Keno is one of the first lottery games invented on this planet. It’s not the most popular of all casinos games, slotsnaturally being the first choice, but it has a solid fan base which appreciate the simplicity and excitement of that game.
Online Keno is as popular as in brick and mortar casinos and it’s hard to find a site that doesn’t offer it. Nevertheless, there are big differences between various casinos and how they treat Keno players: the variety of games they offer, the bonuses players can get, the winnings odds of the games and of course the trustworthiness and reputation of the casino itself.
We recommend any of the sites listed on this page. However, our favorite real money keno site is Uptown Aces. It’s difficult to beat an $8,888 keno bonus. Can I play free online keno with real money payouts? Some sites offer a no deposit bonus, which is one way of doing this.
- If you’re playing free keno online, you don’t have too much to worry about. However, it’s a whole different story when it comes to real money keno. Unless you want to end up robbed of your money, you need to put your trust in a legit online keno.
- Available at most USA casinos, this is the standard keno variation where you have to try and guess up to 15 numbers on a board of 80. It comes with very basic graphics and may not look as appealing compared to other variations but it’s worth mentioning since it’s the most common variation you’ll find playing online for real money.
Below you can find our list of best internet destinations to play online keno for real money. Those are handpicked from thousands of online sites and guarantee superb gaming experience and lots of fun.
Worth noticing that playing real money Keno online carries some substantial advantages: for example top online keno games offer winning odds which are sometimes 30% higher than in landbased casinos. That’s huge!
Advantages of Online Keno
Naturally, playing keno online is different than in regular live casinos. Online play lucks the social aspect of the game, but more than compensates for that in other areas. The main advantages are:
- Play anytime: unlike in real casinos, you don’t need to wait to play your favorite game.
- Variety: online world offers a huge variety of games.
- Bonuses : as you can see in the table above, internet casinos go all the way to attract players and you can take advantage of that with some free cash.
- Chances of Winning: the winning odds in online keno higher than in any land based casino. Actually keno has the biggest difference than any other game. Offline, the payouts are usually around 60%, while best online keno games reach even 96% return. We know that most keno fans are not into odds and percentages, but using different words: playing real money keno online, you will get much better value for you money. First, you will get longer playtime. Second, your chances of winning, which is the most fun part of any game, are much higher. Almost twice higher!
- Free play: one of the wonders of the internet is that you can play keno for free, without making a deposit.
Online play does carry some disadvantages that you should be aware of. The main one is the game speed. Online gameplay is much faster, especially if you use some autoplay feature. So make sure that you play in your own pace and don’t rush things and never place on the line more money than your originally intended. You can find more info in our Live vs Online Keno comparison.
Keno History in Few Words
The gambling game of Keno a very long history, going all the way back to Ancient China. Legend has it that Keno even helped pay for the construction of the Great Wall of China, as well as other public works projects during ancient times.
The game in China became known as “white dove ticket,” due to the practice of sending the results of the draws by carrier pigeon to outlying cities and towns. It was originally played using Chinese characters, using the first 80 characters of the Thousand Character Classic.
Keno was first offered at a licensed casino in 1847 in the colony of Macao, now part of China, and the present day gambling hub of the Far East.
80 numbers are now used in the Western version, so the game really hasn’t changed that much over the centuries. It was first brought to the West by Chinese immigrants who came to America to build railroads in the 19th Century.
Where the Name Keno Comes From
The name “Keno” was coined by a casino in Houston, Texas, in 1866, and the new name stuck, a more catchy name with Westerners perhaps than boc hup bu or puck apu, as the Chinese called it.
Since then, the game of Keno has really caught on, as a simple way that casinos can offer lottery style games. Keno may actually even be a more entertaining game than traditional government run lotteries, given the variation that Keno offers and all the selection of different ways to win.
Lotteries do offer much bigger jackpots than Keno does, due to the sheer number of players that lotteries boast. However, with lotteries, you are mostly shooting for huge prizes, and while smaller prizes are available, they are always secondary, and therefore the odds on these smaller prizes are never very good.
With Keno though, the payout tables correspond to how many numbers you choose, so players can shoot for small payouts, big ones, and everything in between. The odds and what one is playing for directly correspond to the player’s preferences, which is the best thing about Keno.
From among the 80 possible selections, one chooses between 1 and a predetermined number, generally between 10 and 15 numbers chosen by the player. While 20 of the 80 balls will be drawn, the odds of hitting all 20 are so astronomical, 1 in 3.5 quintillion, or 1.5 billion billion. To make this a reasonable bet, all the money in the world would not be enough to pay out.
Just to clarify: No one in the whole history of keno has ever caught 20 out of 20.
This, coupled with the fact that Keno is generally run by operators that can only afford to make much more modest payouts, generally limits this to a maximum of 10 selections, where hitting all 10 “only” has a probability of about 1 in 10 million, which allows maximum payouts that operators can afford.
How to increase you winning odds at Keno
Keno also offers operators the ability to structure their payout tables to pay more or less for more frequent hits, and more or less for rare ones, which also allows them to manage their risk by paying out more for frequent ones and less for infrequent ones. Baby shower bingo games free printable sheets.
So this lets them offer an enticing overall payout while allowing for lower maximums, ones they can be comfortable with. Keno is a very flexible game to run actually and even small land based casinos and online operations can safely and profitably offer it.
At land based casinos, Keno has a much higher house edge than other casino games. This is necessary in order for them to profitably run the game, as draws are infrequent and therefore the expense involved in running it is high proportionate to their revenue.
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So with a slot machine or table game, results occur on a minute to minute basis, so while casinos have fixed costs to recover, the frequency of the results allow for this to be recovered with only a slight house edge.
Keno draws are held far less often, and casinos generally will have a Keno lounge as well as runners taking bets from players elsewhere in the casino, so the house edge with Keno needs to be higher, and can go to almost 30%.
Land based Keno is still pretty popular though in spite of this, and with minimum bets as low as a dollar, paired with the love that a lot of players have for lottery style games, can still make this well worth running and playing.
Lotteries themselves have house edges as big or bigger than land based Keno games, and lotteries are hugely popular, so people aren’t really that put out by it. If one played a slot machine with such a huge edge, one and one’s money would part much more quickly, and it’s the sheer frequency of the losses that would matter here, and this is something you don’t generally see with either Keno or the lottery.
Online Keno gets around this problem, as these games are no more expensive to run online as any other online casino game, meaning that they cost virtually nothing in additional cost to the online casino.
So they can be offered at odds as good or better than you would ever see at any land based casino game, and as good or better than you would see at any online casino game as well.
Another great feature of online Keno is that you don’t have to wait until a specified time for the drawing, as drawings take place as soon as you wager, since this is all done by computer with random number generators, as is all online gambling.
This is simply not possible with land based Keno, as operators are not able or willing to do a Keno draw just for you, whenever you wish to play. With online Keno though, casinos are more than happy to provide this individualized service, and at odds far better than you’d ever get at a land based Keno draw.
So online Keno has become quite popular due to these inherent advantages, and while online Keno does not enjoy the same degree of popularity as some other online casino games do, many online casinos do offer Keno and the game is ready any time you are for you to enjoy it to its fullest extent.
For further reading, check our How to Play Keno article.
Real Money Keno – FAQ
Can I make money playing Keno?
No. Keno is a game of luck and there is simply no way to make money with it. It doesn’t mean you can’t win money, even a lot, but it’s not a way to make a leaving.
What is the best Keno strategy?
Despite the previous answer, there is a way to increase your winning odds. All you need to do is to choose the best keno game and to make the number of picks that offers the highest RTP. This number varies between one version to another but it’s easy to find it out.
Are online Keno games fair?
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Yes. All online casino games are tested and verifyed by 3rd parties such as Ecogra, TST and others. Don’t forget that all games designed to give the house an edge – there is no reason for casino to rig the games.
Can I play Keno for real money on mobile?
Of course. Over 50% of bets are now made on mobile and keno is no different. You can play mobile keno for real money in almost every casino.
How many numbers should I choose in Keno?
There is no general answer to this question as it varies based on the payouts of the specific keno game. For example in Jackpot Keno you can see that you get the best odds by choosing 3-5 numbers. In Microgaming Keno you should go with 13-15 picks.
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Do online casinos offer Keno Bonus?
Yes, almost all casino bonuses can be used for Keno. Keno is not the most popular game but all welcome bonuses and slots bonuses can be used on keno.
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Should I use a bonus while playing Keno?
Depends. Not all bonuses are good. However using cashable casino bonuses and bonuses with low wagering requirement can indeed improve your chances of going home with some money.