One of the oldest games in the world is the lottery, and keno is derived from ancient Chinese lotteries. When immigrants took the game to other countries, non-Chinese speakers couldn’t pronounce the name of the game, so they took the Cantonese word of pakapoo. A similar game was also being played in America in the late 1800s, and they called it keno. Whatever you choose to call it, online keno or pakapoo is difficult to find in any online casino.
The basics of Keno are the same as a lottery. A player chooses numbers and is paid based on how many of those numbers hit.
For example, an online keno game might feature 80 numbers (1 through 80). A player can select up to 15 numbers or request that the game auto-choose the numbers. When the drawing delivers the numbers, the ones that match are highlighted. (This is referred to as a catch.) Winnings are based on a set pay table that dictates how much a player can win for each number of correct matches.
Most keno games online offer the chance to play more than one game at a time, sometimes up to 10 games using the same numbers chosen.
7 Tips to Boost Your Online Keno Winnings
There are some ways to play keno online that can increase a player’s chances of winning. Here are seven tips to help you give your online keno winnings a boost:
1. Play free or low stakes at first.
Every keno screen looks different. The method of play may be simple, but it is always smart to seek out a free game or play the lowest bet possible on the first few cards to get the feel of the game. It is also the best way to try out a new strategy before playing for normal stakes.
2. Choose the best payouts.
If an online casino site has several keno game options, click on each and look at the pay tables. One game might pay 9-to-1 for a certain number of matches, while another might pay only 7-to-1 for that same catch. It is also smart to check a few sites and their keno pay tables before choosing a game, especially if the intention is to play more than just a few games.
Another way to ensure a better payout is to check the RTP of each keno game. That return-to-player ratio indicates how often players win, on average. If the online casino doesn’t show the RTP for each game, use Google to find the RTP of certain game titles.
3. Choose fewer numbers.
The tendency in a keno game is to pick as many numbers as possible. It seems as if that will increase the chances of a payout. However, the chances of hitting all of those numbers are very slim.
Most keno enthusiasts suggest picking no fewer than four numbers and no more than eight. This keeps the player within a good payout system.
For example, if a player chooses two numbers on a standard pay table, the payout will be somewhere around 5-to-1. A player who chooses three numbers will be paid 11-to-1 if all three catch. The better payouts begin with a pick-4 option, at which point the total payout is 40-to-1 if all catch. But by going too high, the chances of hitting all of the numbers become too remote.
4. Bet multiple cards.
Those players who want to play their own lucky numbers in every game are able to play a multi-card game with several boards at once to save time. It can be hard to watch, but the game moves quicker. It’s also more exciting to see at least one or two cards catch some number each time.
5. Don’t believe in hot or cold numbers.
Odds are odds. There is no better chance for one number to hit over another. By betting a number that hasn’t hit for some time, it might seem like a cold number and one that is “due,” but that’s not true.
With that said, some people do believe in luck and hot or cold numbers. If it is something a player feels strongly about, there is no reason not to choose those numbers. They are truly as likely to hit as any others, but players should follow their instincts.
6. Use a strategy.
Many keno specialists can detail complicated, math-driven strategies for keno. But the simplest one, especially for beginners, is to bet consecutive numbers. For example, if betting eight numbers, choose two sets of four in a row, such as 10-11-12-13-1 and 45-46-47-48.
7. Know when to stop.
If the numbers aren’t hitting, and the losses are piling up beyond a normal comfort level – which varies for each individual player – there is no harm in stopping the session.
The best thing about online keno is the ability to start and stop anytime. When frustration begins to build, stop. Walk away from the game. Watch some television, read a book, or take a nap. The game will always be there later.