How Do You Play Keno?

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Colorful balls spelling out the word “keno.”
BetMGM Nov 01, 2023, 2:42 AM

Some of the best casino games were first played as far back as 2,000 years ago, and keno is no exception. Over the years, the game has evolved to accommodate more audiences and is now named among some of the most popular online casino games

For gamblers who are just getting started with this game, carry on reading to learn more about the game and its origins, how to play it, and what strategies you should use when playing. 

What Is Keno?

Keno is considered the ultimate game by many of its fans because it’s similar to a lottery — but more fast-paced. Players choose numbers with the hope that these values will be randomly selected and land them a win (much like bingo). 

Keno is a game that is believed to be of Chinese origin and based on a game called baige piao or pai-ko piao. This means “white pigeon ticket” and references tickets used in a betting game involving homing pigeons. Although it is not uncommon for people to mistake it for a Latin or French game because of its name — “quine” in French means “five winning numbers,” and “quini” in Latin means “five each.”

Where It All Started

While keno is often thought of as a lottery game, it’s arguably more appealing because there is the opportunity to play multiple consecutive rounds and potentially win from several of them. On the other hand, a lottery usually has weekly or biweekly draws, so there are fewer opportunities to play. Given that people have grown used to instant gratification, keno definitely has an advantage on traditional lottery games.

At casinos, keno’s popularity is nothing new, especially in traditional casino setups and those that offer live dealer casino games. 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, but many virtual casinos offer a purely digital experience for those who just want to play the game.

How To Play Keno

With the advent of the internet, how to play online keno has become a frequently asked question by those looking to play the game for the first time. Playing keno online is a relatively similar process to the actual casino experience. The first step is to sign up for an online casino. After you’re registered, you’re ready to start your first game of online keno.

Once you’ve decided on which keno game to play, you need to pick between 2–20 numbers on the online keno card. But if you’re not feeling particularly lucky that day, you can opt to use the auto picker to select the numbers on your behalf. You can make your selection from numbers 1–80. 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. You will then receive your payout for any keno numbers that match. 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 like online keno since it’s a game of chance, this isn’t entirely true. Firstly, practice makes perfect. Before dedicating a huge portion of your money to online casino games because you believe that you will win it back, try some low-stakes keno online games to learn the basics of the game. That being said, setting a limit when you’re happy with how to play online keno is a good idea. It’s possible to place a small bet and still win big with online keno, but you should never wager more than you can afford to lose. 

And while some players might swear by looking for keno numbers on the internet, it’s not something you should do. It’s simply not a winning keno strategy.

However, these tips below could help improve your odds of taking home a win in keno.

Spreading Out Your Selection

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

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 Infrequently Generated Numbers

This approach 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

Keno, like other variety games, has truly stood the test of time. If you’re looking for an online casino for keno and many other exciting online gambling experiences, be sure to sign up at BetMGM to play casino games online.

BetMGM offers gamblers a fantastic library of casino games, including online slots, table games, live dealer games, and variety games. So whether you’re a fan of keno, blackjack, roulette, or thrilling slots, this online casino has something for you.

Register at BetMGM to try your hand at all of these gambling games and more.

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.