Keno Strategy: How to Win at Keno?

Keno Strategy Tips to Win

  • Keno players are always looking for ways to win online.
  • A basic keno strategy can help to increase your chances to win at keno.
  • Our 5 Keno Strategy Tips will outline some strategies to try for online keno.

Keno: you either hate it or love it.

Some casino games are just like that - you either enjoy endless sessions, regardless of the house edge and your chances of winning. Or, you can find that even a short game feels too long.

Playing keno is one of these games.

Some enjoy a keno game for hours at land-based and online casinos, while others still wonder why a game like this one is allowed on the casino floor. We're assuming that like us, you fall into the first category, so if you want to play keno online, then this Basic Keno Strategy is for you.

Playing Keno for Beginners

Before we look at basic keno strategy, it should be noted that this isn't a guide for beginners who don't know what keno is.

If you have never played this casino game before, then you don't need a keno strategy guide just yet. You should start with our How to Play Keno guide to learn the game, and how to play it.

It's also not a guide to picking the lucky numbers to win at keno every time you play, or where to find 'winning keno numbers' online, as these keno strategies or systems are not to be trusted.

Even the best keno strategy or system can not guarantee a 100% success rate. Keno is a gambling game. It's interesting, fast-paced, and loud, but the results can't be predicted.

However, we do have some keno strategy tips to share, that will help you increase your chances to win

Are you ready to start learning keno strategy and how to win at keno?

Keno Strategy: What to Know

Many self-proclaimed professional gamblers sometimes look down on keno as the house edge is less favorable to other casino games.

While this is theoretically correct (keno house edge can sometimes drop to between 25-40%), those who understand gambling know that keno offers good value. Yes - we know this seems like a contradiction!

On the one hand, the house edge is big enough to show that you're chances of winning are lower than they are with other games.

But you should also factor in how a game of keno is played. A full game of video keno can last up to 10 minutes from start to finish and it might not cost you more than $1 or $2 to play.

Now, think about slots. Admittedly a fun game to play, but one which can mean spinning for a considerable amount of time to generate a winning run.

Keno is more leisurely, but therein lies its enjoyment.

5 Strategy Tips for Online Keno

These are our keno strategy tips that have been used by many keno players worldwide. We suggest you give these a try when playing online keno at a real money casino or, better yet, when you play with a casino bonus.

1. Choose Keno Games With Better Payouts

This may seem obvious to you, but you'd be surprised at how many players don't follow this simple rule.

Even when you have your favorite online casino to play slot machines or other casino games, it may not be the perfect fit to play keno there.

You need to check how many variants of keno they have and what the payouts are for guessing the right numbers.

In most online casinos, you can either choose up to 10, 15, or 20 numbers to bet on, and 20 numbers out of 80 are drawn.

You can see an example of the best keno payouts online on our How to Play Keno guide. These are the optimal payouts for keno, so you ensure you don't settle for anything less.

2. Play Keno For Free to Learn How To Play

Keno is not a complicated game. Thus, many Keno players dive right into real money play and end up losing.

There may be some major differences in payouts or minor differences in the game platforms. if an online casino starts to lag or run slow, the game might be restarted.

While it makes little difference when playing for free, it may cost you lots of bets when playing for real money.

And even if you learn the best tips on how to improve your chances to win at keno and you're 100 percent sure of your skills, still practice for free first. You never know what can happen.

But it's always better if something wrong happens and you don't lose your cash in the process.

Keno Table
A typical keno table for an online keno game.

3. Select Between Four and Eight Numbers

When you can choose up to 15 or 20 numbers with the same wager, the logical question is, how many numbers is the right number?

Many keno beginners believe the more, the better. It makes sense, considering the more you choose, the better chance you have of matching the most numbers.

But remember that the payouts change depending on how many numbers you choose in total.

If you guess five out of five chosen, your payout may be of 50 to 1. That's really sweet. But if you guess five out of 10 chosen, that reduces to 3 to 1.

So, what's the optimal number?

Simple: Choose between four to eight numbers.

Think about it. When you choose less than four, any chance of winning is extremely low. There are 80 numbers in the keno machine (or Random Number Generator), after all.

Then again, if you choose more than eight, you will always need to hit at least four or more numbers to get any extra money above what you've already spent for the wager, nnd that's not that easy either.

If there is a progressive jackpot attached to the game, it may be worth choosing more numbers if you can afford that, of course.

4. Choose Consecutive Numbers or The Cold Ones

The next tip related to numbers is which numbers to choose when betting. A common advice is to choose the consecutive numbers.

When it comes to playing video keno, the numbers are drawn by a Random Number Generator, and the outcomes are random. But many keno players researched the outcomes and believe playing consecutive numbers can help you.

The same goes for cold numbers, which are numbers that haven't been drawn for the longest period of time.

What are Hot Numbers?

The opposite of cold numbers, hot numbers are the numbers that are drawn most frequently in a sequence of five keno games.

Some will tell you some numbers are hotter than others: don't believe them. It isn't true.

Does it work betting like that? No.

Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't. It's 100% down to chance. If you don't have a different betting strategy, you may as well try it.

If you play for free, you have nothing to lose. And maybe you'll discover what keno numbers are most worth betting on.

Regarding betting on cold numbers or the opposite, choose a platform that shows the most and least drawn numbers in the game.

5. Play Keno at a Reputable & Legal Online Casino

If you want to know how to have the best chance to win a keno game, many of your choices need to be related to a specific game platform and casino. Since we already discussed payouts and platforms, it's time to cover the casinos.

The casino needs to be trustworthy. Even if you discovered a brilliant keno strategy, it's pointless if all your money goes to the illegal casino, and you'll never see your winnings.

Our advice? Play at one of the casinos we recommend:

Not only do they carry keno games, but there are also great keno variants you can try for free and for real money.

More Keno Strategy Tips

There are, of course, many more keno strategy tips we can throw at you, but there is a limit to how effective these can be. However, we have gathered some further keno tips below:

Multi-Race Cards for Keno

The best way to save some time, especially if you plan on playing the same numbers all over again, is to pick the Multi-Race Cards that most online keno sites offer you.

The Multi-Race cards allow you to play the same numbers over a series of consecutive keno games.

Multi-Race Cards don't increase your chances to win money at Keno but help you save time and spare you from the annoyance of having to click on the same numbers times and times again.

Make Sure You Get a Bonus to Play Keno

While land-based casinos treat you with drinks and snacks, online keno sites keep you on their pages with bonuses and promotions.

As a keno player, you need to spend some time shopping around for the best keno deals, as long as they come from reputable and trusted names.

Get a Keno Bonus
Get a Keno Bonus

Sign up for a free account to activate a keno bonus!

Receive a bonus to play online and test your Keno Strategy!

Play Now

Finding the right bonus to play might not seem important to an effective keno strategy, especially if you think it's all about lucky numbers.

If you're lucky enough to receive some free play or free credits when you register to play at a good online casino, then you can play some extra games and see if your numbers are drawn.

To do this well, you need to do some research and not rely on the usual suspects.

With online keno not being the most popular gambling game in the world, the sites specializing in it are often niche ones.

You can check out some of the best casino bonuses on offer at the online casinos we recommend right here.

Winning Odds in Keno

We've covered keno odds in our Keno Beginners guide, but it's worth revisiting them here.

** Spoiler Alert: these numbers might kill your love for keno **

What are the chances you will hit all the 20 numbers when playing keno?

The key to winning big and bringing home the seven-figure top prize offered in many keno games is to play for 20 numbers and nail all of them. So, the question is: how likely is this to happen?

To paraphrase Joan Kung, here's where "Learning Mathematics Helps Us Be Virtuous."

Numbers show there are 3,535,316,142,212,172,000 different ways for a group of 20 numbers to be picked from a total of 80 numbers.

Theoretically, you have more chances to win at roulette by throwing your chips on the table while blindfolded than to hit 20 numbers and win the jackpot in keno.

But you don't need to play all the 20 numbers, do you? If the 20-spot ticket isn't included in our games for obvious reasons, let's see what happens when you play keno with a 6-spot ticket.

Your winning chances increase (but don't jump from your chair just yet).

Keno Odds & Probabilities

If you sum up the probabilities, you have to catch 0, 1, or 2 numbers (the three occasions where you don't win anything) - things get a little on the sad side.

CatchPayout for $1 BetProbabilityOdds
0-0.166021 in 6
1-0.363491 in 2.75
2-0.308321 in 3.25
3$10.129821 in 7.7
4$50.028541 in 35
5$750.003101 in 322.5
6$2.0000.000131 in 7,962

As you can see from this table, you have 83.78% chances to lose your game. And that's not to mention the 13% because that's when you win nothing more than your initial bet.

That's why a good bonus is SO important.

Adding bonus money to your bankroll, you finance your losing games in the hope that when Lady Luck decides to smile at you, it's with a win of 4, 5, or 6 numbers.

In case you are curious to see the odds of hitting all the numbers, including those in between 6 and 20, the table below is for you:

01 in 843.380 (0.11857057%)
11 in 86.446 (1.15678605%)
21 in 20.115 (4.97142576%)
31 in 8.009 (12.48637168%)
41 in 4.877 (20.50318987%)
51 in 4.287 (23.32807380%)
61 in 5.258 (19.01745147%)
71 in 8.826 (11.32954556%)
81 in 20.055 (4.98618021%)
91 in 61.420 (1.62814048%)
101 in 253.801 (0.39401000%)
111 in 1,423.822 (0.07023351%)
121 in 10,968.701 (0.00911685%)
131 in 118,084.920 (0.00084685%)
141 in 1,821,881.628 (0.00005489%)
151 in 41,751,453.986 (0.00000240%)
161 in 1,496,372,110.872 (0.00000007%)
171 in 90,624,035,964.712
181 in 10,512,388,171,906.553
191 in 2,946,096,785,176,811.500
201 in 3,535,316,142,212,173,800.000

Best Online Casinos to Play Keno

Your best first step to finding an online casino to play keno is to consult the PokerNews Online Casino Toplist:

You'll be able to read our comprehensive review for each of these casino sites, but also grab a link to play at these casinos with a bonus.

Keno Strategy FAQs

What is the best Keno Strategy?

There is no way to win at keno every time. But here are our five top tips for Keno Strategy:

  1. Choose Casinos (and Games) With Better Payouts.
  2. Play For Free to Learn the Game.
  3. Select Between Four and Eight Numbers.
  4. Choose Consecutive Numbers or The Cold Ones.
  5. Play at a Reliable Casino.
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.

This article was originally published in September 2019, it was last updated in November 2023.

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Senior Casino & Gaming Manager