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Keno Rules

Keno is not exactly a complicated game to learn. Keno rules will take you about ten seconds to learn. Aside from the rules of the game, however, this page will also teach you how to walk into the casino or login to an online casino and play keno with confidence.

In order to play casino keno, the first thing you'll need to do, of course, is find a keno booth. Here you can get your tickets. Once you pick up a ticket, you will get a receipt with it, which you must make sure you keep, as you'll need it to claim any winnings you might have. The tickets, which look much like a bingo card, have 80 different numbers on them.

The standard game of keno found in casinos is a variation known as race horse, or Nevada keno. This name comes from the fact that the version was invented in Nevada, the first state to legalize gambling. You can learn more about that in our History of Keno section. So, basically, once you have your card, you pick a bunch of numbers out of the 80 available numbers you have to choose from. You do this by circling them or marking them in some way. You can usually choose up to 15 numbers. After this, you bring your card back to the clerk at the booth, and he/she will record your numbers and at that point will issue a receipt.

Now, you must simply locate the "big board", where all of the winning numbers are lit up. This happens as the numbers are chosen. You may also locate smaller television monitors nearby that display the winning numbers. Originally, the numbers for keno games were drawn from a "keno goose". Then, the game picked up more of a lottery jive, and lottery type draws became the norm. However, nowadays computers have put out of work anyone who used to handle these draws. They draw numbers more quickly, you see, and don't tend to ask for benefits or maternity leave.. or a salary.

Basically, your job is to simply watch the numbers coming up and to mark them down on your card. Once the drawing is complete, the more of your numbers that won, the more money you make!

If you do end up winning anything, you simply go over to the keno clerk and collect your winnings. It is important to do this quickly if you are playing individual games, because keno rules allow only 5 minutes between draws and if you wait until the next draw starts, you can no longer collect your winnings. Now, those are the basic keno rules, but we'll talk a little more about some other options you have.

If you'd rather not scurry back and forth between draws, you may simply buy a larger number of tickets with the same numbers (casinos usually limit it to twenty), and you'll be able to keep playing for the same number of draws that you have tickets. This is known as a "multi-race". Once the games are up, you just head to the clerk and have them check the tickets for winners.

Another thing you can do if you really don't want to pay attention to what numbers are drawn, is known as the "stray and play". This enables you to buy more than 20 games and you don't even have to go to the clerk once that number of games is through. In fact, you can come back any time at all, usually up to a year after your ticket was bought.

So, how do the payouts work? Well, they vary a lot from casino to casino. You'll want to check out our Keno Odds section for more specific information about it. Basically, what will happen is that you can pick anywhere from one to 15 numbers (this varies too). Whether you win or not depends on how many of those numbers wins. For example, if you pick five, you may have to match three numbers to be eligible for winnings. You'll find all of this information at the casino of your choice, along with payouts.

Finally, you have the option of what is known as a "way ticket". This allows you to group different numbers together, and each group will have the same amount of numbers. To do a 3-3-3 ticket (3-way-3 or 3/3), for example, you mark your ticket in three groups of three numbers.

All in all, the casinos offer these different ticket options for convenience, as well as to try and get players to bet more money. These different options have no advantage to the player, except to make things a little more easy in terms of not running back and forth as much to the clerk.

And there you have a thorough run down of keno rules along with how to get comfortable playing in any casino. If you want to really have it easy, however, we suggest playing online keno, as not only are the odds better, but it's much easier in general. Check our our Keno Online section for more information.


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