Online keno is another game originating from mainland China, and just like bingo, is purely based on chance. Essentially the game surrounds drawing numbers at random and seeing if they match number pre-chosen by the player. This is very similar in nature to most national lotteries. Online keno is now enjoyed globally, making it one of the longest-serving casino games still in existence.

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According to legend, the ruler of China during the Han Dynasty taxed the population so heavily that he needed to find new ways of raising money to support his armies. The Chines ruler, Cheung Leung, came up with the ingenious idea of a sort of national lottery that the population could play. All profits from the lottery went into funding the countries wars.

Many years later a similar tactic was used by China to help build the Great Wall of China.

Originally played with the Chinese alphabet characters, this game eventually swapped over to the numerals we see today. As such the game was initially played with 120 characters and not the 80 we see today. This means the odds of winning back in the day were greatly reduced to what players enjoy today.

As mentioned the game was streamlined and changed from the Chinese alphabet to the numbered version we have today. This greatly increased the popularity of the game.

Strangely enough in the early twentieth-century gambling was legal but lotteries were not. A loophole was found to continue playing keno by disguising it as a ‘horserace’. The game was therefore known as Racehorse Keno. Some terms used back in this period are still used to refer to the game today.

Today online keno can be enjoyed globally by virtually anyone. It is a simple and easy to enjoy online gambling experience whereby players can win real money online. Thankfully, all of the slots casinos listed on our site, offer a form of keno in the game library.


Thankfully, the rules of online keno are exactly the same as those used in the live version. The only difference being online players usually play by themselves against the odds, whereas live keno is played in groups of people.

Players are given a card with 20 numbers on it. These numbers are randomly selected from a pool of 80 numbers. A caller who works for the casino will then call out randomly selected numbers one by one. Players will then match or mark of these numbers with the numbers on their cards. If the player’s numbers match those called they will win.


As online keno is completely a game of chance, there are no tips or strategies that will help you win. This is not a game of skill, so don’t try to look for patterns or statistics as these will not help you. Simply place your bets and see if Lady Luck is on your side!

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Online keno comes with many unique terms which are helpful to understand. These include:

  • All or Nothing – This is a player bet whereby they bet that all of their 20 numbers will match those called. If they don’t hit all 20 they are not legible for any payouts.
  • Blower – This is the actual machine that draws each ball selected.
  • Bubble – This is the see-through container that houses the balls the blower draws from.
  • Caller – This is a casino representative who calls out which balls have been drawn.
  • Catch – This occurs if one of the balls called matches the number on the player’s card.
  • Catch zero – This is the opposite of all or nothing and indicates the player will not match any of the numbers called. This bet has much better odds as well.
  • Combination ticket – A keno ticket with multiple wagers on it.
  • Free play – When a player is allowed to play online keno for free without betting real money. This option is usually only available online.
  • Keno Balls – These are the actually balls drawn from the machine.
  • Number pool – this refers to the balls numbered 1-80 which can be drawn.
  • Race – This is a term given to online keno from the days when it was still illegal.
  • Straight Ticket – This is a normal ticket and is used in both online and live based version’s
  • Split ticket – This is a keno ticket that has two or more sets of betting numbers and allows players to play them simultaneously.
  • Quit Race – This is when a player cashes in bets before the game has fully finished.

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  • Can online keno be played for free?
  • Can online keno be rigged?
  • Do online and live keno share the same odds?
  • How likely is it to hit all 20 numbers in online keno?
  • What is red and green keno?
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