Online Keno Strategy

Playing Keno

The Keno board is on prominent display throughout live casinos. Keno runners will come around periodically to collect the tickets, which will be available in select locations – a keno parlor, or in many cases, a restaurant where the keno board is visible.

The keno ticket consists of 80 numbers per game, one through 80, and players can select as many numbers as they want, usually from one to 15, but sometimes up to as many as 20. The more numbers you pick, the higher payout you receive for "catching your numbers."

For example, if you pick only one number and hit it the payoff is rather small. If you pick nine numbers, you won't get anything for hitting one, but will receive a very large payoff for hitting all nine, or even for hitting seven or eight.

Catching Numbers in Keno

In live Keno, the games start at predetermined intervals. Your ticket should correspond to the current game (called a "race").

The keno board highlights selected numbers. Once the keno board has twenty numbers highlighted, you can check your ticket to see if you have one.

Video and Online Keno

In video and online Keno, the game starts as soon as you have selected your numbers.

This allows you to play at your own pace, but also puts your bankroll at risk much faster than in live keno, so keep your wits about you when playing in this format.

Keno Payouts

Keno has a rather high house advantage compared to most other casino games, especially if you play it in brick-and-mortar casinos.

In U.S. casinos the house edge is usually somewhere between 20% and 35%, which means that 80% to 65% is returned to the player.

In blackjack, for instance, the house only has around 2% granted that you know the basic strategy.

In Video Keno and online-keno games, however, the house edge is only around 5%, which is the same as most slot machines and sometimes even better than slots. 

Keno Odds

When you have chosen what game to play and decide how many numbers you’ll play and how much to wager, there’s no way to alter the odds and make them more favorable. From this point on, Keno is simply a game of chance.

Let’s say that you’ve chosen 20 numbers on a standard 80-number ticket. How great is the chance that you’ll hit 3, 5 or perhaps 20?

These are the Keno odds:

0: 1 in 843

1: 1 in 86

2: 1 in 20

3: 1 in 8

4: 1 in 5

5: 1 in 4

6: 1 in 5

7: 1 in 9

8: 1 in 20

9: 1 in 61

10: 1 in 253

11: 1 in 1,423

12: 1 in 10,968

13: 1 in 118,084

14: 1 in 1,821,881

15: 1 in 41,751,453

16: 1 in 1,496,372,110

17: 1 in 90,624,035,964

18: 1 in 10,512,388,171,906

19: 1 in 2,946,096,785,176,811

20: 1 in 3,535,316,142,212,173,800

As you can see, there’s a very slim chance that you’ll get 20 out of 20. It’s as close to impossible as you can get.

But getting no hits is quite unlikely also and that’s why many casinos have a bonus for tickets where you miss everything.

Keno Strategy Summary

As said, to win in Keno you just need to get lucky (and to win big you’ll have to be very lucky.) There’s no real strategy you can use to change the outcome of a game.

If you look for a laid-back casino game that doesn’t require a lot of thinking, Keno might a good choice.

Origins of Keno

Try to find a casino game with more history than Keno. This popular numbers game has come a long way before making it into restaurants and lounges in Las Vegas and California and into online casinos. Around the year 200 BC, ancient Chinese scrolls tell of a ruler, Cheung Leung of the Han Dynasty invented the first Keno game. He needed funds for the military, so why not create a little lottery?

Origins of Keno