Keno is a simple and popular game. It is played with a ticket that has numbers 1 to 80 printed on it. Each player can select between 1 and 15 numbers and mark those numbers on the ticket. The casino then draws 20 numbers at random. The player is paid out in proportion to his wagered amount and depending on how many numbers he had marked and how many of his marked numbers were included in the 20 numbers drawn by the casino. There is a predetermined payout table that covers the above possibilities and is revealed to the players.

Then why should one not play keno? There is one and only one reason. The payout tables have been so devised that the casino has a house cut of around 25%. This means that for every dollar wagered the casino makes 25 cents. This house cut is far greater than that for table games like roulette and blackjack, which is a few percent. It is even greater than the house cut for slots, which are notoriously referred to as one-armed bandits. Despite this keno has been popular for over 2000 years and its popularity shows no sign of abating. Why?

Keno offers players a chance of winning a huge prize by investing a miniscule amount. It does not matter to them that the huge amount is not commensurate with the risk. The big prize in keno is for marking fifteen numbers on the ticket and getting all fifteen called in the twenty numbers drawn by the casino. In most casinos one dollar bet on this would result in a prize of $40,000. The odds of catching all fifteen numbers are over 400 billion to 1. Hence for a mathematically fair game the prize should be $400 billion. But to almost everyone $1 lost is insignificant and $40,000 won is more than welcome.

Each game provides $1 worth of value even without the prize. The reasons are many. People play keno for a while to unwind from the pressures of the blackjack or poker table. Their minds refreshed after a game or two of keno they return to more serious gambling. Online gamblers play keno alongside their more serious business. They just have to mark their numbers once if they want to keep repeating the pattern. The computer checks out their numbers and credits their winnings, if any. They simply click once to replay the game.

Keno is an occasion for socializing. Because the game does not involve major concentration people play it while chatting, whether online or in gaming halls. Women compare recipes while men check out baseball scores. They eat and drink and have a lot of fun. Players mark out numbers in all sorts of crazy patterns like crosses, squares and triangles. They feed in their birthdays, their ages, their house numbers and anything else they can think of. The message is loud and clear. Do not play keno for serious gambling, play it for fun.

By Will Win
Will Win is a professional gambler, ex casino dealer and author. For the best Online Casino Visit