Online Keno – Examining the Online Lottery Game in Canadian Casinos

This Keno guide will give you a closer look at this ancient Chinese game that is a casino favorite played online and at land-based casinos around the world. Did you know what the link is between the Great Wall of China and the history of Keno? Tune in, you are about to find out as we share the most interesting facts about the world’s most popular casino games on our site!

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Keno history and its five winning numbers will take you on a legendary spin

Keno is a thrilling lottery-like gambling game with an exciting story that could be used for an action-packed Hollywood adventure. In this case, it would feature the construction of the Great Wall of China, carrier pigeon post, civil unrest and the First Transcontinental Railroad. What a plot, right? Curious to find out how these pieces make up one whole Keno picture puzzle? Read on and enjoy the ride.

Interestingly, despite the fact that the word “keno” has a French or a Latin origin, which means “five winning numbers” in French and “five each” in Latin, the actual game definitely comes from China. According to an ancient Chinese legend, thanks to the creation of this mind-boggling game, a city was saved in the time of war. The Great Wall of China also saw great support from Keno lovers. The popularity of the game, in fact, helped to raise the necessary funds for the construction of this mighty structure.

Before the late 19th century, it was not allowed to run official gambling establishments where Keno could be played with a wider audience. This is most likely one of the reasons why there was no record of Chinese lotteries whatsoever. In 1847, however, according to the decision of the Portuguese government of Macau, lottery operators in modern China could apply for and obtain a valid license to run their establishments legally.

This is when carrier pigeons were used to help to send out results of Keno games from bigger cities to smaller towns and villages. Speaking of Hollywood adventures, big Hollywood directors could throw a passionate love story into this zesty mix and they would surely walk out with an Oscar award!

Back to some more important events in the evolution of the game of Keno as we know it today – in China, the game was played using game sheets which had the first 80 characters of the Classic Chinese alphabet printed on them.

Food for thought: Could this (meaning the fact that only the first 80 letters of the alphabet were used on the game sheets) be the reason why modern Keno is played using numbers from 1 to 80?

The 19th century was a significant milestone in the history of Keno. This is when the game was brought to the West as a result of international collaboration between the Americans and Chinese immigrants in the United States, who helped with the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad. This is how Keno has evolved from a small pastime game played in Chinese rural areas into a widely popular casino game played in all major brick and mortar and online casinos around the globe. What an exciting journey!

What you'll find in our guide: Keno online and at land-based casinos

Now, let’s move on to the meatiest part of our exclusive Keno guide as we are going to talk about Keno rules and Keno strategy.

Since playing Keno is so similar to playing a national lottery, one key ingredient you'll definitely need to succeed is your gut feeling. Keno’s Oriental roots come from a country where superstition, luck and intuition go hand in hand with success and wellbeing. Use this way of thinking with confidence whenever you are about to select your lucky numbers at the start of a Keno game.

Want to know how to play Keno? Here is how we roll!

Keno rules

The rules of the game are really easy to grasp as it only takes a few minutes to get a basic understanding of the gameplay, regardless of your gambling experience. Whether you are a seasoned casino veteran or a novice gambler, you'll surely become confident at placing your bets after a brief introduction to the basics of some essential Keno rules and the first few rounds of the actual game.

Here are 5 basic things you have to remember in order to start playing Keno:

1. There are 80 numbers in total (1 to 80)

2. Players opt for a set of numbers ranging from 1 to 80. On average players usually decide between 3 to 9 numbers.

3. The numbers are drawn randomly using an RNG (random number generator) tool – 20 numbers in total.

4. You win if the results of the draw coincide with the numbers you have selected.

5. The more correct numbers you have picked, the more you win. You win a jackpot if you have a 9 to 10 number ticket with all numbers hit during the draw.

Here are some chewy bites for the extra curious ones:

  • Just for you to note, in the Online version of Keno, a player is shown an electronic 10 x 8 grid
  • It is almost impossible to match all 20 numbers in Keno. In fact, the odds are 1 in 3,535,316,142,212,174,336!

As for the payouts, the size of your prize depends on how many numbers you have picked versus the numbers that are hit during the draw. This number is then multiplied by a percentage of the player’s initial wager in relation to the base rate of the pay table. As a rule, the more spots you select and the more numbers are drawn, the better the payout. One great addition to this standard rule, however, is the fact that in some casinos you get rewarded for hitting a smaller number of boxes. This makes Keno a very special casino game since it is one of the rarest games that gives players partial credit and even rewards them for being totally wrong!

Keno strategy

Many players often seek further guidance in relation to some possible strategies that might help them to increase their chances of winning. It is a tricky issue to tackle based on the fact that Keno is a game of pure luck with the only skill you can experiment with is your skill of picking the numbers. What matters the most is the number of boxes you decide to select and the actual numbers you pick. These are the only two factors that you have control of, and the rest is all up to your luck on the day.

Here are the Top 8 quick Strategy FAQs that will instantly increase your chances of winning:

What is the best Keno Strategy?

This is one of the hottest potatoes on the subject of Keno Rules and Strategy. As we have seen previously, Keno is a game of luck and there are very few factors that can help to improve the outcome. The best approach would be to choose a casino with the highest payouts by comparing several pay tables offered by some reputable online casinos. This is exactly what you would do when playing a lottery – higher rewards make the risk much more worthwhile and the wins so much sweeter!

How can I get more practice for free?

Yes, of course. When you play Keno online, you are provided with two different options – play “Keno for free” in demo mode and “play Keno for real money”. Your best bet is to choose a few different licensed casinos you like the look of and registering with them as a member. Once you have completed the registration process, you will be able to start playing any games you wish. Pick Keno in demo mode and practice your strategic moves for free before you start making real money deposits.

What are the odds of winning at Keno?

The odds of winning at Keno depend a lot on the matching numbers and the amount of the payout according to the paytable offered by your Casino of choice. Thus, for example, if 3 numbers match, your odds of winning are 11 to 1. The odds get higher as you increase the number of matching numbers - with 7 matching numbers, the odds reach 620 to 1 and with 10 matching numbers, 8.9 million to 1. You'll find a more detailed breakdown of the odds vis-à-vis the matching numbers and the payouts in our exclusive overview of the most recommended Keno Strategy of the year that really works!

What are Keno Hot and Cold numbers?

Hot numbers in Keno are those that statistically are drawn more frequently. The occurrence rate is determined by the most frequently drawn numbers following every 5 rounds. The hottest numbers in Keno are 3, 16, 44, 58, 61, 66, 67, 74 and 78. There is no logical explanation from the strategic point of view here, but this is what has been summarized by statistics.

Cold numbers in Keno are the opposite to their hot counterparts as they after those numbers that are drawn least frequently during each game. This observation is made following statistical data gathered from 15 consecutive games of Keno.

What numbers should I select in Keno?

It is best to stick to your gut feeling when it comes to committing to a set of numbers. If you wish to rely on the hot and cold numbers of the previous rounds of Keno, it is a good idea to do so with caution as previous draws rarely affect the outcomes of any consecutive rounds. Keep in mind that some casinos will give you an additional reward for hitting a smaller number of boxes. Therefore, do not be shy to spend more time on understanding how to increase the amount you collect as winnings based on what each casino offers. If in doubt, contact the customer service team to get it all right from the very first step.

Can the results be tweaked in any way?

No, not at all. In fact, if a licensed casino is suspected of manipulating the winning odds, its license is automatically suspended. All casinos are required to use a Random Number Generator (RNG) in all casino games of chance.

Do I have to choose 20 numbers in Keno?

No, you do not have to pick 20 numbers as it depends solely on your preferences and the rules of the selected casino. In some casinos, players are allowed to select between 1 and 15 numbers, while in others, players will be able to select between 1 and 20 numbers. Keep in mind that it is almost impossible to guess all 20 numbers right, so it is probably best to stick to a lower number of desirable boxes. You might also get an additional reward for matching some of the winning numbers in one draw.

What is the house edge in Keno?

Keep in mind that there is no standardized house edge in Keno. Similarly to the payouts, the house edge depends on the combination of the base rate according to the pay table plus the number of matching numbers. You'll find various Keno house edge calculators on the Internet, which will help you work out the exact percentage.

Where to play Online casino Keno for free and real money

Want to know more about where to start playing Keno for free and with real money? This comprehensive Keno game guide will take you from A to Z of all Keno practicalities, so tune in!

Whether you are experiencing online Keno or visiting a land-based casino in Las Vegas, look for the games of Keno to get started. The rules of the game will only take you a few moments to understand and you can join other like-minded players immediately. The advantage of Keno in comparison to some games of skill, for example, Blackjack and Poker, and even some table games like Roulette, is that you do not have to memorize dozens of strategic moves, just place your bet, pick your numbers and enjoy the ride! All you need to spend your energy on is focusing on listening to what Miss Fortune tells you and trying your luck again and again.

To top it up, you can do so at either very little cost of small real money bets or at no cost at all when you play at Keno Online Casino and use demo mode. You decide!

Keno thrills for Free

If you are a novice player, it is recommended that you play Keno for free at first, just until you get used to the rules of the game and the flow of several consecutive game rounds. Try out different techniques we have outlined in this guide to see what works best for you. For example, you can alternate between choosing hot numbers in one round and going for cold numbers in the next run.

Here is your everyday motto for your best free Keno run:

In any case, really and truly, you have absolutely nothing to lose. So, it is the perfect moment to go berserk with all your wild moves!

Cheers to that!

What you have to keep in mind is that choosing Keno online will give more free options to choose from. The reason is that many online casinos dedicate a significant chunk of their marketing budget to promoting their services to new players. The strategy is to offer free games players can try in order to become more familiar with the casino and its gaming platform. You can use this as a way of finding the best bargain in terms of bonus packages, the selection of games and gaming software as well as your free entry ticket to any reputable online casino that operates in your area. By playing free games, you automatically increase your chances of winning and scooping an attractive payout once you start placing real money bets with confidence.

A bit of Keno fun for real money

Have you decided whether you prefer online or land-based casinos? And do you know if you prefer the thrill of live Keno rather than the online version of this game? Once you have played online for free, you will start getting a sense of what types of games excite you the most. Take this as a learning curve and a starting point as you will then be able to focus your efforts on real money bets.

Your selected Keno strategy will also give you a solid base of how you wish to place your bets and also how many numbers you will choose. Depending on your gambling appetite and whether you prefer to play it safe and go by the rules, or you are a High Roller, who likes to deviate a little and risk a larger sum of real money in the aim to benefit from a juicer payout - Keno games will give you what you are looking.

In order to bolster your bankroll, whether you experience live dealer games or virtual machines, players should take advantage of the bonus offers that are available. These extra bonus rewards offer you real money to bet with and what you win you keep. We have a review of all bonuses on offer from the top keno casinos. These will help you to bet for free even on games like poker and slots.

Look out for the special mobile offers from these sites that allow you to win the main prize for nothing!

Our experts have tried all online Keno games and here is what they say

As we conclude this Keno guide, we wish to bring to your attention the fact that our dedicated team at Casino Bonuses Index.Com works very hard to deliver the best quality casino entertainment to your doorstep. We have tried and tested all Keno games offered by the leading internationally recognized casinos listed on our site and we can guarantee the best user experience. We are on the constant lookout for the most updated game releases available online in order to help you save time and money and just get straight to playing all your most loved games.

Here is what you can expect from your online Keno experience:

1. Fantastic quality of gaming software provided by the most well-known game designers in the iGaming industry such as NetEnt, Play’n Go, Microgaming and Evolution Gaming.

2. Mobile play on demand so that you can play whenever you like regardless of where you are.

3. Benefit from our outstanding selection of stellar casino bonuses including No Deposit Bonuses, Welcome Bonuses and Exclusive Casino Bonuses that will give you more of your favorite casino games for free and also help you to increase your winnings by claiming your extra free cash.

4. Bitcoin casinos provide a great selection of Keno games to those who prefer cryptocurrency transactions and risk-free banking solutions.

5. Mac users will find compatible software and will be able to enjoy a wide range of Keno and other online casino games.

6. Choose freely from our exclusive selection of award-winning casinos to ensure that you are playing in a safe and responsible gaming environment, where players’ safety and experience are our top priority.

Keno playing guide – Let’s roll

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this Keno guide and that you are now ready to start a new adventure with our selection of online Keno games. Even though ancient Chinese Keno would now be celebrating its centuries-old birthday, it brilliantly blended tradition with the dynamic pace of modern casino games. To this day this thrilling game lures many players from all corners of the globe.


Alistair is a journalism graduate from London in the U.K and also our junior researcher and copywriter. When he’s not working in the office on all sorts of projects, Alistair loves to play online poker and one day (when he’s a millionaire!) he hopes to publish a book about poker tips and how to profit from playing online poker.