Keno Secrets


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If you’ve ever taken a shot at purchasing a miracle ticket in a draw lottery game like The Pick or Powerball, you already know how to play keno.

The original lottery game, keno, has been wagered for hundreds of years — before the time of Christ, that is. You’ll learn more about the history of keno a little later on, but for now, just know that this simple number draw guessing game is older than every other casino game on the floor.

Fittingly enough for a game with so much history behind it, keno also holds plenty of secrets that most players simply don’t know about.

If you’re interested in learning more about how keno really works and why it appeals to so many players worldwide, look no further than this list of five little-known keno secrets no one tells you about.

1 – Keno as We Know It Today Was Invented by a Chinese Warlord Strapped for Cash

All the way back in the year 200 B.C.E. — or more than 2,200 years ago — Cheung Leung found himself facing a serious dilemma. The Chinese warlord was facing an imminent invasion from rival forces, and unless he could muster up an army to defend his city, Leung would soon be out of luck — and likely without a head.

Seeking a quick and effective way to raise funds for his armed forces but unwilling to impose forced taxes on his already put-upon people, Leung directed his wisest counselors to come up with a solution. They eventually reported back with a gambling game known as pai-ko p’iao, which was essentially what you and I know as a lottery today.

Citizens of the city were encouraged to purchase playing cards outfitted with 80 squares and 20 specialized symbols. Once a sufficient number of cards had been sold, Leung conducted a royal draw to pull 20 symbols at random, and whoever showed up to turn in the card holding the most “catches” was rewarded with food, livestock, and other valuable resources.

This gambling ritual was performed daily, and while the vast majority of people collected nothing on their wager, one lucky winner emerged each day.

But the real winner was Leung, who quickly amassed the treasure needed to compensate his armies and defend the city.

The connections between pai-ko p’iao and modern-day keno couldn’t be clearer. The 80-number gambling game remained a staple in China and throughout Asia, and in the 19th century, immigrants arriving in California brought what the locals dubbed “Chinese Lottery” along for the ride.

Soon enough, like all cultural imports, the Chinese Lottery was tweaked and tinkered with until keno as it’s played today was born.

2 – You Can Mint Yourself a Millionaire Thanks to Progressive Keno Jackpots

For the longest time, keno was played for fixed jackpots that averaged $25,000 for landing a perfect 8-, 9-, or 10-spot card.

But at some point, players realized that the ridiculous odds against — it’s a 1 in 8.9 million shot to nail all 10 numbers — made capped payouts like that a bum deal.

Casino operators, both land-based and online, got wise to the situation too. Rather than lose lucrative keno action to lower house edge games like video poker, the casinos borrowed that fan favorite’s prized element — progressive jackpots.

Today, you can take home $1.9 million like one lucky winner at the Atlantis Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, did back in June of 2017. The Atlantis is known as a keno hotspot thanks to the venue’s 9-spot progressive jackpot option for $1.50 per play.

The seven-figure progressive award linked to Mega Keno, a popular jackpot network found in casinos across the country, rises even higher.

If you want to wager on amazing progressive jackpots like Mega Keno, just check this page to see if your favorite online casino sites offers the game.

3 – Online Keno Is Far From a One Size Fits All Affair

When you hop online to visit your favorite online casino site, the keno menu can be a beautiful sight to behold.

Presenting far more options than your typical casino keno parlor, or even one of the modern video keno machines, online keno sites make a point to expand the game’s horizons.

The popular Golden Egg Keno game, for example, lets players earn free games when they correctly catch a specially designated “golden number.” And in Last Blast Keno, catching the last number pulled on the draw is good for a sweet 4x multiplier on your overall payout.

To see just how diverse the online keno world can be, get a load of the eclectic list below.

Popular Online Keno Games

  • Bonus Keno
  • Fire Ball Action
  • Firefly Keno
  • Golden Egg Keno
  • Grand National
  • Keno Live
  • Keno Pop
  • Keno Universe
  • Last Blast Keno
  • Luck of the Bonus
  • Lucky Keno
  • Magic Keno
  • Super Keno
  • Tropical Vacation
  • Turbo Keno
  • Tutan Keno
  • Jackpot Keno
  • Instant Keno
  • Klub Keno
  • Krazy Keno
  • Power Keno
  • Super Keno
  • High/Low/Middle
  • Extra Draw Keno
  • Jumbo Keno Progressive
  • Triple Trouble Keno
  • Fremont Super Eight
  • Cleopatra Keno
  • Triple Power Keno
  • Jackpot Party Keno
  • Caveman Keno Plus
  • Keno Exacta
  • Triple Diamond Keno
  • Keno Draw Poker
  • 40-Ball Keno
  • Klub Keno
  • Bonus Spot Keno
  • Top Bottom Keno
  • Balloon Game Keno
  • Circus Keno
  • Critter Country Keno
  • Crossroads Keno
  • Fire Power Keno
  • Golden Hits Keno
  • Liberty Stars Keno
  • Redneck Keno
  • Super Spot Keno
  • Thunder Power Keno

4 – NetEnt Online Casinos Offer the Best Keno Odds on the Internet

Keno Secrets

Speaking of online keno, the various iGaming operators out there are free to set their own payout odds for various winning combinations.

Keno Strategy That Works

As a result, one online keno game is not like the next. As a sharp gambler, it’s your job to put your bankroll to bear behind bets that offer the best possible payback percentage rates.

Thankfully, I “know a guy,” so to speak, so I’ve been able to track down the average keno payback percentages offered by all the major online casinos.

As you’ll see in the tables below, Net Entertainment (NetEnt) is the best keno provider with a 93.80% payback rate — which is more than 20% better than some of the lower-ranking sites.

Payback Percentages on Keno (by Online Casino Game Developer)

Net Entertainment (NetEnt)


Odds On




Real Time Gaming (RTG)


How To Win At Keno



And one last thing about online keno to keep in mind is just how good a 90+ payback percentage really is in this game.

While the brick and mortar casinos are skinning players alive with average keno payback rates of only 65% to 80%, adding an extra 10% payback equity to your ledger by playing keno online offers a huge helping hand.

5 – Landing a Perfect 20-Spot Card Is Essentially Impossible

Secrets To Keno

For recreational gamblers living anywhere in America, their personal benchmark for longshot odds likely comes from the Powerball lottery.

Winning the absurd billion-dollar jackpots paid out every so often by Powerball requires the player to beat odds of 1 in 292,201,338.

That’s a longshot if I ever saw one, but it can’t compare to the infinitesimal chances keno players have of landing a perfect 20-spot card.

With 80 numbers to choose from and a 20/20 draw needed to claim the game’s largest payout — one casinos don’t even bother calculating because they’ve never been won — a 20-spot card clocks in at a 1 in 3,535,316,142,212,174,320 chance.

That ridiculous string of digits can be read as 3.5 quintillions, and just in case you’re not a math major, that means hitting a 20-spot is 12 billion times harder than cashing in that giant Powerball paycheck.


Keno really does represent the best of both worlds when it comes to casino gambling.

The game is easy to learn and quite entertaining when Lady Luck is looking your direction. A small stake of only a few bucks can be parlayed into big winnings when you catch a bunch of numbers. And the pace of play ensures you won’t be stuck sitting at a table waiting for dealers and fellow gamblers to make their move.

On the flip side, though, keno offers by far the worst odds on any casino floor, making it quite difficult to eke out a profit over the long run. Keno can also be a bit boring if you prefer skill-based gambling. Free lucky casino slot.

This duality is what makes keno such an interesting game, and now that you know five of its most closely guarded secrets, making sense of its intricacies should be a breeze.

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