How to Play Keno

Keno is one of the most popular digital lottery games in the world. While once upon a time, it was mainly found only in land-based casinos in the US, today, it can be played at a wide variety of different online casinos. It’s one of the most popular games, despite offering fairly poor odds to players.

On this page, we’re going to be giving you a comprehensive and in-depth look at Keno, covering everything from how to play this exciting lottery game to the different types of bets you can place. To begin with, we’re going to take a look at the main pros and cons of trying Keno online!

Advantages of Playing The Keno Game Online

One of the main reasons why so many people choose to play Keno is that it’s capable of dishing out some whopping payouts; this is in stark contrast to the kind of payouts you’ll find with other casino games. It’s even bigger than many of the payouts you’d be able to win if you were doing in-store sports betting or online sports betting.

For example, with a $2 ticket, a Keno game can pay out as much as $5 million. Of course, while this will be a never-in-a-lifetime hit for most of us, the win potential is there is enough for many of us to enjoy choosing our favourite Keno numbers and having a punt at the game.

Another major benefit of Keno is that there’s absolutely no skill involved whatsoever; you don’t need to make any decisions as you do in Blackjack or Three-Card Poker. The only thing you need to do is buy your Keno tickets and choose your numbers.

There’s also a pretty high degree of flexibility when choosing the type of game you’d like to play. For example, you have a certain degree of control over the machine’s volatility; you can choose to go for the more volatile versions of the game with bigger payouts (and bigger risk) or opt for less risk and play a lower variance version of the game.

Disadvantages of Keno Games Online

Unfortunately, there are several disadvantages to Keno, perhaps many more than you’d find with other casino games, and for many people, the game is simply boring. There’s very little action, and you’re simply sitting around waiting for the numbers to be drawn, so there’s not a lot to get excited about, we think it’s fair to say.

However, perhaps even worse is the payouts and odds you’ll find in Keno. It doesn’t matter how you play Keno; the odds are always much worse than those found in other casino table games, and the house edge can be as high as a whopping 75%. That’s a staggeringly big house edge, and it’s one of the reasons Keno is more of a fun game you have a punt at every once in a while than seriously playing.

How To Play Keno

Keno is simple to play, and first, it’s important to understand how the game works. For starters, there’s a total of 80 numbers in Keno. Out of these 80 numbers, 20 are drawn each game round randomly. In short, if the numbers that get drawn match your numbers, then you’ll win; however, it’s not quite that simple as you can choose how many numbers you pick, and the more numbers you pick that are drawn, the more money you win.

For example, when you purchase Keno tickets, you’ll be given a chance to choose whether to pick 20 numbers or just one; you can also buy multiple tickets, similar to what we see in a game of bingo.

Once you’ve selected your numbers, the game will begin, and the Keno numbers will be drawn. Assuming you pick 20 numbers, the goal is to see all 20 numbers drawn, and doing so will award a phenomenal payout. However, it’s worth pointing out that this is a virtually impossible task, with the odds being around 1 in 3,535,316,142,212,174,336. Thankfully, casinos don’t require you to get all 20 numbers correct to win, and the jackpots and large wins in Keno are usually paid when you hit 9 or 10 numbers on a 9 or 10 number ticket. So, as a general rule of thumb, most players will choose to play between 3 and 9 numbers; anything more than this is just unrealistic and is essentially throwing money away.

Variations: How Many Keno Games Are There?

Generally speaking, when you play a Keno machine, you’ll be playing one of two game types; online casino gaming has changed things a lot in the gambling world, and you’ll see this reflected below. Let’s take a look at some of the main variations of Keno that you’re likely to come across online today.

As with virtually all forms of casino games, game developers try to develop as many variations of one game as possible. This allows them to appeal to as wide of a market as possible, and it ensures that there’s always innovation coming out on the market.

Video Keno

Video Keno is likely the type of Keno you’ll see when you play online today. In fact, all of the Keno variations that we’ll cover on this page (bar one) are all “video Keno” machines. This term simply refers to the machine being virtual, using random number generators instead of actual balls.

Video Keno is a relatively fast-paced, action-packed game. It actually plays quite a lot like a video slot; as mentioned, the results are determined by a random number generator, which means there’s no physical contraption; everything happens digitally.

While the house edge of Keno is never going to be amazing, this version of Keno is generally regarded as being the best. It typically offers better odds and payouts than the remaining variations of the game we’re about to look at.

Live Keno

Over the past few years, live dealer games have become insanely popular. Today, tons of game developers and software providers specialize in nothing but live dealer games. One of the clear market leaders is Evolution Gaming, responsible for titles like Monopoly Live and Lightning Roulette.

While not all game developers currently offer Keno as a live casino game, it’s starting to make more of an appearance online. While it works in a pretty similar manner to the video-based version of Keno we just talked about, instead of seeing the gameplay out on a digital screen, you’ll see the physical gameplay out, streamed directly to your computer or mobile device from a custom-built studio.

However, if you’re new to Keno, we’d recommend staying away from the live version of the game, at least until you have a bit of experience. It’s pretty fast-paced, and you should familiarise yourself with the different betting options and winnings numbers before trying the live dealer games.

Power Keno

Power Keno is one of the most popular variations of Keno on the marketplace today, and it’s pretty much the same as regular Keno with one main difference. If the 20th ball matches one of the numbers on the ticket, any winnings for that specific game round are multiplied by 4X.

Super Keno

Another hugely popular Keno variation, Super Keno, uses the same rules as Power Keno, but again, there’s one core difference. It’s not the 20th ball determining which number is powerful for that round; it’s the first one drawn. This will, again, multiply your winnings by 4X.

Combination and Way Keno

Both of these Keno variations allow you to choose groups of numbers and certain combinations. While, naturally, this makes it harder to hit the desired outcome (because it’s mathematically a rarer result), it does mean that there’s a much higher win ceiling, essentially allowing you to enjoy playing with some pretty high win-potential!

Cleopatra Keno

Cleopatra Keno is one of the many themed variations of Keno you’ll now come across when you play at online casinos. While the game operates much as regular Keno does, there’s a unique built-in Keno bonus; if the last number to be drawn hits one of the specially marked spots in the game, you’ll enter a unique Keno bonus.

And this Keno bonus is similar to what you’d find in video slots, making it the perfect combination of the two games. Unfortunately, Cleopatra Keno isn’t the most accessible Keno machine to find online, and few casinos offer it. Still, if you manage to find it, it’s well worth checking out as it offers some fun and exciting gameplay!

Caveman Keno

Caveman Keno is one of the more popular ‘unusual’ variations of Keno that you’ll find online today. The game is pretty much identical to conventional Keno, with one main exception; when you play Caveman Keno, three numbers are chosen before the draw. If at least two of these numbers match up with any of the 20 numbers drawn, the players are awarded a special multiplier.

Caveman Keno also allows players to purchase multiple Keno tickets, so some argue that it’s easier to pick winning numbers when compared to other variations of the game.

Four-Card Keno

Four-Card Keno is another fairly popular form of Keno. Like all of the other variations we’ve already talked about, the game is all about picking winning numbers. However, as the name suggests, when you play Four-Card Keno, you’ll automatically be playing four cards; you can’t play fewer cards than this.

There’s also a unique little side bet called the ‘7 spot’ in Four-Card Keno, and this is basically a little side bet that allows you to have a little extra wager and try to win even more money; it’s kind of like a Keno bonus, and enough winning numbers can see this Keno bonus paying surprisingly well!

Progressive Jackpot Keno

Progressive Jackpot Keno is perhaps the most popular form of Keno, with its popularity even surpassing that of conventional video-based Keno. That’s because the game has a progressive jackpot attached that can reach into the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars.

When you play Jackpot Keno, each time you play the game, a small portion of your stake will be added to the jackpot; this is the same for all players who’re playing the game and, over time, this progressive jackpot increases. (The progressive jackpot is pooled between players from multiple online casinos.)

While each game developer has slightly different rules regarding what’s needed to scoop the jackpot, the general consensus is that it’s awarded through a Keno bonus. For example, in NetEnt’s jackpot Keno, once the bonus round is triggered, the jackpot is awarded if you manage to uncover 10 ‘Jacks’ from the boxes that appear on the screen.

It’s possible to win up to 80% of the jackpot; the higher your stake, the greater the percentage of the jackpot you’ll be awarded. While it’s rare to hit the Keno bonus and scoop the jackpot, it’s a popular choice with players as they know the win potential is there!

Different Keno Bets

As with virtually every casino game on the planet, Keno offers you the chance to place various bets. If you want to play these exciting games, know how many games you can play, what single bet options are available, and are interested in learning about different ways to play, then the following part of our guide is for you.

If you want to play Keno, monitor the statistics, or are getting ready to visit casinos that offer the game, but want to make sure you know what you’re doing, then be sure to read the following section in full. We’re going to be showing you the different types of bets you can place when trying Keno.

Straight Tickets

Straight tickets, more commonly referred to as a straight bet, are probably the most common type of bet you’ll make when purchasing Keno tickets, and it’s also regarded by many as the easiest bet to place. The goal of straight tickets is to place a bet with a specific number of numbers selected, and once you’ve chosen your numbers and the game begins, the goal is to hit as many of these numbers as possible.

However, it’s not just a case of your numbers being drawn randomly; you need to try and hit them in order (so the consecutive draws are your numbers), and this is how you manage to secure a win.

When you bet using straight tickets, it should be noted that this type of ticket only has one selection of numbers; you’re not given the same levels of customization as you are with some of the other betting options that we’re going to look at below.

Way Tickets

Way tickets are probably the second most popular type of bet you’ll be able to place when enjoying Keno and the major benefit of a way ticket is that it allows you to have more than one selection of numbers. For example, if you want, you can choose several different groupings. You can also change the number amount, impacting the potential prize won. How many games/ way tickets you can buy depends on the exact variation you’re playing and the software provider who made the game.

A typical example is that you have a group of four different numbers, another group of four numbers and then a group of 8 numbers. Thankfully, there is no limit on the number of selections you can make. There’s even such a bet as the 190-way ticket, which, as the name suggests, gives you a whopping 190 different ways to win!

If you want to place way ticket bets, it’s important that you choose the right game. Thankfully, once the numbers are drawn, you can place another single bet, so you don’t have to worry too much if you miss a few numbers right off the bat.

King Number Tickets

The next type of bet that you’ll find available when you’re enjoying Keno is the King Number Ticket, and this is quite a unique type of bet. When you place a King Number bet, you choose one main number, nicknamed the king, and this number will be automatically added to all of your other different number groupings.

Let’s look at an example of this in action; if you purchased a Keno ticket with two 3-spot selections, you would be prompted to choose your king number, bringing the total number of selections up to 4. You will then find yourself left with three different groups of numbers; firstly, you have the main 3-spot group you chose plus the king number, and you’d also have another one-spot bet which would consist of the king number.

The king number bet can be a little confusing to get your head around. Admittedly, it’s not the most straightforward bet you’ll run into when gambling on Keno. Still, once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty straightforward, and if you want to play this kind of bet, you’ll be pleased to learn that it’s offered at virtually all casinos that offer Keno.

Split Tickets

Split tickets are the next type of bet you’ll be able to place when you wager money on Keno. These are tickets with combinations of more than one straight bet. It also pays the same as if you were to have wagered a straight bet on two different tickets. It should be pointed out that there’s no real advantage if you were to place both of these bets on a single ticket.

One of the most common misconceptions by players is that they think using split tickets is a disadvantage. The reason behind this is that you’re not able to choose the same number twice, and this means it’s not one of the most common bets, as most players like complete control over their (hopefully) winning numbers.

Still, it’s worth pointing out as it’s a bet that you’ll find on most Keno variations, although generally speaking, we’d recommend you stay clear of split tickets as they aren’t really designed well for players.

Combination Tickets

The last bit that we’re going to take a look at in this guide is the combination tickets; as the name suggests, a combination ticket allows you to buy a ticket that includes tons of different grouping types. For example, you can choose between way bets, king bets, and straight bets; all of the bets we’ve already covered are combined into one ticket.

The main advantage of combination tickets is that they allow you to have a huge amount of variety in your bets. You have complete control over the winning numbers that appear on your tickets, making it an excellent option for those who want to play many bet types at once.

Why Play Keno Online?

People like to play Keno online for a plethora of reasons, but arguably one of the biggest reasons to play is down to the fact that it’s much simpler than playing in a land-based casino. Below, we look at some of the main reasons to play Keno online for real money in Canada.

Keno online is fast: One of the major problems with playing Keno in land-based casinos is that the game’s relatively slow. Thankfully, when you play online, this just isn’t the case. You’ll find yourself able to play a new game round every few seconds, even faster, if you use the “fast play” option.

You can play for free: A HUGE benefit of playing Keno online is that you’re given the option to play for “free,” also known as playing in demo-play mode. This allows you to try out the game without risking any of your own cash and ensures you can get familiar with the game before committing any real money.

You can play from your mobile device: Today, game developers produce their Keno games in HTML5, which ensures that you can play the games from your mobile devices. You don’t usually need to download or install any software either, ensuring you can play from anywhere, at any time, in a way that suits you.

Common Keno Myths

Unfortunately, there are some unfounded myths surrounding Keno. In this section of our post, we’re going to be looking at some of the most common myths surrounding Keno online so that you can play the game in the best way possible.

Myth 1: The More Spots, The Better: While a 20-spot payout may look good at first, in reality, the fewer spots you play at the Keno table, the better. This is because the less money you stake on each spin can increase your potential return, so while we’d never recommend playing just one number, we wouldn’t recommend playing too many.

Myth 2: There Are “Secret” Numbers: It’s essential to remember that Keno is a game of luck. There are NO “hot or cold” numbers, and each time you play the game, it’s a game of complete chance; there’s no pattern to the numbers that are drawn, and you should be wary of thinking so.

Myth 3: Multi-Race Tickets Improve Your Chances Of Winning: Contrary to many players’ beliefs, multi-race tickets do not improve your chances of winning. However, it’s also worth pointing out that they shouldn’t necessarily be discarded entirely. In fact, if you’re looking to increase the number of game rounds you can play in a set amount of time, you may find them beneficial to your cause.

What Else To Bear In Mind?

If you’re going to play Keno online for real money, there are some other things you may want to be aware of. Let’s take a look at these below.

House Edge

The house edge is something you’ll come across when you play ANY casino table game, and it’s basically how the online casino makes their money. Keno, unfortunately, doesn’t offer the best house edge, and you’ll typically find that it varies between 4-35%. This is very high compared to other casino table games, but it’s also worth pointing out that Keno can pay pretty significant sums of money.

Math: How To Win

If you’re looking to improve your chances of winning at Keno, it’s important to realize that you’ll want to know how the math model works. We’d always recommend you take a bit of time to read up on the game and how it works (mathematically) to improve your chances of winning as best you can.

Keno Is Random

Hopefully, this should be pretty obvious, but it’s worth pointing out that when you play Keno online, the result is new and generated randomly every time you play it. The game pulls a number from something called an RNG (random number generator), allowing it to receive a genuinely random result every time the machine is played. Because of the random number of Keno, it’s also worth pointing out that there simply isn’t any strategy or system that can be used to beat the game. It’s purely a game of chance, and if you’re playing for real money, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are some quite big payouts to be won. That being said, please don’t dismiss the idea of playing for free either — that can be equally as exciting!

Hot and Cold Numbers

Although it’s been proven that all online Keno machines use random numbers, it’s well worth pointing out that some players believe there are so-called hot and cold numbers. In reality, this is a very clever marketing mechanism by the game developers. They know that players will often think that there are hot and cold numbers when, in fact, there aren’t. It’s always important to remember that the game is 100% random; there is no physical way that hot and cold numbers exist, and you should never assume that a number is “due” to come in simply because it hasn’t landed in quite some time.

You Can Try Keno For Free

There are a large number of reasons why you should consider playing Keno. It’s good fun, fast-paced, and there’s a massive amount of win potential if you decide to go ahead and play for real money. However, it’s also worth pointing out that playing Keno for free can be equally enjoyable. Some would even argue that it’s better suited to those playing it for free. Why?

It all comes back to that house edge that we talked about earlier. With conventional games like Roulette and Blackjack, the house edge is usually relatively low; think along the lines of 5%. With Keno’s 30% house edge, it’s a massive increase, and this really harms players who are choosing to go ahead and brave it using their own funds.

No matter how you choose to play Keno, it is undoubtedly a fun game to play. There’s no thrill quite like watching the game unfold in front of your own eyes. Thanks to advancements in online gambling technology, it’s now possible to play Keno and feel as though you’re sitting in a land-based casino, adding to the excitement and atmosphere.

Bonuses: Be Careful Which You Claim

Today, virtually all online casinos are offering bonuses in one form or another. While they can be a good way of playing with the casino’s cash instead of your own, we’d always recommend reading the FULL terms and conditions and ensuring that you don’t accidentally break any bonus terms.

For example, some online casinos will not allow their bonuses to be used on Keno, and this is why it’s so important to make sure that you’re claiming a generous bonus and that it doesn’t come with poor terms. Here at Casinomeister, we’ve worked hard to bring you only the best online casino bonuses, including no-deposit bonuses and matched deposit bonuses, all of which can be used on Keno games.

How To Choose The Best Online Casinos

If you’re looking to play at the top online casinos, you’ll want to make sure that you’re playing in an environment vetted by a team of online gambling experts. Here at Casinomeister, we have a dedicated team of reviewers who hand-test all online casinos featured here on our website. We’re not swayed by money, which means if we’re recommending a casino, then we believe a site is a decent place for you to play.

At the top of this page, you’ll be able to view a breakdown of all the online casinos we recommend. While each casino is different, these sites tend to offer a wide variety of games (from several different software providers), offer fast payouts, and make sure that they have customer support facilities open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


How to play video Keno online for real money?

It couldn’t be easier to play Keno for real money online today. Simply choose which online casino you’d like to play at, make a deposit, and open the Keno game you’d like to play!

Where can I play Keno for free but win real money?

You’ll need to find a casino that offers a no-deposit bonus to achieve this. A no-deposit bonus is one that the online casino gives you, which allows you to play without depositing any of your own money. You can find out more about the top no-deposit bonuses right here on our website.

Is Keno or Caveman Keno Better To Play To Win Real Money?

Both games are very similar, but there are a couple of differences. With Caveman Keno, you’ll notice something known as the “Egg Bonus” round. What this means is that three numbers are randomly chosen before you play.

If at least two of these numbers are drawn during the game round, you’ll win a special bonus prize, which can often be quite lucrative. It’s worth pointing out that playing Caveman Keno can improve your chances of winning. Studies show that Caveman Keno offers a slightly better house edge when compared to conventional Keno variants.

Should I try Keno?

As with anything in life, it’s really up to you if you want to try out Keno for yourself or not. If you’re looking for a casino game that doesn’t contain any skill elements and is all about luck, the Keno can be a fun one to try out; it can also offer up some pretty decent payouts, although, as we’ve seen in this post, the house edge of the game is really high. This is a natural turn-off for many players.

Generally speaking, we feel that Keno is a game that’s best played occasionally; we see it as a bit of fun, like playing the lottery. You’re very unlikely to win big, but those wins are likely to be significant when you do.

Do I need to know the odds in Keno?

While we think it’s advantageous to always have an understanding of the odds and payouts of any casino games you play. When it comes to Keno, you don’t really need to know anything; as mentioned, the game is based on nothing more than luck, and aside from choosing your (hopefully) winning numbers, you don’t need to do anything.

What’s the house edge in Keno?

When it comes to the house edge, Keno is pretty much as bad as it gets in terms of casino games, and you’ll rarely find other games in the casino that have such a high house edge. For example, depending on which bets you place, the house edge of Keno can vary between 25% and 29%, and that’s a whopping figure, especially considering that the chances of winning big are pretty slim.

Of course, when you do win big, you can win life-changing money. But let’s be realistic; for most of us, this isn’t going to happen even once in our lifetime. Keno should be viewed more as a novelty game and a bit of fun than anything too serious.