Keno is a lottery type of game that is played all over the world. Like lotto games, keno draws have been televised for decades and attract millions of players of all ages, genders, and demographics. It is understandable when you think about the little investment versus the millions of dollars that can be won when hitting the jackpot. Yet, there is a downside of state-backed keno games. Gamblers typically don’t like to wait a week for the game to unfold. But fear not! Thanks to online casinos, in certain states you can play keno online any time you want.
This guide will tell you everything there is to know about online casino keno. We will tell you what sites are safe to play at, explain the gameplay and the odds, and give you some tips that may improve your play.
If you google “keno online” you’ll get millions of hits and indeed depending on which state you live in or visit, you’ll find quite a few legal online casinos that offer keno. Yet not all of them are the same. We check dozens of sites and will only recommend the best ones available in the US. Here’s what we pay special attention to.
You’ll only want to play real money games at sites that are legal and trustworthy. Online casinos that hold an online gambling license from those US states that allow online gambling undergo several checks. The authorities make sure their games are fair, they handle players’ data safely and comply with local laws and regulations. On our site, you’ll only find US-licensed casinos.
Not all casinos offer keno games. If you’re here for the keno, you’ll want to see a list of casinos that offer at least one game of keno. The best casinos may even have ten different keno titles that vary in theme and gameplay. It is worth comparing the paytables of the different games as they can differ. While your chance of winning is the same no matter what keno game you play, the payout can be more or less rewarding. The more options the casino has the better.
Most online casinos offer awesome bonuses to new as well as existing players. You may be eligible for a match deposit bonus that can help you grow your bankroll and enjoy more games. That being said, some casinos won’t let you use the bonus money towards keno games. Always read the terms and conditions before you accept a bonus offer!
Although you are unlikely to encounter a problem while playing a computerized keno game, customer support should be available for you. Ideally, the casino should have a chat platform where you can contact them around the clock should the need arise.
You can play keno in many land-based casinos in the US. Even though, keno is a solitary game (you are not playing it against other people) it can be enjoyed socially. To play keno online you won’t need any skills and therefore many enjoy it in a casual way in brick-and-mortar casinos. In the below table we compared online keno to land-based casino keno.
Land-based casino keno
Can be played 24/7
There are certain time slots for keno games
Many varieties are available
Casinos usually feature only one keno game
Lower minimum stakes: e.g., $1
Minimum bets start around $5
You play surrounded by others
Somewhat lower house edge
Very high house edge
You can play free online keno
Free play is not possible
The ancestor of the modern keno game was invented in China before 200 BC. Government officials came up with the game to collect funds to be able to build the Great wall of China. They thought that instead of forcing people to pay taxes, it is better to offer them a gambling game. The basic idea was pretty similar to modern keno. Players had to match their selected numbers to numbers drawn. Except that instead of numbers from 1 to 80 they used Chinese characters.
Modern keno games appeared in Macao in the middle of the 19s century when Portuguese officials began licensing the game. It was then Chinese immigrants who brought the game with them to the US, and this is when the characters were replaced by numbers so that everybody would understand the game. The first mention of the name “keno” came from Houston, Texas. Today you’ll find keno parlors in US casinos from Las Vegas to Atlantic City and the game is just as popular on the other side of the Atlantic while it never lost popularity in Asia.
Keno is a lottery type of game, meaning that players must match their chosen numbers to the ones that are drawn. In a televised national lottery game as well as in keno parlours in brick-and-mortar casinos, the numbers are drawn from a ball machine. In online casino keno random number generators are used to generate the draw. The keno grid, where you must select the numbers from has 80 numbers and depending on the type of the game, you may select 1 to 10, 1 to 15 or 1 to 20 numbers. Now, 20 numbers will be drawn, and your numbers will have to match one or more of the drawn numbers in order to win.
In online casinos, you have two options for playing the games. You may play online keno real money or free online keno. Naturally, you may only win real money if you wager real money, however, the free version is a good way to practice and make sure you understand all the rules.
Keno is a very easy game to play. It is a game of chance 100%, meaning that no strategy or skill plays part in winning. Playing it online is just as easy as in keno parlours. Here’s our step-by-step guide to playing keno.
Keno is a numbers game and your chances come down to statistics (=probability calculation). No matter where you play, your chances of hitting 4 numbers out of a selected 8 are the same. However, the payouts can be different in different casinos so you should aim at selecting the one that pays the most.
One important decision you can make is how many spots you pick on your card. The probability of winning changes significantly when you pick 1, 7 or 20 spots. For example, hitting all 20 numbers on a 20-spot ticket is approximately 1 in 3.5 quintillion. However, catching 5 numbers out of your selected 20 comes with a 1 in 4.287 chance. Statistically speaking, players have the best chances of winning if they pick 5 to 6 numbers.
Another thing to consider when playing keno is the house edge. Unfortunately, keno, just like other lottery games, comes with a high house edge. Depending on where you play, the house edge can be anything between 5% and 35%. The latter figure is very bad when you compare it to games like blackjack, video poker or even roulette, yet players have a chance to win really large sums in keno with small wagers.
While generally speaking all keno games are very similar and in fact, hardly changed in two millennia, there are certain differences in different versions. For example, you may be able to play with one or multiple tickets or there may be a jackpot included in the game. These are the main types of keno:
This variant is the most common type of keno game and the easiest to understand and follow. Here, there’s just one card you play with, so the pace of the game is rather slow. This version usually comes with very low minimum bets. Single-card keno is beginner friendly, and it is also great for people who like to choose the same numbers every time.
As the name suggests, here you can buy several cards, so you’ll have many chances of winning in the same game. Players who like to play with higher wagers often enjoy this version of online casino keno. You’ll spend more money on this game, but you’ll have a chance to win with multiple cards.
In power keno, you can select 2 to 10 numbers on your card. What you want to pay special attention to is the first and the 20th balls that are drawn as hitting either one of these will quadruple your win!
This exciting version of keno is similar to power keno but here 1 to 10 spots may be selected. If the last ball drawn is a hit, it will pay a 4x times winning combination. So, if you’d win $20, you’ll now win $80. The first drawn ball has no significance.
The key to winning big in keno online is selecting a progressive jackpot game. Just like in any other progressive jackpot casino game, the pot grows with every wager placed until it is won by a lucky player. When it is won, the amount will reset to a predetermined amount and will start growing again. Note, that usually, you will have to wager the maximum amount to be eligible for winning the full amount of the jackpot.
Some people like to apply a betting strategy even in pure games of chance. Strategies will not harm you, as simply put, every number has the same chance of coming up. These are the most often used keno strategies:
People who like to play numbers games often have favorite numbers to bet on. You can pick your date of birth, anniversary or any other significant date or number. The upside of this betting system is that you can’t blame yourself for a “wrong decision” and that you can feel organized and in control.
Most keno games clearly display the hot and cold numbers for you. These numbers represent the most frequently drawn numbers and the ones that were least often drawn. Now, there are two opposing theories in choosing either one of these groups of numbers.
Some bet on the hot numbers, reasoning that in the present cycle they are more likely to come up. Others will think the opposite way. Eventually, every number should come up and since the cold ones haven’t for a long while, they are “overdue” and will come up very soon.
Just like in other gambling games, you’ll need luck to win in keno. There’s no way to cheat or figure out the system so all you control is how much you bet, and how many spots you select. That said, you can use the below tips to keep your bankroll under control and improve your odds.
It is not hard to get your head around the basics of keno, yet you should be aware of the rules of each game you play.
Unlike the once-a-week televised keno games, online keno games won’t pay out millions. Payouts can differ significantly from casino to casino, so you should aim at finding the best ones.
To understand how often and how much you can win with your favorite number of spots and favorite numbers, you can play free games. This will give you an indication of how easy or difficult it is to guess those numbers right.
You should have a clear idea of how much you can afford to lose in each playing session and stick to it. Don’t chase your losses because chances are, you’ll lose even more.
No matter how good an unlicensed casino may seem, your data and money are not safe in a place that doesn’t hold a gambling license. Pick a casino from our site as only trustworthy and legit places make it to our list.
You’ll have the best chances of winning anything if you select five or six numbers. The next best option is selecting four, seven or eight spots.
Absolutely. There are many casinos that offer one or more types of keno games to their players.
Yes. Most casinos offer a demo version of their games, some even without registering. We always recommend trying out the games for free before wagering real money on them.
This will depend on the casino. Some casinos only let you use the bonus towards slot games, while others also allow table games and keno. Make sure you read the T&C before you accept the offer.
You have the highest chances of winning if you pick 5 or 6 spots. Looking at the paytable should give you a good indication of your probabilities.
As long as you play at legit sites, you don’t have to worry about the integrity of the games. Casino game creators use random number generators that make sure that every draw is random and fair.
The hot and cold numbers that appear on your screen show you the most and least frequently drawn numbers during the last 100 draws.
You’ll find many keno strategies online, yet there is no fool-proof method of winning with them. Keno is a game of chance where every draw is random and independent of what has been drawn before. Let’s just say that strategies won’t help you but won’t hurt you either.
There’s a handful of states that allow online gambling. If you are over the legal age and are a resident in these states or visit them, you can play at online casinos that are licensed in that state.