Payoffs Aplenty with This Guide to Online Keno

Learn how to play and take some of the luck out
Keno has been around for centuries and there are many experts who believe that it may be the oldest gambling game in the world. In fact, variations of the modern game of keno have been known to have existed in ancient Rome and Greece and as far as Ancient China. Many historians and gambling experts also believe that the modern game that we know as keno is derived from the Ancient Chinese version of the game.

There are several variations on the origins of the Ancient Chinese version but a popular one postulates that the game was started by a Chinese general who had to find a way to raise money to finance his armies. The original game extracted the first eighty characters from the Thousand Character Classic. Today’s keno games still use the eighty number formula derived from this Ancient Chinese game. In fact, your local city, state, province or national lottery follows the exact same formula and layout, which means you may have already been playing a version of keno without even knowing it.

online keno

Online keno is one of the most popular online gaming alternatives in Canada, with thousands of Canucks playing keno at our top recommended Canadian online casinos. The game format offers a number of attractive features including simplicity, high speed action, interesting and engaging themes and much more. While the fairly high house edge could be seen as somewhat of a downslide, bear in mind that most top online keno games also offer the chance at cracking potentially massive jackpot payouts in CAD.

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Rules of Online Keno

Online keno explained in 4 easy steps:


Step 1:

As you can no doubt see from the above image, online keno is a simple and easy to follow casino game. There is usually only one screen that you need to concentrate on and very little in the way of distracting lights or moving parts. Most online keno games follow the same basic layout, with 80 numbers in a grid in the middle of the screen and a series of button options at the bottom.

Step 2:

Before you begin playing your game of online keno, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with all the options that are available to you. In the above example game, and most other online keno games, you can select how many rounds you would like to play and also how many umbers or how much you would like to bet per round. You can do this simply by clicking on the arrows found next to the number screen at the bottom of the game. There are also buttons which allow you to automatically select a series of numbers which many Canadian players find convenient.


Step 3:

Once you have familiarized yourself with the online keno game and have decided how many rounds and bet amounts you would like to play with, it’s time to select your lucky numbers. Most online keno games will let you select just one number or as many as twenty number per round. You can also clearly see a window on the left hand side of the screen which indicates your winning payout based on the number of hits you get in a single draw round. If you have chosen multiple rounds, this will usually carry through for all rounds.

Step 4:

In the next phase of the online keno game, the machine will draw twenty numbers and will automatically cross these off your numbered grid. You will also then be able to see which of the numbers that you have chosen correspond to the numbers selected by the game. This is known as hits and the window on the right of the screen indicates how many hits you scored per round. If you scored a certain number of hits, the game will pay you out based on the table displayed in the left hand window.


Online Keno Strategies

Unlike other online casino table games such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker, there is no fundamental strategy that can be applied to keno. This is also one of the reasons that makes playing online keno so attractive to casino gaming novices, no complicated formulas and theories to memorize. However, there are quite a few general online keno strategies and tips that you can apply to your online keno gaming in order to gain the maximum results each and every time.

keno strategies

Let’s take a look at some of the top online keno strategies and tips for your online keno gaming:

  • Play for free before you play for real money: This is a great tip as playing free keno games online will definitely give you a much better idea of how online keno games work and will also help familiarize you with basic online keno formats and game play. Playing free keno online is also a great way to see which online keno games you like, and which games you don’t like.
  • Pick online Canadian casinos that offer great keno payouts: Not all online casinos will offer keno games with good payouts and it is important to only pick online casinos that offer you the best RTP’s (Return to Player) per game.
  • Pick online Canadian casinos that offer great welcome bonus packages: Another important part of your online keno strategy is to sign up with recommended Canadian online casinos that offer great welcome bonus packages. This is a great way to really boost your bankroll so that you can get the most out of your early stages of online keno gaming.
  • Don’t choose too many numbers at once: This is an important point to remember as many novice online keno players will tend to choose too many numbers which ultimately ends up costing them way more than what they actually make back per round. It is a good idea to be slightly more conservative with the amount of number that you choose per keno game to help maximize your earnings versus your outlay.
  • Think about the odds carefully: Not all online keno games will offer the same odds which is a factor that will greatly influence your level of success in an online keno game. Try to find online keno games that offer better than average odds wherever possible.
  • Remember to mix up your number selections: Many players tend to stick to the same set of numbers or believe that only certain numbers are lucky. If you are to enjoy any real success playing online keno, you need to be able to keep mixing your number selections up per game or series of games.
  • Be careful when placing bets: This is another important aspect of online keno, placing bets and being sure of them before clicking on the play button. You must be sure that you are happy with every aspect of your bet, from the number selected, to the amount that you are betting and so on. Once you click on the play button, you cannot change any of these aspects.

More on Keno Odds

Like any online casino game, keno has its good and bad points. The game is very easy to play and can be a lot of fun, especially keno games that feature additional bonus rounds and interesting themes. However, when it comes to keno odds things aren’t in our favour. If you compare keno to other online casino games such as blackjack, baccarat and craps, the house edge percentage in your average game of keno is considerably higher at around 20%-30%. Again, it does depend largely on the online casino that you’re playing at as well as the specific keno game on offer.

This is why it is important to take advantage of free keno games to see which ones offer better game play and a lower house edge. Keno games do tend to make up for the higher house edge by offering potentially massive jackpot prizes which, if you’re lucky, can net you thousands in CAD in just a single round. Basically, online keno games are exactly like the national lottery, the only real difference is that you can play them whenever you like and as often as you like.

It really boils down to the actual keno game that you choose to play and, of course, the numbers that you pick. This is another aspect of keno odds that is quite interesting. Keno players obsess over the odds of certain numbers and you can see from the following twenty numbers, what the percentage odds are for those numbers.

       00 – 0.1186%

  1. 162%
  2. 0%
  3. 5%
  4. 8%
  5. 8%
  6. 2%
  7. 3%
  8. 0%
  9. 64%
  10. 4%
  11. 07%
  12. 0091%
  13. 00085%
  14. 0000549%
  15. 0000024%
  16. 0000000668%
  17. 0000000011%
  18. 00000000001%
  19. 000000000000034%
  20. 00000000000000003%

Reasons to love online keno:

  • Online keno is fun, fast and very easy to play
  • There are thousands of keno games that you can play at top online Canadian casinos
  • You do not need any of experience to play online keno

Some things you may not love:

  • Keno has one of the highest house edge percentages of any online casino game at around 20%-30%
  • Online keno use random number generators which some players don’t trust.

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Last Updated: June 27, 2023