How to Play Online Keno

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Keno is one of the oldest gambling games in existence.

Its history traces back at least 2000 years to similar, lottery-style games played in ancient China.

The game now exists in different forms worldwide, most commonly found in large casinos. And more recently in the United States, it's moved to online operators where the rules and strategies remain mostly the same. Here are some keys to learning the game of Keno: 


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Keno Rules, Format

Luckily, Keno is a very simple game with few rules. Your participation in the game is to first choose a set of numbers called spots between 1 and 80. Typically you can pick up to 15-20 spots. Your objective is to match as many numbers as possible from the Keno draw. Your payouts are determined by the number of spots you hit vs. the number of spots you submitted.

In general, the more numbers you match, the higher the payout will be. Below are the simple high-level steps to play. 

  1. Log in to your online casino of choice and click on their keno game. 
  2. Find the type of ticket you want to play. Types of tickets are defined below.
  3. Define your bets, choose the amount to wager and fill out your ticket. 
  4. Submit your ticket electronically. 
  5. Watch the Draw and hopefully win big!

It really is that simple. Keno requires no skill on your part, just be sure to wager responsibly. Keno is a game that is meant to be played in moderation. Keno’s obvious disadvantage is that the casino edge is massive. However, Keno’s big advantage is that it gives players a chance at very large payouts with a modest budget.

Other games like craps, blackjack or baccarat have much lower casino edges, but the bankroll to play those games properly is much higher than a game like keno. You can play most keno games with $1-2 bet.

Types of tickets

  1. Straight Tickets: This is the standard keno ticket provided by the casino where you pick the number of spots you want and try to hit as many numbers as possible. 
  2. Way Tickets: A separate secondary bet placed on a keno ticket. This bet utilizes combinations of the numbers you’ve selected so that you can get a higher payout if it hits. 
  3. King Number Tickets: A single circled number on a keno ticket that can be used on its own or combined with other groups to form a unique wager. Payout tables vary with a king ticket bet but they certainly offer enhanced payoffs.
  4. Split Tickets: A keno bet where the player plays multiple groups of numbers separately on the same ticket. Each set of spots gets a wager.
  5. Combination Tickets: A single keno ticket where a player makes multiple keno wagers. Your separate wagers will have overlapping spots. The player is allowed to chose spots and divide them however they please creating several different bets.
  6. Progressive Jackpot Games: This is the best way to play if you can find it. This is a pool of money that builds as different players fail to win the game. The extra prize pool money decreases the house edge significantly.
  7. Left/Right ticket where the player has marked the numbers vertically down the center. The wager pays if the player catches numbers on one half of the ticket. Similarly, the player can win if he catches non numbers on one half of the ticket.
  8. Edge Ticket: Ticket where a player picks all 32 numbers around the edge of the ticket. The ticket cost is typically around $5. The player wins if either he catches between 1-6 numbers or if he/she catches 10-20 numbers. The payout tables vary per casino.
  9. Computer Ticket: A keno ticket where a computer picks the numbers instead of the player.
  1. Pay Any Catch Ticket: A low risk low reward type of bet. This wager pays as long as the player catches at least one number on his ticket.
  2. Top Bottom Ticket: A variation on a Left/Right ticket where the horizontal line crosses the middle of the ticket separating the numbers into 2 halves “top” and “bottom.” The wager hits when only numbers in the top portion or in the bottom portion are exclusively drawn.

If you're ready to up your keno game, check out our eight best keno tips.