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A Comprehensive Guide to Keno

Keno is a game of chance that offers you an opportunity to win huge prizes from small wagers. The winning odds may not be extremely significant, but they are still considerable. After all, there’s no foolproof system to increase your winning odds. 

For a long time, Keno has been considered the casino version of the lottery. The game itself is easy to play and offers endless hours of fun. Keno can be found in both land-based and online casinos. The online version of Keno employs the same rules as regular Keno. 

In this post, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about Keno, from the history of the game, gameplay rules, and glossary to winning strategies and playing online. 

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History of Keno

The history of Keno can be traced back to China over 2000 years ago. The game was introduced by Chinese leader Cheung Leung who wanted to use it to raise revenue. The leader needed to build the Great Wall of China and finance the endless wars. He, however, realized that many citizens could not pay more taxes, so he had to find another way to raise funds.

It’s at this point that Keno was invented. The game was nicknamed “White Pigeon” as white birds were dispatched during that time to convey the results of the lottery to local villagers. It contributed significant amounts of money to the Kingdom’s coffers, and players were happy with the rewards.

The game became popular in China, and many people in the Kingdom became addicted to it. It was taken to the United States by score workers who had gone there to construct the railway in the 1800s. History records show that the game started becoming popular in Houston, Texas, in 1866. It was also at the same time that it was named Keno. 

In the early 1900s, the Keno started spreading in the west. Nevada started offering Keno at its casinos in 1933; though the game was called Race Horse Keno at that time because horse racing was allowed, lotteries were not.

When the government started taxing horse racing, the state of Nevada changed its laws, and the game was renamed Keno. The success of Keno in Nevada prompted all lotteries in the country to start offering the game. The game is now played all over the world, including in Kenya.


How to Play Keno – Gameplay, and Rules 

Online Keno is played using numbers 1 through to 80. To play, you will be required to get a real or virtual ticket marked with the numbers mentioned above. You will then select the digits you believe will be drawn. The amount of numbers you can select depends on the game you’re playing, but they generally range between 2 and 10 or 1 and 15.

In some cases, you will be allowed to select up to 20 numbers, although this is common in brick-and-mortar casinos with enough capital to cover any win. The objective of the game is to hit as many spots as possible. The more correct spots you hit, the higher the payout.

At predetermined intervals, usually in seconds for online Keno, 20 random numbers will be drawn from the 80 possible numbers. Normally, the number of balls drawn coincides with the total number of spots you’re allowed to select.

The payout depends on the numbers marked on your slip that coincide with the winning numbers drawn. 

Bets You Can Place 

There are a few bets you can place when playing Keno. The bets have varying payouts depending on the number of groupings you’ve selected. Still, you can boost your return with combination wagers. 

  • Straight ticket – This refers to wagering on your selected numbers as a single wager. This is the standard wager on Keno. Some casinos may payout if none of the picked numbers are drawn.
  • King ticket – A King ticket is a single number circle in isolation. The number can be added to all other combinations.
  • Combination ticket – This ticket allows you to play a different combination of number groupings.

Keno Glossary 

Here is a list of the most commonly used terms in Keno:

  • All or Nothing – Ticket that pays out only if all the picked numbers will be drawn or if none of them are drawn.
  • Blank – A ticket that is yet to be played, meaning it has not been marked.
  • Call – A term used in Keno to indicate you’ve picked the number that has been drawn.
  • Combination ticket – Refers to a ticket consisting of more than one wager
  • Catch – Term used to indicate the number you’ve marked has been drawn.
  • Draw – The act of mixing balls, after which 20 random numbers are picked.
  • Edge – A ticket in which players have marked all numbers on the edge 
  • Hit – Same as catch. It’s used to indicate that the number you selected has been drawn
  • Keno ticket – Refers to a ticket consisting of between 1 to 80 squares numbered
  • Multi-game ticket – Buying a multi-game ticket and playing multiple games
  • Progressive Keno – A variation of Keno where the prize pool increases gradually when each wager is placed.
  • Spot – This refers to a marked number on a Keno ticket.
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Keno Strategies and Tips

While there is no sure-fire way to win Keno, you can employ some tips and strategies to improve your chances of winning.

These include:

Look for value – Some casino operators offer better odds on certain plays. It’s important to take time to look for recognized online casinos that offer better odds for the game you intend to play. An increase in odds adds value to your wagers.

Practice more with free games – The best online casinos have a huge library of casino games, and most of them offer free games you can play for fun without having to deposit a shilling. If you’re new to Keno, it’s a good idea to try and play free versions of the game to gain some valuable experience. This will allow you to learn the gameplay and review the payouts as you create a strategy.

Have the right attitude – As previously mentioned, Keno is more like a lottery. The house has the odds in its favor, so you may not want to take Keno too seriously. It makes for a great casual game where you only play a couple of spots and hope that it’s your lucky day. 

Play a small number of spots – You can also increase your winning chances by playing small numbers of spots. For example, you can play 3 to 6 spots consistently. Playing fewer spots may have smaller returns, but they do occur more often. Once you get the momentum going, you can easily hit 5 to 6 games in a row.

Don’t play maximum spots – The huge potential payouts for hitting maximum spots might be tempting. However, there’s a reason why such payouts are offered. Playing maximum spots is a huge risk that you shouldn’t consider. Of course, unless you would confidently play the long shot without expectations.

Playing Keno Online – What You Need to Know

You can play Keno at most online casinos in Kenya. Like many other casino games, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to ensure the best gambling experience.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Choose a reputable online casino – When looking to play online, the first thing to do is to choose a reputable online casino. You may want to check online reviews to get a feel of what people are saying about the casino. Normally, any complaints about an online casino would be documented in most online casino reviews. 

Licensing and regulation – It goes without saying that a good online casino must be licensed to operate. Most importantly, it must be registered and regulated in a well-known jurisdiction by a reputable regulatory body. Some of the most popular regulatory bodies are UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, Curacao, and others. Any casino operating in Kenya must be licensed by the Betting Control and Licensing Board. 

Security and safety – Playing real money Keno online involves depositing and withdrawing funds. For this reason, choosing a secure and trustworthy casino site is important. Choose an online casino that guarantees the security of your personal details.

Software providers – Choose an online casino that lists games from leading software developers. Games from these developers are fair and secure. Some of the leading software developers are Microgaming, NetEnt, IGT, Evolution Gaming, Play’N Go, Betsoft, and others.

Bonuses – Nearly all online casinos offer bonuses. These bonuses will increase your playtime and boost your winning chances. However, read the terms and conditions before claiming the bonus.


Keno is a pretty simple game. You only need to understand the basics and keep in mind the tips and strategies mentioned in this post. With virtually all online casinos offering online Keno, you should be able to enjoy the game from the comfort of your home or on the go.


Yes! As long as you play at a reputable online casino.

No. Keno is a game of chance. Reputable online casinos offer Keno that use a Random Number Generator to ensure the game is fair.

Well, there’s no full-proof strategy to help you. However, the best strategy for beginners is to place small bets.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible as all online Keno games use RNG.

Absolutely! You can win real money by playing online Keno at a trusted online casino.

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