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Keno

: Game Rules & Strategy
Object: The object of Keno is to match your selected numbers to those that are randomly drawn from a set of Keno numbers that range from 1-80.

Sample Layout

a sample keno board layout

Overview: Keno is one of the oldest games still played in modern casinos and bingo halls. It is also a game that has undergone the least change over the years. The basic idea of Keno is to select numbers from a pool of 80. Once you start the game, 20 numbers will be randomly selected as the winning numbers. You prize will be based on how many matching numbers you have selected.

Strategy: There really is no strategy to picking your Keno numbers. Some will say that you should play the so-called "hot numbers" - those that have come up a lot in recent draws. Others say just the opposite - that you should play so-called "cold numbers". I like to pick my own personal lucky numbers - the month, day, and two-digit year of my birth, plus my age.

Payouts: If you play Keno, play at a place that offers you the best payout for the number of numbers that you normally play. The good news is that many online keno games at online casinos and online bingo halls pay off at a much higher percentage than at land-cased casinos and bingo halls (which is about 80% at live keno games, and about 92% at video keno games). What this means is that, in general, the money that you put aside to play keno will last longer (in terms of the number of bets that you are able to make, not in terms of time) when playing online than it will when you are playing nearly any land-based keno game.

Payout Comparison: I've spent several hours computing the payout percentages for Keno games offered by the most popular online casino and bingo software vendors. The keno payout percentages by game and number of spots played are in the table below.

keno payout percentages

Overall, casinos that run VueTec software offer the best keno payout, with an overall payout percentage of 96.22%. The payout percentages for 2-spot through 9-spot are the best available, while their payout got 10-spot is second best. However, VueTec casinos do not offer 1-spot tickets nor anything higher than a 10-spot ticket, so your choices are somewhat limited. Here is the complete VueTec paytable.

VueTec keno payout percentages

The keno games at online bingo halls that run Parlay software are a good choice as well. Their Classic Keno game has an overall payout of 94.20%, while their Kenoland game has an overall payout percentage of 94.00%. Between these two versions of keno, the payout percentages for 1-spot, 2-spot, and 11-spot through 15-spot are the best available, while their 3-spot through 6-spot and 8-spot games are second best. Here are the complete Parlay paytables for their Classic Keno and their Kenoland games.

Parlay classic keno payout percentages

Parlay Kenoland payout percentages

The best online keno game is the 10-spot from online casinos that run B3W software, with a payout percentage of 98.72%. If you only play 10-spot keno, then go with their keno game. Here is the complete B3W paytable.

B3W keno payout percentages

Summary:

  • Before making any deposits to play

    keno online

    , play

    free keno

    by utilizing the no-deposit offers that can be found at most of the sites linked from this page.
  • The keno games from Parlay, Top Game, Microgaming (MGS), Rival, BetOnSoft (BOS), and VueTec are all better than average; each has an overall payout equal to or greater than about what you will find at a video keno machine in a land-based casino. (Click the previous links to view all online sites that run that software.)
  • The keno games from Party Gaming, 888, CGTV, and B3W are acceptable in terms of their payout percentage, but just barely.
  • Keno should not be played at online sites that run software from RTG, Grand Virtual, Bingo Entertainment Network, Wagerlogic, or Boss.

Recommended Sites:

  • Parlay bingo halls accept players from all states in the United States - For US players, Classic Keno is the best choice for 2- to 9-spot (excluding 8-spot) and Kenoland is the best choice for 11- to 15-spot players
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  • Rival Gaming casinos accept players from most states in the United States - For US players, Vegas Jackpot Keno is the best choice for 8-spot players
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  • VueTec casinos do not accept players from the United States - Best choice for 2- to 10-spot non-US players
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Good luck and have fun!

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