Keno Rules

Keno is casino game that is enjoyed at land-based casinos and online casinos. Its history in the United States dates back to the mid-1800s when Chinese immigrants who came to work on the railway lines introduced it. Since then it has become a popular addition in both online and land based casinos. The rules of the game of keno are simple to learn and the game is easy to play.

Beginning a Game of Keno

Before you can begin a game of keno you must select your numbers. There are a total of 80 numbers (or spots) on a keno ticket and you will need to select more than 4, but less than ten of those numbers. Many casinos now allow you to select more numbers - 12, 15 or even up to 20 numbers. These numbers must be clearly marked on your ticket and the ticket, along with your bet must be taken to the keno booth of the casino. You are also able to give the keno ticket to a "Keno Runner" – a casino employee whose job it is to collect keno tickets. You will be given a receipt and you must make sure that it is correct before the game begins. Any discrepancies between the original ticket and receipt will not normally be fixed and the receipt ticket will be counted as the correct one. It is simpler if you are playing online keno as once you have chosen your numbers and placed your bet, you simply wait for the game to happen.

Checking your Keno Ticket

All keno winnings must be collected before the start of the next game. This means that you must sit in a place where you can easily see the keno board where the winning numbers are displayed. If you think you may have a winning card, you must take it to the keno booth for processing before the next game begins. If you do not take in your keno ticket before the start of the next game, your winnings will be null and void. Casinos may offer a "late pay" option for players, but this varies between casinos so you must be careful to read the rules carefully before you try it.

A Winning Keno Ticket

Winning numbers are drawn randomly in the game of keno. Players may win depending on the number of spots they have marked that match the winning numbers. The pay outs for winning tickets vary between casinos so be familiar with the casino's pay out schedule before you begin to play. Some casinos may even pay out to players who hit 0 spots on a 20 spot ticket with a bet of $5. In general, if you choose 5 spots, you will need 3 spots to win anything and this may only pay out at 3 to 1. If you hit 4 out of 5 spots, you can expect a pay out of around 26 to 1 and if you hit 5 out of 5 you can expect a pay out of around 332 to 1.

Different Types of Keno Games

  • Straight tickets

    these are the most common type of keno game where you pick numbers and play one keno game at a time.

  • Way tickets

    These allow you to mark multiple games on a single ticket. These tickets are often offered at very cheap rates, allowing you to play for as little as 10 cents.

  • Split tickets

    These are tickets that allow you to play two or more tickets on one card. Each ticket is made up of a group of numbers separated by a line or a circle. Each game has its own unique numbers, meaning that you cannot choose the same number for multiple games.

  • Combination tickets

    This allows players to combine groups of straight bets in different ways on one ticket. You can also combine straight bets and a way bet on this ticket. You bet one unit for each possible combination.

  • King tickets

    these tickets have a single number (the king) that is circled on the ticket and can be used as a combination for other groups of number on the ticket.

  • Special tickets

    You may be able to get special keno tickets offered by the casino. These are offered in the way of promotions.

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