Betting Strategy

Understanding the Odds of Keno

Gamblers love risking long odds for a potential life-altering payday, and keno is the perfect game for just that. It’s a simple casino game to learn and available at most online casinos for as little as a dollar. There’s already a good chance you’ve played keno in one form or another. That’s because state and national lotteries across the globe use a version of the game to routinely pay out millions of dollars in winnings.

How to Play Keno

Whether you’re playing keno online or at a brick and mortar casino, the rules of keno are almost always the same. To get started playing keno, a player is presented with a keno card numbered 1 to 80. The object is to predict which of these numbers will be drawn and the player can select anywhere from 1 to 15 numbers. The player also has the option of choosing numbers individually or allowing the computer to select them at random.

You’ll then need to choose the size of your wager. In this case, the player can risk $1, $5, or $10. The bet amount stays the same regardless of how many numbers are selected, although larger wagers do offer more significant payouts.

Once your numbers and wager size have been chosen, the spinning begins. 20 of the available 80 numbers are drawn at random and highlighted on your keno card. The more matches you have, the greater your payout will be. Simple as that, just like the lottery.

When the draw phase is complete, your winnings are displayed on the screen. The keno session is now complete, and you can choose to play again or take your winning on home.

Keno Odds

It’s important to remember, the odds of winning at keno do not favor the player. However, this is to be expected from any casino game. With keno, the house edge is one of the worst around in the casino. On average, the casino has a 25% to 29% advantage over the player, compared to 0.46% on video poker or 2% to 15% on slots. For a more in-depth look at the advantage held by the house, let’s look at basic keno odds.

The odds of catching 0 numbers are – 1 in 843.380
1 number – 1 in 86.446
2 numbers – 1 in 20.115
3 numbers – 1 in 8.009
4 numbers – 1 in 4.877
5 numbers – 1 in 4.287
6 numbers – 1 in 5.258
7 numbers – 1 in 8.826
8 numbers – 1 in 20.055
9 numbers – 1 in 61.420
10 numbers – 1 in 253.801
11 numbers – 1 in 1,423.822
12 numbers – 1 in 10,968.701
13 numbers – 1 in 118,084.920
14 numbers – 1 in 1,821,881.628
15 numbers – 1 in 41,751,453.986
16 numbers – 1 in 1,496,372,110.872
17 numbers – 1 in 90,624,035,964.712
18 numbers – 1 in 10,512,388,171,906.553
19 numbers – 1 in 2,946,096,785,176,811.500
20 numbers – 1 in 3,535,316,142,212,173,800.000

Again, keno is a lot like the lottery and you can really see it here and in case you’re wondering hitting 20 number has 1 in 3.5 quintillion odds. To put it bluntly, the odds of hitting all 20 keno numbers are so vast that everyone in the world could play all the time and there would only be a single winner. That’s a lot of tickets stretching around the globe an infinite amount of times. Of course the lure is the payday you’d receive if you did manage to beat the odds and hit 19 or 20 numbers.

For this reason, it should be noted that the odds of catching 20 numbers don’t come into play at most casinos, online or otherwise as keno players are often limited to only 10 or 15 numbers. This keeps potential payouts at a manageable level and prevents the house from being busted by a very lucky player.

While these odds are daunting, keep in mind that they reflect a game where 20 spots are available. In a version where the player may only choose 10 numbers, the odds of catching 7 out of 10 are 621 to 1. Again, these odds are less than ideal, but they can offer an average payout of $140 against a $1 wager.

Give Keno a Spin

Keno isn’t for everyone and that’s especially true for advantage players who insist on doing everything possible to gain an edge while in the casino. For millions of people around the world, however, the idea of risking a single dollar for a chance at becoming an instant millionaire is irresistible. Again, see the lottery. The options are always there, though, as keno is a classic casino table game and all major casinos offer the it.

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