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Online Keno Guide


Aside from video slot games, keno offers the best opportunity to win huge prizes with small bets. As you can surely imagine, the winning odds are not extremely significant, but still considerable, despite you will never find a viable system that improves your odds of winning.

Keno has often been referred to as a casino's version of the lottery and, curiously, it's a pretty accurate description. Keno is strictly a game of relaxation. The game itself is very pleasant, and easy to play. In the real-bricks casinos, keno has 80 numbered ping-pong balls and in every game the house randomly picks 20 balls (and then displays their numbers on the screens).

In some land-based casinos, you can find the 'Keno runners' which are the employees that collect the tickets from players and make the payments of the winning. But nowadays there is also available an online version of Keno - it works upon the same rules as the regular Keno. What you need to do is just select few numbers between 1-80 (minimum 4 numbers but no more than 10!) and then compare them to the randomly selected numbers by the casino (software).


Keno is a kind of game which is very similar to lotto. Despite it was originated in China several hundred years ago, the word “keno” has French/Latin roots and means "five winning numbers" in Latin. It's believed that the game was first originated in ancient China in the Han Dynasty between 205 and 187 B.C. Some historians credit keno with the building of the Great Wall of China. During the 19th century, Chinese migrant workers brought the game west when they came to help build railroads. After years, Chinese immigrants brought this game to the USA (in the mid 1800's).


The online version of keno is played using numbers 1 thru 80. The player is presented a 10 X 8 matrix from which they can typically choose to play a minimum of four spots up to a maximum of 15 spots. If some cases, players may be able to play 20 spots. The goal is very simple. The player tries to hit as many spots as possible. The higher the number of correct spots, the higher the payout.

The Bets: Based on table limits determined by each specific site, the player determines how much he is wagering on his keno ticket. Payout tables are provided showing the potential payouts based on number of spots hit versus the number of spots selected. Once the player has finished picking their spots, the game is ready to begin.

Drawings: After bets have been closed, 15 to 20 random numbers are drawn one ball at a time. The number of balls to be drawn usually coincides with the maximum number of spots the player is allowed to choose for each game.

Payouts: Keno is one of the few casino games where the player receives partial credit. In some cases, players are even awarded for being perfectly wrong.

In order to demonstrate how payouts are applied, we'll assume you as the player have decided to play 15 spots with 15 balls being drawn each time. Payouts typically start at three or four "catches" out of 15 spots with a payout of $.50 on the dollar. Remaining payouts are as follows:

  • 5 of 15 = 1-1
  • 6 of 15 = 2-1
  • 7 of 15 = 5-1
  • 8 of 15 = 15-1
  • 9 of 15 = 50-1
  • 10 of 15 = 150-1
  • 11 of 15 = 300-1
  • 12 of 15 = 600-1
  • 13 of 15 = 1,200-1
  • 14 of 15 = 2,500-1
  • 15 of 15 = 10,000-1

Some online casino will also offer a $500-$1,000 bonus if a player picks 15 spots and comes back with zeros catches. The thought process being it is nearly impossible to pick that many numbers and not hit a single one. For what it's worth, the odds of hitting 0 out of 20 is 1 in 843 and 20 out of 20 spots calculates out to 1 in 3,535,316,142,212,173,800.

When bettors are playing the game, it can become quite tiresome to continually keep picking numbers. Several tools are available to help players cut down on the work. For instance, players can choose to play certain cards multiple times by selecting one of the multiple game options.

Tips to Follow

  1. Look for Value - Some online casinos offer a better return on certain plays. Depending on which strategy or approach you choose, you should invest some time looking for reputable online casinos that offer better odds slanted towards the kinds of plays you are interested in making. No matter where you play, the real probabilities remain the same. Therefore, any increase in your odds creates real value.
  2. Free Practice Games - There are online casinos that allow visitors to play games for fun with no money involved. If you have never sat down and played keno, it's always a good idea to invest some time and play an hour or two for free. It gives you the opportunity to see how the game is played and to review the possible payouts as you devise your particular strategy.
  3. The Right Attitude - Keno is comparable to playing the lottery. The odds are very much in the house's favor, so you would be well-advised to not play keno seriously. As mentioned above, it makes for a nice casual game where you can play a few spots and hope for a little bit of luck. With the right attitude, your chances of enjoying the action will be significantly higher.
  4. Avoid Playing Too Maximum Spots - There is no denying that the huge potential payouts for hitting 15 of 15 or 10 of 10 spots are very tempting. The reality is those kinds of payouts are offered for a reason. If you want to play the long-shot with no expectations of winning, then no one can argue it's not worth taking a chance.
  5. Play Multi-Game Tickets - When you find a set of numbers you like playing, you have the option to play the same keno card for a specified number of games in a row. Since the ball-drawing process always provides random results, there is no value in trying to out guess the machine and land on the right spots. You can save yourself some time and effort by playing a multi-game ticket, sitting back and enjoying the action.
  6. Play Small Number of Spots - If you truly want a realistic chance to win a little money, you should consider playing a smaller number of spots. Depending on a particular online casino's format, you might want to stick with playing 3-6 spots on a consistent basis. Keno tends to be a game of momentum. While playing fewer spots offers smaller returns, they also occur more often. If you get some momentum going, you might hit 5-6 games in a row and find yourself with a nice little bankroll.
  7. Play Numbers in Clusters - For some inexplicable reason, numbers tend to show up in clusters. Using blind faith, you might want to consider playing small clusters of numbers. If you absolutely have to use some kind of tips regarding online keno, then playing clusters is the best option more than anything else you might consider.

Online Keno Guide - Infographic

Online Keno Guide - Infographic

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