Rules of Keno
Keno Rules are very simple. To play Keno, you choose a minimum of 4 but no more than 10 figures between 1 and 80. Each selection is called a ‘Keno Spot’, so if you choose 10 figures you are playing a 10 keno Spot game.
Using the ‘Keno crayon’ Simply mark a blank Keno ticket with the figures of your selection. Then present your ticket to the Keno desk with your wager and the teller will provide you a duplicate Keno ticket. In a couple of minutes, 20 numbered balls will be drawn at random from a barrel holding 80 numbered balls, and if enough of your chosen keno numbers are drawn, you are a the Keno winner. The results are presented on displays, called Keno boards, throughout the Casino. Simple Rules right?
The round of a Keno game is called a Keno race. In many Casinos, ‘multi-race’ Keno is featured, where you can enter a number of consecutive Keno races at one time to entice players to wager more.
You mark your ticket and tell the dealer to enter it in the “Red Keno game”, “Green Keno game” or both. Basically it’s a way to increase action (wagering) without having to increase floorspace and staff correspondingly. There are two separate sets of balls and two keno boards, but only one lounge and set of dealers. The casino figures you won’t want to just play one of the games because you “know” if you play just the “red game” your numbers will come up only on the “green game”. So players tend to bet on both games, increasing the house’s take. Mathematically there’s nothing special about playing both games, though sometimes casinos offer prizes for hitting on both Keno games. You can calculate the odds of hitting on both games by multiplying combinations that pay off. For example, the chance of catching 4 out of 6 is 0.02854, so the chance of catching 4 out of 6 in 2 simultaneous Keno games is 0.02854 x 0.02854 ~= 0.0008 or 1 in 1228.
There are a variety of strategies for playing keno. None of them provides you with any advantage, but they can be fun to play. Some of them can also be mighty expensive. As with roulette you can “follow the old man”, meaning play those keno figures that seem to be coming up more often than the others. The assumption is that they will keep coming up again in the future.
The reality is they don’t come up any more than chance dictates. Or you can “let the old man chase you”, meaning play numbers that haven’t come up in recent games, on the theory that they’ll start coming up in order to make the long-run results for each number even out. Again, the reality is that the keno balls have no memory. Number 47 may not have come up in the last 10 Keno games, but that has no predictive value. In such a case the molecules that make up ball number 47 do not strain themselves to “even the score”.
The keno playing card is divided into an upper and lower half. Some Keno Players would always be sure to spread their choices evenly across both halves in order to “play the whole card”. Their assumption was that if you just picked 6 figures from say the lower half then you wouldn’t catch as many as if you picked 3 figures from the lower half and 3 from the upper half. After all, most every game will see about half the house numbers drawn in the upper part and half drawn in the lower part. But the truth is that it doesn’t matter, the balls don’t care what the playing Keno cards look like. The Casino could print every card differently. A group of figures that produces a balanced keno card for one configuration might be highly unbalanced in another. This will not cause one group of figures to be drawn more often than any other set.
While not precisely a keno strategy, some players may see it entertaining to play somebody else’s losing keno card. If the fellow next to you gets up to leave, get his losing keno card to the dealer and say “Play it again”. This takes a certain amount of timing, judgement and cheek, but can be pleasure if pulled off well.
Minimum Keno bets can be as low as 10 cents or even 5 cents (varied from one casino to another of course), although some Casinos only accept bets of $1 or more. The house’s Keno brochures provide you data about payoffs and various tickets you can play.
The sum of money you win is dependent upon the type of card you play and the number of ‘keno spots’ caught. You may play as many keno tickets as you desire. You could win as much as $100,000 on a $1 wager in some Casinos.