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What Is Keno & How Do You Play It?

What Is Keno & How Do You Play It?

If you’ve come across any lottery-style games, Keno might be familiar to you. However, if this is your first time hearing about the game, then fear not because we’ll explain everything in our article below.

What Is Keno?

Keno is a lottery gambling game where customers purchase tickets with numbers 1 to 80 in squares. The game has rules similar to the lotto. Its origins can be traced to China. Popular in most regional provinces, the game dates at least 2,000 years.

The Chinese gave the game a different name, pai-ko p’iao or baige piao, which translates to ‘white pigeon ticket’. It was a nod to the homing pigeons on the tickets used in the game.

Of course, Keno is available to play here at Wizard Slots online slots uk casino.

How Do You Play Keno?

So, we’ve mentioned that a Keno ticket has numbers 1 to 80. So, the first step is to select the numbers you want to play before the draw. Some online casinos draw 15 to 20 numbers at a time. Individual numbers are called Keno Spots.

A Keno payout table appears as you choose the numbers. It shows how much you can win after matching a certain amount of numbers.

If your numbers are selected in the draw, we call this a catch or a match.

You can choose numbers manually or let the computer make a randomised selection.

Possible bets in Keno include:

Straight bets: Most common keno bet where players can bet on 1 to 15 numbers in one game.

Split bets: A bet placed on several numbers, each considered a separate set in one game.

Way bets: A bet on a group of numbers. They’re broken down into subgroups (ways), each appearing in a single way. Repeated numbers are not allowed.

Combination ticket: A combination bet is one where players choose numbers in groups and then play them as a single ticket. The groups can be a mix of straight and way bets.

King ticket: Works similarly to a split bet. Players select a single number known as the King, which must appear in all number groups.

Way bets and straight bets are the most common.

Is Keno The Same As Bingo?

Keno and bingo share a few similarities but are also very different. For example, both require number tickets. However, in bingo, players get a ticket with numbers, while in Keno, they choose numbers.

One game requires more player participation (Keno), like choosing numbers manually, while the other does not.

In addition, bingo cards are valid for one game, while Keno numbers are playable in several games. Also, the cost of draws remains the same in bingo, while costs in Keno can vary.

Unlike bingo, you can place bets in Keno. In bingo, the money you spend on buying the card is the bet itself.

Lastly, the potential jackpots in Keno are typically larger than those in bingo.

Why Is It Called Keno?

As we mentioned earlier, Keno traces its roots to Ancient China. King Leung invented the game to generate income for his country’s armies. Of course, he succeeded and managed to finance his armies and raise money to construct the Great Wall of China.

Chinese immigrants spread the game to the US in the mid-1800s. Eventually, the game gained popularity among more people in the US, but they called it the Chinese lottery. Around the same time, the game earned the name Keno, a corrupted version of the French word ‘quine’.

Do People Still Play Keno?

Players relate Keno to the lotto. One of the pros to playing Keno online at Wizard Slots online casino is that you can access the game anywhere as long as you have an active account. Other benefits of the game include the following:

It’s easy to learn

The game’s instructions are simple. Players choose which numbers they want and wait for the draw.

It’s entertaining

Keno is a fun and engaging game to play. You can monitor the winning numbers with other players or play alone.

More player involvement

There are more options available because there are different number combinations you can bet on. For example, some players might spread their bets, while others might bet higher on a smaller group of numbers.

What Are The Odds of Winning Keno?

The Keno house edge is one of the highest in both online and in-person casinos. It typically sits between 20-40%.

The odds of winning Keno vary, depending on how many numbers you choose. Note that 20 balls are drawn in the overall Keno game. For example:

One number: If you choose 1 number out of 80, the odds of it being one of the winning 20 are 1 in 4.

Two numbers: If you choose 2 numbers, the odds of matching both are 1 in 17.

Three numbers: The odds of matching 3 numbers are 1 in 73 for all 3, and 1 in 8 for matching 2 of the 3.

Four numbers: Choosing four numbers on your ticket means that you have 1 in 327 odds of landing all four. There are 1 in 24 odds of matching 3 out of 4 numbers and 1 in 5 odds of matching two of them.

Five numbers: The more numbers you bet on, the riskier the bet. So, the odds of five winning numbers is 1 in 1,551. In addition, the odds of having four of the numbers winning is 1 in 83, while three winning have 1 in 12 odds.

Ten numbers: The odds of ten winning numbers are 1 in 8,911,712. Having nine winning numbers can happen 1 in 163,382 times. Eight numbers have winning odds of 1 in 7,385. You can also have 7 numbers with winning odds of 1 in 621, 6 numbers with winning odds of 1 in 88, 5 numbers have winning odds of 1 in 20, and 0 have 1 in 22 chances of winning.


Keno is a game of chance that’s straightforward to play but requires basic instruction. Our post could serve as a helpful starting point for anyone looking to learn how to play Keno online.

At Wizard Slots we have a range of Keno games available to play online here at Wizard Slots, including Keno, KenoNeo, Lucky Keno and Lightning Box Keno!

*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to this game are subject to change at any time.