How to Play Online Keno

If you’ve been looking to explore beyond the online casino classic games like poker and roulette, perhaps Keno is for you. It’s a fun casino game that is all about luck and involves lucky numbers. If you’ve played bingo or lottery before and enjoyed it, you’ll certainly have fun with Keno, too. Nowadays the game is available at most major online gaming sites, including the top online casinos in Canada. In this complete guide, we’ll walk you through all the basics so stick around. Additionally, you’ll get some tips on picking the best gaming destination as well.

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Some History

Keno is one of those casino games with a long history. In fact, the game dates all the way back to 2,000 years ago and in the 1840s and was brought to the West by migrants. Keno’s predecessors originate in China, much like bingo and lottery. Actually, the original name of the game is Baige Piao. Hence why initially the earlier version of the game was often referred to as the ‘Chinese lottery’ when it was still gaining popularity outside of China. Back then, Chinese characters were replaced with numbers, resulting in the game of Keno as we know it today. The actual name comes from the French word ‘Quine’, which means “group of five.” 

Today, Keno is a game that involves cards (tickets) with numbers on squares ranging from 1 to 80. Players circle as many lucky numbers as they like up to the maximum limit, turn their ticket in and wait for the draw. 20 balls or pellets get randomly selected and, of course, the objective is to predict which numbers those will be. Depending on how many correct guesses you have, the rewards will vary.

Keno Guide

How to Play Keno

The most important thing to remember about Keno is that it’s all about luck. There are numbers from 1 to 80, of which 20 will turn out to be the lucky ones. Of course, much like other games of chance, your objective is to guess which numbers will be drawn. Hence, if the draw matches your predictions on the ticket you get to go home with a prize. The amount you win depends on the number of successful predictions and the total number of guesses you made.

Naturally, to win the jackpot you’d have to successfully guess all 20 draws. Unfortunately, the chances of that are almost null. So oftentimes 9 or 10-number tickets will get the big prize if all 9 or 10 guesses are correct. Tickets with 3 to 9 predictions are the most popular in Keno due to the increased probability of success. Actually, those are a fantastic option since you can get a payout even for a few guessed numbers.

However, there is usually a maximum limit to how much you can win per ticket. That is because there is a maximum aggregate liability per draw. In other words, to guarantee that all winners receive their prize, there must be a limit on how many players can win at once.

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A Basic Keno Glossary

To play Keno and get the most out of your experience, it’s important that you’re familiar with some game-specific terminology. Here’s a basic glossary to help you along:

  • Caller – This is the casino’s game facilitator in charge of announcing the winning numbers in a draw.
  • Flashboard – The flashboard is an electronic board on which you’ll find the winning numbers. These are now obsolete thanks to television screens, however, you may still find them at select casinos.
  • Ticket – The Keno ticket has 80 numbers on it which the players can mark in an attempt to predict the draw.
  • Way Ticket – A ticket with several current bets. This type of bet gives you access to fractional rates.
  • Winning numbers – The winning numbers are the first 20 numbers drawn in a round of Keno.
  • Straight Ticket – In Keno, this is the most basic method of play. It’s simply picking your numbers on a ticket for the next draw.
  • Spot – These are the numbers on a Keno ticket that you mark. If you choose three numbers then it’s a three-spot ticket, and so on.
  • House Edge – Every casino has an advantage over the player to maintain long-term profitability. In Keno, the house edge can range from 5% to 30%. 
  • King Number Bet – In a king number bet, you can pick one number out of the 80 as a standalone which becomes the king number. This number then combines with the other spots on the ticket.
  • Split Tickets – These are tickets with multiple straight bets on them. A split ticket functions and pays just like separate straight tickets would, they’re simply combined into one. Some consider these a bad idea as you can’t pick the same number twice.
How to Play Online Keno

Strategies to Win Your Keno Game

Some players prefer to alter their numbers every round, while others choose to stick with the same selection every time. On the other hand, others believe that grouping number picks together boosts their chances of winning. Regardless of what approach you decide to adopt, don’t forget that Keno is not a game strategy. No amount of practice or ‘skill’ can guarantee you success as games of chance are all about pure luck. The draw is completely random, which is actually the point, so the chance of a certain number becoming the lucky one is always the same.

Our Pro Tips for Keno

Keno is a game of chance but there are still a few things you can do to maximize your profits and minimize the risks. Here’s what the pros advise:

  • Practice for Free – Play free Keno games online to learn all of the rules before betting real money. 
  • Take Advantage of Bonuses – Online casinos frequently offer bonuses that you can use on Keno games. Use the extra cash to place free bets to stay in the game longer and hopefully win a prize or two.
  • Keep an eye out for Special Feature Tickets – It is not uncommon to find special promotions for Keno games. These can be for certain sorts of bets or at specified points throughout the draw. They’ll offer lower stakes or larger rewards but whatever it is, take advantage.
  • Play Responsibly – Maintain a healthy balance and stay within your comfort zone. Keno can be loads of fun but it’s important to stick to a responsible gaming pattern.
  • Make the best use of your funds – Set a limit on how much you can afford to lose before you begin playing. Keno is all about luck and there’s always a chance you will lose, so never bet more than you can comfortably part with.
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Finding the Best Keno Destination

There are plenty of real money casinos in Canada that offer Keno games online. However, picking a great gaming destination is a complicated ordeal. You always want to make sure that the operator you choose is safe and secure and will pay you when you win.

Licensing and Security

Speaking of guaranteed pay, there’s nothing more important than the casino license. If the platform you choose doesn’t have a license from a recognized authority, the casino may be rogue. In other words, stick to licensed platforms as those are regulated, audited, and adhere to industry standards.

Payment Options

Another crucial aspect you should consider is the range of payment options available to you to choose from. Is the selection diverse enough? What about the transaction limits? In addition to that, pay attention to withdrawal fees as some casinos will try to charge you extra for picking a certain payment system.


Casino bonuses and promotions are useful tools to boost your bankroll and keep playing longer. So, always look for what bonuses the casino offers and pick the most generous ones. However, sometimes offers sound too good to be true – this may be a sign of rogue casinos, so be careful. Moreover, bonuses always come with terms and conditions like wagering requirements for cashing out. Always read the fine print before committing.

Game Selection

Although you might be going to online casinos just to play Keno, variety is always good. The best casinos will have a wide selection of table games like poker and blackjack but also slots, etc. A large gaming library may carry several Keno options or perhaps even a live casino variant, so the bigger the better. Furthermore, the quality of the providers is also crucial – the more reputable the brand, the better the gaming experience for you.

Time to Play

If you have never tried a Keno game before, now is a great time to do so. With this guide under your belt, you’re ready to embark on your personal gaming journey. Keno can be loads of fun and is super beginner-friendly, too. Not to mention, if luck is on your side you could walk away with thousands of dollars. But if you want to save yourself the trouble of applying our tips on searching for a good casino, head to our reviews page. We do all of the work in advance, so you can pick a safe online casino in no time.


That depends on how many numbers you pick. We recommend looking at an odds table to get a better understanding of the whole range of possibilities.

Winning this game is solely based on luck. Numbers are chosen at random, and each number has an equal chance of being chosen in each round.

As long as you stick to legit online casinos, you can rely on fair gaming. This is because licensed casinos rely on RNG software to generate unbiased and fair results.

In Keno, the house edge can range from 5% to 30%.

Split tickets are tickets with multiple straight bets on them.

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