How to Play Keno: Learn Keno Rules, Odds & Payouts

How to Play Keno

Keno is a lottery-like game of chance, similar to bingo, and one you can play online casinos for real money.

In this guide, we'll explain how to play keno, the keno rules, and how to set up a game. We'll also tell you where to play keno online and some keno tips.

If you had to name the most underrated casino game, what would it be?

Many players would say it's keno, although it's fast becoming a new favorite for many casino gamers.

Keno is a relatively simple game to play, and it offers a variety of betting options to suit all budgets. It is a popular choice for players who enjoy the excitement of gambling but who prefer a game that is less complex than other casino games such as blackjack or poker.

What is Keno?

Keno is a casino game where players have to choose 1 to 10 keno numbers from a table of numbers ranging from 1 to 80; much like bingo.

The keno numbers are then drawn and depending on how many of them you got right, you get a payout.

In a traditional keno game, the keno draw is performed using a ball machine similar to those used for lotteries and bingo. Twenty numbered balls are drawn at random, and players win if any of their chosen numbers match the drawn numbers. The more numbers that match, the higher the payout.

Online keno use a random number generator to draw the numbers. The payouts for online keno games are typically similar to those for traditional keno games, however, the keno draw procedure and unique features often vary at different online casino platforms.

After the players pick their numbers, the casino keno software “calls” 20 random numbers, which determine the winners.

The payouts in keno depend on how many numbers marked on the player's card match the ones that have been drawn by the casino.

The more numbers match, the bigger is the payout.

Keno payouts vary throughout different platforms, so you should get familiar with the particular keno game paytable before you start playing.

How to Play Keno: The Rules & How a Keno Game Works

Even though keno is a simple game, threre are still keno rules to learn and understand if you want to play. Here, we'll take you inside the rules of keno.

  1. At the beginning of the Keno game, you receive a card or see a table which displays all 80 numbers from 1 to 80
  2. Place your bet by selecting the numbers you believe will come up during the draw.
  3. Once you have chosen your numbers, you place a bet and the draw begins.
  4. Twenty numbered balls are drawn at random, and you win if any of your chosen numbers match the drawn numbers. The more numbers that match, the higher the payout.

Although the common keno practice is that players can mark 1 to 10 numbers on their cards, some online casino platforms allow up to 15 or even 20 numbers to be marked.

Online Keno Games

Different platforms also have different betting and payout structures, so take the time to determine the rules and odds at each online casino before you start wagering.

In order to make it more interesting if you want to play keno, most online casinos offer fun graphics and animations for their keno games.

For example, when you play Monkey Keno, instead of the usual setting and drawing, the monkeys are throwing numbered coconuts on the table.

MonkeyKeno is a popular online version of keno.

When it comes to KenoLab, you see a chemistry lab-like setting showing keno tables, payouts, and your winnings.

Play KenoLab for another interesting version of keno.

No matter which keno platform you choose, the rules stay the same. Only the design, bet amount range, and payouts differ.

If you're a lottery or bingo fan who likes games of chance like SlotsRoulette, or Bingo, you should give Keno a try.

Understanding Keno Odds

The odds in keno are the chances of your chosen numbers matching the drawn numbers. The odds improve as you choose more numbers, but the payout decreases.

To understand the odds in keno, it is helpful to know how the game is played, and how the numbers chosen affect your potential payout. In keno, you choose between 1 and 10 numbers from a set of 80. The more numbers you choose, the greater your chances of winning, but the payout will be smaller if you do win.

The odds of winning when you play keno vary depending on how many numbers you choose and how many numbers are drawn. For example:

  • Match 1 number out of 20, the odds are 1 in 3.
  • Match 2 number out of 20, the odds are 1 in 73.
  • Match 2 number out of 20, the odds are 1 in 1,551.

The odds of winning keno also vary depending on the casino or lottery. Some casinos and lotteries offer better payouts than others (more on this below).

Here is a table showing example odds based on making specific bets when playing keno:

Chosen numbersDrawn numbersOdds
1201 in 3
2201 in 73
3201 in 1,551
4201 in 327
5201 in 15,504
6201 in 3,876,176
7201 in 100,384,863
8201 in 2,509,199,568
9201 in 62,755,936,980
10201 in 15,622,709,107,293

it's also worth noting that some keno games offer multiplier options that can significantly increase your winnings.

Payouts for Online Keno

After all players have submitted their tickets, 20 numbers are randomly drawn. Players compare the drawn numbers with their selected spots to see if they have any matches.

The more numbers you match, the more you win. Keno payouts are based on the number of matches and the size of your bet.

This table shows typical keno payout values for matching numbers (note, this is for illustrative purposes only):

Matching numbersPayout
10$1 million

How to Play Keno Games at Online Casinos

There are plenty of keno games online for you to choose from.

Consider your bankroll and choose a keno game that offers bets within your desired range. Practice playing different variants to see the differences in payouts, such as these popular games:

The table below shows that it’s possible to try different keno games and win real money. Even better, if you can play with a casino bonus by using our exclusive PokerNews links:

 KenoKenotronicMonkey KenoKeno Kick OffKeno LabJackpot Keno
Network:1x2 Gaming1x2 GamingQuickfire1x2 Gaming1x2 Gaming1x2 Gaming
Best For:BeginnersBeginnersFans of Animated GamesFootball FansChemistry FansHigh-Rollers
Min/Max Bet*:0.05/200.05/200.1/100.05/200.05/200.01/36
Numbers to Select:1-151-151-151-101-151-15
Special Features:Random Selection, Turbo PlayRandom Selection, Turbo PlayHot and Cold NumbersRandom Selection, Turbo PlayRandom Selection, Turbo PlayRandom Selection, Turbo Play
Real Money Play:Play NowlPlay NowPlay NowPlay NowPlay NowPlay Now

*These amounts will vary based on the casino you choose to play with.

Best Online Casinos to Play Keno for Real Money

How To Play Keno & How Does Keno Work FAQs

What is Keno?

Keno is a casino game that is similar to a lottery. Players choose numbers ranging from 1 through to (usually) 80. After all players in the game have selected their numbers, then 20 numbers are drawn randomly. This is done using a machine similar to bingo or a lottery or a random number generator. You win by matching as many numbers as possible, and your payout will depend on the wager you made.

How do you play Keno?

Players choose numbers, typically between 1 and 80. After all players make their wagers, 20 numbers (some versions draw fewer numbers) are drawn at random, either with a ball machine similar to ones used for lotteries and bingo, or with a random number generator.

How many numbers can I choose in Keno?

The amount of numbers you can choose in Keno varies, but most commonly, players can choose up to 10-15 numbers.

How is Keno betting done?

Keno betting is done by selecting numbers and deciding how much you want to wager. The amount of money you win depends on the number of your selected numbers that match the drawn numbers.

Are there different versions of Keno?

Yes, there are several variations of Keno with different rules and payouts. Be sure to understand the specific rules of the version you are playing.

Can you win at Keno?

Yes, you can win at Keno if the numbers you select match those drawn randomly.

What is the house edge in Keno?

The house edge for keno can vary, depending on the casino. The edge can range from 5% to 40%, with online casino games usually having a bigger house edge.

How much can you win at Keno?

This depends on many factors, including the house edge of the casino, the amount you wager, and how many numbers you match.

Is Keno skill or luck?

Keno is largely a game of luck, with the probability of certain numbers being picked a significant factor in winning. The more numbers a player selects, the bigger chance of matching a number.

Why is the game called Keno?

Although the game itself has French and Latin roots, the original version is said to have originated in China. The originalname was loosely translated as 'pigeon tickets' or pak-ah-pu in Western spelling. By the time the game had crossed the Pacific to the US in the 19th century, it had evolved to boc hop bu and puck-apu, which were then Anglicised to 'keno' not long after.

Can Keno be played online?

Yes, many online casinos offer Keno. The rules and gameplay are similar to traditional Keno.

How can I find free online Keno games?

You can find a number of websites that will allow you to play keno for free so that you can learn the game without risking any money. Check out our guide to the best Free Online Games.

*This article was originally published in June 2019, and was last updated in November 2023.

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Senior Casino & Gaming Manager