Understanding Keno – Part I

FEW CASINO AND LOTTERY games are more popular than Keno.  Keno is found within most of North America’s online casinos and all of Canada’s regional lottery operators offer Keno games of some kind.

This underlines the general acceptance of Keno amongst gamblers who are doubtlessly attracted by its glorious simplicity, excitement and the potential for massive winnings.  Everyone has lucky numbers and birthday dates they hold dear and this fun game offers the opportunity to string them together in the hope of landing a jackpot prize – if and when the planets line-up for lucky ticket holders.

History of Keno
As with most gambling games which populate North American casinos the history of the game is less than clear.  Like ‘Poker’ the word ‘Keno’ has a French origin but unlink the card game Keno is not traced back to European immigrants in New Orleans.

Instead it is widely believed Keno started life in China and arrived on North America’s west coast courtesy of an immigrant workforce (constructing the First Transcontinental Railroad) in the 1860’s.  Most certainly the game, using the Keno name, enjoyed wide-spread popularity in in Houston, Texas, by 1866.

Mr Green Casino – one of the best places to play Keno online

Rules of Keno
If you’re familiar with the workings of any lottery type game (or even Bingo) you are qualified to understand the ins-and-outs of Keno within minutes.

Like Lotto’s, Keno’s results come from numbered balls falling from a drum.  The drum has 80 balls in it at the outset numbered 1-to-80. As a player you need to select a number or numbers which will be drawn.  Typically you can select between 1 and 20 numbers and your returns depend on how many correct predictions you make.

The odds of return, or ‘pay-scale’ (also known as ‘paytables’), is directly related to the number of drawn numbers that match all the numbers that have been selected by the player.

The more numbers chosen and the more the numbers which are successfully ‘hit’ results in a greater payout for the player.  The chances of successfully predicting all the 20 numbers with a ticket which has 20 predictions has been calculated to be around 1-in-3.5 quintillion!  Thankfully online casinos do not insist players make exactly 20 selections although some will limit the bet options to only 1 and up to 10, 12 and 15 numbers.

Unlike land-based casino and lottery style Keno, playing the game online is very hard to mess up!  Entries are completed by simple taps and ticks, in a ‘live’ scenario slips can easily be spoiled and ruined.

Odds in Keno
Keno is a game of total chance akin to Roulette.  However unlike Roulette the maximum potential winnings in a game of Keno is considerably more than that games ceiling odds 35/1. Resultantly the house edge in Keno is a lot more than the margins found in traditional casino table games such as Blackjack, Roulette and Craps.

Like those games the house edge depends totally on the bet type you place and as there are numerous types of bet on offer it is difficult give a definitive ‘house edge’ figure.  It is certainly between 20 and 40 percent with the lowest margins on the least extravagant bets (and number of balls predicted).