Keno 101

The odds in video keno are about as bad as slot machines – or worse. I have often wondered why anyone would ever play it – live or video. Generally, people who play keno are willing to buck long odds to have a chance for a big payout – like the lottery. To me, it’s about as exciting as watching paint dry.

But, everyone looks out a different window.  Whatever floats your boat.  To each his own……  You get what I’m saying.

One day, I was playing next to someone who ALWAYS plays keno.  I looked and he had just hit for $16,000!  I was happy for him – but still not enough for me to switch from a more skilled game such as video poker.

So, here’s a little refresher course, or Keno 101 if you’ve never played.

Old Chinese Keno Ticket

Old Chinese Keno Ticket

Keno is believed to date back to China in the 1st century AD when characters from one of Confucius` poems were used, rather than numbers, in the matrix. The object of the game to choose from one (1) to ten (10) numbers between one and eighty, in hope that some or all will be randomly selected by the centralized computer. Keno is a simple game of luck, much like most lottery games, where the player chooses numbers and hope as many as possible match those randomly drawn by a hopper or machine. According to The Wizard of Odds, Michael Shackelford, the odds are much better in video keno than live keno, keep in mind that the rate of play on a machine is about 50 times faster. Assuming the same bet size per game, you can expect to lose more per hour playing video keno.

Mr. Shackelford goes on to say on his site “….If you must play keno, the only skill is choosing where to play to play and then how many numbers to choose. It makes no difference which numbers who actually choose. Contrary to popular myth, legitimate keno games, like those in Las Vegas, are fair and every ball has a 1 in 80 chance of being drawn each game”

There are other reasons to play Keno.

  1. Video Keno can be slowed by the speed button.
  2. You don’t have to interact with others.
  3. While the odds are poor, the game can be a slower alternative if your casino visit gets off to a horrible start.
  4. Playing video keno at a bar can be an easy way of getting free drinks at a lower rate of
  5. Finally – it’s not brain surgery.  No need to practice the strategy – there is none.  Some will have a different opinion, but it’s basically “bet, pick the numbers, and let the balls be randomly chosen.”

According to Al Moe of All About Gambling, the most popular Video Keno game is Caveman Bingo, offers a bonus payoff.  After choosing your numbers, three of your non-chosen numbers will be marked with a big spotted dinosaur egg. If you have eggs that match any of the 20 numbers the machine chooses, the payoff is multiplied.

Caveman Keno

Caveman Keno

One matching egg pays the standard payoff, two matching eggs (they hatch as they go) pays 4 to 1, and if all three eggs match the payoff is 8 to 1 (some older machines are actually 10 to 1).  Al states that with the 8x multiplier the overall payoff is close to 96-percent, a very good game, which is actually better than most penny through dollar slots!  Something to consider.Keno CT
Live Keno can be found in every New England state (yes, even in Vermont). Connecticut is the latest to add live Keno to restaurants and stores. Each state’s Lottery system runs these games.  Foxwoods seems to be the only casino still offering live keno.

You might give it a try.  Just passing the time might make you a few unexpected bucks at Keno.

That’s all for now.