How Do You Play Keno?

min read
Colorful balls spelling out the word “keno.”
BetMGM Feb 07, 2022, 8:26 AM

Some of the best casino games originated as far back as 2,000 years ago, as is the case with keno. Over the years, the game has evolved to accommodate more audiences, so much so that it is now named among some of the most popular online casino games. Interestingly, keno is of Chinese origin, but it was initially called baige piao or pai-ko piao. This means “white pigeon ticket” and references tickets used in a betting game that involves homing pigeons. Although it is not uncommon for people to mistake it for a Latin or French game because of its roots – quine in French means “five winning numbers” and quini in Latin which means “five each.”

Where it all started

Due to its premise and how it is played, Keno is often likened to the lottery. However, Keno is arguably more appealing because there is the opportunity to play multiple consecutive rounds and potentially win from several of them. When it comes to the lottery, on the other hand, it’s usually weekly or biweekly draws, so there are fewer opportunities to play. Given that people have grown used to instant gratification, Keno definitely scores some brownie points in that regard!

The popularity of the keno casino game is nothing new, especially in traditional casino setups and those that offer live dealer casino games, and that has also translated to its popularity as an online casino game. The live dealer gaming experience can be considered the best of both worlds because it combines elements of the actual land-based casino experience and the online casino experience.

How to play Keno

Nowadays, with the advent of technology, how to play online keno is a frequently asked question. Why, you may ask? Simply because its popularity remains high. However, more and more people are becoming exposed to the concept of an online casino and they are embracing it. Playing keno online is a relatively similar process to the actual casino experience. Just as you would sign into your BetMGM account to access a wide variety of online casino games, that is the first step to playing keno online.

Thereafter, you need to pick between two to 20 numbers on the online Keno card. Alternatively, if you’re not feeling particularly lucky that day, you can opt to use the auto picker to select the numbers on your behalf. Traditionally, the Keno card is a physical card that you make your selection on. You can make your selection from numbers one to 80. The next step is to start the round by placing your bet and then clicking on the “play” or “draw” button.

At this point, 20 randomly selected numbers will then be generated and highlighted on the online keno card. Based on how many of these randomly generated numbers match your selection, you will then receive your payout. You can repeat this process as many times as you wish to improve your chances of really capitalizing on your online casino experience. 

Common keno strategies

While some might say that you can’t really strategize or prepare for a game such as online keno – mostly because it appears to be a game of chance – that is not entirely true. Firstly, you need to make sure that you are playing on a reliable and credible site, hopefully one with a decent enough track record. 

Also, practice makes perfect – or so they say. Before dedicating a huge portion of your money to online casino games because you believe that you will win it back, try the free keno online games to improve your skills. That being said, setting a limit when you’re happy with how to play online keno is a good idea. It is possible to place a small bet and yet win big with online keno, but you should never wager more than you can afford to lose. 

Yes, we all know that the internet has answers to pretty much everything, right? But trust us, looking for keno numbers on the internet is not something you should be heavily dependent on. It’s not necessarily a winning strategy for when you want to play casino games online.

Spreading out your selection

Inspired by the Chinese concept of yin and yang, some people spread their number selection across the card as a way of balancing it out. Given that keno has Chinese origins, some really believe in this strategy of playing. 

Playing the same numbers multiple times

If you choose to play consecutive rounds, then this is a strategy that you may want to consider. Because of the probability of the numbers being randomly generated, this strategy is based on the belief that your selection will eventually be generated in one of your rounds, albeit in different rounds each. 

Choosing numbers that haven’t been generated in a while

This strategy is based on the fact that every number will eventually be generated, and at an even number of times as the others. Therefore, if a certain number hasn’t been generated in a while, it may just pop up in one of your rounds to even the probability scales out. 

Explore other online casino games offered by BetMGM

With variety games and the likes of bingo, roulette and poker, keno has truly stood the test of time. Now, with the option to play it online like several other casino games, more and more people are being exposed to the game. Platforms such as BetMGM have made it that much easier to access online casino games by merely signing up and then selecting whichever games you want to try your luck at.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.