Once upon a time, Keno Lounges were found in every major casino in Las Vegas and Keno runners (the people that run your ticket to the desk to be verified and stamped) were plentiful. As interest in Keno has waned in favor of other games, such as video slots, the number of casinos that offer Keno are becoming fewer each year for a couple of reasons.
Keno is a random number game, where the player marks as many numbers on a paper card as they choose, and sends it to the dealer for verification. Players may play several games in advance of the actual pull. Keno can cost as little as $1 per ticket or as much as $5. There are several different types of Keno to choose from, such as Straight ticket, where you can choose from 1 to 15 numbers, or Way Tickets, where there are multiple ways to win, if the numbers pop.
A Player must pick up a Keno Card (which is a paper card with numbers on it, much like a Bingo ticket) and mark from 1 up to 20 numbers that you believe will be pulled in the game.
You can find these tickets at the Keno Lounge, in every restaurant or café and in every bar. If you are at a gaming table playing poker or blackjack, you can ask your dealer if he will get you some and he will call for a Keno runner to bring some to you. One of the beauties of playing Keno is that you can play it anywhere in the casino while you are doing something else.
Once you fill out the paper card with a crayon, provided by the house, you need to flag a Keno runner down and have them take it to the desk where the numbers you marked are put into the computer and a computerized ticket listing those numbers and the amount you bet is printed. The Keno runner then brings the original paper card and the computer printout receipt back to you.
It is up to you to check the printout against your card and make sure they are the same numbers. If there is an error in the printout, you need to go to the desk personally and immediately and have it changed. If it is not corrected before the game is over, you’re stuck with the mistake.
The second and most important thing that you need to know is that the paper card that you fill out is NOT the official Keno Card. It means nothing at all, once the game begins. The computerized printout is the official ticket and the only one that counts.
There are several ways to play, including combinations of numbers. The Straight ticket is the simple selection of 1 to 20 numbers. Here are some of the other combinations that are popular:
- Way – the player choses between 1 and 20 numbers and then circles groups that he/she wants put together. Let’s say you mark 6 numbers, and circle them into 2 groups. After you do that, you mark on the side of the ticket “2/3”, which means 2 groups of 3 and 1/6, which means that you are also playing all 6 numbers individually.
- King – using the example in the Way ticket, we add one more number making it 7 numbers. Now, you circle the extra number and that number is the “king”. The side is then marked “1/7 and 2/4”, which means that the King is going to come up with any of the other numbers and it will be the 4th number in each of the 2 groups, that you circled in the Way ticket.
- Combination – you play multiple groups with 2, 3 or 4 numbers to a group and on the side you mark the ticket 1 /2, 1 /3, 1 /4. In addition, to indicate that you want to play a combination of those groups, say the 2 and 3 group, you also mark it 1 /5 and for a combination of the 3 and 4 number groups, add 1 /6. Don’t forget that you will also be playing all the numbers individually, and thus mark the side as 1 /9. This allows you play 7 games on one ticket which would cost $7, if you are playing at $1 per game.
- Progressive Jackpot – these are the highest paying tickets, when they do win. The jackpots are capped at $250,000, but that’s a nice chunk of money to take home. To play the progressive jackpot, you need to play with the same ticket for each game. Ask the Keno Runner for the casinos specific rules and requirements, since each casino sets their own.
Now, nothing depends on you. You just need to look on the keno machine, when it randomly chooses 20 balls (or you can watch the screens, which are everywhere around the casino). Number of the particular game you can find on your ticket and it also shows up on the screen, so you need to check out if they match up. Look carefully on the numbers of your choice if they match to the pulled numbers of keno machine. If they do – you win.
Claim your winnings
The amount of your prize depends on the size of your bet and how many numbers concurred. More information you can enquire from the keno worker. Just remember that payouts at the houses are different and vary from 70% to 80%, which is not good. The preferable payout should be around 100%.
In the end, Relax and Enjoy
The most important part of playing Keno or any other casino game is to relax and enjoy the journey. If you get frustrated, stop playing. The best part is that you can play Keno, while you are sitting at the Blackjack table or eating lunch. Every casino, that offers Keno, has Keno monitors that can be seen from anywhere on the main floor, including every buffet and restaurant.