How to Play Keno

Keno is a game of chance which is thought to have originated in China and has become one of the main attractions in many casinos around the world. Similar to a lottery game but played at regular intervals on the casino floor rather than just once or twice a week, keno gives fans the chance to land some massive rewards.

Playing keno is as easy as playing the lottery, and is even offered as a supplementary game by some lottery operators. There are 80 numbers to choose from and players will typically be asked to select up to ten or 15 numbers, sometimes referred to as “spots” by marking on a ticket their chosen selection. Rules vary between casinos, but participants can usually decide to mark just one or two numbers if they so wish, all the way through to the maximum of 10 or 15 numbers.

A random draw will then take place, producing 20 balls out of a machine from the pool of 80. A player’s success is determined by how many numbers they chose initially and how many of them they matched. Selecting the most numbers possible and matching them all will result in the biggest available prize. Selecting as many numbers as possible and matching just one would not give any return to the player, but selecting just one number and matching it would result in a win.

The prize payouts vary between casinos, so it is best to check with the venue to discover what payouts are available. Below is an example of a payout table (the horizontal row indicates the amount of numbers selected, and the vertical line indicates how many numbers were matched)

Where to Play Keno

William Hill Casino

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William Hill Casino offers great versions of keno online, with payouts of up to 10,000:1 for matching all 15 balls, while there are also generous bonuses available.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 3 1 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 0
2   9 2 1 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 0 0 0
3     16 6 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
4       32 15 6 3 3 2 2 2 1 0.5 0.5 0.5
5         50 30 12 6 4 3 2 2 2 2 1
6           75 36 19 8 6 5 4 4 3 2
7             100 90 20 15 12 10 5 5 5
8               720 80 30 25 22 20 15 12
9                 1200 600 250 180 80 50 50
10                   1800 1000 500 240 150 ]150
11                     3000 2000 500 500 300
12                        4000  3000  1000  600
13                         6000 2000 1200
14                           7500 2500
15                             10000


Players will usually have a lounge area to relax in while they wait for the next game, and keno runners will be on hand to process your wagers and return with the official receipt. You may also be able to play keno in the main area of the casino depending on the venue. Keno writers supervise the game and input the information you wrote on to the computer. They are busy and have lots of other players to help, so try not to take up too much of their time by asking lots of questions. As well as treating the staff with respect, it is traditional to tip them if they provide good service.

You can use a keno ticket for a second time, without writing out a new one, just by turning in your copy of the ticket. However, it is a good idea to check your entry as soon as a game is completed, because some will not be valid once the next session starts, so if you do win make sure to collect your money quickly.


Keno is a game of chance and success ultimately comes down to luck, but strategy comes into play when deciding how many numbers to select. There are bigger rewards for matching more numbers, but the odds are slimmer, so it is worth considering how much of a risk you are prepared to take and checking out which casinos will provide the best possible payout.

A low-risk strategy involves selecting just one or two numbers, where the return would be smaller but the odds of winning are better. If you are going in search of a life-changing amount of money, it is a better idea to select as many numbers as possible and hope to match as many as you can, if not all.

Important Terms:


A term sometimes used to refer to how many numbers a player has selected, or marked, on their ticket.


The amount of numbers that a player successfully matches when the draw takes place.

3Payout schedule/Paytable

A table which displays how much a player will win based on how many numbers they select and how many they match. Casinos both online and land-based will use their own pay tables and they can help players decide how many numbers they wish to pick.

Visit the Casino Glossary for more terms which you might find in keno.

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