How to Play Keno Like a Pro: 5 Tips to Win at Keno

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When you think of gambling, you probably think of the neon lights and flashy machines in your favourite casino. Gambling is much older than that modern interior, though, and Keno is one of the oldest games there is.

In fact, the game dates back to the China of at least 2000 years ago. It was originally called ‘baige-pao,’ meaning ‘white pigeon ticket.’ This was an homage to the color of the ticket and a reference to a popular game where bets were placed on pigeons.

Today, Keno remains a popular casino game. If you’re someone who likes to gamble, you probably have heard of this tried-and-true game. You may be wondering how to play it, or how to play it better if you’re already a beginner.

Here, we’re going to give you five pro tips to understand- and win at- Keno.

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1. Know What Keno Is

Of course, in order to win at Keno, you first need to understand how it’s played. You likely already know that it’s a betting game involving a ticket, but what exactly does that ticket do? How is it used?

Basically, the ticket will have numbers 1-80 on it. On the card, you’ll mark between 4 and 20 numbers that you want to play with. Then, either submit the numbers to the Keno machine or to the house dealer, depending on your playing method.

Keno is based on percentages.This means that in order to win, you’re going to need to have a specific percentage of the numbers that you’ve chosen drawn if you want to win.

For instance, if you need 50% of the drawn numbers to win and you’ve selected 8 numbers, you only need to match 4 of these numbers to get payout. On the other hand, if you’ve selected 20, you’ll need to match 10 numbers. 

In that game where you need to match 50%, you might end up matching more than that. That’s the ultimate goal- match as many of the drawn numbers as possible. In the end, the more you match, the more money you’re going to win.

2. Tickets, Please?

The rules to Keno are pretty simple at their most basic level, but in order to win well you need to know the various kinds of tickets that you can use in a game. The best thing about Keno is that even if the house does have a 28% edge, it isn’t expensive to play. You can choose how much to bet based off the kind of ticket you buy.

The first kind of ticket to know about is a Way Ticket. These tickets are one of the most popular kinds because you can place bets on more than one set of numbers. This means that you’ll have multiple ways to win at the same game!

On these tickets, you choose your wager amount separately for each way. They only cost $2-$5, so the stakes aren’t too high. Just place bets on many numbers and configurations and you’ll do great!

Another popular kind of Keno ticket is the 190-Way Eight. These are getting to be less popular in the present day, but a lot of casinos and online games are still offering them as an option.

These tickets cost a little more than Way Tickets- about $10 or $12- but they have higher payout when you win, too. On these tickets, every number is covered, so there’s the possibility of even bigger winnings, too.

3. Decide Where to Play

When playing any game, there’s always the big question of whether to play in a casino or play online. Keno is one of those games that you can be successful in either way. Here, we’re going to share the difference with you so you can best decide where you want to place your bets.


When you choose to play Keno in-person, there are a couple possible ways that you might be able to play. The first way that some casinos might have you try your hand at Keno is through machines.

These machines will allow you to choose the numbers you want to play in the beginning and then randomize the winning numbers it generates. In these games, you won’t have as much interaction with other people as you would if you use a paper ticket. You also won’t be able to change any of your numbers after the initial selection process.

Casinos might also let you play Keno by purchasing a paper ticket, too. Playing with a paper ticket is no easier or more difficult than playing on a machine, but it might help you clearly assess the options for what numbers you want to pick.

Plus, there’s nothing quite like holding a winning ticket in your hands!


If you don’t want to drag yourself to a casino to play Keno, that’s okay, too. There are plenty of websites where you can play online against virtual gambling houses.

Similarly to playing on a casino machine, you’ll be able to select the numbers at the beginning of the game. Some websites will generate random winning numbers like the machines. This is usually the case.

There’s always the possibility that there’s a person at the other end of the virtual game, though!

The appeal of online gaming is, to most people, that you can gamble from the comfort of your own home. This is great, but keep in mind that it’s much easier to get lost in the gambling rabbit hole if you don’t even have to leave your couch. Also consider that going to a casino can let you meet like-minded people who share interests and who will play other casino games with you!

Still, for a lot of people, online Keno is a great alternative to making a weekly trip out. It’s relaxing, fun, and doesn’t take any energy to just get yourself to a venue.

4. Understand Casino Etiquette

If you’re choosing to go to a casino and buy tickets in-person, there are a few rules to keep in mind. In order to be successful in any gambling game in a casino, there are certain rules of casino etiquette that you’ll need to follow. If you don’t, it could not only offend other gamers but also impact your winnings.

The first rule of casino etiquette is to of course know the rules of the game you’re playing before you start actually placing your bets. It’s just rude and a waste of everyone’s time if you show up not knowing what you’re doing and expecting someone to explain it to you.

It’s also important not to give unsolicited advice to other gamblers. This is true for a couple reasons. First and most obviously, giving advice to other players, especially if it’s good advice, is putting tools into the hands of other players that they can use to beat you at your game.

But even if this isn’t a concern for you, it’s also insulting to other players to give unasked-for advice. By doing this, you’re suggesting that you know better than them. It’s going to come across as condescending even if you don’t mean it to.

Finally, when you’re in a casino, make sure that you’re staying in the moment. No one wants to be sitting next to someone who’s texting or playing a cell phone game when they’re trying to focus on the bets being placed.

Plus, why would you waste your time and money on a game you’re not interested or invested in?

5. Bet Wisely

The last tip to being successful at playing Keno is to be careful with your money. No matter what you’re doing or how confident you are, it’s important to remember that the house always has the edge. This is especially so in games of luck, which Keno very much is.

Go into the casino with a fixed amount of money that you want to spend. If you win anything, it’s alright to add that to the pile, too! You just don’t want to go in and spend more than you have. It’s no fun to fun yourself drowning in a pile of debt, and gambling is meant to be fun!

The good news is that Keno isn’t a particularly expensive game. It’s amazing when you win, but just keep in mind that even if you lose, you won’t lose much money as long as you’re thoughtful and smart when you’re putting down your hard-earned cash.

Get Cracking!

Keno might not look like a difficult game to master, but it does require skill and thought. As long as you know the rules, though, and understand where to put your money, you’ll do great.

Now that you know how to play Keno and have some tips to keep in mind when hedging your bets, you’re probably interested in other lottery-style casino games. Check out this article to learn about gambling in Bingo and win big!

Happy gaming!


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