Keno Keno

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Keno is believed to date back to China in the 1st century AD when characters from one of Confucius` poems were used, rather than numbers, in the matrix. Keeping the same flexibility of playing methods, the version offered through the Rhode Island Lottery since September 1992. Keno is a fun, fast-paced game that gives players a chance to win $100,000 or more. Drawings are held every 4 minutes. Keno can be played at any PA Lottery retailer that sells Draw Games and can be watched live, in person, at select retailers. Animations of past draws. KENO drawings are available to view from August 2008 to present. Drawings prior to February 28, 2010 do not include Booster ®. KENO drawings are best viewed in the following browsers: Internet Explorer 11, Safari, Firefox and Google Chrome. Play KENO at all retail locations and watch the drawings at a KENO monitor location or on demand here. You can wager $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $10 & $20. Choose from 1 to 10 numbers (called the 'spot') out of a pool of 80 numbers. You may use a bet card or the Auto Pick feature.

A set of Finnish keno betting slips

Keno/kn/ is a lottery-like gambling game often played at modern casinos, and also offered as a game by some state lotteries.

Players wager by choosing numbers ranging from 1 through (usually) 80. After all players make their wagers, 20 numbers (some variants draw fewer numbers) are drawn at random, either with a ball machine similar to ones used for lotteries and bingo, or with a random number generator.

Each casino sets its own series of payouts, called 'paytables'. The player is paid based on how many numbers were chosen (either player selection, or the terminal picking the numbers), the number of matches out of those chosen, and the wager.

There are a wide variety of keno paytables depending on the casino, usually with a larger 'house edge' than other games offered by that casino. The house edge ranges from less than 4 percent[1] to over 35 percent.[2] The typical house edge for non-slot casino games is under 5 percent.[3]


The word keno has French or Latin roots (Fr. quine 'five winning numbers', L. quini 'five each'), but by all accounts the game originated in China. Legend has it that the invention of the game saved an ancient city in time of war, and its widespread popularity helped raise funds to build the Great Wall of China. In modern China, the idea of using lotteries to fund a public institution was not accepted before the late 19th century.[4]

Chinese lotteries are not documented before 1847 when the Portuguese government of Macau decided to grant a license to lottery operators. According to some, results of keno games in great cities were sent to outlying villages and hamlets by carrier pigeons, resulting in its Chinese name 白鸽票 báigē piào, literally 'white dove ticket', pronounced baak-gap-piu in Cantonese (on which the Western spelling 'pak-ah-pu' / 'pakapoo' was based).

The Chinese played the game using sheets printed with Chinese characters, often the first 80 characters of the Thousand Character Classic, from which the winning characters were selected.[5][6] Eventually, Chinese immigrants introduced keno to the US in the 19th century,[7] where the name was Westernized into boc hop bu[6] and puck-apu.[5] By 1866, it had already become a widely popular gambling game in Houston, Texas, under the name keno.[8]


Keno payouts are based on how many numbers the player chooses and how many of those numbers are 'hit', multiplied by the proportion of the player's original wager to the 'base rate' of the paytable. Typically, the more numbers a player chooses and the more numbers hit, the greater the payout, although some paytables pay for hitting a lesser number of spots. For example, it is not uncommon to see casinos paying $500 or even $1,000 for a 'catch' of 0 out of 20 on a 20 spot ticket with a $5.00 wager. Payouts vary widely by casino. Most casinos allow paytable wagers of 1 through 20 numbers, but some limit the choice to only 1 through 10, 12, and 15 numbers, or 'spots' as the numbers selected are known.[9]

The probability of a player hitting all 20 numbers on a 20 spot ticket is 1 in 3,535,316,142,212,174,320.[10]

Even though it is virtually impossible to hit all 20 numbers on a 20 spot ticket, the same player would typically also get paid for hitting 'catches' 0, 1, 2, 3, and 7 through 19 out of 20, often with the 17 through 19 catches paying the same amount as the solid 20 hit. Some of the other paying 'catches' on a 20 spot ticket or any other ticket with high 'solid catch' odds are in reality very possible to hit:

01 in 843.380
11 in 86.446
21 in 20.115
31 in 8.009
41 in 4.877
51 in 4.287
61 in 5.258
71 in 8.826
81 in 20.055
91 in 61.420
101 in 253.801
111 in 1,423.822
121 in 10,968.701
131 in 118,084.920
141 in 1,821,881.628
151 in 41,751,453.986
161 in 1,496,372,110.872
171 in 90,624,035,964.712
181 in 10,512,388,171,906.553
191 in 2,946,096,785,176,811.500
201 in 3,535,316,142,212,174,320.000

Probabilities change significantly based on the number of spots that are picked on each ticket.


  1. ^Online Keno odds
  2. ^Shackleford, Michael. 'Keno - Strategy and Odds by The Wizard of Odds'. Wizard of Odds Consulting, Inc. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  3. ^Casino advantages for various games
  4. ^'Keno History'. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  5. ^ abMelanie Yap, Dianne Leong Man. Colour, confusion and concessions, pp.240-241.
  6. ^ ab'Chinese Gambling Games; Mysteries of Fan Tan And Boc Hop Bu. Two Popular Games in the Chinese Quarters of American Cities-- Superstitions of the Players. Boc Hop Bu. Superstitions'(PDF). The New York Times. 5 February 1888.
  7. ^History of Keno. Transl. from German, 2017.
  8. ^'The New York Times'. 29 July 1866.Cite journal requires journal= (help)
  9. ^'Tutorial - How to play Keno'. Gambling Info. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  10. ^Mark Bollman (2014). Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind the Neon. CRC Press. pp. 40–41. ISBN9781482208931.
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Some experts like to say that there is no keno strategy, this is not true. There is always a way to get an edge in any game no matter how small. It may not generally be considered the sexiest game in the world of gambling, but keno has millions of devoted enthusiasts. And why not? It’s a consistently thrilling lottery-style game that’s easy to learn, readily available in a number of different formats, and one that can yield mega-dollars for those who master its many subtle intricacies. But let’s deal with the basics here.

When describing keno to beginners, some gambling experts compare it to bingo. This is at least partially apt, in that both are essentially numerical. Yet to take that comparison too far would be to underestimate the many unique traits that make keno so compelling. Unlike bingo, keno players have the freedom to choose the numbers for each card.

How to Play keno

  1. You decide how much you wish to bet on a particular round, and how many numbers you wish to choose. You can choose between 1 and 20 numbers, the payouts vary depending on how many numbers you pick and how many of them get drawn.
  2. You now get to pick your numbers as you would if you were playing a Lottery. As with most Lotteries, many sites will give you an option to get the numbers picked for you at random. The numbers in Keno go from 1 to 80.
  3. The game now starts and 20 of the 80 numbers are chosen at random.
  4. If one of your numbers is picked, this is known as a ‘Catch’. You get paid depending on the number of Catches you get during the game.

In the example free play game above, you start with $1,000 free credits. You can change the value of each game, this can be from $0.01 to $10.00. Click on Quick Pick and 10 numbers will be randomly chosen. You can change these if you wish, remove some or add more. Note that each time you add or remove a number, the paytable changes, both in terms of the minimum number of ‘catches’ you need to receive a payout and the level of each payout.

Once you are happy, click either Play 1 to play 1 game with those numbers, Play 5 to play 5 consecutive games with those numbers, or Play 10 to play 10 games with them. Remember that each game will cost you the same amount, so if you choose $1 per game and then Play 5, you will pay $5 – 5 games X $1 per game.

You will then see 20 numbers of the 80 get drawn at random, these will be marked off on the main game area with a red cross, and that you have will be marked off with a yellow square and will show on the right-hand side.
After each game, all winnings will get paid automatically into your balance and once all games have been played, you can start again.

Keno Payouts

The payouts for Keno differ from casino to casino, so ensure you look around to get the best payout if Keno is your game of choice.

A standard payout structure is shown below (all amounts are payouts to 1):

CatchPick 1Pick 2Pick 3Pick 4Pick 5Pick 6Pick 7Pick 8Pick 9Pick 10

Keno Odds

When playing a 20 spot game, so you choose 20 of the 80 numbers available, the odds are as follows:

The odds of picking 0 correct numbers is around 1 in 843

The odds of picking 1 correct number out of 20 is around 1 in 86

The odds of picking 2 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 20

The odds of picking 3 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 8

The odds of picking 4 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 4.8

The odds of picking 5 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 4.2

The odds of picking 6 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 5.2

The odds of picking 7 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 8.8

The odds of picking 8 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 20

The odds of picking 9 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 61

The odds of picking 10 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 253

The odds of picking 11 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 1,423

The odds of picking 12 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 10,968

The odds of picking 13 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 118,084

The odds of picking 14 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 1,821,881

The odds of picking 15 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 41,751,453

The odds of picking 16 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 1,496,372,110

The odds of picking 17 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 90,624,035,964

The odds of picking 18 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 10,512,388,171,906

The odds of picking 19 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 2,946,096,785,176,811

The odds of picking 20 correct numbers out of 20 is around 1 in 3,535,316,142,212,173,800

The odds of getting all 20 numbers are a virtually impossible one in over 3.5 quintillions! As you can win by selecting significantly fewer numbers though, there are good returns to be had if your luck is in. As a result, when playing Keno, it is important to research the paytable to ensure you are getting the best possible returns for guessing between 2 and 8 numbers correctly as these are the payouts that you are most likely to win.

Keno Strategy

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There is no magical Keno strategy that will guarantee you a win but there are many tips you will learn here to give you the best possible odds.

Although you can win higher amounts if you pick more numbers, the odds of winning reduce as you need more Catches in order to win.

As the numbers are chosen using a Random Number Generator, each of the 80 numbers has just as much chance as the others of being drawn, there will always be some Players who have numbers that they consider to be lucky though. Super nudge 6000 slot machine.

Generally speaking, the odds in Keno are about the same as those in Slots. There are better games with a higher chance of winning than Keno.

Keno cards have a total of 80 numbers, but the player is granted an additional level of personal responsibility by being able to choose as many (or as few) numbers as he or she desires. And it doesn’t take a nuclear physicist to figure out how to fill out a card: all you do is a circle or otherwise mark each of your chosen numbers with a good old #2 pencil as you used back in school (assuming you were born before the computer age). If this is the case, fear not. Keno does not discriminate against anyone’s age.

Once you’ve selected your numbers, carry the card back to the clerk at the keno booth. The clerk will record those numbers and then hand you a receipt. Don’t lose this (potentially) valuable piece of paper! Even if the clerk remembers your face and would like to help out, without a winning receipt in hand you will collect precisely $.00 for your efforts.

OK, so there you have tip #1: always be sure to keep your keno receipt. Let’s move on to something a bit more complex, shall we?


Once you’ve picked your numbers, settle into a comfy keno booth and watch the action unfold on big a video monitor. That’s where the winning numbers show up in lights. If you’ve got winners, mark your card accordingly. Be sure not to dally, or sit there congratulating yourself for an obnoxious length of time. You need to get back to the keno booth to redeem your winnings, as a new drawing will probably start within five minutes.

Tip #2: always get back to the booth on time!

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Assuming you don’t trust yourself to beat that five-minute margin every time, you always retain the option of purchasing a “multi-race” ticket. These include the same set of your chosen numbers anywhere from 2 to 20 tickets. When the maximum number of games (matching the number of tickets) is finished, you can then get off your butt and go redeem your winnings.

Yet an additional option is known as a “stray and play” ticket, which usually lets you make number choices for 30 games or more. Heck, you can take an ocean cruise and not have to worry about getting back to port in time to redeem your numbers. Most “stray and play” tickets are good for up to a whole year after purchase!

So now you know a few essential strategies for winning keno. If you are an experienced player, they may seem stupidly obvious. But it never hurts to brush up on the fundamentals, and if you are a new player, every bit of information will help make your keno experience more enjoyable.

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