Playing keno can either be simple and straightforward or a bit more complex, depending on the variant of the game you choose to play. To begin with, the focus of this discussion will focus on the straight bet ticket, in which players select a group of numbers and hope to hit them on the draw. This is opposed to way bet or combination bet keno, which will be discussed below.
To play a standard game of keno, you’ll begin by picking up a betting card and a marker (usually a crayon or pencil provided by the casino). From there, your first decisions are how many numbers you’d like to choose and how many dollars you’d like to wager on each ticket.
Every casino has different house rules concerning the maximum amount of numbers you can select on one ticket, but typically you can pick anywhere from 1 to 15 numbers on a straight keno ticket. In turn, the minimum bet in most casinos is $1, but you’ll also encounter minimums of $0.70 from time to time. As always, don’t hesitate to ask a keno runner for assistance when it comes to house rules and maximums.
The amount of numbers you choose changes the payouts for each game. The more numbers you mark off, the more you’ll need to hit on the draw in order to win.
Accordingly, when you select several numbers and do manage to hit several of them on a draw, the payouts awarded are significantly higher as a result. As an example, you could choose just a single number and wager $1. If your number appears among the 20 numbers drawn, you’ll receive a return of approximately $3.
When you increase the amount of numbers selected to five though, the game changes noticeably, and now you’ll need to hit a minimum of two numbers to collect a 1:1 return on your wager. Matching three numbers pays at 3:1, four numbers offers a generous 20:1 return, and hitting all five numbers pays out $290 for every dollar you risk.
A keno ticket will feature an 8x10 grid with 8 rows and 10 columns containing the numbers 1-80. After marking off the numbers you’d like to play, your next move is to hand the ticket over to a nearby keno runner. This casino employee will take the ticket to the betting desk, scan it into the system, and return with your official betting slip. Always be sure to review this official ticket to make sure it matches your original picks, because in the event of a discrepancy, the house-generated ticket is considered to be valid.
You can also choose to play your picks as a multi-race ticket, which means the set of numbers you selected simply rolls over from one draw to the next. For example, if you have 10 numbers marked on a ticket and would like to play them 10 times for $1 each, you simply check the appropriate multi-race square and write in the amount of draws you’re playing. After that, your 10 numbers are live for the next 10 draws, and your aggregate winnings are collected at the conclusion of those 10 draws.
Finally, way or combination keno is just a variation on the game, allowing players to circle groups of numbers on their card. By playing both the groups and individual numbers simultaneously, experienced keno players use way and combination bets to spice the game up while seeking bigger payouts. Countless ways to place these alternative wagers exist, so take some time to properly research keno way and combination bets before branching out.