Keno was introduced in 200 BC by the Chinese military leader, Cheung Leung who used this game as a finance resource for his failing army. He used this game as a finance resource to help his failing army. The city of Cheung was waging a war, and after awhile of war time appeared to be facing national famine with the drastic decrease in supplies. Cheung Leung needed to come up with a fast fix for the economic disaster and to produce revenue for his army. He thusly created the game we now know as keno and it was a great success.

Keno used to be known as the White Pigeon Game, since the winning numbers were delivered by pigeons from larger cities to the smaller villages. The lottery ‘Keno’ was brought to the United States in the 1800s by Chinese immigrants who came to the US to work. In those times, Keno was played with 120 numbers.

Keno is generally played with 80 numbers in most of American based casinos as well as online casinos. Keno is largely enjoyed today because of the relaxed nature of playing the game and the simple fact that there are no skills needed to play Keno. Despite the fact that the odds of winning are terrible, there is always the chance that you will win quite big with very little gambling investment.

Today, Keno is played with 80 numbers and 20 numbers are drawn each game. Players of Keno can choose from 2 to 10 numbers and bet on them, as much or as little as they want to. The payout of Keno is according to the bets made and the roll out of matching numbers.

The ‘thousand character classic’ is the heritage produced by keno history-a Chinese poem of 1000 numbers, which is known as a set of independent characters placed in a rhymed form. It was originally a new way for children to learn, however the poem is so well know that the characters are often used as a romantic numbering system. On the original keno boards, instead of using just numbers, they used these characters.

Keno grew in popularity in the United States near the end of the 19th century when the Chinese characters were replaced with more familiar, American numbers. Lotteries were not covered under the legalization of gambling in the state of Nevada in 1931. The casinos changed the name of the ‘Chinese lottery’ to ‘horse race keno’ utilizing the idea that the numbers are horses and you want your horses to come in. When a law passed that taxed off track betting, Nevada swiftly changed the name to ‘keno’.

By Adel Awwad
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