Online Keno 101: Basics You Should Know as a Beginner

Old man by the Keno table image

📖 Published on: May 28th, 2024

✍️ Updated: May 29th, 2024

⏳ 8 mins read


Scratch cards can only take you so far if you’re the type of person who enjoys the thrill of instant wins and the simplicity of lottery games. But, playing online Keno is an alternative choice if you're ready to step up your lottery and casino gaming.


This exciting and dynamic game adds to the thrill of playing the lottery by giving players more opportunities to strategize and win large. Read on to learn more about how Keno functions as a casino game that you can play on your phone and as a lottery game.


Keno Explained: Is Keno a Lottery or Casino Game?


Let's break it down: Keno is actually both a lottery and a casino game that anyone can enjoy in person at a physical casino or through online casino apps and sites. Originating from China, Keno is a lottery-style game with a long history that has evolved into a popular form of entertainment worldwide.


For instance, Keno salons are frequently found at real casinos, where patrons can select their numbers and watch live drawings. With tickets available for purchase at specific Keno counters and screens showing the numbers as they are drawn, these locations provide a communal atmosphere.


On the other hand, playing Keno online offers more freedom and convenience. On websites or applications, players can choose their numbers, place bets, and watch virtual drawings at any time while engaging in a variety of Keno games.


In order to combine the ease of playing online with the engaging nature of a live game, several online platforms even provide live dealer Keno. Keno is a flexible gambling option that suits various tastes and lifestyles, whether you're playing at a busy casino in Las Vegas or from the luxury of your home.


What is a Keno Card?


Let’s take a look at the Keno card: how is it similar or different from a normal lottery ticket? At the start of the game, players will get a card showing a set of numbers from 1 to 80. On the screen, players will have the chance to mark or circle the numbers that they think will appear in the draw.


Typically, players can mark up to ten numbers, but in many online casino platforms, you’re allowed to mark up to 20 numbers. Keep in mind, that rules in a physical casino where Keno is played might differ, so best to check with the casino host or game host.


Online keno layout image


The dynamic of Keno is pretty straightforward and the essentials are quite similar to how Bingo works. Here’s what you have to keep in mind:


  • 80 numbers to bet on: The numbered balls are drawn by a device known as a 'keno hopper' in actual casinos. This machine ensures a random and fair selection, adding to the excitement and unpredictability of the game.
  • Choosing numbers: The range of numbers you can select from 1 to 15 varies depending on the game. Some variations might allow you to pick even more numbers, providing different odds and payout structures to keep the gameplay fresh and exciting.
  • Winning numbers: The quantity of numbers you bet and the percentage of your numbers that match the draw will determine how much money you win.


Understanding the Keno Spot

The spots on a Keno layout that players select are typically marked with ink or crayon in a physical casino. In online Keno, you can simply click the Keno spots or tap on them via a mobile device. Because digital play is so convenient, you can make decisions mess-free, swiftly, and conveniently. Online platforms also tend to emphasize the locations you select, which makes it simple to maintain track of your choices.


Playing Keno with your Keno Card

It’s important to keep a level head and focus on the numbers when playing Keno. Here are the basics you need to remember to nail your first go at online Keno:


  • Step 1: Pick a Keno card accordingly on the screen, and 80 numbers will be flashed.
  • Step 2: You will have to select the ones you think will appear in the draw.
  • Step 3: Check the paytable which will show up after you've selected your numbers. This illustrates how much money you may win if specific numbers line up. The payment increases with the number of matched Keno numbers. When players choose more than a predetermined amount, many keno variations additionally pay out for matching zero numbers.
  • Step 4: Players select a wagering site where they will be able to choose whether or not to use the same set of numbers for multiple games. Plus, if your winning areas are chosen, you have the option to increase the amount you bet.
  • Step 5: Any sketched numbers will show up on the screen someplace. Both hot and cold keno numbers will frequently be displayed to you; hot numbers have recently appeared, while cold numbers have not.
  • Step 6: Match a number accordingly. If the number you have chosen is drawn, it is referred to as "catching a spot". The amount you win will depend on how many spots you manage to catch.


What are Keno Payouts like?


In Keno, it’s all about the numbers and choosing these numbers wisely. The payouts depend on how many numbers you select and how many of them are drawn. Generally, the more numbers you match, the higher your payout will be. However, keep in mind that the odds of matching a large number of spots are lower, so it’s a balance between risk and reward.


For instance, if you pick just a few numbers, you have a higher chance of matching them, but the payout might be smaller. Conversely, if you pick more numbers, the potential payout increases, but so does the difficulty of matching them all. Many Keno games also have payout tables that show exactly what you can win based on your picks, making it easy to see the potential rewards before you start playing.


Bingo vs. Keno

While some may believe that keno and bingo are extremely similar, keno strategy is actually much more comparable to selecting lottery numbers than bingo since players in bingo receive a ticket with numbers on it, but players in keno select their own numbers.


It’s also important to consider that the two games also have considerably different tempos. Bingo is usually a social game that is played in groups. In a vibrant environment, a caller announces numbers. Conversely, you can play keno at your own pace, especially when playing online.

Keno Hall image


If you would rather play it by yourself, the game can be played in a more solitary manner, and you are free to take your time choosing numbers. While there is excitement and a chance to win in both games, Keno's adaptability and strategic component make it appealing to players who like a little more control over their gameplay.


Bottom Line

Now that you have the fundamentals mastered, keep honing your Keno skills by exploring the different strategies and variations of the game. Try out various online platforms to find the one that suits you best, and always remember to play responsibly. With practice and a bit of luck, you'll enjoy the exciting world of Keno even more!


Learn the important Keno terms you should know as a beginner and expand your strategy from our blogs at GambleSpot.

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