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keno rules

Keno has it’s origins in China, where it was used to raise money for national defence. It is rumoured to have funded the building of the Great Wall of China!. It was taken to the US by eastern railroad workers in the 1800s.

Because keno is entertaining and easy to learn, it has become widely popular. Like bingo, keno is a lottery-type game of chance where anyone can win big. Keno’s popularity in the US is driven by it’s quick and simple gameplay. Visit any Vegas casino and you can play Keno in the café’s, bars and many restaurants! However, visit an Atlantic City casino and you won’t find it anywhere – it’s outlawed!

The following rules are taken from William Hill Casino, they give a good outline to the rules of the game, but you should double check the actual rules in your chosen casino if you choose somewhere other than William Hill.

Video Keno at the UK's Number 1 casino - William Hill

Aim Of The Game
The objective of Keno is for the player to guess which numbers, from 1 to 80, will be randomly selected by the Keno machine. Each time the game is played, the player chooses 1 to 10 numbers (between 1 and 80) and the wagering amount. The Keno machine indicating the winning numbers will then randomly select 20 numbers. The objective is to have as many matches as possible between the numbers chosen by the player, and those randomly selected by the machine. The number of matches will be highlighted and a possible payout will be rewarded based on the number of matches.

How To Play
Begin by depositing money into the Keno machine. To do this, you must select a bill type (£100, £50, £20, £10, £5) from the panel at the top right hand corner of the Keno screen. You can toggle through the different bill types by clicking on the panel. Once you have made your selection, deposit the bill into the Keno machine by clicking on the bill deposit area. The amount of coins within the Keno machine is based on the amount deposited and the coin denomination selected and is shown in the Credit field in the middle right hand side of the Keno machine. For example, if you deposit £100 when the coin denomination selector (ball in the top left corner) is set to £1, you will see 100 coins in the Credit field.

Similarly, if you set the coin denomination to £2 (by clicking the left arrow button), you will see that the Credit field has changed to 50 coins. The Bet field displays the amount of coins you have selected to bet that turn. Please note that the Balance field will not change when you change the coin denomination since they show your balance in dollars (not coins). The player may select coin denominations of £0.25, £1, £2, or £5.

Once you have deposited money into the Keno machine, the next step is to place a bet using the Bet or Bet Max buttons. If the Bet button is selected, 1 coin will be bet per game while the Bet Max button allows for 5 coins to be bet per game. Intermediate amounts (e.g. £2, £3, and £4 per game) can be selected by pressing the Bet button multiple times. Once the bet amount has been selected, you then choose the 1 to 10 numbers you believe will be randomly selected by the Keno machine. This is done by simply clicking on the desired number in the Keno number grid. A number may be unselected by clicking on the same number again. Once you have chosen between 1 and 10 numbers, you now select how many games you would like to play consecutively with those selected numbers using the Play One, Play Five, or Play Ten buttons. The Play One option plays the game once, Play Five plays the game five times, and Play Ten plays the game ten times consecutively.

Selecting either the Play One, Play Five, or Play Ten buttons starts the game. The numbers randomly chosen by the Keno machine are shown by a Keno ball landing in the space of a particular number. Any matches with the player's selections are shown with in flashing bright yellow. The payoffs are dependent on the total numbers selected by the player and the total number of matches.


Payouts and Variences between suppliers

This information is brought to you courtesy of Winner Online and The Wizard of Odds.

Microgaming, Cryptologic, Boss Media, and Unified Gaming are the four major software manufacturers to support keno games. That doesn't mean that payouts are going to be the same for each company's games, however. The return on your initial investment can vary substantially from one software provider to another, so choose where you play carefully.

For the sake of comparison, land-based casinos generally pay back about 70 to 75 cents on the dollar in keno. Online casinos can pay more or less than that, depending on where you play.

Of the software providers listed above, the best keno game is Microgaming's Pick 13, with a return of 96.54%. The worst is Boss Media's Pick 4 with a return of 67.39%.

Probably the best odds on online Keno - 32 Red, a Microgaming Casino

Overall, Microgaming and Unified gaming are very close with returns ranging from 92.09% to the high of 96.54%, except for the Pick 1, which always pays 3:1 for a return of 75%.

Cryptologic and Boss Media fall far behind with returns ranging from the low of 67.39% to a high of 73.79% (again, not counting the Pick 1).

The following table shows the return for all four providers according to the number of picks.

To highlight the winner, the following is the specific pay table and probabilities for Microgaming's Pick 13.


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