Keno is the casino version of the lottery and works in very much the same way, making it one of the simplest casino games you can play. You start by filling out a ticket which has 80 numbers. You’ll select anywhere from 1-15 numbers or you can select 20 numbers (each number selected is referred to as a ‘spot’), then you turn in your ticket to be registered for the next available game (Keno games are usually played regular intervals throughout the day).
The numbers on your ticket correspond to numbers on the Keno balls; these balls are kept in an enclosure which releases one ball at a time. There are different types of enclosures for the Keno balls, such as the ‘Cage’ or the Rabbit Ear’ blower. Some more modern casinos use an electronic device called a ‘random number generator’ which has no physical balls at all.
The game starts when balls are pulled from the enclosure and the number on that ball is shown on a board for everyone to see. The game ends after 20 numbers have been drawn. To win, the spots on your Keno card must match a specific number of balls that were drawn.
The odds of winning depend on the number of spots selected, and the payouts generally correspond to the odds of winning (higher odds mean higher payouts). Unlike most casino games (like Blackjack or Roulette) the actual payout amounts vary widely between casinos.
Besides selecting particular numbers, Keno offers other betting options. One is the ‘Odd/Even’ distribution, where you bet that the distribution between odd and even numbers will not be even (as in more even numbers than odd numbers). Since the drawn numbers are displayed on a grid, another betting option is the ‘Top/Bottom’ distribution where you bet that there will be more numbers selected from one half of the grid than the other (as in more numbers from the top part of the grid than the bottom). In order to win one of these distribution bets, there is usually a specific distribution rule such as the ‘7/13’ rule which means that if you bet on a Top/Bottom option, then there must be a difference of 7 balls from one half and 13 from the other.
If you win and your casino follows older rules then you must cash in your ticket before the next game begins; if you don’t then you forfeit your winnings. Many casinos now have a ‘late pay window’ that will allow you to come back and pick up your winnings at a later time. These windows do have a time limit regarding how long you may hold a ticket before it expires so it is important to know the late pay restrictions before taking advantage of this option.
Win or lose, casinos will allow you to replay your ticket if you wish; some people do this because they feel that they have a good combination of numbers selected while some do this because they want to play again but they don’t want to go through the process of filling out another ticket.
With live drawings happening at regular intervals and many different ways to win, Keno can be a very exciting casino game.