5 May

How to Win Money Playing Keno Online

How to Win Money Playing Keno Online

Keno is one of the oldest gambling game’s on the planet, with roots dating back to ancient China. Up until recently, every variation of the game had horrific odds; some returning only 50%-80%. Thanks to the internet and subsequent freedom of knowledge and choice, online keno games are lot more generous for real money players.


How to Play Keno and Win Real Money Online

The following is a complete, step-by-step monography of online keno. We’ll help you learn how to play keno, how to calculate probabilities and house edge for the various bets, and where you can safely play the game, for real money, with optimal strategy and maximum return.
  1. Rules of Play: A quick read on how to play keno, including the basic rules and order of events.
  2. Bets & Payouts: Learn how to bet in keno, how to read the pay table, and what to expect from a win.
  3. Online Keno Advantage: Discover why online keno games can be so much more profitable for the educated player.
  4. Where to Play: A side-by-side evaluation of keno games presented by the industry’s top iGaming software studios.
  5. Optimal Strategy: All of the above info converges here, where you’ll discover how to implement an optimal strategy for playing keno.
DisclaimerNot all forms of gambling are legal in all provinces of Canada. The legal age to gamble also varies by province. Breaking the law is a serious matter. The information provided on this website is meant for educational purposes only, and we will not be held liable for any irresponsible / illegal activity on your part. Know the gambling laws in your province and follow them. The following pages provide more information on Canadian gambling laws:

1. The Fundamentals of Online Keno

Keno is nothing more than a lottery game. If you’ve ever bought a lottery ticket, you should have a pretty good idea how it works. The only real differences are that you’re odds of winning are higher, while the reward for winning is lower. Instead of a multi-million jackpot for an exact pick, you can earn a 3-to-1 payout for picking just one number correctly.

A keno game consists of 80 numbers. There are 10 numbers per line, and 8 lines in all (1-10, 11-20, 21-30, etc.) In a traditional game, 20 numbers will be randomly selected. Your job, as a player, is to pick 1 or more numbers, or “spots”. If enough of your numbers match, you win a prize.

Some keno games allow players to select more numbers than others. A classic game offers 1-15 picks, whereas some games require a minimum/maximum of 2-10 selections.

An online keno game begins with the player choosing a bet size. Next, select which number(s) you want to bet on by pressing directly on those number(s). You can undo a selection by pressing it again. Once you’ve made your selections, press the corresponding button to finalize your picks and start the drawing.

The game will begin drawing random numbers, one at a time, until 20 have been chosen. Each number you catch will be highlighted. The corresponding payout, if any, will be awarded when the game is complete. To play another round at the same bet size, simply start picking new numbers.

2. Understanding Keno Bets & Payouts

Betting in keno is simple enough, but the pay tables are a bit more complicated to understand. We know that selecting one number, and catching that number, will result in a payout. But what if we select 3 numbers and only 1 catches? Will a prize be awarded?

This is where learning to read the pay table comes in handy. The reality is that some games pay for 1 out of 3, and some do not. Let’s look at this example pay table

How to Read a Keno Pay Table

The number of Spots is equal to the number of picks you’ve made. The number of Catches is equal to the numbers of your picks that drawn during the game. If you choose 3 Spots, and Catch 1, the payout on this paytable shows a payout of 1, meaning you’ll be paid at 1 to 1, or even money, for your bet. If you select 3 spots and catch 2, the payout increases to 2 to 1. Catching all 3 spots pays 16 to 1.

By this pay table, the highest possible payout is for catching all 15 spots, worth a 10,000 to 1 prize. For reference, the odds of this happening are about 428 billion to 1.

3. The Advantage of Playing Keno Online

As prefaced above, online keno presents much greater advantages to players than the classic land-based variety. Prior to casinos appearing on the internet, keno was a game with extremely long odds. Casinos could set the pay table however they wanted, and players were left with little choice but to accept those odds, or not play the game.

Not only did the internet provide everyone with the information necessary to determine the odds of each keno game (without being a math whiz), it made it possible to access an endless selection of games, each with their own pay tables. If there’s one thing log-in casinos have excelled in, it’s giving players better odds than their walk-in cousins.

Two decades ago, when the online casino industry was just sprouting a feeble root system, the casinos of Las Vegas were delivering keno payouts with a theoretical RTP (return to player) of anywhere from 65% to 80%, at best. That, in reverse, equates to a house edge of 20% to 35%. Compare that to a typical house edge of 0.5% in blackjack, 1.41% in baccarat, even the 5.26% in American roulette – thought to be among the worst games in the casino – and you start to understand just how abysmal the odds of keno can be.

Online keno games give players more choice, and in turn, online casinos are choosing to provide better games, with better payout ratios, some ranging from 92% to near 95% RTPs (i.e. house edge 5% to 8%).

4. Evaluating Keno Games by Software Giants

Expounding on the previous topic, it’s important to note that, just because a keno game is found online, doesn’t mean it presents better odds than the old bricks-and-mortar casinos. The following is a chart that compares the RTP, per spots/catches, delivered by four different keno games from some of the online casino industry’s leading software providers.
Note that the RTP is the opposite of the house edge. An RTP of 90% correlates with a house edge of 10%, where the sum of the two percentages equals 100%.

Keno RTP by Software Brand
Spots Playtech* NetEnt** Ezugi*** Microgaming
1 75.00% 75.00%
2 92.09% 82.73% 72.15% 92.09%
3 92.96% 83.91% 72.15% 93.04%
4 92.03% 83.81% 74.06% 93.79%
5 92.58% 84.30% 71.68% 93.87%
6 92.67% 84.35% 70.80% 93.79%
7 92.44% 84.14% 70.52% 94.15%
8 92.75% 84.19% 69.92% 92.90%
9 92.00% 84.08% 93.43%
10 92.55% 84.38% 94.54%
11 93.10%
12 94.22%
13 94.90%
14 94.27%
15 94.39%
*Playtech’s paytable applies to both of their keno editions, Keno Xperiment and Fortune Keno, wherein 2-10 numbers can be selected.
**NetEnt’s Bonus Keno offers 2-10 picks.

***Ezugi produces a Live Keno game where 1 to 8 spots can be selected.

By this assessment, it’s easy to see that some games have far better odds for players. In this case, Microgaming’s 1-15 spot keno offers a pretty good range of risk-versus-reward. The only deplorable bet is the 1-spot, which pays 3-to-1 for a 75% RTP (25% house edge).

Playtech’s 2-10 spot game isn’t too bad, either. NetEnt pays a little better than Vegas, but Ezugi’s live dealer keno is just as bad as the land-based industry.

5. Developing a Winning Keno Strategy

When you combine all of the knowledge from the above sections, simple deduction can conclude the following facts:

  • Play keno online, not at land-based casinos.
  • Microgaming casinos offer the lowest house edge keno game (among big-name software brands).
  • Never select just one number. Bets on three or more spots always have better odds.
  • Select 13 spots in Microgaming’s keno game to get the highest overall RTP of 94.90%.

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