Keno is believed to have been brought into casinos in America by Chinese immigrants in the 19th century and was probably played using tiles with Chinese characters; it is certainly very popular in Las Vegas and other gambling cities where players can play from virtually anywhere in the casino and the winning numbers are flashed up throughout the building. Online Keno gambling is very much simpler although there are quite a number of different games available in the various online casinos of different bookmakers. For those of you who do not know what Keno is, it is a game of numbers and in a way very similar to Bingo in that numbers are drawn out and you have to match those numbers to the ones you have chosen. Keno does give you much more flexibility and when gambling at online Keno you are playing against the casino for fixed odds. In the classic game there are 80 numbers on the board and 15 numbers will be drawn; the more of the 15 numbers you can match the more you win. The major difference between gambling on classic Keno and gambling on Bingo is that you can actually choose how many numbers you want to gamble on; you can in fact select any number of numbers between 1 and 15. The odds at which you are paid will depend upon the number of numbers you have selected; clearly if you elect to gamble on two numbers and 15 numbers are drawn you stand twice as much chance of winning than if you had backed only one number. The more numbers you gamble on the more chance you have of winning but of course the odds will reduce accordingly and in fact if you gamble on 15 numbers and only match one or two you will receive no payout at all and even matching 3 or 4 numbers will result in a loss as the payout is likely to be less than 1:1. Not all online casinos have identical payout tables as we shall see later so it pays to shop around a bit.
Payouts for an 80 number game where 15 numbers have selected and 15 numbers are drawn vary by online bookmaker so select carefully; some will offer better odds for fewer matched numbers and others offer better odds for more matched numbers. For example, Paddy Power 80 number game which is known as “MadCap Keno” pays zero for 1 or 2 matched numbers; 1:2 for 3 or 4 matched numbers, even money for 5 matched numbers, 3:1 for 6 matched numbers, 4:1 for 7 matched numbers, 7:1 for 8 matched numbers, 30:1 for 9 matched numbers, 80:1 for 10 matched numbers, 125:1 for 11 matched numbers, 500:1 for 12 matched numbers, 1000:1 for 13 matched numbers, 2500:1 for 14 matched numbers and 10000:1 for all 15 matched numbers.
Ladbrokes have two games called Classic Keno and “ Neptunes Keno” which are slightly different in appearance but have the same payout table. Up to 5 matched numbers the payouts are the same as Paddy Power but for 6 matched numbers Ladbrokes pays 2:1 instead of Paddy Power 3:1 which is worse but for anything between 7 matched numbers and 13 matched numbers Ladbrokes pays more. For 7 matched numbers Ladbrokes pays 5:1 versus Paddy Power 4:1, for 8 matched numbers Ladbrokes pays 15:1 versus 7:1 at Paddy Power, for 9 matched numbers Ladbrokes pays 50:1 versus 30:1 at Paddy Power, for 10 matched numbers Ladbrokes pays 150:1 versus 80:1 at Paddy Power, for 11 matched numbers Ladbrokes pays 300:1 versus 125:1 at Paddy Power, for 12 matched numbers Ladbrokes pays 600:1 versus 500:1 at Paddy Power and for 13 matched numbers Ladbrokes pays 1200:1 versus 1000:1 at Paddy Power. Bet365 and BetFred also have 80 number Keno gambling with different odds; in this case even 3 matched numbers pays zero but to make up for that 4 matched numbers pays even money as opposed to 1:2 for the others and 5 matched numbers pays 3:2 as opposed to even money. Payouts for 6 to 10 matched numbers are worse but for 11 to 14 matched numbers are better so really it is a case of take your choice.
Another popular variation of the game is called Bingo Keno which is a cross between Bingo and Keno gambling. In this gambling game there are 90 balls as you would have in a bingo game and instead of selecting 15 numbers you purchase cards with the numbers already printed just as you would in Bingo; 15 balls are then drawn and you have to match those numbers with the ones on your cards. Because there are now 90 numbers instead of 80 your chances of matching numbers is smaller but because of this the winning odds are greater once you match more than 5 numbers. Winning odds at Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and BetFred are very similar until you get to 14 and 15 matched numbers where Ladbrokes offers better odds. 14 matched numbers at BetFred is only 10,000:1 but at Ladbrokes and Paddy Power is 25,000:1 and at 15 matched numbers BetFred is only 10,000:1, Paddy Power is 50,000:1 but Ladbrokes is 100,000:1. Because this gambling game involves preselected cards you can play multiple games at the same time just as you would when playing Bingo so for example at Ladbrokes you can play “Bingo Keno Extreme” which offers the chance to play 9 cards simultaneously and of course everything goes automatically so you do not need to follow the numbers or mark your own cards.
Other interesting variations include “Grand National Keno” at Ladbrokes where there are only 40 numbers, in this case horses with numbers, instead of 80 or 90 (40 being of course the number of starters in the Grand National) and only 8 numbers are drawn. Odds of 10,000:1 are offered for getting all 8 numbers. Party Casino offers “Safecracker Keno” which uses the normal 80 numbers but you can only select between 2 and 10 numbers instead of a maximum of 15 in the standard game but then 20 numbers are drawn out instead of the standard 15 which gives you more chance of winning. Once again it is matter of personal preference which game you play but Keno is without doubt a quick and easy gambling game to play.