Where to Buy Tickets for Keno
Keno is offered in both physical and online lotteries and casinos. Some state lotteries also offer the game. In the US, for instance, players can enjoy Keno in 16 states (as of 2017). These include Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, Georgia, Kansas, and Washington among others.
Players can walk into these providers' premises and buy physical Keno tickets. However, this article focuses more on how to play Keno. Most of these physical lotteries and state lotteries have online versions where players can buy tickets from their websites. An online lottery ticket holds just as much power as a physical one. In Australia, there is a website that is dedicated to Keno only.
The beauty of an online lottery is that one can buy an online lottery ticket even when they are away from the lottery's region. Care should be taken with state lotteries, however. Some of them have tough regulations on winnings by outsiders. E.g. punitive taxes on winnings.
History of Keno
Keno is the Chinese's gift to the gaming world; one of many. Legend has it that it was played close to 2000 years ago. Its proceeds reportedly helped in the construction of The Great Wall of China. The game was so popular that white pigeons were used to send Keno results to the villages, resulting in the reference to the game as pai-ko p’iao (white pigeon ticket). The game was also referred to as baige piao.
Chinese immigrants took the game with them to the United States where it caught on quickly. Its name evolved quickly after the early 19th Century introduction. By 1886, it was very common in Texas. At the time, the 80 characters were given names of horses to avoid violating state gambling laws. The characters reverted back to numbers after these laws were repealed.
Is Keno Legal?
Keno is legal in most parts of the world. Even in some places where gambling is frowned upon, Keno is viewed as a fun game. The fact that it can be offered by state lotteries gives it an advantage where some other lottery games may not survive. The game has had run-ins with the law, however. In 1996, for instance, a California court banned keno and said that it was not a real lottery.
The growth of online gaming has also caused grey areas that Keno can exploit legally. In many places, online gambling is largely unregulated. Players just need to know how to buy a lottery ticket online and they can stake in offshore online lottery even if there is no Keno lottery in their area.
Generally, however, the world has been kind to the game of Keno.
How to play Keno
The simplicity of Keno is probably one of the reasons for its popularity. It has a bingo-like style of play and pretty similar rules. However, specific lotteries can have their own variations of some Keno rules e.g. setting the house edge.
To place a bet, Keno players pick up to 20 numbers from 80 available options. Individual lotteries determine the maximum number of picks that any player can make. Each player then pays the stake amount for each of the numbers.
During the draw, 20 numbers are picked at random from 80 options. This may be done physically (like in a live online lottery) or using a random number generator (RNG). The players then receive payouts for numbers that match those that are picked in the draw.
Every lotteries sets its own paytable that determines how much players receive for winning numbers. The paytable determines the payout base rate. The payout is then calculated by multiplying the numbers matched (hit) and the player's wager by the house's base rate. For this reason, some lotteries may pay different amounts for the same number of hits. Some actually pay more for fewer hits.
Lotteries also offer jackpots based on a select number of hits e.g. a jackpot of 7 hits.
What are the Odds to Win in Keno?
There are three versions of Keno - Scratch Cards, Video Keno, and Live Drawings. Each one of these has different odds. Moreover, the same Keno versions may have different odds in different lotteries. This is a result of different RNG algorithms and different paytables from different Keno providers.
Generally, however, Keno is considered a bad-odds game even when one gets a lottery ticket online due to the high house edge in all versions.
Pick-7 and Pick-8 are the most favored games among Keno players. They tend to win more prizes but are less likely to hit the jackpot. Picks in the mid-range always have the most favorable odds for players. These are usually pick-4, 5, and 6. Due to the algorithm differences, it is advisable to check the paytable and odds at every online lottery that a player gambles.
Many video keno players prefer to play Pick 7 or Pick 8 games. They don’t win jackpots, but they do win smaller prizes. Also, odds do not depend on whether one chooses to play Keno online or offline.
Payout Options if You Win Keno
As earlier mentioned, payment options differ from provider to provider. This results from differences in paytable rules in each lotteries. In some, more hits attract smaller payouts than fewer payouts. The wager that a player has placed also matters.
The freedom that lotteries have in making lotto rules makes it difficult to give a definite payout formula. However, it is important that every hit attracts a win, although this could result in players winning less than what they wager. The secret is to understand the casino's table before playing. Thankfully, paytables are straightforward and easy to understand.
Tips and Tricks to Play Keno
Similarly to how it is with odds, it is not easy to find unbeatable tricks on how to play Keno, both online and offline. One trick, however, is to play consistently in one online lottery website. This helps to understand their paytable and how to play accordingly.
Keno's outcomes are independent, so finding a sequence is out of the question. Anyone who talks of a solid Keno strategy is just blowing hot air. Playing many games would be the best trip, but that is never a good strategy for the gambling purse.
Playing several cards in each game spreads risk and raises the chances of hitting. This way, even if a lottery pays for fewer hits, it is possible to play many numbers without getting too many hits. Playing regularly can also help a player to grasp paytables better, meaning they can make strategic decisions better.
About the author
Samuel O'ReillyAreas of Expertise:
Samuel O'Reilly, an Aussie native, is the mastermind behind some of the most insightful online casino guides. With a decade in the gaming industry, Samuel's expertise is second to none, making his reviews a favorite amongst both novices and professionals.
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