How To Play Keno – Keno Rules Explained

If you’re wondering how to play Keno, you’re in the right place. Our guide will cover the essentials: what Keno is, basic Keno rules, selecting a Keno card, understanding payouts, choosing your bet size, and more. We’ll also delve into tips, Keno variations, and a helpful glossary to help you master this game and optimize your chances of winning.

What is Keno?

Keno how to play
Source: Bovada

Keno is a lottery-like gambling game with roots dating back over 2,000 years to ancient China’s Han Dynasty. The gameplay is quite simple, similar to lotto, and has gained massive popularity as an online casino game worldwide. Whether you’re in a casino or playing online, Keno is a go-to for easy, fast-paced fun.

In Keno, you’ll find a grid featuring numbers 1 to 80. To play Keno, you select numbers, usually between 1 and 20, on a Keno card. The game then randomly draws 20 numbers. The more matches you get, the more you win. Simple yet exciting. If you’re interested in playing Keno online, we’ve got a guide on the best offshore casinos where you can enjoy several Keno lottery variations.

Basic Keno Rules

Let’s have a look at the basic Keno rules to help you get a true understanding of how to play Keno:

Select a Keno Card

The first step in playing Keno is to choose which Keno game you want to play as there are several game variations. Our reviewed online lottery casinos offer an interesting choice of Keno games.

keno step 1

Choose and Mark Your Keno Numbers

The first step in playing the Keno game is to pick your numbers on a card. You usually select between 1 and 20 numbers from a grid of 1-80.

Keno select numbers

Check the Payouts

Before you lock in your numbers, check the payout table. Different casinos have different Keno payouts, so it’s good to know what you’re playing for.

keno payout table

Select the Bet Size

Once you’ve chosen your Keno numbers, decide how much you want to wager. You can usually bet between $1 to $20, depending on the casino you’re playing at. Then also choose how many rounds you want to play. If you’re a high roller, you can go for the highest number of bet rounds as you have a bigger chance for a higher payout, but the risk of losing more money is also higher.

Keno bet rounds

The game starts

After bets are placed, 20 numbers are randomly drawn. This can be through a ball machine in offline Keno or via a random number generator online.

Match the Numbers

The goal is to match as many numbers as possible with the 20 randomly drawn numbers. The more you match, the more you win!

keno win

Understanding Keno Bets and Tickets

To truly get the hang of how to play Keno, you should familiarize yourself with the different types of Keno bets and tickets. Here’s a quick rundown:

Bet/Ticket Description
Combination Ticket Allows you to combine several bets on one ticket.
King Ticket Includes one “king” number that is used in all combinations.
Split Bet Multiple bets on one ticket, separated by lines or circles.
Straight Bet A basic bet where you pick up to 20 numbers on a single ticket.
Way Bet Allows you to bet on multiple sets of numbers on one ticket.

Keno Odds Payouts

Understanding the odds is crucial when you’re learning how to play Keno. Here’s a quick look at the best odds for Keno lottery:

Numbers Odds & Keno Rules
1 1 in 4: Pick one number, and if it hits, you win.
2 1 in 16: Both numbers must hit for a win.
3 1 in 72: All three numbers must hit for a win.
4 1 in 325: All four numbers must hit to win.
5 1 in 1,550: All five numbers must hit for a payout.

The Best Numbers in Keno

When it comes to Keno strategy, the process of picking the “best” numbers is often a blend of personal preference and luck. You can opt for lucky numbers, special dates, or simply go for a “quick pick” for a set of random numbers.

No matter your approach, each draw is an independent event, so each number has an equal chance of being selected. In the Keno draw, 20 numbers are picked, either through a ball machine in physical casinos or a random number generator in online versions.

In essence, Keno and how to play revolve around understanding odds, picking your numbers, and watching the draw unfold. While there’s no guaranteed Keno strategy, understanding the game can certainly boost your enjoyment.

Most Common Keno Numbers

If you’ve been wondering how to play Keno, as you can see it’s a simple game based entirely on luck. However, it’s interesting to point out that some numbers do appear more frequently than others.

Below is a table showcasing the most commonly drawn numbers along with their percentages. Note that this data is based on historical trends and sourced from KenoGuide and is not a guarantee for future outcomes. So please take this info with a grain of salt. Even though these numbers have appeared frequently in the past, each Keno draw is independent and random.

Number Percentage
1 5.0%
4 4.9%
23 4.7%
17 4.6%
34 4.5%
72 4.4%
38 4.3%
44 4.2%
56 4.1%
67 4.0%

Tips For Keno

Despite Keno lottery being one of the many  online casino games of chance which doesn’t require any particular skill, there are still a few things which you can do to implement some kind of strategy. The following tips on how to play Keno slots ensure that you make the most out of your game and money:

  1. Understand the Odds: Knowing the odds for different Keno numbers can guide your Keno strategy and help manage your expectations.
  2. Set a Budget: Just like with any other casino game, set a budget before playing. Knowing your limits can keep the game fun and reduce stress.
  3. Start Small: If you’re still learning how to play Keno, start with fewer numbers. It’s easier to manage while also being less risky.
  4. Know the Payouts: Different casinos offer different Keno payouts. Make sure you’re aware of what you could win before you play – for example, here’s a guide on the best telegram online casinos that offer great payouts.
  5. Quick Picks: Don’t underestimate the “Quick Pick” feature. It randomly selects numbers, offering a spontaneous and exciting way to play Keno.
  6. Check Previous Draws: Some players believe in reviewing past draws to predict future outcomes, although this is not a guaranteed Keno strategy, but could be useful.
  7. Play Progressive Keno: This version offers the chance at bigger wins, although keep in mind that the risk is higher too.
  8. Practice Online: Many online casinos offer free Keno games. This can be a great way to practice without risking real money.
  9. Know When to Stop: The game can be quite entertaining and addictive. Knowing when to walk away is a smart responsible gambling measure that ensures you don’t overspend.

Playing Online Keno vs Offline Keno

When it comes to Keno, you’ve got two main options: playing online or offline. Each has its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Here’s a quick breakdown to help you decide what’s best for you:

Online Keno


  • Convenience: Play from anywhere, anytime.
  • Lower Bets: More options for smaller wager amounts.
  • Faster Gameplay: Quick, automated draws.
  • Bonuses: Online promotions and bonuses are common.


  • Less Social: Missing the casino atmosphere.
  • Connectivity Issues: Dependent on a stable internet connection.

Offline Keno


  • Social Aspect: Enjoy the game with friends or meet new people.
  • Tangible Experience: Physical Keno tickets and ball machines add to the excitement.
  • No Technical Issues: No worries about internet connectivity or software glitches affecting your game.
  • Atmosphere: The casino environment can elevate the excitement and enjoyment of the game.


  • Slower Gameplay: Waiting for each draw can take time.
  • Higher Minimum Bets: Often have to bet more than online.
  • Less Convenient: Requires travel and adherence to business hours.

Keno Variations

Keno’s basic rules may be simple, but you can still find different Keno game variations at online casinos. This makes the whole gambling experience even more entertaining. Below is a guide to play multiple games along with some popular Keno variations that add their own unique twists to the classic game:

Live Keno

Live dealer Keno offers the best of both worlds — convenience and social interaction. Streamed in real-time from a studio or a real casino, it features a professional dealer who conducts the game. You can interact with the dealer and sometimes even other players, making it feel as if you’re right there in the casino. This dynamic setup not only enriches the experience but also adds a layer of transparency and trust to the game.

Progressive Keno

Progressive Keno spices things up by introducing a growing jackpot that accumulates over time. Every game without a jackpot winner adds to the prize pool, creating larger potential payouts. It’s like playing the lottery with a rolling jackpot — the tension builds, the stakes go up, and the excitement grows. This version is perfect for those who are looking for high-risk, high-reward gameplay and the chance to win big.

Multi-Card Keno

Multi-Card Keno allows you to play with more than one Keno card in a single round, often up to 20 cards simultaneously. This amps up your chances of landing a win, as you’re essentially playing multiple Keno games at once. It also adds a layer of strategy, as you can select different number combinations across various cards. For those who find classic Keno a bit too simplistic, Multi-Card Keno provides an engaging, cerebral twist that makes each draw more complex and captivating. If you’re still new to Keno and how to play this game, we recommend that you start with the general simple online Keno games first.

Keno Glossary

When learning how to play Keno slots, understanding the terminology can make your gaming experience smoother and more enjoyable. Here are 15 key terms you should know:

  1. Autopick – A feature that automatically selects numbers for you.
  2. Ball Draw – The act of drawing the 20 random numbers in Keno.
  3. Caller – The person announcing the numbers in a live Keno game.
  4. Catch – When one of your numbers is drawn.
  5. Draw – A single round of Keno.
  6. Hit – Another term for a successful ‘catch.’
  7. House Edge – The casino’s statistical advantage in Keno.
  8. Keno Board – The electronic or physical board displaying drawn numbers.
  9. Keno Lounge – A designated area in a casino for playing Keno.
  10. Keno Ticket – The ticket card or digital ticket where you mark your numbers.
  11. Pay Table – A chart showing potential winnings based on number matches.
  12. Quick Pick – An option to have numbers randomly selected for you.
  13. Spot – A selected number on the Keno card.
  14. Wager – The money you bet in a Keno game.
  15. Way Ticket – A ticket allowing multiple bets with grouped numbers.

FAQs About Keno

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