KenoGoing back for thousands of years, the game of Keno has a long history. It is considered to be one of the oldest gambling games. The game of ‘Keno’ has its etymological meaning from Latin or French roots.

Nevertheless, the game is believed to have originated in China during the Han Dynasty 3000 years ago. Legend has it that the Han Dynasty, which was ruled by Cheung Leung, was tied up in a long and hard war that was using up the city’s funds.

Cheung Leung could not get any more money from the city residents, as he had taxed them as much as he could. He ended up having nothing more to take taxes from. Therefore, he came up with the idea for a new game – Keno. Keno was invented as a lottery to help raise money to finish the Han Dynasty war. According to a legend years later, Keno was used once again to raise the funds to build the Great Wall of China.

In spite of that, according to historical records, the Chinese lottery was not actually licensed until the 1800’s, so whether there is any truth to these legends is not known for sure. When Keno was first invented it was a much different game than it is today. Instead of using 80 numbers the game of Keno was played with 120 Chinese characters.

In China, the game is still played today with Chinese characters, although the number of characters has been reduced to 80, just as Keno in the Western world is played with 80 numbers.  Chinese lottery is not documented before 1847 when the Portuguese government of Macao decided to grant a license to lottery operators.

According to some, results of keno games in great cities were sent to outlying villages and hamlets by carrier pigeons, resulting in its Chinese name 白鸽票 báigē piào, literally “white dove ticket”, pronounced baak-gap-piu in Cantonese (on which the Western spelling ‘pak-ah-pu’ / ‘pakapoo’ was based).

Despite that other lottery like games were played in Europe and in the United States before Keno was introduced, the game was an immediate success when it was first brought to the shores of San Francisco by Chinese sailors in the early twentieth century.

They sailed across the Pacific Ocean to help build the First Transcontinental Railroad in the 19th century, where the name of the game was Westernized into ‘boc-hop-bu’ and ‘puck-apu’. By 1866 it had already become a widely popular gambling game in Houston, Texas, under the name ‘Keno’.

It was during this time that the Chinese characters were changed to numbers, as this made things easier for American gamblers who could not read Chinese. In the early twentieth century, gambling was legal in Nevada. However, lotteries were not and the government viewed Keno as a lottery game. Therefore, Keno operators called the game “Racehorse Keno” to conceal it as a racing game instead of a lottery.

The 80 numbers on the Keno card were tied to different racehorses and each drawing was called a race. When lotteries were legalized many casinos changed the name back to Keno. However, in live casinos today you may still find games of “Racehorse Keno” and casinos that refer to each Keno drawing as a race.


The main objective of Keno is to match as many numbers as possible between those that appear randomly on the Keno board to those that were selected by the Keno and marked on his or her Keno card. The more numbers correctly guessed, the higher the payout.

Keno Aim

Brick & Mortar Keno Strategy

Many gamblers and the casino games communities consider the game of Keno a pure game of luck. The Keno game can offer a vast spectrum of strategies, which will increase the player’s chances of winning.

Furthermore, you choose to determine game’s patterns and use the “hot” and “cold” numbers or play with overlapping numbers in the 4 and 20 card versions, you have to know there are chances to win the game.

Do not expect to win the jackpot from the very beginning or “hit” 20 numbers out of 20 (as this is not possible), but if you endure and use the correct strategy, you will be able to win. 

The greatest strategy for keno game is playing with groups of numbers. Choose the number of spots you want to play (for example, choose 6 spots). The series you will obtain is 1-2-3-11-12-13 or 1-11-21-31-41-51.

After that, check the numbers that came out previously when the scheme was inducted. The general idea for winning is helped by the fact that these schemes play daily and the numbers are rotating, giving you a larger chance to calculate the variation of numbers.

Coincidentally or not, you can pay attention to the rotation number, which is to your advantage because you wait until it is your turn and wins. The maximum of drawing numbers is 20, but actually, no one hit 10 out of 20 numbers ever (it is not possible).

Even to guess 15 numbers is really hard, as much as for guessing 14 numbers the chances are 1:390 million. The general idea is that you should take keno as a game based on luck.

At first, many players are looking for “hot” and “cold” numbers, others are looking for “lucky numbers”. The biggest keno jackpots were won with numbers related to the members of the family like someone’s age, date of birth, anniversary etc.

As in any other casino game, especially if you’re a beginner, it is better to start making an evaluation of the game. Watch carefully several game sessions, play online free keno games before starting to play with real money, find the right strategy for you (groups of numbers, combinations of numbers in 4/20 card keno or determine which are the “hot/cold” numbers).

Keep playing for 4-5 times in a row the same numbers and see which is the probability rate of hitting the same or part of those numbers you played. Or you can go for a quick sequence of numbers (as 4, 5, 6, 7 or 23, 24, 25, 26); you can choose for an alternation of three numbers; it’s all up to you.

Online Keno Strategy

Playing keno online will make your strategies easier, as you can use software programs to help you in your quest for the big win. Always choose a table with earnings as your ultimate and final goal is to win the jackpot.

You will be able to win the jackpot which is 10 of the 10 numbers or correct 15 of 15 numbers, only if you wager the maximum number of numbers. On the other hand, if you want to be cautious, do not bet on all the numbers.

Do not forget that 5 numbers are enough to win. The chances of winning for each number is 1:80, so keep in mind not to urge to gain the biggest win, but instead of that to be satisfied to win small or medium amounts frequently.

10 Keno Numbers to Play

Hitting 10 numbers at Keno has a bigger rate of probability than hitting 15 numbers (which has a rate of 4.68%). These are the 5 hot numbers (often drawn): 23, 34, 72, 1 and 4. Most frequent state, draw numbers to the numbers that have come out quite often in the last 50 draw are 3, 16, 44, 58 and 78.

Playing any of these numbers will offer the gambler a higher chance than others, as they have proven their efficiency over time. Some players use “lucky numbers” to play with, but all are related to their cultural background and traditions (as is the Chinese lucky numbers).

Keno Quick Pick

It is proved mathematically that if you choose to enter 4 to 6 numbers, you have the best chance of becoming the winner. Many people want to get rich quickly and often play very expensive Keno tickets, and even if you were headed to get the jackpot, you have more chances to lose, because you will not have as much time to play. Each regular and online casino offers some “quick pick numbers” to play with. Choosing this option will increase (theoretically) the chances of winning at Keno game.



You must understand that Keno is a game based mostly on luck, so your chances of winning are pretty much affected by this fact. If you choose to play keno games only to win money you will not entertain much, and at worst, you will come out disappointed in the game.

Better play for fun because in this way, unless you are desperate and eager to win, you will be surprised when you see how nicely you multiply your money while you share relaxation and fun.

Set yourself a gaming budget for a keno game from the start and do everything possible to not go over. This way your financial situation will be safe and you will not spend more than you can afford.

There are 80 numbers on the table, meaning the probability of winning is 1:80. Hitting 20 numbers out of 20 has the lowest probability (1: 3.5 quintillions) and a person will need more than 130 million years to hit this option.