Keno Online Casino Overview - The Little Lottery That Could
Legend has it that the earliest form of a Keno-like game had its roots in China, looming large in no less than saving an ancient city during wartime and funding the construction of the Great Wall of China. It's a legend that, in classic legend fashion, will likely die hard, despite the fact that lotteries weren't considered an acceptable means to support public works in China until the late 19th century. The word 'keno' itself has Latin (quini, "five each") and French (quine, "five winning numbers") roots.
But it's no legend that playing Keno is a lot of fun, not to mention simple and relaxing. Every "draw", 20 of 80 numbers (from 1 to 80) are randomly selected. All you do is bet on a subset of the 20 called a "catch". For example, if you select a four number catch and those four numbers are amongst the 20 drawn, you win; otherwise you lose. Likewise with an eight number catch, or any other size.
Payouts per catch size are listed in a "paytable", which also serves to indicate which catches are allowed. Some casinos, machines, or online games might limit catches to, say, 4 to 10 numbers. Others might allow a catch of 0 numbers.
How you play depends on where you're playing. Most casinos run a continuous game of "live" Keno displayed on monitors throughout the establishment, although they often have a lounge-like area dedicated to players relaxing in comfortable chairs while watching successive rounds unfold, perhaps also enjoying drinks with friends.
In that environment, you'll likely pick your catches by marking them in pen or pencil on a ticket as you would a lottery ticket, placing your bets on those catches at the "Keno booth", or with a "Keno runner" who'll bring your ticket and cash to the booth for you. Either way, you receive a receipt considered proof of your bet. An RNG (Random Number Generator) likely draws the 20 numbers, although venues wishing to preserve a more traditional feel might use mechanical devices that employ numbered balls.
Did you know?
Lotteries - including Keno - were not legalized when other forms of gambling were in Nevada in 1931. But the thirst for Keno was so great that Keno providers changed its name to "Racehorse Keno" to hide the actual purpose of the game. Keno numbers were considered a horse, despite the game having nothing to do with horse racing. Because of that practice, an individual Keno draw is still called a "race" in some places.
Video Keno machines are the same size as video poker machines. Indeed, variations on both themes are often available on the same machine. The main principles of Keno remain the same: 80 numbers, 20 numbers drawn, and paytables listing valid catches and their payouts. Online casino Keno is basically video Keno over the Internet.
In addition to marking live Keno tickets to mark catches, players can also circle subsets of the marked numbers called "ways" or "combinations". A player doing so is betting on both the catch and the "ways", and is often considered a more advanced or serious Keno player.
Additional innovations include variations like "Power Keno", which is identical to standard Keno except that if a player's catch include the 20th number drawn, the winnings are quadrupled. Talk about being fruitful and multiplying!