Play Online Keno for Money

Online keno puts gamblers right in a virtual casino, where players take risks to win big money. Keno is popular among people who like games of chance that are easy to understand and don’t necessarily require a lot of difficult strategies.

Being able to play keno for real money online means that you don’t have to be in the casino to enjoy all the excitement and potential payback.

If you’ve ever seen keno in the casino, whether it’s the manual kind or the digital version, you’re likely to find a lot of people anxiously waiting to see which numbers come up in the latest batch.

That’s because they know that if the numbers they’ve picked match the ones that come up, they could be looking at a big payback. With real money online keno available at top gambling websites, they get all that action with ultimate convenience.

Best Online Casinos for Keno Games

In the following sections, we’ll give you all the information you need to get started playing keno online. We’ll explain how the game works, the different bets you can make, how the game works online, how to choose the best online keno websites, and how much you can win.

What is Real Money Keno?

Keno is a lottery-like game played almost exclusively online. It’s often referred to as “Chinese Lottery” and has similar rules to the American lottery. But there are some key differences between those games and keno.

The object of keno is to predict which numbers the game will choose within the range of 1 and 80 by marking them on your ticket or screen before you hit the “draw” button. These numbers are drawn in 20 groups of 10 numbers, each one having a separate, independent chance of being drawn.

If you correctly predict the selected numbers, then you win your keno bet multiplied by the odds for that particular group. As an example, if you bet $2 on number 6 to be drawn in Group 1 and it hits, then your payout would be $12 ($2 x 6). The more tickets sold for each group results in higher payouts or riskier bets. The odds of winning keno change depending on how many numbers you’ve chosen on your ticket. For example, hitting 20 numbers for the jackpot is a lot less likely than hitting four or five numbers. The number of combinations in each group remain constant through each draw cycle because there are always 80 possible numbers in every game.

Playing Keno Online

With keno sites, graphics and sounds might be different from one site to the next. But the basic elements should remain the same.

The Online Keno Screen

The main part of the screen will be individual spaces for the numbers (1 through 80, usually in eight rows of 10). There will also likely be the simulation of 20 balls (out of 80 possibilities) that will bounce out once you make your bets, pick your numbers, and start playing.

Although the screen will make it seem that the bouncing action will determine the winning numbers, in actuality, the results of each round are determined the moment you hit the “play” button. It’s decided through random number generator software.

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see your action buttons. You’ll see a space that lists your bet amount, and on the side, there are buttons that allow you to raise or lower the amount of your bet.

In addition, there’s a space that displays the size of your bankroll. This number will drop as soon as you start a round by the amount that you bet. If the result of that round ends up in your favor, winnings will be added to that bankroll.

You’ll also see a “play” button right in the middle of the screen on the bottom. Some online games may allow for multiple rounds at once if you wish to use the same board.

Finally, there will be a paytable somewhere on the screen. This will display what you will win based on how many numbers you have picked and how many “hits” you have. More on that process can be found in the step-by-step guide below.

Step 1: Decide on Your Bet

The website you choose might have limits on how much you can bet on each round of online keno. Your bet amount has no relation to the amount of numbers you choose.

For example, if you want to bet $1 on a round, that’s how much you’ll spend if you’re just playing a few numbers or choosing much more.

Each bet will then have a bearing on how much you make. For example, if you bet $2 and end up with a result that the pay table shows at 5 to 1, you win $10 in return ($5 x $2 = $10).

Step 2: Pick Your Numbers

There are two main types of keno. One, which is the most popular version, allows you to choose between two and 10 numbers per round. You will also find versions of the game where you can choose between one and 15 numbers per round.

It’s totally up to you how many bets you choose, which you’ll make happen by clicking on various numbers. The goal is to end up with “hits” on as many of the numbers as possible. As you choose more numbers, your potential payback on a single round will rise as well.

Keep in mind there are many other rarer versions of the game that can be found in casinos or even as part of state lotteries. These games might let you pick different amounts of numbers than the two versions listed above. In terms of online keno games for real money, the two through 10 or one through 15 versions are the most prevalent.

Step 3: Activate Play

Once you’ve decided on your bet and your chosen numbers, you’ll hit the “play” button. As we said above, many online games give you the chance to play several rounds in a row if you’re content with the numbers you’ve chosen and the amount you’ve bet. Just be aware that your bets will accumulate for each of these rounds.

When you activate play, you’ll usually see the digital balls, 20 of them, bouncing all over the screen, landing in various numerical spaces. If any of the balls land in one of the numerical spaces you’ve chosen, that’s a “hit.”

The more hits you get, the better your chances of winning. Your pay table will tell you how much you can expect to win depending on if you have enough hits.

How Online Keno Pay Tables Work

When you start to play real money online keno, you should always make sure to locate the paytable. You might find a truncated version of it on the screen that expands as you pick more numbers to display your potential winnings.

Games like these might have a full version of the pay table in the “help” section of the game.

Here’s a typical pay table for an online keno game where the player can pick between two and 10 numbers.

HitsPick 2Pick 3Pick 4Pick 5Pick 6Pick 7Pick 8Pick 9 Pick 10
3 403221000
4  1001442110
5   80092151233
6    15003481124728
7     77601500352140
8      800047001000
9       90004800
10        10000

So, how would you read an online keno pay table like this? Imagine that you picked seven numbers and ended up with five hits. Just connect the column and the row, and the number that you see is 15, which means you’ll get paid at 15 to 1.

As you can see, you can win a lot more if you choose more numbers. But that also puts you more at risk of losing your bet if you don’t get enough hits. In that sense, you’re raising the volatility of your wager by choosing more numbers, with the trade-off being a higher potential reward.

Tips for Online Keno Gameplay

As you can tell by the description of the game, there is no real way for you to strategize to improve your chances.

All you can do is hope that the numbers turn up your way. But there are some tips that can help you enjoy you understand your keno gameplay a little better:

Understand Payback Percentage

When you’re playing a casino game and are trying to maximize your winnings, you should check out the game’s payback percentage. The payback percentage shows you how much you can expect to win, on average, during a typical session.

The inverse of this number is the house edge, which shows how the online site will be expected to return.

In the case of online keno, the typical return to player (RTP) is somewhere in the neighborhood of 85% to 90%.

This is somewhat low for online casino games, especially when compared to games like blackjack or video poker.

The tradeoff is that you can win a lot more in a shorter amount of time if you’re playing online keno compared to other games (especially those with progressive jackpots).

Know the Odds for Each Bet

It isn’t hard to look online and see the chances of getting a certain amount of hits for however many spots on the board you choose to occupy. When you multiply that percentage by the corresponding amount on the paytable, you can estimate your payback for the specific number of spots you might choose.

And that can be a crucial tool in helping you maximize your overall payback.

For example, in the pay table above, the overall payback percentage sits at approximately 85%. But the payback when you pick the maximum 10 spots comes in at over 86%, making that the best possible choice you can make.

You should make sure to do these calculations, using a keno calculator, for any paytable you play so that you can find the best possible outcomes.

Accept the Luck of the Game

If you look online, you might see all kinds of testimonials from so-called experts telling you how they have figured out online keno and win every time.

They might claim that there are patterns to where the balls land on each screen. Or they might promise that betting a certain way can overcome your losses and amplify your wins.

In truth, the random number generator ensures that there is no way that you can know how each round of keno will turn out. And the payback percentage you can expect, on average, won’t change no matter how you bet each round. You would be well-advised to play real money online keno without worrying about trying to beat it, instead just accept the odds and hope for the best.

Managing Your Bankroll

We’ve already said that you can’t outsmart or beat online keno with any strategy, as your results will be based on luck. But one thing you can control is the amount of money you bet. The fancy term for this in the betting world is casino bankroll management.

In terms of online keno, you should always be wary of trying to overcome losses by making bigger and bigger bets, since that could really put you in a hole.

By the same token, since the odds are against you in the long run, you should consider quitting if you hit a little hot streak and cash in your winnings. The longer you play, the more likely it is you’ll suffer losses that will wipe out what you’ve won.

Is There a Strategy in Keno?

Is there a strategy to playing keno? The short answer is no.

Because keno is a lottery game, there really isn’t a strategy to choose the winning numbers. Unlike poker or blackjack, you can’t hone your skills or memorize hand rankings to become a better player.

The only tactic that might be considered strategy is to choose a small number of selections on your card to lower the house edge. As we mentioned above, picking four or five numbers on your ticket is better than maxing out at 20 selections.

However, this isn’t really a strategy; it’s common sense. While there isn’t any skill to keno (which is what makes the game enticing since any average Joe can win big), if you abide by logic and a few basic tips, you can save your wallet.

Types of Real Money Keno

If you’re thinking about playing keno, there are three main variations of the game you should know about. While most people are familiar with instant or video keno, live keno acts as a social outing for gambling enthusiasts.

Other exclusive keno games like Caveman or Cleopatra keno are almost exclusively online-based games, and they put a creative spin on the traditional game.

Instant Keno

Instant keno is played on a computer. Many of the games are actually very fast, but if players want to speed up their game even more, they can use autoplay mode which will select numbers automatically for them. The bet sizes are generally determined by multiplying the bet size by the number of spots selected.

Video Keno

While video keno may seem similar to instant keno, there are some differences that make it unique. Video keno uses live dealers, which gives the game a more realistic feel.

Video keno allows players to quickly play several games at once without any significant wait time between draws. Like instant keno, players have the ability to choose how many spots they wager on and have autoplay options as well. The bets and payouts are essentially the same as instant keno games, but video keno also has progressive jackpot payouts.

Live Keno

While live keno still uses a grid board, there is no computer involved in this type of game. Instead, players will gather in a keno parlor to make their bets and the dealer will choose the winning numbers from a lottery machine or the raffle drum.

If you choose to play live keno, it’s not about winning quickly. Keno parlors are social events where you can socialize with other players. Sometimes people play in groups, strategizing their selections before the dealer reveals the winning numbers.

Caveman Keno

Caveman Keno is a themed keno game that introduces “dinosaur eggs.” Before numbers are drawn, the game will automatically select three numbers that act as the dinosaur eggs. If the eggs are chosen on the draw, you receive a multiplier to your winnings.

Cavemen keno is a fun way to spice up the normal keno gameplay. And if all three dinosaur eggs are chosen, you could multiply your winnings 10x!

Cleopatra Keno

Cleopatra Keno is also themed like the famous Egyptian Queen. Instead of eggs, players choose different pyramids to act as multiplier symbols.

If the last number from the hopper lands on one of your numbers, you automatically win free bonus games with higher payouts!

Cleopatra keno isn’t offered at all online casinos, but it’s an inventive way to play keno.

40-Ball Keno

40-ball keno is one of the most popular variants of keno, although many countries sometimes refer to it as mini keno, 40-ball uses numbers 1-40 and players are only allowed to mark 3-10 numbers on their ticket.

40-ball is a much quicker variation of the classic keno game.

Multi-Race Keno

Multi-race keno is similar to the classic game of keno except players must commit to multiple games with the same selection of numbers.

This is kind of like a high-stakes version of keno. If you bet $2 per ticket, you’d actually be paying $20 because multi-race has ten rounds ($2 x 10).

What Is the Keno House Edge?

Compared to other casino games, keno has a relatively high house edge. It sits at about 25% to 30%.

However, keno still appeals to a large player base since even a small bet of a few dollars could net you a big profit.

Plus, keno is straightforward game you can play on the side while also playing slot machines or table games. If you’re playing from home, you can set up the keno game in one browser tab and check it off and on while playing poker or another game with a lower house edge.

Advantages of Online Keno Over Land-Based Keno

There are many reasons that gamblers enjoy playing online instead of in land-based casinos. Here are a few of the major advantages of playing keno online:


When you’re playing keno online, you don’t have to worry about big crowds of people. You also don’t have to deal with traffic, noise, or any of the other hassles that come with the casino experience. In addition, you can play whenever you want with complete privacy.


When you’re playing keno in a big crowd at a casino, you can feel a bit of pressure in terms of getting everything right. You might be worried about casino protocol in terms of how to pick your numbers in live games or what you should do when you want to make bets or cash out.

By playing online, you don’t have to worry about any of those issues.

Pace of Play

When playing a live keno game in a casino, you need to have your wagers in and your numbers picked by the time the casino employee starts the balls in motion, which usually happens every minute or so.

But when you play keno at a top gambling website, you get to choose the pace of gameplay. You can churn out many rounds quickly or take your time and play in a more leisurely fashion if you choose.

Key Qualities of Top Online Keno Sites

  • Reliable banking practices
  • Excellent graphics
  • Variety of gaming options
  • Big bonuses
  • Customer service
  • Mobile gambling

How to Get Started:

  1. Choose your site
  2. Sign up and provide your password
  3. Provide banking information
  4. Allot money for bankroll
  5. Begin playing keno online!

Real Money Online Keno FAQ

  • The size of your bet is essentially independent of how many numbers you choose. Raising or lowering the amount of numbers you pick will change the odds as well as your potential payback. You should pick an amount that fits well with your preferred risk level and also gives you the chance to achieve the payback you desire.<

  • Your chances of a specific number, from one to 80, being one of the hits in a particular round is one in four. There are 80 numbers, and 20 are being chosen. That will never change no matter what has happened in previous rounds. The random number generator software that dictates each outcome of online keno ensures past outcomes don’t affect future outcomes.

  • You can change the numbers you choose and how many numbers you choose every round if you want when you’re playing online keno.
    Just keep in mind that constantly changing them will slow down your pace of play, which may or may not be a concern to you. If you want to play at a solid pace, it’s best just to settle on a certain group of numbers that you want to play for several rounds.

  • In 2018, an Australian man won $7.9 million from the Keno Mega Millions jackpot. He paid $26 on his ticket and played 13 $2 games. He matched all winning numbers.

  • If you’re not sure if your state offers keno games, find your state on this page to learn more. And you can always do a quick Google search. State lottery websites will often give you all the information you need to start playing keno or other lottery-style games.

Final Thoughts About Online Keno

We hope that you have a firm handle on online keno gameplay. If you want to explore a specific part of the action closer, make sure to click on the links. And may you have more hits than misses when you play.

Learn More About Casino Gambling

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