Similar to the ever popular bingo or lottery games that are widely played around the world, keno is a fascinating game that is easy to play.

Dating back over 2000 years, keno’s origins can be found in ancient China and has some very interesting routes. As history explains, keno was supposedly one of the large sources of income for building the Great Wall of China and results from large games were said to have been transferred from city to city by carrier pigeon. It was brought to the USA in the early 19th century by Chinese immigrants to the country and has flourished ever since.

The way keno is played is quite simple. The keno board features the numbers from 1 to 80. Gamblers then bet on which numbers are going to be drawn, with a maximum number of bets allowed being 20. The more numbers that are “hit” (chosen), the more money the gambler wins. Of course, the odds are more and more in the houses favour the more numbers that bet on by the gambler. What must be remembered is that each casino has their own variation of keno and offers different odds – making it somewhat impossible to work on ‘keno strategy’, as in theory, the amount you win is divided into equal amounts of luck and the odds that are offered.

Big wins at keno, in all accounts, aren’t widely reported or recorded. Known as a game where less is more, a large amount of player’s only place small bets, meaning their winnings are only minimal in comparison to other casino based games. However, with the house edge often to rising to a massive 66%, it’s not surprising that this method of playing keno is adapted by many players around the world.

In terms of size of winnings, excessively large wins at keno – whether it’s in a traditional casino or online casino – aren’t reported or recorded that regularly. Winning hundreds of dollars can be considered quite “common” if playing keno regularly, with some gamblers often seeing winnings of over £1000. There are reports of a small percentage of people winning tens of thousands – a gentleman from Lake Orion, Michigan, USA, scooped a large keno jackpot of just over £10,000 ($20k USD) in 2007 and only a year a later, a lady from East Lansing, Michigan, USA won twice the amount, taking home an equivalent £20,000 playing keno.

Large winnings at keno are often only seen in Las Vegas. Massively popular throughout the mid 1990’s, the Progressive Jackpot games of keno were having a jackpot in excess of $250,000. Not a bad total when, in theory, it could be won with only a few dollars being played.

Keno is a much loved game all over the world. Still popular in its native China to this today, it is a popular game amongst tourists in Las Vegas and provides hours of fun – easy to play, no massive amounts of rules to remember and lots (on occasion!) of small, regular wins.

By Paul O’Donnell
Online Gaming from Virgin Games – A trusted source for Online Poker, Casino and Bingo type games.