How to Play and Win at Online Keno

Online keno is one of the easiest games to play at online casinos due to its simple rules and fast results. Dating back to the late 19th century, keno quickly spread from its Chinese roots across the world, with almost every online casino now stocking at least a few versions of the popular numbers game. But how does the game work? And, more importantly, how do you win?

Playing the game of online keno is very simple indeed, resulting in many players skipping demo mode to start playing for real money right away. While it's always a good idea to explore any new game in demo mode if you have the option, it is indicative of the ease with which anyone can get into this fun game! So let's explore everything there is to know about how to play and win at online keno!

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How to Play Online Keno

Getting to grips with the basic idea of how the game of keno works literally takes just a minute or two, it's that simple! In fact, the game is so easy, with very little variation in the basic rules, that online casino tend to have various different styles of the game that you can choose from to keep things interesting!

Here's how a basic game of online keno works. You choose one to 20 numbers from 1 to 80 that you think will come up in the draw. The automated draw then takes place, usually driven by a Random Number Generator (RNG), resulting in the 20 winning numbers. If any of the winning numbers match your chosen numbers, you win! Whether you get a payout and what that will depend on how many numbers you picked.

Now let's take a closer look at the online keno game elements, so you know what to do in order to play.

How to Play Online Keno

The Number Grid

The number grid tends to be placed at the very centre of the game, which is hardly surprising as it's the part you'll be interacting with the most! The number grid itself is where the available numbers from 1 to 80 are displayed. The numbers are usually arranged in ascending order from left to right and top to bottom to help you find the ones you want to bet on, with eight rows and 10 columns as the grid's dimensions.

Choosing your numbers from the grid is as simple as clicking on the number you want. Selected numbers will be highlighted in some way, which can vary from one game to the next, with some versions displaying selected numbers in red, yellow, green, white or some other colour that's visibly different to the grid colour. If you make a mistake and want to remove a number, simply click it again and the highlighting will be removed.

The Payout Table

This is a part of the game that you should keep a close eye on as it tells you what your payouts will be depending on how many of your numbers turn up in the draw. Usually displayed to one side of the grid somewhere, the payout table will show you Hits in one column, that is, how many of your numbers are drawn, and Payouts or Pays in the other column. The payout values are usually displayed as a multiple of your stake. So you will be able to see that getting four winning numbers pays out 30, for example, which would be 30 times your stake.

On many online keno payout tables, both the values and the minimum number of hits you have to make for a payout will actually change as you select your numbers. This is because the more numbers you play, the better your chances of one of them appearing. Be sure to keep an eye on those payouts!

The Draw

So once you've picked your numbers from the grid and checked out the payouts on the table, the next part of the game is the all-important draw, which determines those 20 winning numbers! Traditionally, keno draws take place using a ball machine or tombola that serves to shuffle the numbered balls before the winners are automatically chosen. In online keno, the numbers must still be selected at random, and this is done by a Random Number Generator (RNG), which is basically just a mathematical algorithm to ensure randomness. RNGs at reputable online casinos are checked by third parties to ensure proper function, so be sure to choose a trustworthy place to play, such as those listed on our site.

The way the draw looks in online keno varies from game to game. Some games display it as balls emerging from a tube and coming to rest in one or two stacks. Other games show the balls rotating in a virtual machine before they're picked and displayed as a list. However the draw is displayed, almost all games will automatically highlight the drawn numbers on the number grid, quite often with a red X. Any of your chosen numbers that emerge in the draw will also be marked in an obvious way, so you can clearly see how many you managed to get.

How to Win Keno

So now you know how the game of online keno is played, how do you actually go about winning? The most obvious answer to that question is simply to get as many of your chosen numbers emerging as winners in the draw, of course! However, winning goes a little deeper than that too.

For example, in many games of online keno, you can choose as few as one number up to as many as 20. How many numbers you choose to play has an impact on both how much you get if your numbers come up, and how many numbers you have to hit to even get a payout. There's a balance to be had between the two ends of the spectrum, of course, which we'll talk about more in the strategies section below.

For now, though, let's give you a better idea of what you can expect to win, and how, by checking out the various payouts.

How to Win Keno

Payouts

Since the payouts vary depending on how many numbers you choose, let's give you an idea of what kind of payouts you can expect when you pick 5, 10 or 15 numbers.

Payouts for 5 Picks:

Hits

Payouts

1

0

2

1

3

3

4

20

5

290

Payouts for 10 Picks:

Hits

Payouts

1

0

2

0

3

0

4

1

5

5

6

18

7

100

8

430

9

4,000

10

30,000

Payouts for 15 Picks:

Hits

Payouts

1

0

2

0

3

0

4

0

5

0

6

2

7

7

8

25

9

100

10

430

11

2,000

12

10,000

13

50,000

14

500,000

15

1,000,000

There are two things to note here. In terms of payouts, the biggest potential wins come when you play more numbers. Conversely, playing fewer numbers results in smaller potential wins in relation to your stake. This is due to the fact that playing fewer numbers means you're more likely to hit all of them than if you play more numbers, and the payouts reflect that.

The other point worth mentioning is that the more numbers you play, the more numbers you have to get for a payout. From the tables above you can see that hitting one out of your five picks isn't enough for a payout, but play 15 numbers and you'll need to hit at least six of them for a payout!

Online Keno Strategies

Now you know how to play the game and what you can expect in terms of payouts when you win. Next you might be wondering if there are any ways you can increase your chances of winning.

Keno is very similar to the lottery in many ways, not least of which is the fact that there's nothing you can do to influence the numbers that emerge in the draw. But just like the lottery, players of online keno have endless ways of trying to push the odds in their favour nonetheless!

Here are a few online keno strategies that you can try for fun.

Common or Rare Numbers?

Many online keno players pick their numbers according to which ones have emerged in previous draws. Some theorise that playing commonly drawn numbers will boost your chances of winning, while others believe that it's actually the rarer numbers that are more likely to emerge, so you should play those.

While this is a fun theory to try, remember that online keno game draws are driven by a Random Number Generator to ensure the numbers drawn are random each time. Just because a certain number emerged in several previous draws, that's no guarantee it will pop up in the next.

Many or Few Numbers?

This strategy draws on the variable payouts as described above and so has more of a mathematical basis. As we mentioned before, the more numbers you play, the more numbers you need to hit to get a payout, but the higher that payout becomes.

That higher payout is down to the fact that your chances of hitting all 15 numbers from a 20 number draw are very slim indeed. On the other hand, play only a few numbers and you stand to win much smaller prizes since it's more likely you'll match all four numbers versus matching all 15 numbers. Finding the right balance is the name of the game here, and many believe that happy medium is around four to eight numbers.

Consecutive Numbers?

Another strategy many people use when playing online keno is to pick consecutive numbers, eg. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. The theory behind this strategy is that consecutive numbers come up more often, though there's no mathematical basis for this, especially when the drawn numbers are determined by a Random Number Generator. Still, it might be fun to try!

Same Numbers Every Time?

Many people swear by this method, which is also popular amongst lottery players. The idea here is to choose a set of numbers and stick to playing only those every time. The theory is that eventually these numbers must come up, with many citing the laws of probability or some unseen force that ensures balance in the universe. Whether you believe this or not, it's another strategy that might be fun to explore.

Some numbers to try include the days, months and even years of family and friends' birthdays, the date of your anniversary, your lucky numbers, even the ages of your pets! You could also try choosing numbers from the grid that are spaced out, so you're covering all the corners, for example, or you might prefer to choose a cluster of numbers in one spot. The possibilities are endless, so have fun with it!

Check the Payouts

There is one more strategy that can have more of an impact than any of the others we've mentioned, and that is to check the payout table on every game to see which is the most profitable. You see, different best online casinos have a different stock of online keno games, and each game carries its own set of payout values.

One game might offer you a 1x payout for hitting a single number out of 5 picks, while another game may only give you 0.5x. Similarly, you might need to hit more numbers to get a payout in one game compared to another. And some games even offer a payout for not hitting any numbers at all! The point is, check and compare the payouts before settling on a game to make sure that you get the maximum possible payout when you win.

Do You Want to Play Online Keno

Do You Want to Play Online Keno?

All fired up to give online keno a go? Simply choose one of the carefully reviewed online casinos listed on our site, open a new account and make your first deposit. Then you can explore the online keno games and see if your lucky numbers trigger a big win!

FAQ

How is Keno different from Bingo?

In Bingo you will receive a card which has numbers filled out on it already. You will then fill in the numbers as they are called out, with the aim of filling the card or making a line. In Keno, you pick your own numbers, and you then fill them if they are called out. The aim of keno is to correctly predict as many numbers as possible with a max of 20.

How do I play Keno and win?

To win at Keno, you have to correctly guess the numbers that will be called during a game. You can pick 5, 10, 15, or 20 numbers out of the 20 total will will be called. The ratio of your win will change depending on the number that you can correctly call. For example, betting €5 for 5 maximum picks means that if you choose 3, you will get x3 of your bet totally €15 in winnings.

Is Keno fair?

Yes, Keno is fair as the numbers are selected randomly. These numbers aren't pre-determined and will be different every game, making it a case of luck without any possibility of fixing the game.