Keno: All You Need to Know

Keno is a game which comes from China and today has fans worldwide. Players used to play the game with Chinese symbols, using the first 80 symbols of the Thousand Character Classic. However, as Chinese immigrants introduced the game in Western countries, numbers took over the symbols’ spot. The game at first existed under the names boc hop bu and puck-apu. However, back in 1866 in Texas, the game got its now widely-known name Keno.

Regarding gameplay, Keno is quite similar to the lottery and bingo games. Namely, players choose numbers from 1 to 80 and then wait to see whether they have any hits. When playing in person, there is a machine that draws random balls with numbers printed on them. On the other hand, when playing at online casinos, there is an RNG which provides the winning numbers.

keno gameGameplay Explained

Keno players receive a Keno ticket, which is similar to a lottery ticket. Namely, the ticket has printed out numbers from 1 to 80. There are certain variants. However, that may include more or even less numbers on the ticket. Nonetheless, the player’s role is to select between 1 and 15 numbers from those seen on the ticket.

Afterwards, the player places a bet following the number of numbers they selected on the ticket. Naturally, the more numbers the player selects the higher chances of winning they have. Nonetheless, not all hits receive payouts.

Finally, the system is responsible for drawing 20 random numbers. Afterwards, the system will compare the winning numbers with the player’s numbers. If there are no hits, the player loses the bet. In contrast, if there are matching numbers, the player will receive a payout accordingly.

Keno Hits

When a number selected by the player matches a number drawn by the system, we say that there is a hit. So, in case there are two matching numbers, the player scored two hits. It goes without saying that the odds of having one or more hits are drastically different. Therefore, the odds of having one hit are 1:843.380, while the odds of having two hits are much better 1:86.446. Similarly, five hits have odds of 1:4.287, while the odds of scoring 15 hits are 1:41,751,453.986.


Considering that many operators offer Keno and many Keno variants, the payouts of Keno may differ. Moreover, the number of numbers a player chooses also plays a serious role in the payouts. Namely, selecting only one number and selecting five numbers comes with pretty different payout rates.

Therefore, we will provide a few examples for the sake of it. However, you, as future players, should keep in mind the fact that these payouts may be different. So, the most common payout for a single number and hit is 3:1. In contrast, choosing two numbers will earn zero payouts for a single hit and 12:1 payout for two hits.

Let’s consider a different scenario in which the player chooses five numbers at 888 Casino. Here, the payout for two hits is 1:2, while three hits pay 3:1. Furthermore, four and five hits pay 18:1 and 490:1, respectively.

Betting Limits

Just like any other casino game, Keno at online casinos usually comes with certain betting limits. These limits determine the minimum and maximum acceptable bets players can place on that particular Keno game. Different casino operators may have different Keno limits. Nonetheless, generally speaking, these go from £1 to £10.

House Edge of Keno

Due to the nature of Keno, it is tough to provide precise numbers about anything, house edge included. Thus, the house edge of this game varies depending on the total numbers in the game, i.e. 80 or 90. Moreover, it further depends on the number of numbers the player chooses. Generally, the house edge of Keno goes between 4% and 35%. Meaning, Keno has worse odds than many other top picks such as roulette and blackjack.


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