How Do You Play Keno Online?

Although online keno has only been in existence since 2002, the game itself has been played for more than 150 years! The Chinese first began playing keno in the 1800s using 80 Chinese characters.

When the first keno-type games came to the U.S., the Chinese characters were replaced by numerals and we often also accompanied by the name of a racehorse, leading to it being called racehorse keno. Although the game is no longer linked to horse races, there are still remnants of the name in the game. For instance, if you’re betting on more than one game at a time, it’s called a “multi-race ticket.”

  • Best Casino for Live Dealer Games
  • Accepts all Countries and US States

Keno is basically like a lottery. When played live, balls marked with a number between 1 and 80 are held in a glass bubble and are shuffled by the air that is pushed into it (think about what you see during a live lottery broadcast). After the balls are shuffled, 20 of them then go through a tube. Once the numbers are drawn, they are recorded, and a computer typically figures out the wagers.

Obviously the game has come a long way in the last couple of centuries, especially considering it is now prevalently played online. Regardless, the rules are still essentially the same.

How to play online keno

Online keno can seem a little daunting when you first visit whichever online casino site you’re using. You are faced with the choice of 10 different numbers to choose from the 80 available, or you have the option to have the numbers randomly chosen for you.

Once you’ve chosen your numbers, you just need to hit the “play” button, which is sometimes called “bet,” but you get the idea. After doing this, the website will randomly generate numbers (usually 20, as that is how it is traditionally played live) and will mark them off on your card, almost like a bingo card. If any of the numbers you chose match up with the numbers drawn, you’ll win a prize! Most games also offer you to choose a multiplier. For example, if one of your numbers is drawn and you had chosen a multiplier of five, your winnings will be five times what they would be without a multiplier


Knowing how to play the game means knowing how to speak the language:

Keno Board – The board that the numbers appear on.

Call – These are the numbers that are being drawn for each game as they are being “called.”

Progressive Jackpot –This is a jackpot that grows until someone wins big.


There are plenty of different combinations you can bet when playing live keno, but the following two are the most common in online casinos.

Straight ticket or standard bet– This indicates you are betting all your numbers as a single wager. It is the simplest way to place a bet.

Way bet– Some online casinos also offer this combination bet. These combination bets allow players to bet on multiple groups of numbers at a time. It decreases the odds of winning, but increases the payout in the end. For a more detailed explanation of way bets and combinations, visit


Keno is completely random, so there’s no real strategy to playing the game, because you have absolutely no control over the game like you would with online poker or blackjack. Obviously, choosing more numbers will give you more of a chance at winning, but it will also cost you more if you lose.

This doesn’t mean you’re at a complete loss. Keep in mind that you still have complete control over your wagers, which casinos you choose to play out, and you can take advantage of casino bonus cash.

Choose the right casino

The very first thing you should do is choose a reputable online casino. Take a look at my previous post about blacklisted online casinos for more information. There are plenty of casinos out there that are just out to get your money, so steer clear. Some don’t pay out on time, some don’t pay out at all, and some don’t use the best software to randomize numbers.

Something to pay attention to is the casino’s reported pay out percentages and wins. This can indicate a looser casino, so do your research!

Play for free!

Check to see if the online casino your playing on offers bonus cash. If so, it’s a great thing to take advantage of. Just be sure to always read the fine print, because nothing is absolutely free. There are typically quite a few stipulations attached to free money, so play by the rules.

Also, if you’re new to playing online keno, it would be wise to play a few free practice games first to solidify your betting system and see how much cash you would be losing if you were actually wagering. Sometimes your hopes don’t exactly match reality, and losing theoretical money is much better than losing the real thing.


When playing any online casino, it’s far too easy to play well beyond your budget. Whether you’re chasing a jackpot or trying to make up for your losses, it’s a much better idea to try to cut your losses altogether.

Instead of hoping against hope that you’ll win a jackpot, assume you will probably lose all your money. Of course, we hope that won’t happen, but if you think about it that way, it will make it easier to budget only what you can absolutely afford to lose.


Keno is completely random, so there really is no strategy. You really should do what feels most comfortable. There are plenty of people who believe that choosing number that haven’t been chosen yet is the best way to play. On the contrary, just as many people believe some numbers are “hotter” than others, so they choose numbers that have been called more frequently. However, if you’ve got a lucky set of numbers you usually choose, it might be best to stick with those.

Comments are closed.