Keno is a number-based game of luck with massive winning potential. It requires lots of patience and a firm knowledge of how the game works. That way, players can maximize their chances of having a successful experience.
Origins of keno can be traced back to nineteenth-century China, from where the numbers game arrived in the US. It was brought here by immigrants from China in the late 1800s, and since its arrival, it has become very popular among American gamblers.
The original game was played using 80 Chinese characters, but they were replaced by the same number of Arabic numerals as keno spread across the US. Over time, many new variants of the game appeared. One of those versions was Racehorse Keno, developed in Nevada, where each of the numbers was accompanied by a racehorse. However, during the 1950s, the tax bodies ordered the removal of the racehorse names.
Today, keno is widely enjoyed across the States, with keno lounges and live dealers available to a broad audience of players from Las Vegas to Atlantic City. The game got a new form, as a machine produced numbered balls in a way that was similar to bingo.
Casino players can also enjoy keno online, manually choosing their numbers or using an automatic pick option. Place a winning bet, and you’ll immediately receive your winnings.
Although keno is a game of chance, players can use a couple of strategies to improve their chances of scoring a win.
In this article, we’ll cover all the details on the essential aspects of keno. We will discuss the basics of this exciting game, as well as its rule. Apart from that, we will pay special attention to online keno and its availability today, especially as free online keno can be played anywhere in the US. You can also play for real money if you want. Stay with us as we cover all of these topics.
Play Online Keno USA
Online keno is very popular among internet gamblers due to its simplicity and speed. Another factor that has contributed to its popularity is the fact the game’s bingo-like interface, which is familiar to the average American player.
Besides being available at numerous casinos, card rooms, and racetracks across the States, keno can be played at legitimate online casinos. Players have wide options: they can enjoy the at US online gambling sites that offer keno, or foreign-based sites that legally allow their customers to play keno for real money.
Americans can play real money keno online through legally operating online casino sites. As we’ve also mentioned, there are sites operating outside the US where players can legally enjoy real money keno. These sites use the leading gaming software, the highest level of security, and meet strict licensing requirements.
Remember, online keno is 100% legal for all US residents, except players from Connecticut and the state of Washington. Apart from that, no state or federal gambling regulations ban gamblers from legally playing online keno for real money.
First thing first. It’s time to see how keno works. It’s easy to understand the basics of this exciting game.
Getting Familiar with the Game
Your typical keno game will include a keno card, a paytable, and a couple of buttons. Although there are different variations of this game online, these are common elements you’ll encounter when playing.
A keno card is basically a giant grid filled with numbers, resembling a big lottery ticket. On it, you’ll find numbers from 1 through to and including 80. In a standard online keno game, the grid will consist of eight rows with ten numbers on each of them.
The paytable provides information on the size of your payout, depending on the number of matching numbers you have. Unlike the lottery, the more numbers you hit doesn’t mean you’ll get a bigger prize. Instead, your payout will depend on the percentage of the number you guess. In practice, if you pick only six numbers and catch all of them, you’ll receive a significantly bigger payout than hitting eight numbers out of fourteen.
Instead of picking the numbers by yourself, you can always use the Quick Pick button. That way, the system will use an algorithm to choose them for you, just like the quick pick option available in many state lotteries.
How to Play the Game Online
- Choose your online keno game. If you don’t know which one to pick, we’ll talk about keno variations a bit later.
- Pick your numbers. Usually, players pick up to twenty numbers from the grid. You’re free to pick how many you want. Keep one thing in mind: it’s the percentage of numbers you manage to catch that determines the size of your payout.
- Carefully choose the size of your stake per draw.
- You’ll be prompted to select the number of games you want to play. For example, if you’re going to play a total of five games and place a $1 bet, your total cost will amount to $5.
- Wait for the draw to see if you win. The maximum amount of numbers will be drawn, and all you need to do is check them off. After the draw is finished, you’ll receive a payout based on how many matching numbers you have.
Online Keno Strategy
Although keno is purely based on chance, there are things you can do to improve the chances of claiming a win:
- Don’t pick too many numbers! The more you select, the bigger are your chances of winning. However, doing so will increase your costs. It’s essential to make a balance here, and we suggest picking between four and five spots at the same time.
- Make the most out of casino bonuses. Many online casinos offer fantastic welcomes bonuses. That way, you’ll get free money to play online, and with the right strategy, you can end up winning without spending a dime.
- Bankroll management. Be careful not to spend all your money too quickly. Properly managing your funds can help you play longer. Otherwise, you can easily get into trouble.
- Check casino payouts. Maximum payouts vary from one casino to another. So, before joining, find out what payouts you can expect. The higher they are, the better.
Online Keno Versions & Variations
The popular game of chance has many exciting twists on the original formula. Players have a wide variety of variants to choose from, with each one having distinctive characteristics.
The majority of keno variants come with a pool of eighty balls. This one doesn’t. Mini Keno has forty balls, hence the name. Unlike the standard game, where twenty balls are drawn, mini keno only draws ten.
When it comes to rules, nothing particularly changes. It’s essentially just a mini version of the standard game.
A catch in keno is when you have a matching number. In Power Keno, catching the last ball during a draw awards a 4x multiplier. The possibility of matching the last ball is slight but still exists, and it’s worth playing.
Twenty balls will be drawn, while players may choose up to ten numbers. Unlike the standard game, they won’t be able to pick a single number.
Bonus Spot Keno
Does the 4x multiplier we’ve just mentioned sound good? Bonus Spot Keno also has one on offer, but this time, you’ll get it if you catch the first drawn ball.
The size of the multiplier depends on the casino and usually ranges between 5x and 10x. This keno flavor can be found in some land-based casinos as well.
To summarize, a total of twenty numbers from 1 to 80 is drawn, while players choose between two and ten of them.
Progressive Jackpot Keno
There are many similarities between keno and slots. In both cases, it’s all about luck, with small odds of hitting big payouts. However, some keno games boast progressive jackpots, and just like progressive slots can deliver staggering wins.
There are many different keno games with progressive jackpots you can play online. Some award the main prize randomly, some for catching ten numbers on a ten-pick card. Whatever the case may be, progressive keno games cost more and often require a side bet. But the prospects of claiming a six-figure payout definitely sound appealing.
Types of Keno Bets
Unfortunately for players, keno doesn’t come with a strategy that would guarantee a win. However, there are different bets that can increase the size of your potential winnings.
- Straight Tickets. This a basic keno bet. Players choose their numbers and wait for the system to pick the winning ones.
- Ways Tickets. Using this bet, players can have multiple groupings of numbers. For example, you can pick a group of five numbers, together with another with five numbers, and the third one with ten selections.
- King Number Tickets. This bet adds one number to all existing groupings, representing an individual selection.
- Split Tickets. Multiple straight tickets are combined into one.
- Combination Tickets. This bet contains multiple different wagers.
Live Dealer Keno
The live casino segment has been rapidly growing over the past couple of years, but we had to wait until 2020 to see the first live dealer keno game hit the market. That’s when Evolution launched its Mega Ball. This title is essentially a hybrid game, combining keno and lotto, but it still functions as all other keno games do.
The game is played with 51 balls, while players are able to purchase multiple cards for a draw. A total of twenty balls are drawn, while a random multiplier, awarded before the last ball is drawn, has the potential to increase your winning by up to 100 times.
If you’re lucky enough and grab the largest multiplier, Mega Ball will deliver the top payout worth 1,000,000 times the stake.
Online Keno and Its RTP
All casino games have a Return to Player, or RTP, which is a figure that tells players what percentage of the money wagered gets returned to them.
The bad news for players is that keno has the highest house edge among casino games, which often goes well over 20%. This means the average RTP is 80% or less. On the other hand, slot machines have an RTP that’s usually around 96%, so it’s easy to see how much money casinos get from keno.
The good news is there are lots of variations in RTP between different keno versions. Some have an RTP of 90%, with that figure going as low as 70% in others.
Generally speaking, a lower RTP means the game has a higher payout potential. That’s why progressive jackpot slots have lower payout percentages than standard ones. Remember that the next time you’re choosing a keno game to play.
Online Keno Apps
Many online casinos have mobile apps that allow players to access their favorite games across a wide variety of devices. Players in the US can use such apps to play online keno, both for free and real money.
Online casino apps provide gamblers with a playing experience of the top quality, as they are designed for mobile devices. With a friendly and intuitive user interface, players can seamlessly enjoy keno online.
Keno in the United States
Although initially illegal in the United States, keno quickly took off and has become one of the casino games America loves to play. It’s equally popular in land-based and online casinos, and the best part of the playing experience keno offers to Americans is the wide variety of available variants. It first arrived on the West Coast with Chinese workers, and the rest was history. San Francisco was one of the first cities where the game had become immensely popular.
Online Keno FAQ
Where to Play Online Keno?
The US players can enjoy keno at many online casino sites. These sites have been thoroughly checked to ensure all games are safe and fair and that the operator adheres to strict rules imposed by the corresponding regulatory bodies. Many of these online casinos offer excellent welcome bonuses.
Online keno games can be played on-site without any additional download. You can play it for free or real money, and if you choose the second option, you can make a cash deposit using a trusted payment method.
Can I Win Money Playing Keno?
Of course you can. Your odds of winning are between 10% and 25% on any draw. If you manage to keep your keno sessions short, there’s good chance you’ll occasionally walk away with handsome payouts. But remember, the longer you play, the more will the house edge impact your bankroll.
What Are the Chances of Claiming the Maximum Payout?
Theoretically, the odds of wagering on twenty numbers and catching all of them are 1:3,535,316,142,212,173,800. As far as we know, something like that has never happened so far. That’s why most casinos award the same payout for landing fifteen or more catches. But even the odds of having fifteen of them are a staggering 1,428,010,179,098. Your best chances are to win any of the mid-range payouts.
Is Online Keno Different From the Standard Game?
There are no significant differences between the land-based version of the game and the one played online. The biggest one is the fact that online keno offers better odds.
Is It Possible to Play for Free Before Wagering Real Money?
Yes, it is. All major online casinos allow their players to enjoy the game for free before betting real cash. If you choose the second option, you can make a cash deposit using a trusted payment method.
Is Keno Fixed?
No. Online casinos use a piece of software known as the Random Number Generator, which produces random combinations of numbers. The number it makes can have up to 200,000 digits. In practice, this allows the creation of limitless combinations without ever repeating a draw.