round.

Another gameplay option available to Keno players is whether to play video
Keno or in-person live Keno. This gives players the option of a fast or slow
game speed. Video Keno can play around 16-19 rounds per minute. Compare this to
live Keno, which is typically one round every 5-10 minutes.

How to Play

The game of Keno is played by picking a set of numbers between 1 and 80. From
there, 20 numbers are drawn randomly. If the numbers drawn match the numbers you
selected, you win. The amount of numbers you picked and how many of them you got
right determine the amount of your payout.

You do not need to match all 20 numbers to get the jackpot. In fact, this is
nearly impossible (1 in 3,535,316,142,212,174,336). The jackpots are usually
awarded for a 9- or 10-number ticket in which all numbers were hit. On average,
people usually play between 3-9 numbers.

What’s Important in a Keno Site

As with any online casino game, you will want to be sure that you are playing
with a reputable site. Most online casinos are legitimate and fair, but there
are always a few bad ones in the mix. You want to look for an online casino with
reliable gaming authority licenses.

Other areas you should look into are banking options and customer service.
You will want to find a casino that offers several ways to contact customer
service. Many sites will offer timelines on when you can expect to hear back
from them. Some also offer live chat options.

If you already have a deposit and withdrawal preference for online gambling,
look for a casino that offers your preferred method. If not, research the
available options and find the one that fits your needs best. Some options are
instant but have higher fees, while others take longer.

More specifically to Keno, you will want to check the game payouts. These can
vary between casinos.

Make sure you are choosing the game that will pay you the
best odds.

If you have a specific Keno variation that you like to play, you will
want to double check that the casino you’re looking at offers that game.

We have taken all of these aspects, and many more, into consideration while
making our top online Keno casinos list. If you stick with one of our suggested
sites, you will be playing with a top-quality site.

Keno Variations

There are two ways to play Keno: live Keno and video Keno. Both offer their
own set of advantages and disadvantages. It will be more a matter of personal
preference in what you’re looking for from your Keno game.

Video Keno

Video Keno is a much more fast-paced game. These play a lot more like a slot
machine. Results are determined by a Random Number Generator, not from actually
drawing numbered balls from a machine.

There are several variations of video Keno to choose from. Some have added
bonus games. For example, Cleopatra Keno has a free spin bonus, and Caveman Keno
offers extra multipliers on their Keno rounds. If you want to increase your game
pace even further, there is Four-Card Keno, where you play four different Keno
cards simultaneously.

Video Keno usually has a lower house advantage than live Keno. Yet it is
common to lose faster when playing video Keno. This is because you are playing a
much higher number of hands per hour.

Live Keno

Live Keno is played at a Keno lounge in a land-based casino, or through an
online casino. Live Keno betting is more comparable to Bingo in its pace and
structure. You make your Keno number selections on a Keno card and place your

You can make several different bets on the same Keno card. A new round is
started every 5-10 minutes at most casinos. One advantage of playing live Keno
is the large jackpots. Typically, the big money jackpot opportunities are on
live Keno games. The Progressive Jackpots can be as high as $5 million!

Live Keno can be intimidating for new players. There are different bets that
can be made at a live Keno venue. Many people don’t know how to place these
bets, or where to actually place their wager. This causes people to avoid live
Keno altogether.

It is much easier to play live Keno than it seems. We will cover everything
you need to know about wagering on Keno in the next section.

Types of Bets Available

Straight Tickets

A straight bet is a bet with a specific amount of numbers chosen. You will
then have to hit all or some of your selected numbers, depending on how many
you’ve chosen, in order to win. This ticket has only one selection of numbers.

Way Tickets

A way ticket can have several different selections of numbers. You can choose
different groupings and different number amounts. For example, you can have a
group of 4 numbers, a different group of 4 numbers, and then a group of all 8
numbers. There isn’t a limit on the number of selections you can make. In fact,
one popular bet is a 190-way ticket. Just like it sounds, this ticket has 190
ways to win.

King Number Tickets

A king number bet will have one number (king number) that will be added to
all of your other groupings of numbers. This king number will also play as a one
spot by itself. For example, say you have a ticket with two 3-spot bets, and you
then select a king number. You would then have 3 separate groupings. Your two
3-spot bets plus the king number, making them 4-spot bets, plus a 1-spot bet
consisting of just your king number.

Split Tickets

Split tickets are tickets with a combination of more than one straight bet.
It pays and plays the same as if you had marked a straight bet on two separate
tickets. There is no special advantage to playing the bets on one ticket. In
fact, many feel it is a disadvantage to play a split ticket, because you aren’t
allowed to pick a number twice. You are unable to use the same number on both of
your straight bets.

Combination Tickets

A combination ticket is exactly what it sounds like: a ticket with a
combination of several different grouping types. You could choose to have way
bets, straight bets, king bets, etc., all combined on one ticket. You will be
paying for each combination you choose to make.

Progressive Jackpot Games

Keno is a lottery-style game that can pay lottery-sized jackpots if you find
a Progressive payout game. These games can be found both online and on
land-based Keno lounge floors. The rules vary for many of these, so be sure to
read the rules about the game you are playing. One example of these
jackpot-style games is the Nevada Mega 10 Keno Progressive. This jackpot has
reached several million dollars. It is won by selecting 10 winning numbers.

Tips for Beginners

Tip 1

Look for Special Feature Tickets

Some casinos will offer promotions on their Keno games. These will be for
specific types of bets, or during specific draw times. They will offer
discounted wagers or higher payouts.

One example of this is a top or bottom 40 ticket. If you choose to bet on
this ticket, you will have either the entire top 40 or the bottom 40 numbers
selected on your ticket. These vary greatly between the casinos that offer them,
but always have better incentives than a straight Keno bet.

Tip 2

Pick a Game with Bonus Features

If you’re playing video Keno, look for a game that has added bonus features.
Since the numbers are drawn at random, these will not have worse odds than a
standard game. A word of caution, though: some will offer much lower payouts. Be
sure to check that you are still receiving a fair payout.

With that said, if payouts are still properly structured, you can get some
free bonus spins, wild numbers, or other added benefits without any extra cost.
It can also add an extra element of fun to your Keno game.

Tip 3

Shop Around for Best Payouts

Keno is a game of variable payouts. One game can have dramatically different
payouts for the same number groupings than another. In fact, many machines will
have different payouts on the same game. You could be playing for a much
different amount than the person next to you.

It’s always important to look at payouts before choosing to play a Keno game.
This is especially true in video Keno, but is also common in live Keno. Casinos
can offer both different wager costs and payouts. Shopping around for the best
payouts is worth the effort.

Tip 4

Find a Progressive Keno Game

One of the most fun aspects of Keno is the opportunity to win a huge jackpot.
Though regular payouts can also be fairly large, progressive jackpots will offer
the highest-paying options. They will usually offer the same non-progressive
payout structure, so you’re not losing anything by opting for a chance to win
the big prize.

Different Betting Systems and Strategies

Unfortunately, Keno isn’t a game you can choose to employ a strategy in.
Well, at least not one that will impact your odds of winning. Numbers are drawn
at random, with every number having an equal chance of being selected on each
and every round.

Some people choose to change their numbers on every round, while others
choose to play the same number group. There are people who think that clustering
number picks together increases their odds of winning. There is no factual basis
to any of these processes; it’s simply a matter of personal preference.


If you haven’t tried Keno yet, you now know everything you need to know to
give it a try. It’s definitely worth the experience. Live Keno can be more of a
social event in a busy lounge. Video Keno can add a needed change to your
routine if you’re a slot machine player.

Check out our top casino picks from earlier in this article. You can feel
confident in trying Keno on any of the recommended sites.