How to Play Keno – Rules and Beginner’s Guide

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You can learn how to play keno in just a few minutes with our complete guide. This is one of the most popular games in a casino, and also one with the largest payouts. And, the best part is that it is very easy to master. Continue reading to learn the rules of keno and how you can start playing it right now.

How to Play Keno

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How to Play Keno

Do you want to learn how to play keno step by step? We have the perfect guide for you that will cover all the details you need to know.

Step 1 – Join a Top Casino

The first step is to find an online casino that offers the game. Luckily, most gaming sites have at least one keno game. For this example, we will be using Lucky Block since it is a top gaming platform with multiple keno options. Click the “Sign up” button and fill out the registration form.

Lucky Block Sign Up

Step 2 – Start the Game

The quickest way to find a game is to use the search bar. Type in keno to view the results. Choose the preferred game from the search results and start it up by clicking on the large play button. You can also choose to play for fun, in demo mode, which is a great way to learn how to play keno online without using any real money.

Lucky Block Keno Games

Step 3 – Set the Bet and Choose the Numbers

You can set the size of the bet from the buttons at the bottom. Most games offer a wide betting range, but you can easily check the keno rules to see the limits. Then, choose up to 10 numbers by clicking on them. You can also use the “Fast Pick” button to have 10 numbers selected randomly by the game.

How to Play Keno - Bet

Step 4 – Play Keno Online

Once you have your bet set and the numbers picked, click the green “Bet” button at the bottom. This will play one round at the selected price. A total of 10 numbers will be selected randomly and you receive a payout based on how many numbers match your picks.

How to Play Keno - Win

Step 5 – Win Over 15,000x

You can always change the size of the bet and the numbers. Most online keno games also have an option to enable auto-play, which will play a selected number of rounds in succession. Depending on the version and keno game rules, you can win more than 15,000x your bet if all 10 numbers match.

Basic Keno Rules

There aren’t many rules in the game, which makes the keno tutorial very simple. The standard option is played with 80 numbers, but there can also be variations with fewer numbers. Most keno games will allow you to select up to 10 numbers for each round, but again, this can vary slightly when it comes to some casino options. There are also games with up to 20 numbers, which can result in massive payouts when matching them.

At the core, you just have to pick numbers and start. The payouts depend on how many numbers you match.

How it Works

Online keno uses a random number generator to provide the results. This ensures that every outcome is fair. It also makes it impossible to predict what numbers will come up in the next round. In many ways, keno is similar to a lottery draw.

The game rules establish the payouts for matching numbers. These can vary a bit based on the game, but most options with 80 numbers will pay around 10,000x for matching 10/10. Payouts usually start from matching four numbers or for not hitting any, both of which will pay 1x and give you your bet back.

Cards Explained

The keno card is the layout with all of the available numbers, usually from 1 to 80. Players can click on the preferred numbers on the card to make their picks. Most online keno guides now have a button to randomly select 10 numbers on the card. Also, you can clear the selections from the provided menu if you want to pick something else.

Types of Keno

With the gaming engagement level at a record high, it is good to know what options are available. Most keno games have the same rules at the core, but there are variations that come with some key changes. We will go through the main options so that you can learn more and see which ones fit your playstyle best.

Standard Keno

The standard version of the game is the most popular online and also the easiest to learn. Here, you have 80 numbers and can select up to 10 of them. There are no bonus features or other special mechanics. For beginners, we recommend the standard version as the best way of learning how to play keno online. You can also find it simply as Keno or American Keno.

American Keno

Jackpot Keno

Another popular version of the game is jackpot keno. It offers a progressive jackpot that increases with every real money bet. In order to win, you have to match all numbers as the progressive jackpot often replaces the maximum payout. Some jackpot keno games can award the progressive prize for collecting special symbols hidden behind random numbers.

Jackpot Keno

Themed Keno

Keno is not exactly known for its eye-catching visuals since the standard casino machines are quite bland. However, online games provide a lot more variation for fans and can come with all sorts of designs. You can find keno with themes based on Ancient Egypt, popular sports, magical characters, or even just a relaxing holiday on the beach.

Keno Goal

Bonus Keno

This category covers keno games that have extra bonus rounds. These can help increase the payouts, so it is good to know how to play keno and win from the extra features. A common bonus option uses three random numbers for every round and if all of them are matched, you enter the bonus mode. Here, you have to spin a bonus wheel or pick icons to reveal random prizes.

Jungle Keno Bonus Round

Mini Keno

Not all keno options have cards with 80 numbers. Mini keno comes with only 36 numbers, which makes it easier to match picks. Of course, the payouts also go down and most games in this category will only pay 100x for matching 10/10 numbers. One important thing to note here is that most top offshore casinos will simply feature this as keno, even if it only has 36 numbers. Make sure to check the keno game guide and the card before betting.

Keno with 36 Numbers

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Types of Bets

Online keno bets are generally straightforward. You just have to select the numbers and you are set. However, if you also want to know how to play keno in a casino, you should learn some of the special types of bets found in the game. These can depend on the version and on how many cards are provided.

  • Straight Bets: The player picks the numbers on the card and starts a round.
  • Way Bets: The player bets on multiple numbers in a sequence. Can have multiple sequences on the same card.
  • Combination Bets: The player uses the same numbers for multiple tickets. Also known as a combo bet.
  • King Bet: The player adds an extra number to a way combination, also known as a king.

How to Place a Bet

The interface may vary when playing online, but we found that most keno games follow a similar layout. You can set the bet from the dashboard at the bottom. Look for the + and – buttons. Click them accordingly to set the bet you wish to place.

Keno Set the Bet

Another common interface displays multiple stakes and players can slide the values to the left and to the right. Then, click on the desired stake to activate it for the next round. You can also see the stake at the bottom, along with the total balance and the latest win.

Keno Dashboard Set the Bet

Tips & Strategy

Keno is a game of chance where the outcome is random. As a result, there is no strategy that can guarantee positive results in the long run. With that being said, there are some ways in which you can improve the payouts when playing online. Our expert keno tips and winning strategy will provide more details on this subject.

  • Tip #1 – Choose the Right Game: There are many keno variations available online and they don’t all have the same payouts. Check the rules of keno in the game description to see what prizes are provided. Compare multiple paytables and choose the one that offers better wins for the smaller combos. Don’t just focus on the jackpots since those are very hard to hit.
  • Tip #2 – Bet Small: If you are just learning how to play keno lottery games, don’t go for big bets. It is best to play at lower stakes since there is still a chance of hitting a big combination for a large payout.
  • Tip #3 – Claim Bonuses: One of the perks of playing at the best online casinos is that you can claim various bonuses and rewards. Keno is a specialty game and that means it is usually eligible for large bonuses, also allocated for slots. These offers can provide extra funds and let you play more for less.
  • Tip #4 – Try Different Numbers: While it is not uncommon to have favorite numbers, it is often best to switch things up when playing keno. The random feature can be very useful in this regard as it allows for quick picks throughout the session.

How to Play Keno Slots

Keno is so popular that it is also a theme found in online slots. You can also find games themed after bingo, lotteries, and big wins that fit the same overall style. Despite the theme however, keno slots follow the same standard game rules as other slots. This means that you have to land matching symbols on adjacent positions and on the same paylines.

For a quick refresh of your knowledge on how to play slots, you just have to select the bet size and then spin the reels. Similar to keno, slots award payouts instantly and don’t require any additional steps from the player.

How to Play at a Casino

The traditional form of keno that can still be found in some casinos requires physical cards. You can ask for a card from the desk and then mark the numbers you want to play, also known as spots. There is also a category for the price per game you want to pay and the number of games to play with the selected numbers. You can mark the bonus icon if the game has one. Hand the card over the cashier and pay the respective price. The game will run right away and you will receive the payouts accordingly.

Casino Keno Ticket

Most casinos nowadays offer video machines and a quick guide is enough to learn how to play keno in Vegas. These machines are easier to use since you just have to start a new game, select the numbers by tapping the touchscreen and then select how many rounds you want to play. You can usually pay using the provided casino card or even by using coins. Plus, you can play video keno at your own pace since you don’t have to wait around for others.

Difference Between Keno and Bingo

If you know how to play bingo, you will notice that keno shares some of the same mechanics. However, there are also some key differences worth pointing out when it comes to the rules of keno. First of all, you can’t normally select the numbers in bingo. You can just buy cards with different numbers on them.

The drawing process is very similar, as numbers are selected randomly from the pool. Most bingo games have a lot more numbers available, especially when playing on multiple cards at the same time.

As for the payouts, bingo games award wins for matching numbers in certain patterns on the ticket. In keno, you win regardless of where the numbers are, as long as they match your selections.

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Vlad Grindu
Gambling Expert
Vlad Grindu
Gambling Expert

Vlad has more than a decade of experience in the gambling industry, specializing in analyzing and reviewing online betting platforms. He is an expert in casino games and sports betting, providing detailed guides for major publications in the iGaming industry, including and Covers. Vlad has a Master’s Degree in Economics and enjoys the occasional esports game.