Play Keno Online in the USA

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Paige | November 3, 2023 | Updated on: January 26th, 2024

Online keno is a game of chance similar to bingo, originating in China, some 3000 years ago during the Han Dynasty. It involves the drawing of random numbers and comparing them to the numbers chosen by the player.

Keno is still widely played today, making it one of the oldest gambling games in the world. Online keno is a thrill-a-minute game that is becoming more and more popular at the Best USA Online Casinos.

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Playing real money keno is quite easy and a lot of fun. The rules of online keno are exactly similar to that of live keno. The only difference is that players play by themselves in a game of online keno, whereas live keno games are often played in big groups,  similar to bingo.

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Players are given a card with 20 numbers on it. These numbers are randomly selected from a pool numbered 1-80, and printed on each card. A caller then randomly selects 20 balls and calls out each number. Players then mark off each number if it corresponds to a number printed on their card.

A Player can play up to two games of keno at a time during a live keno game. Players can also split one card, or make multiple bets on one keno card.


There is no strategy players can use when playing keno for real money. Keno is a game of chance, and all results are determined at random. Players can, however, choose split cards, allowing them to play two games at a time, giving them more chance to win.

This isn’t a game of skill, like poker, so players looking for that might want to look elsewhere. Keno strategies cannot improve your chances of winning but could help you make your bankroll last longer.


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All or Nothing

When a player buys an online keno ticket that only pays out if they hit all 20 numbers. If they don’t hit all 20, they don’t get any money whatsoever.


The part of the keno draw machine used to draw the selected ball. The ball is sucked from the holder with a vacuum and sent trough a plastic tube to the caller. The keno caller then removes the ball from the tube and calls out the number.


The see-through container that holds all 80 keno balls.


The person who calls out each number that has been drawn in a game of live keno.


This is when a number on a player’s card has been called by the keno caller; also known as ‘catching a number’.

Catch All

A game of online keno that only pays out if a player hits all the numbers on a card. Unlike an ‘all or nothing’ card, which can only apply to one player in a game, the catch all game rules apply to everyone taking part.

Catch Zero

The opposite of a ‘catch all’ game. This requires that the player match/catch none of the numbers called out. This has much better odds than a ‘catch all’ game.

Combination ticket

A keno ticket with multiple wagers on it.

Free play

When a player gets to play a game of online keno without having to make a wager. Players do not usually get to keep any of the winnings earned during free play.

Keno balls

These are the same size as bingo balls. Keno balls are numbered 1-80.

Number pool

The whole series of numbers from which the keno numbers are drawn. A typical keno number pool ranges from 1-80.


A term given to a game of keno. This is a slang term from a time when each number in a keno game represented a horse in a race.

Straight ticket

A normal keno ticket, used for both live and online keno games.

Split ticket

A keno ticket that has two or more sets of numbers on it and is played simultaneously.

Quit Race

When a player cashes in a multiple bet or multi-game ticket before all play is finished.


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During the Han Dynasty, China was caught up in a hard war that was severely affecting the country. According to legend, Cheung Leung, ruler of China, already taxed his people so much, in his effort to fund the war, that he had to think of new ways of funding the fight.

Leung eventually came up with a lottery that the people of China could play. All the profits from the lottery went to the country’s war efforts.

Years later, keno was once again employed to help the monarchy help raise funds, this time, to help build the Great Wall of China.

History of Online Keno

Keno was originally played with Chinese alphabet characters, and not with Arabic numerals, as played today. The game was also played with 120 characters, instead of 80 as today.

As the game’s popularity spread, the Chinese symbols were changed to Arabic numerals and numbered 1-80. Today, the game is still played in China, but with 80 Chinese symbols.

In Nevada, in the early twentieth century, gambling was legal, but lotteries were not. To disguise the game from authorities, it was simply referred to as ‘racehorse keno’. Many believed it was just another game based on horse racing.

This lead to common keno phrases that are still being used today. Numbers are often still called ‘horses’ and a game of keno is called a ‘race’.

Today, keno is enjoyed across the world, both in live casinos and in the best online casinos.

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