Play At Best Keno Online Casinos
Keno is a drawing game that originated in 19th century China. It’s available in both online and land-based casinos, and it’s also offered as a game by some state lotteries across the US and Canada.
The goal in keno is to choose as many matching numbers from those drawn from the keno drum as possible. The more hits you have, the bigger the payout you’ll receive.
Keno is a classic high risk-high reward game where players can win up to $5,000,000 by staking only a few bucks. And therein lies the most appealing aspect of keno — the prospect of striking it rich with a small investment.
This lottery-style gambling game is based purely on luck, which makes it ideal for casual players who want to win big without having to brainstorm complex gambling strategies.
Keno is super easy to learn and play; even absolute beginners can learn the ropes quickly. Our guide below will get you up to speed with everything you need to know before setting off on a keno adventure. We covered all the essentials, from game rules to payout odds and various types of bets you can place, among other things.
What is keno?
Keno is a drawing game that bears a strong resemblance to the lotto because it involves picking numbers and hoping they get drawn from the drum.
The game of keno has 80 numbers, 20 of which are drawn randomly and selected as winning numbers. Your goal is to predict and match as many of these numbers (spots) as possible.
The amount of spots you’re allowed to pick varies between different online casinos and keno variations. On average, you can select 1 – 15 numbers.
The payouts are determined by how many numbers the player has chosen and how many of them hit. The more matching numbers you have, the higher the payout.
Here’s how the game plays out, step-by-step:
- Once the game loads up, you’ll see the keno grid, a table that displays all 80 numbers, from 1 to 80.
- Select the numbers you think will get picked in the next drawing round. You do that by selecting keno spots on the grid by clicking the mouse or tapping your mobile device’s screen. Most casinos allow you to mark up to ten spots, although some platforms allow up to 15 or even 20 numbers.
- Input the amount you wish to stake. Bet denominations and limits depend on the casino you’re playing. Min/max allowed stake is usually in the $0.05 – $20 range.
- Select the number of rounds you would like to play. If your stake is $1 and you would like to play ten rounds, you need to pay $10 to cover all the games.
- The keno drum will draw the numbers at random via the random number generator.
- You will receive your payout based on the number of hits and the stake.
All payouts will be displayed in the keno payout chart, so you can keep tabs on how much you can win in each draw.
Some keno variations come with a multi-million dollar jackpot. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to hit all 20 numbers to win the jackpot prize. That would be next to impossible as the odds for it to happen are astronomical and measured in quintillions. Typically, the jackpot is awarded to players that hit all the spots on a 10-number ticket.
Picking keno numbers
When playing keno, there are two ways you can fill out your keno slip.
- You can select your lucky numbers manually by clicking on the desired spots.
- Use the Auto Pick feature and let the keno number generator pick them automatically, which would save you the hassle of deciding which ones you want to play.
Regardless of which option you opt for, the drawing will be carried out entirely randomly. Keno is a game based purely on luck, and you can’t affect the outcome by choosing one selection method or the other.
Different keno bets
You can make several types of wagers in every keno game, with each one having a distinct payout structure. Here’s the rundown of the most popular types of keno bets available in most online casinos:
- Straight ticket — This is the simplest and most popular keno wager, one that usually requires players to hit all the selected numbers. The procedure is straightforward — choose your desired number(s), up to 15 on most gambling sites, and wait for the draw.
Depending on how many numbers you choose, how many of them are matched, and the amount of money you stake, you’ll receive your payout.
- Split ticket — A split ticket consists of multiple straight wagers. Basically, you choose two sets of numbers you think will be drawn and activate the Split mode, which divides the groups with a line or circle.
You receive the same payout as for a standard straight ticket, but you’re not allowed to use the same number twice.
- Way ticket — This is the most complex type of wager in keno, one that includes multiple sets of numbers as a bet. When you choose your desired group of numbers, you divide them into multiple subgroups or ways.
As with split bets, you’re not allowed to repeat numbers — each number can appear in one group only.
- Combination ticket — As the name indicates, a combination ticket comprises multiple bets. It gives you bigger payout odds but comes at a higher cost than a straight ticket as you would have to pay for each combination of numbers you put on your slip.
The key advantage of combination tickets over other multi-wagers is that the numbers can overlap. Put differently, you can use the same number(s) in multiple combinations.
- King ticket — Like the split and way ticket, players choose a set of numbers and break them down into multiple subgroups. However, they also need to pick a king number, which is added to all of their groupings. If your king number hits, you can win big.
Compared to other casino games, keno has very player-unfriendly odds. The probability of winning big is akin to winning the lottery. For perspective, there are 3,535,316,142,212,180,000 (3.5 quintillion) ways the keno drum can draw 20 numbers out of 80. Even if we’re talking about more realistic wins, the odds are not particularly stacked in favor of the players.
The expected net gain for the player is in the 70-75% range, which is much worse than any other casino game.
The table below displays the odds for each number of picks:
|Numbers Picked||Numbers Matches||Approximate Odds|
|1||1||1 in 4|
|2||2||1 in 17|
|3||3||1 in 73|
|3||2||1 in 8|
|4||4||1 in 327|
|4||3||1 in 24|
|4||2||1 in 5|
|5||5||1 in 1551|
|5||4||1 in 83|
|5||3||1 in 12|
|6||6||1 in 7,753|
|6||5||1 in 324|
|6||4||1 in 36|
|6||3||1 in 8|
|7||7||1 in 40,980|
|7||6||1 in 1366|
|7||5||1 in 116|
|7||4||1 in 20|
|7||3||1 in 6|
|8||8||1 in 230, 115|
|8||7||1 in 6,233|
|8||6||1 in 423|
|8||5||1 in 55|
|8||4||1 in 13|
|9||9||1 in 1,380, 688|
|9||8||1 in 30,682|
|9||7||1 in 1,691|
|9||6||1 in 175|
|9||5||1 in 31|
|9||4||1 in 9|
|10||10||1 in 8,911,712|
|10||9||1 in 163,382|
|10||8||1 in 7,385|
|10||7||1 in 621|
|10||6||1 in 88|
|10||5||1 in 20|
|10||0||1 in 22|
House advantage in keno vs. other games
As we mentioned earlier, keno has one of the most unfavorable house edges of all casino games. Depending on the variation, and the casino, it’s usually in the 4% – 35% spectrum. With that in mind, you’re probably better off playing video poker, baccarat, or blackjack, which has a house edge of less than 2.5%.
In the table below, we’ve summed up the house edges of the most popular games you’ll find on every casino floor, online or land-based. That way, you’ll know exactly where keno stands against high-profile casino classics.
|Keno||20% – 35%|
|Blackjack||Around 0.5% with optimal strategy|
|Baccarat||1.06% for the banker bet; 1.24% for the player bet|
|Roulette||5.26% for American roulette; 2.70% for European roulette|
|Craps||0.42% – 2.78%, depending on the bet|
|Let it Ride||3.51%|
|Three-Card Poker||3.37% for ante and play bets|
|Video Poker||0.5% – 5% depending on the game; some paytables can return over 100% (negative house edge)|
Live keno vs. online keno
Live dealer keno and offline keno are essentially the same. Live dealer keno drawings take place in brick-and-mortar casinos and are then streamed in affiliated online casinos in real time. Players can get in on the action via the live casino lounge of their chosen gambling site. You’ll often see it listed in the Specialty games section.
While the game rules are fundamentally the same, there are a few distinct differences between playing online keno and live dealer keno.
The most notable difference between the two keno formats is seen in how the numbers are drawn from the drum. The outcomes of online keno games are determined by the RNG (random number generator). With live keno, professional dealers draw the winning numbers from the hopper.
Furthermore, online and live keno differ from one another in terms of game speed. Online, or RNG keno, is fast-paced and can generate up to 15 drawings per minute. On the other hand, live keno is played at a much slower pace, and rounds can last up to 15 minutes.
Where to play keno online
It’s relatively easy to find an online casino that offers keno games, that is, if you’re living in states that have legalized gambling. But even if you’re situated in a region where internet wagering is not legally regulated, there are ways to enjoy keno games online — sweepstakes casinos. On these gaming platforms, you don’t play with real money; instead, you use virtual currency or coins that don’t have real value.
The two leading operators in the sweepstakes casino scene are:
FunzPoints casino utilizes the sweepstakes model, making it legal in all US states except Washington to register and play for cash prizes. New players on the site receive a welcome bonus combo that consists of $2.50 in site credit and 1,000 FunzPoints, which can’t be redeemed for real money.
The main draw of FunzPoints is the daily jackpot sweepstakes draw, which dishes out $350 to 40 lucky winners. Other than keno, users can try out 30 in-house slots — games that you won’t find elsewhere. FunzPoints is compatible with iOS and Android and works equally well on both types of mobile devices.
BetMGM is one of the most trusted brands in the entire US casino industry. With a majestic roster of games, high-quality mobile apps, and a superb loyalty program, BetMGM casino is nothing short of phenomenal.
Add to this a generous welcome bonus and stellar customer support, and you’ll realize why this is considered the go-to destination even for the most demanding gamblers out there.
Golden Nugget’s portfolio of games is a sight to behold. The library counts over 700 titles, covering all popular niches — slots, table games, progressives, specialty, and live dealer games. Other amenities of this spectacular gambling site include top-notch mobile apps, a sizable welcome bonus, and a phenomenal rewards club.
With regards to banking, Golden Nugget runs circles around the opposition. The site offers various payment methods to ensure quick, easy, and secure payments for all account holders.
DraftKings has already asserted itself as the leader in DFS and is slowly moving up the ranks in the online casino scene. The operator offers a modern app, a wide range of gaming options, and a great collection of bonuses for both new and existing customers. As an added benefit, DraftKings also offers sports betting in addition to casino games and daily fantasy contests.