Online Keno Guide

A fast-paced game of chance that originated in China, keno is one of the most popular casino games. In its land-based version, it can be found in many hotels and pubs. Many states also offer their own form of a keno lottery.

Nowadays,  online players are quickly turning to online casinos such as Royal Vegas to play keno. One reason for this is online keno’s better odds. Land-based keno games return 70%-80% (meaning all or part of the original bet is returned to the player), whereas online casinos show a return rate of up to 95%. Another reason many prefer to play keno online is the ability to enjoy non-stop play around the clock, whenever the mood hits. To get in on the lucky action, play online keno for real money at one of our top keno sites, outlined in the table below.

How to play keno

Keno is a combination of bingo and the lottery, and as such, is entirely a game of luck. Because there isn’t much strategy to apply it’s an easy game to learn, making it fun for all and perfectly suited for beginners.

In the live version (as well as online) there are usually 80 keno numbers displayed. You can choose between 1 and 15 numbers, or “spots” to play. Some games allow up to 20 spots. Once you have chosen your spots and bet amount, 20 numbers are randomly drawn (again, like bingo and the lottery). The more matches you make, the better the payoff!

How to play keno online

Playing online keno is very similar to regular keno. And since it’s such a simple game to start with, there’s almost no learning curve involved.

The main difference is that instead of the traditional glass “bubble” known as the Rabbit Ear from which the numbers are blown, or the metal Hand Cage from which the numbers roll, online casino keno features a random number generator to determine the numbers “drawn”.

Once you select your game from the casino menu, you’ll find a keno card displayed on your screen.

  • Click on the numbers you want to bet on.
  • Place your wager.
  • And push ‘Start’ to begin.

Most online keno boards also feature buttons like ‘Auto Pick’ to let the game choose your spots for you, and ‘Erase’ or ‘Clear’ to clear the board and restart your selection. Other games let you determine the pace of the game – increasing or decreasing the speed as it suits you.

How to play Real Money Keno

There are lots of keno games online, and if you want to win real money playing keno, then the best way is to play at an online casino, make a deposit and start playing. Online casinos have a huge array of different keno games to choose from.

Signing up at an online casino is a quick and easy process. Once you’ve registered, you can make a deposit. Deposits can be made through a bank or credit card payment, although we recommend an online payment method like Paypal, Skrill or Neteller. These e-wallets are much faster and do not involve extra processing fees. And almost all respectable online casinos work with Skrill and Neteller.

Then, take a stroll and browse through the different games at the casino. Keno is usually located in the ‘Games’ or ‘Instant Games’ section of the casino. With a loaded casino account, you’ll be ready to play keno for real money and win real money too!

How to play Free Keno

While slots often come with free keno cards are a rarer breed. There are some demo games that let you play for free, but then you can’t actually money with those – which kind of misses the point of playing keno in the first place.

Keno odds

Because it’s purely a game of chance, the odds of winning are difficult to determine and it depends greatly on how much is wagered and how many numbers are chosen. However, land casinos typically have payouts that range from 60%-70%, which is very low. Online casinos offer better payouts because of the lower overhead in running the game. For online games, keno payouts generally average around 80%-92%, something you can always verify before playing any particular keno game.

Online keno payouts

Unlike other games, keno pay rates are “for one” instead of “to one”. Don’t let this confuse you. All it really means is that you lose your original bet the same way you lose your money when you buy a scratchy ticket at the newsagent.

When you play online keno games you will see a payout table on your screen that shows you how much you win for the matches you get. For example:

Number of matches Payout
1 0.5
2 2
3 3
4 15
5 50


And so on. In this payout situation, you would need to hit 2 spots (make 2 matches) to get your original bet back. If you hit 5 spots you would win 50 times your original bet.

Playing one spot in this case loses you money even if you match it every single time (which is statistically very unlikely). In general, it’s safe to say, the more spots you bet on, the more matches you have a chance of making, and therefore the more you can expect to win.

Keep in mind however, when you play keno online, the payout rate varies from game to game, not to mention casino to casino. The house edge also deviates significantly between games, and for each paytable. Both of these factors make it particularly important to always verify details about payouts before you place your wagers.

Bottom line

If you enjoy playing the lottery or bingo, online keno for real money is an excellent choice for you. Check out our recommended casinos such as Platinum Play casino for a good selection of keno games. Remember – as with all online games, you can also play keno for free in demo mode until you get the hang of it and decide to play for real money.