Lottery drawings are popular just about everywhere in the world. They give players the chance to dream of winning millions just by picking the right numbers, and even if only a few lucky individuals actually win those life-changing sums, the dream of getting their hands on that money is enough to lift any player’s spirits as they wait for the results.

Casinos can’t offer the jackpots worth tens of millions of dollars that national and state lotteries sometimes produce, but they do have the next best thing in their own lottery game: keno. Today, online keno allows gamblers to enjoy new drawings anytime they like, with the potential to win huge sums of money every time a new set of numbers is drawn.

How To Play Keno

Real money keno is basically the lottery on demand. Pick your numbers, wait for the casino to draw a series of numbers, and then get paid out based on how many you were able to catch (guess correctly).

Getting to Know the Game

A typical real money keno game consists of a keno card, a pay table, and a few buttons. While every online keno game is a bit different, these are the common elements you’ll find when you choose to play online.

  • Keno Card: A keno card is essentially a giant grid of numbers. You can think of it as a large lottery ticket with the numbers 1 through 80. In typical online keno games, you’ll find eight rows of 10 numbers each.
  • Pay Table: This shows you what your payout will be for the number of catches you make. In keno, you don’t necessarily get paid out for hitting more numbers. Instead, you get paid out if the percentage of numbers you hit is high. For example, catching 6 of 6 selected numbers might net you a payout of 1800x your bet, but catching 6 of 14 numbers selected might only net you 2x your bet.
  • Quick Pick: Rather than selecting the numbers on your own, you can choose the Quick Pick button to have the system pick them for you. This is much like the quick pick feature found in most state lotteries.

How to Play Keno Online

  • 1. Select an online keno game. If you’re unsure where to start, check out the various keno games available at the top casinos shown below or by clicking this link.
  • 2. Choose your numbers. In most games you can pick between 1 and 20 numbers from the keno grid. How many you choose is completely up to you. But remember, the greater the percentage of numbers you catch, the higher your payout rate will be.
  • 3. Decide how much you want to bet per draw. You can adjust your bet by clicking the arrows next to the selected bet amount.
  • 4. You will then be asked to indicate how many games you’d like to play. As an example, if you choose to bet $1 on your numbers and play a total of 5 games, this will cost $5.
  • 5. Wait for the numbers to be drawn to find out if you are a winner! The system will draw the max amount of numbers, checking off each one with an X or a checkmark. You’ll then get paid out based on how many numbers you’ve hit.

Keno Rules

While keno is quite a simple game to understand, it’s always worth brushing up on the rules. We suggest you keep the following key elements of the game in mind when you play.

  • The keno board has 80 numbers, but you can’t choose all of them. How many numbers you can choose depends on the casino you’re playing at, but the total number is usually between 15 and 20.
  • While some casinos will let you play as few as one number, some real money casinos will require you to play at least two numbers.
  • If you’re playing real money keno in a land-based casino, you need to wait for a keno game to start before you can see what your payout is. Online, you’re in control of exactly when each game starts.

Online keno is a very easy game to play, especially if you’ve tried a lottery before. In each game, players must choose numbers (also called spots) that they hope will be chosen in the next drawing.

Our simple step by step guide to playing keno online can help get you up to speed with the basic rules of Keno so that you can enjoy your best game. Here’s how to get started:

  • Choose an online keno game you like. If you’re new to playing keno online, then playing free keno games gives you a risk-free experience before switching to playing keno for real money at an online casino. When you’re ready, we recommend that you play keno for real money at a secure online casino .
  • Pick your keno numbers (also called spots). When an online keno draw takes place, 20 numbers will be picked in a range between 1 and 80. You can typically make anywhere from one to 15 picks, with different prizes available depending on how many spots you choose to play.
  • Know your best keno odds before placing your bets. It is important to understand how betting odds in Keno affect your chances of landing bigger wins and prizes. For example, if you select just one number and that number is chosen, you might win at 3-1 odds (keep in mind that payouts in this game do not include the return of your initial bet, so on a $1 ticket, this would mean you receive $3, for a $2 profit). 
  • Place your bets. Online keno games allow you to easily adjust the amount you want to bet by clicking/tapping the ‘bet’ button on the game screen or the arrows beside it.
  • Decide how many keno games you want to play. In online keno, you need to specify how many games you’d like to play before hitting the ‘Play’ button. So, let’s say you’d like to bet $1 and play three games of keno. This would mean purchasing three keno tickets for a total of $3.
  • Hit play and compare the results to your online keno ticket. Once your spots have been chosen, the results come down to comparing how many numbers match those that appear on your Keno ‘ticket’ (which is the game screen in online keno). If enough Keno numbers have been correctly matched, you can win various cash payouts or prizes, depending on the game in question. In general, the more numbers you hit, the bigger the reward, with perhaps a major Keno jackpot being available if you can match the required number of spots.

Finding the Best Online Keno Site

While it’s not difficult to find a place to play keno online, finding a site you’ll be happy with can feel like more of a challenge. There are a lot of factors that go into finding a great online casino, and not every gambling site offers great keno options for their players.

Obviously, if this is the game you want to play, you’ll want to make sure your casino of choice offers online keno. We also recommend online gambling sites that feature excellent first deposit bonuses that allow you to clear your bonus while playing keno. Our favourite sites also feature an established track record of trustworthy play, great customer service, and a wide selection of other games from the best software providers in the business.

Play Online Keno for Free

Before you try playing online keno for real money, you might want to try a free version of the game. There are a number of reasons for doing this. First, if you’ve never tried keno before, you might want to get familiarized with the game to ensure that you know the rules and the payouts before you play for real. This can also give you a way to test out a particular casino’s software before deciding if you want to play there. Plus, sometimes just playing for fun can be an enjoyable way to relax for a few minutes.

For all these reasons and more, we’ve provided a way to play keno online for free to our readers. The game below will allow you to get a free for how keno works, without any worries about losing any of your hard-earned cash. Feel free to try any combination of bets you like, and come back to this page as often as you want to continue improving your skills!

Online Keno for Real Money

Once you feel comfortable with how online keno works, you’ll probably want to move on to playing for real money. The game gets much more exciting when there’s something riding on every single drawing, adding a lot of drama as you see each number come up on the screen. Playing for real money is also the only way to win real money, giving yourself to win a massive keno payout if you’re lucky enough to choose the right spots at the right time.

When you decide that real money online keno is right for you, it’s easy

to get started. You can click through the links on this page to sign up at our pick for the top real money keno online casino. After you’ve opened an account, pick from any of the available deposit options to move money into your account. In a matter of moments, you’ll be playing keno for real cash.

Online Keno Betting Strategy

It should be pretty clear that there is no real strategy in this game, at least when it comes to gameplay. All online keno games use a random number generator for picking the numbers, so there is no way to predict which spots will be chosen, and no way to manipulate the results. You can safely pick whatever lucky or important numbers you want to play without helping or hurting your chances.

There are, however, a few things you might be able to do to get the best odds possible while you play keno online. If payout and return charts are available for the games you are playing, you will probably find out that the returns vary tremendously based on how many spots you pick: obviously, the combinations that offer the highest returns are the best for you to play. Also, some of the best online casinos offer progressive jackpots; when those rewards get especially high, they may tilt the odds in your favor, making those games especially good for you to play.

In addition, there are plenty of ways in which players will try to improve their chances of winning or minimizing losses when luck isn’t in their favor. When it comes to playing keno online, one of the most important of these is simply taking a little time to slow down the pace of play. When you fill out a card in a live casino, you’ll have to wait a few minutes for each drawing to happen. But online, you can make these games happen almost instantly – a feature that’s very tempting, but can easily lead to spending more than you originally meant to.

One of the best general strategies used by online keno players is to avoid playing the maximum number of spots, particularly in games where you have the option of playing ten or more spots. The odds of matching all ten of your numbers are about one in 8.9 million, so even large keno jackpots really aren’t worthwhile at that point. Meanwhile, hitting eight out of eight is an unlikely – but much more reasonable – 1 in 230,000 shot. The less you have to connect with to earn a jackpot, the better.

It’s also worth looking into online keno games that have special bonus rounds or other twists that have the potential to earn you more money than a normal version of this game. This is common at online casinos, where variants on keno can give you the chance to multiply your winnings, earn free plays, or gain additional instant prizes. Of course, you’ll also want to take a look at the pay tables to make sure you’re getting a good deal overall.

Finally, don’t worry too much about the numbers you pick. All online keno games at trustworthy casino sites draw numbers randomly, meaning you can safely play your favorite lucky numbers, a sequence of ten in a row, or something that makes a nice pattern on the card. No matter what you choose, your odds of winning will be the same.

Common Keno Variations Online

Keno is one of the most simplistic casino games out there. The standard version is hugely popular around the world. A growing number of online casinos are now offering unique keno variations, too, many of which can offer great opportunities to win big.

Expect to find some of the following variations found online in 2022.

Mini Keno

Gamblers looking to play keno on the go might love mini keno. As the name suggests, this is a miniaturized version of this game with fewer numbers to choose from. Most mini keno games feature only 40 numbers total and give players fewer numbers to choose from. This is a great option for players looking for quick games.

Bonus Spot Keno

A keno board typically features 80 numbers that players can choose from. Bonus spot keno gives one of these numbers a large bonus, typically between 5x to 10x. The bonus number is not known to players and will only be revealed if it is chosen by the random number generator. This variation makes keno even more exciting and can offer a huge jackpot to lucky gamblers.

Progressive Jackpot Keno

Progressive jackpot casino games have been around for decades. Progressive jackpot keno can vary and is only offered by the largest casino sites. Winning these keno jackpots can vary, and is often only by hitting at least 10 correct numbers. These jackpots can continue to add up and often feature truly massive payouts for lucky players.

Live Dealer Keno

Live dealer games are now offered by a huge number of casino sites. These are games connected via video stream to dealers who collect your bets. Playing live dealer keno makes it feel as if you are inside a real casino and removes the need for a computerized random numbers generator. It’s a fun way to feel more connected to the game.

How to Win Keno

Keno is a game of chance with little possibility of influencing the outcome. You simply sit back, enjoy the show and hope luck is on your side.

That said, you can still employ a general strategy to try to minimize your losses, for example:

Start off by betting the minimum. If you win a game, up your bet. If you lose, decrease it. This isn’t a surefire way to win, but this strategy has led to some impressive results for many real money keno players.

Remember, as with all online casino games at trustworthy casinos, keno online uses an RNG (random number generator) to determine the numbers that will be drawn. This means that nothing you do can influence those numbers.

Our Top Tips for Online Keno

As we’ve mentioned before, keno is a game of chance with little possibility of influencing the odds. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to ensure you get the most out of every game. Below, we’ve listed our four top tips for staying on top of your keno game.

Play a consistent set of numbers

Play a consistent set of numbers

It’s easier to keep track of which numbers come up frequently. Try mixing in a balanced amount of high and low numbers to increase your odds of winning.

Check the payout chart before you play

Check the payout chart before you play

While every real money keno website pays out more when you catch a higher percentage of numbers, the amount casinos pay out varies. Before you lock in your numbers, see what the payout is like for the various betting options at your chosen keno casino.

Take advantage of keno bonuses

Take advantage of keno bonuses

Most casinos will offer a competitive bonus when you join, giving you a helping hand when you start out in Keno or other games.

Use your bankroll wisely

Use your bankroll wisely

Before you start, set yourself a limited amount you can afford to lose. You don’t want to blow all your money in the first round, so think about how many games you’d like to play and place your bets accordingly.

Keno History

The true history of keno is shrouded in mystery, though virtually all historians agree that the game began in China. According to legend, the game was designed as a way for government officials to fund the defence of an ancient city during a time of war, as citizens were more willing to accept a gambling game than taxes. Those same legends claim that keno helped fund the Great Wall of China.

However, the first known modern keno games date back no earlier than the middle of the 19th Century. Portuguese officials in Macau began licensing the game in 1847, when groups played the game using 80 traditional Chinese characters. When immigrants from China began coming to the United States, they shared the game with Americans, who started to make it their own. The first use of the name “keno” for such drawings actually came from Houston, Texas.

Out of all the casino games, keno has one of the most interesting stories of origin, particularly because much of it lies within mystery, myth, truth, and elsewhere in between. Stories of emperors, wars, railroads, and races all have their part.

  • Beginning in China: The first evidence of keno can be traced to ancient China when it was played with 120 Chinese characters. Popular during the Han dynasty, ruled by Cheung Leung, he encouraged residents to play it in order to collect taxes that were used to fund the Han dynasty war. Later on, keno taxes helped to build the Great Wall of China.
  • Moving to America: In the 1800s, many Chinese people made a rush to the western shores of the United States where they sought to work on the railroads. As they settled in San Francisco they introduced Keno to Americans, who found the characters to be confusing. This lead to them being replaced with numbers.
  • 20th Century: A loophole in the legal system allowed gambling, but not lotteries. As keno was a lottery, operators cleverly changed the name to Racehorse Keno and said it was a racing game, thus making it legal. The numbers of the keno card correlated with horses and the drawing was called the ‘race’. Some casinos use this term even today.
  • Today: With the digital age rapidly taking over the world of gambling, keno continues to live on. Keno games can be found in most major casinos, where they are considered a relaxing game that can be played without much thought, while still giving patrons the chance to win large prizes. With the advent of internet casinos, online keno has also become a popular inclusion at gambling sites, with these versions often offering players significantly better odds and faster action than their live counterparts.

Online Casinos that have Keno

Red Dog CasinoAustralia,
New Zealand,
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France, Israel, Romania, Russia,
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Martinique, Mayotte, United Kingdom
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US online casinos feature many versions of online keno. Here are some of the popular game types American online keno players may encounter.

  • Single Game Keno: The basic way to play keno online. You pick a single set of numbers (“spots”) for a single drawing. If you have a winning draw, you collect cash before the next game.
  • Multi-Race Keno: Similar to multi-hand online blackjack, you play multiple games of keno at once. It’s a fast-paced game, but players should make smaller wagers on each individual drawing.
  • Keno Draw: Version of online keno found at Bovada, Cafe Casino, Ignition and Bets range from $0.01 to $10 with six bet ranges. The big jackpot ranges from $1,000 for one-cent bets to $1 million for $10 bets.
  • 40-Ball Keno: Variant played with half as many lottery balls. Select from 3 to 10 numbers, while the RNG draws 10 numbers in all. Jackpots are smaller, but odds of winning small prizes are higher.
  • Power Ball Keno: Standard 80-ball keno but with a big bonus jackpot. Like the Powerball lottery, you buy a bonus ball for higher payouts. This game is called Super Ball Keno in some online casinos.
  • Live Keno Online: While US live casinos seldom feature live dealer keno, some international live dealer casinos offer drawings of live keno online with real game hosts and hostesses.

Online Keno Rules

The rules of online keno closely mimic land-based keno rules, but there are subtle differences. One major difference is the number of side bets available. Keep these tips and tricks in mind when playing keno online.

  • Faster Play: Many online lottery sites have keno drawings every five minutes. You can play many games of online casino keno in that time. It’s like a scratch card or slots game, so adjust bets accordingly.
  • Keno Side Bets: Many online keno cards have side bets. These might be Super Ball or Power Ball side bets, or something more exotic. These have bigger payouts but lower odds.
  • Slots Bonuses: Most online casinos advertise slots bonuses, but allow keno and scratch cards to clear the wagering requirement. Read the wagering requirement terms and accept the bonus cash, if keno clears the requirement.
  • Free Online Keno: Most online casinos allow players to play for free, so learn the keno rules and test gameplay before you wager. Some casino sites only allow free-play keno before making a deposit, so sign out of your account to play free keno, if so. If you want to keep playing keno but with a lower risk, consider playing at a low deposit casino.

Online Keno Odds And Payouts

Numbers SelectedWinning NumbersOdds of WinningTypical Payout ($1 Bet)
10 Spots10 of 201 in 8,911,712$200,000
10 Spots9 of 201 in 163,382$10,000
10 Spots8 of 201 in 7,385$500
10 Spots7 of 201 in 621$50
10 Spots6 of 201 in 88$10
10 Spots5 of 201 in 20$3
10 Spots4 of 201 in 22$3
9 Spots9 of 201 in 1,380,688$25,000
9 Spots8 of 201 in 30,682$2,500
9 Spots7 of 201 in 1,691$200
9 Spots6 of 201 in 175$25
9 Spots5 of 201 in 31$4
9 Spots4 of 201 in 9$1
8 Spots8 of 201 in 200,115$15,000
8 Spots7 of 201 in 6,223$400
8 Spots6 of 201 in 423$50
8 Spots5 of 201 in 55$10
8 Spots4 of 201 in 13$2
7 Spots7 of 201 in 40,980$5,000
7 Spots6 of 201 in 1,366$150
7 Spots5 of 201 in 116$15
7 Spots4 of 201 in 20$2
7 Spots3 of 201 in 6$1
6 Spots6 of 201 in 7,753$1,500
6 Spots5 of 201 in 324$50
6 Spots4 of 201 in 36$15
6 Spots3 of 201 in 8$1
5 Spots5 of 201 in 1,551$500
5 Spots4 of 201 in 83$15
5 Spots3 of 201 in 12$2
4 Spots4 of 201 in 327$50
4 Spots3 of 201 in 24$5
4 Spots2 of 201 in 5$1
3 Spots3 of 201 in 73$25
3 Spots2 of 201 in 8$2
2 Spots2 of 201 in 17$10
1 Spot1 of 201 in 4$2

Online Keno Strategy

Keno is a game of chance, but certain betting strategies help players enjoy the game more. Here are some keno strategies to keep in mind.

  • Make Small Bets: Online keno hands go quick, like slots or scratch cards. Make smaller bets to compensate.
  • Use Bankroll Management: Calculate your bankroll in order to calculate bet sizes. Use “loss limits” and “win goals” to limit session times.
  • Don’t Believe Scam Artists: Keno is a pure game of chance. Don’t believe anyone who’s trying to sell you a surefire keno strategy – it doesn’t exist.
  • Play Free Online Keno: To learn the game controls and rules, play the free version of online keno before making a bet. Don’t play real money keno until you know how to make a bet properly.
  • Choose 4 to 8 Numbers: Trying to collect 10 keno numbers isn’t a good bet, so select 4 to 8 numbers and hope for the best. More than 8 numbers tend to be wasting your money.
  • Ignore Hot Number and Cold Numbers: Online keno uses random number generators, so don’t fool yourself into trying to calculate a pattern in the random numbers. Hot number and cold numbers are an illusion.
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Keno Glossary

Aggregate LimitThe total amount that casino is liable to payout in a single round. If reached, players may have to accept reduced winnings. For a game like Keno where the total payouts could become insanely high, this is a necessary feature for the casino to include.
BallsPing pong balls labeled with the numbers from one to eighty. Drawn at random to determine the winners of any given Keno round. These are to Keno as dice are to craps, or as the wheel is to roulette.
BankrollA player’s available sum of money for use in Keno.
BetThe total amount of money wagered by a player in a single round of Keno, on a single ticket.
CallerThe casino employee that literally calls out the winning numbers during a Keno game.
ClosedThe time right before Keno balls are drawn. No casino tickets can be written while the game is closed.
DrawThe panel of twenty Keno balls that are “drawn” in any given round. This displays the winning numbers.
FieldA collection of unmarked, circled spots.
FlashboardThe digital display that shows which numbers make up the draw.
GooseA slang term for the device used to mix up and, ultimately draw, the Keno balls. Don’t be surprised if you run into a shockingly large number of other players that aren’t familiar with this important term.
HitA slang term for a winning spot. Achieved when one of your spots matches a number in the round’s draw.
HouseA slang term for the casino.
House EdgeThe percentage of any given wager that the casino is statistically expected to retain over the long run. A high house edge is bad for players but good for the casino. Keno has a house edge of approximately 30%, which makes it higher than average.
MarkAppears on a Keno ticket as a way to show which numbers are spots. Often made with a black crayon provided by the casino specifically for this purpose.
OpenThe opposite of closed. Any point in time when the casino is accepting more Keno wagers for the coming draw.
Pay TableThe diagram that explains exactly how much any given win is worth.
Punch OutsA template offered by the house. A punch out matches your original Keno ticket, but all of the numbers from the draw are punched out. This makes it significantly easier for players to quickly check for winning tickets. Just lay it over your ticket and see which of the spots show through the holes.
Random Number GeneratorA mechanism in video Keno games, including online casinos, that is used to randomly create the draw. A completely fair and unpredictable tool for operating a Keno game, as well as other casino games.
SpotA slang term for any of the numbers that have been marked on a Keno ticket.
TicketThe piece of paper that players use to make their Keno wagers. It has a grid with eighty numbers (from one to eighty) and players can mark their spots and choose their bet size on this document. A copy should be given to the player after the wager is made.
TournamentA popular way of playing Keno which is set up by the host casino. A series of games are offered and players compete to outperform each other and win the overall prize money. One of the best ways to shake your game up, because a Keno tournament has a totally different feel and pace than a traditional Keno session.
Way TicketAny Keno ticket that contains two or more distinct bets.
WriterA casino employee that interacts with the keno players. Responsibilities include accepting completed Keno tickets, creating the official digital ticket, accepting the money for all wagers, and paying any players with winning tickets. Don’t mistakenly call these employees “dealers”.