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If there is a game that can be called Chinese lottery, it is Keno. And if you are one of those that enjoy numbers, and playing lotteries are your thing, you will be happy to know that casinos have one of the best lottery games… it is Keno.

Keno is one of the cheapest games you can play in a casino and usually it’s enjoyed by players that love games of pure chance like slots, bingo, scratch cards or other. It’s great if your bankroll is tight because for just a $1 a ticket you could be having a shot at a top prize of $250,000 or other smaller prizes.

Playing Keno is even better online because of the better odds. The difference between online and land-based casinos is that online operations tend to generate less costs. They don’t have as much staff as land-based casinos and don’t have costs like utility bills. Land-based casino establishments on the other hand need much more funds to operate. Therefore, online casinos are able to offer casino games with much better payouts and still generate enough profit.

Origins of Keno

As mentioned, Keno is a Chinese game, and an equivalent to the modern day lottery games usually found in western countries. The game wasn’t always called ‘Keno’. It used to be called ‘Kino’, but as it came in America in the 19th century brought by the Chinese laborers and immigrants, the game had an appeal to Americans and they soon adopted it, renamed it and offered it through so called Keno parlors.

Before that, Keno (or Kino), was very popular among Chinese of all classes, from the lowest peasants all the way to the emperor. Everybody played it. In America too, since almost every western town in the United States had a Keno parlor.

The Savior of a Nation

It is said that Keno once saved an ancient city and subsequently the entire land of China. According to legends, the game was used to raise funds, which were later used to build the Great Wall of China that protected the nation from the invading tribes.

The first emperor to have introduced the game is believed to be Cheung Leung, which means that the game itself is at least 1,800 years old.

The Chinese name for the game, which translates to ‘white dove ticket’ is supposed to be a reference to the fact that Keno results were distributed across the land with the help of pigeon/dove messengers. That way other villages from remote areas got the information if their ticket won.

Instead of numbers, the tickets had Chinese characters. Because of that, kids were very fond of the game because the tickets helped them learn to write Chinese a little better.

When Chinese laborers travelled to America in the 1800s to work on the massive project of building the railroad across the continent, they brought the game with them. It became particularly popular across Texas and Houston where it was known as Keno and instead of tickets with Chinese characters, they used tickets with numbers.


Keno games are very fast. They usually run every 4 minutes, so it’s possible to play more than a dozen games in one hour. And the rules couldn’t be simpler so you shouldn’t be scared to try it even if you haven’t ever played a lottery style game.

First you will need to find a Keno game that you want to play. Usually all Keno games follow the same rules except in terms of minimum bets. So, in essence you are actually choosing the casino where you are going to play the Keno game, and not the game itself. In that respect, find an online casino that has the most favorable bonus for Keno.

When you have opened the game, you have to choose numbers from the grid consisting of 80 numbers. The maximum you can choose is usually 20, while the minimum is 1 number. After that you have to choose how much you are going to bet for the existing ticket.

Then, just wait for the numbers to come up, and see if you are a winner. When the numbers have been drawn, you will be paid out if your ticket won. If not, you can immediately start a new round.

Types of Bets

There are several Keno bets, or ways in which you can select numbers. There is:

Keno Strategy

A Keno strategy involves a whole mindset that will make you a disciplined player. It’s not about how you select the numbers, but how you control your spending sprees.

In order to minimize losses, try Keno for free at online casinos and after you have felt it properly, try playing for real money. It’s no big deal even if you start playing it for the first time in real money mode, because you need only a couple of rounds to get the hang of the game. But, why lose those couple of bucks on trial and error?

When choosing a casino where to play Keno, it’s important to scout the bonuses and Keno payouts. A fantastic welcome bonus offer can get you a long way and you will have enough of a bankroll for dozens and dozens of sessions.

Try not to select too many numbers and don’t stick to the same numbers all the time. There are millions of combinations out there. And also use multi-race cards as much as you can. Plan your betting wisely and learn a bankroll management strategy too.


Keno is a game of pure luck, and therefore shouldn’t be considered too seriously. It’s supposed to be a game that can bring you money in a relaxing way. You don’t have to apply skills. Just choose the numbers and enjoy the drink in the lounge as your numbers are called. You want to take a break from the table games or you are just waiting for someone in the casino? Why not get a Keno ticket and liven your waiting time.