When I started reading the basics of Keno, I couldn’t help but compare it to Bingo. Namely, for both games, you select the numbers randomly and hope to score the winning ticket. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like it, the terminal can pick the numbers for you. See? They basically sound the same. However, there are features which differentiate one from the other.

Although having a French-sounding name, Keno was actually invented in China thousands of years ago. And it has a fascinating history. Namely, one of the wars exhausted the dynasty’s funds. For this reason, the Chinese came up with an idea of creating a state lottery that would help them fund the war — in came Keno. This version had 120 Chinese characters which differ from the ones used today.

Also, it spread around the world in the twentieth century. Following this, some things, including the number of characters, changed to attract more players.

So in this article, I will delve deeper into the world of Keno, and hopefully, prompt you to try it out for yourself.

The Basics: How to Play

If you were to play this game live, then a clerk would give you a Keno ticket. You’d have the option of the terminal randomly selecting the numbers for you, or you could do it yourself if you want. After that, you’d be all set to go. Usually, you have 1–10 spots with 80 numbers at your disposal. Many believe that more spots, i.e., numbers, increase their chances of winning.


Furthermore, if you decide on 3 spots, then you can select three different numbers. After that, you need to determine how much you want to bet per each draw. Lastly, the ticket asks you to determine the number of consecutive draws you want to participate in.

And if you completed the above, then, congratulations! Your Keno journey can commence. Sit tight and keep your eyes on the Keno monitor to check if gods of fortune favour you. The machine will draw 20 numbers, and the more numbers you match, the more you will win.

While you’re at it, you should know that Keno machines generate numbers by using computer software.

Although this is enough to explain Keno, a club can add some additional features which will make it that more riveting to play. I will mention some below.

Spicing up the Game

Some play slips offer the options of bull’s eye and multipliers. This is one of the ways in which the casinos can make the game more exciting and provide better prizes.

Bull’s Eye

Now, this option increases your chances of winning. As I mentioned, a keno ticket has 80 numbers and the machine draws 20 of them. After this, you can check whether you have a winning ticket. In addition, the casino selects a number from those 20 that will be the red bull’s eye. By matching this, you’ll get a reward. Of course, you need to pay more to add the bull’s eye option on your ticket. And one of the best parts of this bonus feature is that you can actually go home with a prize, even if you didn’t get anything during the regular part of the game.

Multiplier Number

Some clubs include multipliers, and for an extra $1, give you the opportunity to win up to 10x the prize amount. Before the drawing commences, there is a wheelspin on the Keno monitor which determines the multiplier number. This multiplier is visible on the monitor and serves as a reminder for those potential winners.

Progressive Jackpot

Many Keno games have progressive jackpots, and a lot of players like to chase it. And if you hit the jackpot, then the amount varies from casino to casino. Namely, the sum depends on how many players participated and on the amount of their bets in that particular casino.

In the end, you’ll go home with the big prize if you match 10 boxes that have the symbol J. Thus, this is a fun addition to Keno and you should check the jackpot each casino offers.

How to Increase Your Odds?

I’ll discuss certain tricks which may help you increase your odds while playing Keno below.

Play for Free

Although Keno seems to be an easy game to grasp, it is a mistake to dive head-first and immediately wager real money. For this reason, you should play the game for free. Various online casinos offer this chance. And without losing any money, you will actually start getting a hold of Keno.

Should You Avoid Going for Two or Three Spots?

Many claim that it is best to choose between four to eight numbers. Bearing in mind that there are 80 numbers in the Keno machine, you might better your prospects by selecting more.

A lot of players shake their heads on a mere thought of going for more than eight spots. But if you were to ask them why this bothers them, they wouldn’t be able to explain. The thing is, we’re all superstitious about something. So if you think that a specific number of spots will lead you to victory, then, by all means, go with that.

Yet, no one can determine this for certain. If it were that easy, then we would all be proud winners of every Keno drawing ever.

Cold VS Hot Numbers

Hot Numbers Keno game

Although this might be too much, some players decide to keep a chart of the cold and hot numbers. I know, right? Who has time for that?

But if you do (no one’s judging), then you should know what the terms mean. If the Keno machine keeps drawing some numbers more frequently, then the players refer to them as hot numbers. However, if the machine draws some numbers more scarcely, then you can call them cold numbers. The numbers become cold if they haven’t been drawn for 15 consecutive games.

Admittedly, this might request a lot of devotion. But there are online casinos that actually keep track of these statistics for you. However, you should take this with a pinch of salt — I mean, do hot and cold numbers really exist? If they do, why would a casino so readily help you get those statistics?

These are just some of the tips players employ before they bet real money. Although they can help you get started, more often than not, it is mere luck that gets you to land a win.


In conclusion, this game that came to be because someone wanted to raise funds to continue warring has been captivating players for years. This is solid proof that Keno certainly deserves your time.

Therefore, if you decide to give it a go, you should first play the game for free, and in that way, you can come up with your own playstyle which you can use in the future. However, sometimes, not even that can help. After all, this is a game of chance, and no amount of forethinking can help you if you are just not lucky that day. But from my experience, this can be a fun pastime for those who like classic games.