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Keno – An Introduction

Online KenoKeno is a lottery-style game that is a staple in many casinos, online and land-based, and knowing the odds is the key to having the best chance to win.

Lotteries have been around for at least hundreds of years, and the basic idea is pretty simple. You guess some numbers that you place a bet on, and a randomizing agent determines what the winning numbers are. The more of the numbers that you chose correctly, the better the payout you get. It’s a very straightforward concept, and keno was an attempt to standardize this type of gameplay for casinos. With that having been said, there are several versions of the game, though they all have the same fundamental elements.

Where to Play Online Keno For Real Money

Because online keno is such a popular game, virtually all of the top online casinos will have at least one variation of it available. The best online keno sites will generally be those that are the best at other parts of the experience as well since it’s such a staple in top-tier casinos anyway. You should even be able to play mobile keno as well since it’s such a common game, and it’s pretty rare for a solid mobile online casino to not have a style of keno available anyway.

Best Keno Sites

  1. Casino
    Ignition Casino
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    Compatibility
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  2. Casino
    Sloto Cash Casino
    Bonus
    $7,777 on 5 deposits
    Compatibility
    Desktop
    Mobile
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  3. Casino
    Bovada Casino
    Bonus
    100% up to $3000
    Compatibility
    Desktop
    Mobile
    Windows
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Online keno for real money is pretty common, and it’s actually noteworthy if a site does not offer keno of some sort. What you will notice, however, is that different sites have different pay tables and options for betting in their online keno games, and that can inform your decision if keno is the only game you’re really interested in focusing on. In fact, a large part of keno strategy involves picking the best games in the first place.

The Elements of Keno

On the most basic level, keno is about guessing numbers from the ones that are randomly chosen from a set. The total number of available numbers may change, but the player typically gets to choose the number of picks overall. For example, a keno game that offers the numbers 1-80 may give the player the option to pick between 1 and 15 different numbers. These bets are referred to as the Pick 1, Pick 2, Pick 3, etc. A big part of keno strategy is identifying how many numbers to pick will give you the best payouts with the lowest volatility.

The Method of Play

There are a lot of different types of keno out there, but they are all based on the same individual principles. The following is how the basic gameplay breaks down:

In short, you could actually sit down and play at any keno game that you wanted without knowing the payouts if you had to. Obviously, it’s better to know what the payouts are like so that you can find the house advantage and pick the best options overall.

A Warning on Payout Rates

There are some games in casinos that have what are known as “sucker bets,” which are essentially wagers that have a tremendous house advantage and a lower payout rate than the other wagers. Keno is a game that has certain sucker bets in some versions of the game, and a big part of having a good experience with this game is avoiding the worst wagers. Generally speaking, you should stay away from the Pick 1 and Pick 2 options, since they often have payout rates of lower than 80 percent at times, which makes them one of the worst bets you could ever find in a casino. Anything that’s Pick 5 and above, however, will typically be a reasonable bet.

Varying Pay Tables

One of the things that makes keno such a popular game is that it’s essentially an entire group of lottery-style bets all packed into one game, and you can choose from whichever pay table you want. What’s more is that the available pay tables vary from game to game.

With that having been said, if you play online especially, then there are certain pay table structures you’ll run into over and over.  For example, on the keno game provided in Microgaming’s software, you’ll get the following payout structure for the pick 1 through pick 8 bets:

Here’s how to read the payouts for these games. Suppose you decide to choose five numbers; that would make your bet a pick 5. If you get zero correct, you’re paid 0x. Picking one correct pays 0.5x, and picking two correct will give you a 1x win. Three correct numbers pays 3x, and four gives you a 15x payout. Finally, getting all five of your numbers right gives you the largest available pick 5 payout, which is worth 50 times your total bet.

What you’ll notice is that playing the higher pick numbers gives you chances for a wider range of payouts, which are much higher on the top end. That gives you a fair degree of control over the type of wager you’re getting overall.

An Example Betting Round

To make sure that we’re completely clear on how the betting works for online keno, consider an example betting round. If we were playing with the pay table as listed in the example above, here’s how a round of keno could play out:

Once that betting round is finished, we begin another round, and the same type of gameplay continues. This is a quick game with chances to win a lot of money in a single betting round depending on which wager we take (higher picks have opportunities for larger overall prizes), and that’s a large part of the appeal.

Overview

Online keno is a game that combines the speed and convenience of online casino play with the flexible, lottery-based playstyle of the slower-paced, land-based casino style of the original keno. This allows players to get in on the action exactly how they want with chances to win big prizes without having to wager more than they are comfortable with. It also makes it easy to get in a few game rounds one after another, even when playing mobile keno, because they only take a few moments to play.

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