Why You Should Add Bingo and Keno to Your Repertoire of Gambling Games

Bingo and Keno
Some of my readers probably turn their noses up at bingo and keno. These are games which seem beneath the notice of the average casino gambler, and I like to think my readers are above average.

But it’s never good to ignore opportunities. Keno and bingo both provide opportunities to have some fun when gambling, even though it’s a different kind of fun from blackjack or poker.

Here’s why should add bingo and keno to your personal gambling routine.

Bingo Is Fun

I was talking to a friend of mine just a couple of days ago about how accepted bingo is as a form of gambling. As far as I know, it’s the only gambling game that’s regularly played in a church setting. It’s also probably the most popular and fun gambling game in the world.

Heck, just look around the bingo hall. Are those people having fun? You bet they are.

Bingo Card

Bingo is fun because of the game’s social aspect. Most of your time in the bingo hall is spent chatting with the other players. In that respect, it’s like poker, but without the strategic element.

Some of the bingo players I know visit the bingo hall with at least one friend, but most of them go with a group. Even if you go by yourself, you’ll probably meet some people you can talk to.

I think bingo is even more social than poker, by the way. After all, when you play poker, you’re usually sitting at a table with half a dozen people—nine opponents, tops. But in a bingo hall, EVERYONE is playing together.

Bingo is also fun because of the suspense factor. You can see how close you are to winning, and if you’re close, the anticipation is worthwhile.

The other reason bingo is so much fun is the size of the prizes. Unless you’re playing slots or keno, you don’t really see the kinds of jackpots in bingo that you do with other casino games.

In fact, your odds of winning a big jackpot in bingo are probably better than they are in any other game with a large prize.

Keno Is Fun, Too

I was unfamiliar with keno the first time I visited a Las Vegas casino. But once I’d played the game, I started to understand its attraction among gamblers of all stripes.

One of the reasons people love it is because of how easy it is to play keno for real money. It’s as simple as deciding how many numbers you want to play from the 80-number keno card available. The max is usually 20 numbers.


Once you choose your number, you decide how much you want to bet. Once you’ve turned in your card along with your wager, you can sit back, relax, and wait for the results.

Keno results are like lotto results. They’re determined randomly by the drawing of various numbered, plastic balls. The more numbers that are drawn matching the numbers on your keno card, the more money you win.

You should keep in mind that you won’t ever match all 20 numbers even if you decide to play all of them. I say this with the certainty of someone who has actually looked at the math behind this eventuality.

Sure, it’s possible, but it’s so unlikely that it might as well be impossible. Also, keno is a slow-paced game. This makes it boring for some gamblers, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, keno is one way you can stay in action in the casino even when you’re involved in other activities. I personally like to play keno online while I’m eating breakfast.

The virtue of it being a slow-paced game is that, even though the house edge is very high, you’re not putting much money into action at a time. This means you’ll lose less money playing keno than you will playing almost any other casino game.

Add to that the excitement factor of being able to win a life-changing jackpot, and you have a great gambling option.

And casinos make variations of keno available to mix it up enough that you’ll never be bored. Once you’ve “caught” five keno numbers or more, you’ll be hooked for the rest of your life, I promise you.

Social players should love keno, because you can hang out in the keno lounge with your buddies, put a little money into action, and have great conversations and enjoy the fellowship keno has to offer.

More About the House Edge and the Rate of Play

When you’re estimating the “cost” of playing a gambling game, it’s easy to project an average hourly loss rate for the game. You just multiply the game’s house edge by the average bet size and the number of bets you’re making per hour.

Blackjack, for example, is well-known for having one of the lowest house edge percentages in the casino. If you play with perfect basic strategy, you can play a game where the house only has an edge over you of 0.5%.

House Edge

Let’s assume you’re playing heads-up with a deal for $5 per hand. You’ll get in about 200 hands per hour in this example, which means you’ll be putting $1,000 per hour into action. With a house edge of 0.5%, your projected, average hourly loss is $5 per hour. That’s cheap entertainment, for sure.

Now, let’s look at keno. The house edge for this game is 35% or more. That makes it sound like a really expensive game, but let’s look at the other numbers.

Most people won’t play more than 10 or 12 games of keno in an hour. Most people only buy keno tickets for $1, so you’re looking at putting $10 per hour into action.

35% of $10 is only $3.50, so on an hourly basis, playing keno is cheaper than playing blackjack. Sure, it lacks the intellectual stimulation of trying to decide how to play each hand, but keno isn’t a contest of will or intelligence.

It’s a chance to be social and maybe win some money.

Keno Is Better Than the Lottery

The gambling game that keno is most comparable to is the lottery. You’re looking at a house edge that, while still high, is considerably lower than you’d face when playing the lottery. 35% is better than 50%, and you get to play more often than once or twice a week.

Also, the lottery lacks the social aspect of keno or bingo. When’s the last time you saw a group of people getting together to socialize while watching the results of the lotto drawing?

Yeah, me neither.

Money From Bingo Often Goes to Charity

Bingo isn’t treated the same as casino games. Some of this is because bingo halls regularly donate a large percentage of their money to charitable causes.

In fact, in many states, if you want to run a bingo hall, you’re required to run it for charity. Otherwise, you won’t get a license.

I’m sure that some of the entrepreneurs running some of these casinos in Las Vegas donate some money to good causes here and there. But that’s not the same as being in a business that consists almost entirely of giving a huge percentage of your profits to charity, as you do with bingo.


I’m fascinated by gambling games that involve numbers. This includes bingo, keno, and the lottery. These are fun games where you can win large jackpots while socializing with other friendly, fun-loving gamblers.

Do you ever play bingo or keno? If not, do you think you might give either game a try after reading this post? Let me know in the comments.