Keno Glossary and Tips

Keno terms, meaning of words: Terminology, Jargon, Slang, Vocabulary

A
All Or Nothing — A keno ticket that pays in two ways only: 1) If all the numbers you selected get drawn, or 2) If none of the numbers you pick get selected.

B
Blower — Plexiglas bubble from which keno balls are blown through a tube and drawn.
Bubble — A container made of see-thru plastic containing the keno balls.

C
Call — To draw the numbers for each game.
Catch — To catch a number means that a number you have marked on your keno ticket has been drawn.
Combination Way Ticket — A ticket in which groups of numbers are bet several different ways, allowing the player to spread money over several combinations.

K
Keno Board — A large electronic board that displays the winning keno numbers.
Keno Lounge — The main area within a casino where keno is played.
Keno Runner — A casino employee who shuttles your keno bet from wherever you are to the keno writer, and also delivers payment for winning tickets.
King — A single circled number. Works with other numbers to make a bet or way.
King Ticket — A way ticket that contains one or more kings.

N
Number Pool — The range of numbers from which you select the ones you want to play. A typical keno pool ranges from 1 to 80.

S
Spot — Any number from 1 to 80 that a player selects on a keno ticket. It also refers to the number of numbers that are marked on a ticket.
Straight Keno — The basic keno game, played by marking individual numbers on a keno ticket.

T
Touch Wand — A pointing device used on some video keno machines to select numbers.

W
Way — A separate bet on a ticket with more than one bet.
Way Ticket — A ticket that groups different numbers to create more than one way to win.

Keno tips:

Playing Keno and Video Keno is like picking your lottery numbers. There isn’t really much you can do to influence or predict the result. It is all down to luck.

In Video Keno, always play from 3 to 8 spots, and play the maximum amount of coins allowed.

Keno tips submitted by visitors.

  • The computer uses different algorithms to randomly pick numbers. Play your numbers in patterns instead of spreading them out all over.
  • In playing Keno remember the payouts and try to keep your winnings below what you have to pay taxes on. Usually I play 9 numbers for a max payout of 2500 on a quarter bet but I am really trying to get 8 out of 9 for a payout of 1175. Then you take your money home and don’t have to worry about old Uncle Sam.
  • Keep your numbers the same regardless of what you pick until you hit large on them. You will always come out ahead at least once. When you are, even if it is only by $1, cash out and do it again!
  • Try playing the top 2 lines. Play 1,2,5,10,11 and 2 others of choice. Vary your choices and you will hit at least 5/7 and probably 7/7 within an hour.

Keno Rules

Game rules and how to play Keno:

Keno is similar to Lotto. It was first introduced in China many years ago. The game was brought to the USA in the mid 1800’s by the Chinese immigrants who came to work in the mines and on the railroad. It is a very popular game and very easy to play. It is an exciting pastime and, most importantly, it offers the possibility of winning large payouts on relatively small wagers.

Keno is usually played in Casino lounges specifically allocated for the game, but there are so called ‘Keno runners‘ who will collect your ticket and deliver the winnings if the player wants to play from outside the lounge area. There are many television monitors spread all over the Casino halls to keep players informed of the winning numbers.

There is also the video version of Keno. These are slots-like coin operated machines. It plays using the same principle with similar rules of the regular Keno, but you get the results much faster.

To play Keno, you select a minimum of 4 but no more than 10 numbers between 1 and 80. Each selection is called a ‘Spot’, so if you select 10 numbers you are playing a 10 Spot game.

Keno tickets are located at tables throughout the Casino and in the Casino’s Keno lounge. The Casino provides a ‘Keno crayon’ for this purpose.

Simply mark a blank Keno ticket with the numbers of your selection. Then present your ticket to the Keno desk with your wager and the clerk will give you a duplicate ticket. In a few minutes, twenty numbered Keno balls will be drawn at random from a barrel containing 80 numbered balls, and if enough of your selected numbers are drawn, you are a winner. The results are displayed on screens, called Keno boards, throughout the Casino.

Minimum bets can be as low as 5 cents, although some Casinos only accept bets of $1 or more. The house’s Keno brochures give you information about payoffs and various tickets you can play.

The amount of money you win is dependent upon the type of ticket you play and the number of ‘spots’ caught. You may play as many tickets as you wish. You could win as much as $50,000 on a $1 wager in some Casinos.

The round of a Keno game is called a Keno race. In many Casinos, ‘multi-race’ Keno is featured, where you can play a number of consecutive Keno races at one time.

The house advantage on Keno varies according to the Keno game played. It is always around 30% or more. The chances of hitting one number in 80 is 0.25%, making Keno among the worst bets you can make.