Live keno odds may be terrible, but great for low-budget thrill seekers.
If you’ve spent any time playing casino games, or read any good books on gambling strategies, you’ve probably heard that keno is among the worst games to play. Yes, it can be. Or not. It all depends on the question you’re asking.
If you want to know where the lowest house edge games are, keno won’t make the top 20. If you want games that can be played with strategy, keno isn’t even in the educated respondent’s vocabulary. But what if you’re just looking to have a good time, for a long time, without breaking your own piggy bank? In that case, live casino keno isn’t a bad option at all.
The Truth About Live Keno Odds
The truth is, keno odds are pretty bad. Different casinos might offer different payouts for selecting a certain amount of numbers. So, the odds might not be exactly the same from one property to the next. But no matter what the odds are, they’re never good. And the more numbers you pick, the worst they tend to get.
Keno is essentially a lottery game. There are 80 numbers on the board. For each game, 20 numbers are selected. If the player picks a single number, their odds of winning are an abysmal 1 in 4. The casino will pay out 2-for-1 on this bet, though, bringing the house edge down from a potential 75% to a more reasonable (but still atrocious) 25%.
Playing video keno will offer better odds, giving players as low as 7.5% house edge to contend with. That’s still not a good game, though, and I’d be willing to bet that if you play video keno, you’ll lose a lot more money than you would placing equal sized bets on live keno. Here’s Why…
Live Casino Keno Takes Time
Casinos have been hosting live keno games for decades. The fact that most establishments still offer them is merely a testament to tradition. They know full well that they’ll make a lot more money off video keno—despite the more player-friendly odds. But they aim to give players what they want, and if a traditional live keno game is what are expecting, that’s what they’ll give them.
Here’s the good news—and for experienced players, the reason some still demand access to live casino keno games. They are among the cheapest form of gambling you’ll come across.
It takes at least 3 minutes for a live keno game to play out. This includes the time given to players to make their selections and place their bets, and the time for each of the 20 numbers to be drawn. This means that, at most, 15 games will occur per hour. If you only wager $1 per game, you will only stand to lose, at most, $15 per hour. And that’s if have terrible luck and you lose all your bets.
If you select only 1 number per game, and probabilities hold true, you’ll win $11.25 back, thus losing an average of only $3.75 per hour.
In video keno, the games can run lightning fast. You could blow through $15 in under three minutes. That’s not a productive way to gamble. There’s no monetary value, nor entertainment value, to be had.
Knowing that the casino always has an advantage over the player, no matter the game or the strategy invoked, keno doesn’t seem like such a bad deal after all. If you’re looking for a good time, without breaking your bankroll, those despicable live keno odds can actually provide the longest, most entertaining experience on the casino floor.
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Adalene Lucas: is our jack of all trades here at DBC. She is a skilled coder, gambler, writer and webmaster. She lives in Manitoba where she enjoys the lush landscapes and camping near Tulabi Falls. Nature gives her inspiration to write. When she's not immersed in nature, her favorite words are "game theory". She lives with her husband and their two Labradors, Kophy and Whisper.