Keno is a casino game with Chinese origins in which you select numbers to bet on and are paid if those numbers are randomly chosen as hits. Keno is mostly a game of luck and payouts tend to be pretty low, but you can employ a few strategies that will help you win more often. It’s important to learn the rules of the game, check any house rules at a keno lounge or online game you join, and it is good to bet small at first. You can increase your potential winnings by setting a budget, looking for lounges with better payouts, betting on fewer numbers, and looking for a progressive jackpot to play.
How to play and win at Keno
Steps: 1 Brushing Up on the Rules
Learn the rules before you start playing. As with most gambling, it is always important to know how to play the game. Read up on the basic rules and variations. Then find a place to play for free to get the hang of the game before you start betting money. You will benefit from a little preparation and practice play
- Keno pays out based on percentages, so the ultimate goal is to get all of the numbers you chose, although this is an unlikely outcome.
- Keno is a fast paced game, and typically new games start every few minutes. Part of winning is staying in the game for multiple rounds and not giving up if you don’t win right at the start.
Choose numbers and place a wager. The game uses the numbers 1-80. You choose up to 20 of the numbers and mark them on your card. Many games will require you to choose at least four numbers. Some games may also have a specific minimum bet you must place.
- On a video machine, you’ll select these numbers and they will be locked in. For live games, you may need to submit the card to the Keno writer for the card to be officially in play.
- There is a person who randomly chooses the “spot” numbers, which are the ones that will payout each round of the game. These are usually balls with numbers on them, possibly drawn from a tumbler cage.
Check your numbers and pick up your payout. Keno pays on a percentage table, so the more numbers you get out of what you chose, the more you win. In video Keno, your payout will register automatically, and in live games you’ll need to show your card to the game administrator.
- For example, you might pick five numbers in a game. In most cases, to win money, you’d need to hit on three of those numbers. Then you would get more money for four out of five hits and a large payout for five out of five hits.
- Winnings from round to round tend to be pretty small, or non-existent, but it is possible to get a large payout on a small investment.
Steps 2: Finding a Game
Gather information about the game you are entering. Keno lounges and games can vary to some extent, so it is important to find out the specifications of the game you are about to play. You should find out limits on how many numbers you can play, minimum bets, potential pay-outs, and your chance of matching numbers.
- Being informed is highly important when you play Keno, so look for posted rules when you enter the lounge or game site. If you don’t see rules posted at a lounge, it’s worth your time to find an employee and ask them about that particular lounge’s rules.
- You might even ask some other players if the game has been paying out well and if there are certain numbers that have been hit frequently.
Look for Keno lounges with higher payouts. Keno lounges have a fairly standard payout range from one to the next, but there will still be some variation. If you have multiple Keno lounge options nearby, it’s worth your time to check into different ones to find a better payout. If you are at a lounge for a while and it doesn’t seem to be paying out, try another lounge.
- You can visit each Keno lounge and ask an employee what the payout is like, or you can ask around some of the players and, if you find someone who is there often, you can ask what the typical payout is.
- You may not find a whole lot of variation, but if you do find one place with a consistently higher payout, it’s worth your while to frequent that one over some of the other options.
Find a progressive jackpot keno game. Keno has pretty bad odds no matter what, but if you are able to be in the right spot at the right time, a progressive jackpot can be a great bet. The pot builds up over time so you have the chance to possibly win a much larger sum than you would in a typical Keno game.
- Note what bets qualify for a jackpot, pay attention to the payoff table for all non-jackpot wins, and find out the current and maximum size of the jackpot.
- If possible, find out the size of the most recent jackpot payout to get a sense for how big the jackpot is likely to get before being won.
Bet small at first. Even though keno is a fast paced game, winning can be slow and takes patience. You don’t want to sit down in a lounge and blow all of your money in two or three rounds. Most lounges will let you place bets as low as $1, so you should do this at first. Get into the groove of the game, see if the lounge is paying out well, and then increase your bets.
- Keno is not generally a game in which you win large sums, but if you bet smart you may be able to win small amounts over a number of rounds which will build up your overall winnings. It is possible to get lucky and win a lot at once, just not likely.
Set a playing budget. If you play often, this should include an overall budget for a month, for each day that you’ll play, and for bets on each round. If you are just playing for one sitting, a budget for that day is still a smart idea.You don’t want to play with more money than you actually have. And you don’t want to lose more than you started with.
- Keno is gambling, and gambling typically is a losing proposition in terms of odds. Some people win, but lots of people lose first. Be smart about how much money you can afford to play with.
- This is important for each individual time you sit down to play. You don’t want to bet all of your money in the first couple rounds, so it is often better to play conservatively over a longer period of time.
Play fewer numbers each round. This is a complicated suggestion, and not all Keno players agree on this, but if you play less numbers, you’ll win a higher percentage of money if you do in fact win. If you play four numbers and win three, it is better than winning eight numbers out of ten.
- Some Keno games will require you to pick a certain amount of numbers, which is why it’s important to know house rules. Overall, it is good to pick less numbers.
- This is basically a balancing act, as you will probably never win if you only pick one number, but it’s hard to get a large payout if you pick 15 numbers.
Keno tips and tactics
Since Keno is a game of chance and you can’t really do anything to increase your odds of winning, it is difficult to pinpoint a real strategy for success. Some people advocate that players should just play the game for fun and entertainment. Others, on the other hand, say that some sensible tips can help you both enjoy and win:
·Compare casinos and their pay tables and play where they pay more for each winning spot.
·Keep your winnings below the taxable amount.
·Bet seriously. When playing online Keno, bet at least $5 to stay in the game for the long run and get a chance at the jackpot.
·Understand the payout tables so you can choose the best number of spots.
·Determine the amount of money you’re willing to play with – and maybe lose.
·Before playing online Keno for real money, practice first.
·There’s no rule for picking the “right” Keno numbers – pick what feels right to you.
Top Five Strategies
Shop around the casinos
Keno is a much more profitable game to play online than in a real-life casino, as the pay-out percentages are generally far higher. That does not mean all web casinos are equal, so you need to shop around to find the best one for you.
Start with a few free games
Most sites will allow you to play for free and this is a good way to start, even if you have played real-life keno before. It will help you get used to the online interface and the different pace of playing on the web before you start putting money down.
Pick no more than six numbers and play online keno for real money.
New players make the mistake of thinking the more numbers they pick, the better their chances of winning. Actually, your odds decrease the more numbers you cover. On the other hand, the more numbers you pick, the bigger the potential jackpot. With all this in mind, picking six numbers represents a pretty good balance.
Make life easier with a multi-race card
Many microgaming sites will offer you the ability to utilise a multi-race card feature. This means you only need to select your numbers once and can then repeat that selection as you play. So, if you have lucky numbers that you like to pick, this saves the hassle of re-entering on every turn.
Keno is random, but you don’t have to be
If you are planning on playing your lucky numbers, we strongly advise for your own sanity to stay consistent. While, yes, all the numbers are randomly generated, we’ve heard plenty of horror stories from players whose lucky numbers never came up other than the one time they decided to play a different sequence.
All or nothing – A type of keno bet that requires all numbers chosen to be drawn out in order to win.
Balls – Balls, numbered 1 through 80, that are randomly drawn to pick the keno winners.
Blower – A “bubble”, usually of plexiglass, from which keno balls travel through a tube and their numbers drawn.
Caller – The person who calls out each game’s winning numbers.
Draw – The method of ascertaining the winning numbers done by a person (if the game is offline) or a software (if it’s online).
High-end ticket – A keno ticket that pays out greater winnings when players correctly guess a lot of numbers.
Keno – A bingo-like gambling game that uses a “bubble” containing 80 balls numbered 1 through 80. Players place bets based on the numbers drawn.
Keno board – A big screen or other visual display where you can view all the numbers in every single game.
Keno counter – A device (in land-based casinos) that registers the keno ticket.
Paytable – A printed or posted bulletin of each payoff based on the type of bet.
Video keno – Keno that’s played on an electronic screen, similar to slots and video poker.