Keno: Understanding the basics

If you are not familiar with Keno, you might not understand why people swarm the game in casinos. Keno is popular because it’s a game of pure chance. It’s also easy to play. 

You’ll find a keno machine in almost all casinos in the world. The odds might not be great sometimes. But you lose money fairly slowly with kenos. So the chances of you going bankrupt overnight are very slim. 

Getting to know the basics of Keno

Like we said earlier, you’ll find this game in almost every casino you go to. And the game is available round the clock. 

One thing about keno is that you don’t have to be present at the machines. You can be at a bar or other part of the casino. All you need is a keno runner. And these are people that go round casinos collecting bets. They then play these bets on your behalf. 

So you’ll be learning all you need to know about keno in this article. So stay tuned. 

How to play keno

Let’s face it. Gambling can be a tough business. But keno might just be the easiest gambling game there is. So how do you play the game? All you have to do is guess numbers the machine will draw from a pool of numbers. 

The machines usually have 80 balls with a number assigned to each ball. Then 20 balls are drawn up randomly. And you win when you guess a winning number. 

For more clarity, let’s outline a step to step process of playing keno

Choose your numbers

This is the first step, you choosing your numbers. You indicate these numbers on a keno card with a special crayon. Please don’t ask us why casinos give out crayons. We are still trying to figure that out. 

Make your wager on your card: Remember when we said you might find some abysmal odds in keno? Yeah, you did. Keno has some of the lowest odds you’ll find in a casino. A booklet explaining the odds and payout for the game will be given to you. So you know what to expect. 

While $1 bets are the most common, you can also bet $2 or $5. Whatever amount you are betting, you indicate it on your card. 

Place your bet yourself or through a keno runner

After choosing your lucky numbers, you gotta place your bet, right? You can go to the counter and place your bet yourself. And if you like, you can call on a keno runner to help place your bet. 

The runner will first bring a receipt to you containing your numbers to you for confirmation. 

While it’s convenient to give your bets to keno runners, you might have to wait a while before your bet is placed. This is because keno runners are usually the last to play in a casino. 

Follow the numbers on the board

The winning numbers are displayed on screens throughout the casino. So you can follow your bet wherever you are in the casino. 

How to fill your keno ticket 

It’s not rocket science to fill your keno ticket. You just gotta mark your selected numbers with an X. Then you hope lady luck smiles on you and transform your numbers into winning numbers. 

But keno tickets can be filled in so many ways. And that will be discussed below. 

√ Straight ticket: This is the easiest and most straightforward way to play keno. You get your ticket and select up to 15 numbers. And you win if any of your numbers is drawn. 

You can bet with $1 or its multiples. 

√ Split ticket: It’s possible to play two different games on the same card. You just show which numbers go with each game with a line.

Note that you can’t play the same number twice on a split ticket. 

√ Way ticket: Here, you can play two or more sets of numbers in the same race. And it increases your chances of winning. However, the payout will be lower.  

√ Top/Bottom Ticket: A casino special and costs $5 to play. You mark your card T (for top) or B(for bottom). You then select and bet 40 numbers in either T or B. 

If 13 out of the 20 drawn numbers fall in the half you choose, then you are a winner. 

Working your way down a Keno card

You can input your betting details in the right hand corner of your card. And we’ll tell you how to do that. So let’s assume you want to bet a combination game. And you have four spots marked both T and B. This makes your whole ticket as an eight spot. So this is how you write your details in the card. 

$5     ¼ ¼    ⅛ $1

$5 is the total bet for your ticket and ¼ means one four spot ticket. And $1 is the money you are wagering on each combination. 

Winning and collecting

Now you know that you win when you correctly predict one of the drawn numbers. But your payout depends on the number of spots you select on your keno card. And also the number of spots you catch.

So the more numbers you correctly predict, the more money you win. Keno is that simple.

Playing video kenos

Yep, video kenos are available. And you can find them in the slot area of casinos. They are more fun to play and have higher odds than the conventional keno. 

But note that you can lose money quicker here because of the speed of video kenos. 

How to improve your odds at keno

√ Play the kind of pattern you are very familiar with. For example straight tickets. 

√ Play only on machines that offer the best odds. And restrict your play to casinos with those machines. 

√ Don’t overdo it. Keep your bets small. 

√ Watch out for bets with astronomical odds and stay away from them. Like seriously, you think you can hit 10 out of 10 numbers?

√ Play regular keno and not video keno. You’ll lose money at a slower rate on regular keno. 

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