What draws people to
the game of Keno (a game which resembles
Lotto) is that there is the potential of
making a lot of money from a little wager.
A wager can be as low as 5 cents in some
casinos, and while it is unlikely to happen,
one COULD win as much as $50,000 on a wager
of $1 (depending on how many tickets and
what type of tickets you play)! On the other
hand, I should mention that the house advantage
on Keno hovers around 30%. Your chance of
landing one number in 80 is 0.25%, which
means that Keno is not one of the better
bets to make . . .
Nevertheless, how you play Keno is as
follows (for information about payoffs and
the various tickets you can play, you may
wish to consult the casino’s own brochures).
You choose between 4 and 10 numbers between
1 and 80. Each one of these numbers is called
a “spot,” meaning that if you
choose the maximum allotment of 10 numbers,
you will be playing what’s called a “10
spot game.” The blank tickets on which
you write the numbers you’ve selected
are located throughout the casino, and particularly
in the special Keno lounges that most casinos
have. There is something called a “Keno
crayon” that is designated specifically
for writing down your selected numbers! You
will give your ticket and wager to a Keno
clerk who will give you back a duplicate
ticket. Then you’ll wait just a few
minutes for 20 Keno balls to be drawn randomly
from a barrel of 80. If enough of your numbers
show up, you’ve won; you can see the
results on Keno boards, or screens, that
are displayed in various places throughout
the casino. Each round of Keno is called
a “race,” and some casinos feature “multi-race” Keno.
In that case, you can play more than one
Keno race at a time.
Keno runners are people who will be happy
to take your ticket from you and bring you
back winnings if you’re gambling in
some other part of the casino. Because there
are television monitors placed strategically
throughout the casino, you can always keep
track of what the winning numbers are.
If you’re somebody who enjoys playing
on video or slot-like machines, there is
actually a video version of Keno. The major
difference in the two types of Keno is that
with the video version you get results in
a much speedier fashion.
That’s about it for the game of Keno.
For those of you out there who are trivia
buffs, you might be interested to know that
the game derives from China. In the mid 1800’s
Chinese immigrants who came to the U.S. to
work in mines and railroads brought the game
of Keno with them.