Keno is a game of pure chance and is very similar to Lotto games. The game was brought to the USA by Chinese immigrants in the 19th century. As with lotto games, it is a dead simple to play, and it is attractive as large prizes are on offer for very small wagers. Keno is played at bars, clubs and community centers all over the world today (I know when I go an play poker at my local club I always run the risk of getting run over by ticket toting Keno players by the hundreds). Unfortunately it shares another characteristics with lotto games – horrendous odds.
Logically, Keno found its way into online casinos as it was a simple game to develop, and casino operators wanted to capture the huge land based Keno fan base online. What was even more in the favor of online casinos was that many people were used to playing Keno on video terminals, so the move online was less of a hurdle that say with blackjack.
So here is how you play Keno (unless I fall asleep writing this!). You start off by selecting between 4 and 10 numbers from a total of 80 numbers. Each selection is called a “spot”. In many online keno games, you can buy multiple tickets for the same draw, and in some games you can even pre purchase for future games.
Once you have submitted your selection, twenty numbered balls will “drop” into a tube from a barrel. If enough of your sports are drawn, you win. That simple. You will obviously win more if more of your numbers come up, like with lotteries.
Most online keno games allow you to buy tickets between 5c and $5, and pay out in multiples of your ticket value. Jackpot prizes of up to $50,000 are not uncommon.
Easy? Yeah. So there must be a catch? Yeah. The house advantage with Keno is 30% or more, the WORST of any online casino game. The odds of hitting a number is 0.25%. Keno is by a long margin the worst game you could possibly play. If you want a game of chance play slots. If you want to throw money away, play Keno. Very few people actually make any meaningful returns.
By Ryan D.
Ryan is the editor of Online Gambling Insider.