Keno Rules

If you've never played Keno before, you're about to find out just how easy it is to learn. The basics of the game are the same regardless of where you play it but the payouts and guidelines can vary from casino to casino. Before playing, it is recommended that you stop by a Keno counter and pick up a free booklet outlining the house rules and payouts.

To play, pick up a Keno sheet from a Keno counter or a Keno Runner (A Runner is a person who walks around the casino floor and restaurants and sells Keno tickets). Mark 1 to 15 or 20 (depending on house rules) of your favorite numbers on a Keno sheet and give your sheet and bet to the counter-person or runner. Bets typically start at $1. The counter-person or runner will enter your numbers into the computer and give you a printed ticket. Make sure that the numbers on the ticket match those you selected. Once the game closes, that is they begin selecting winning numbers for the game, no changes can be made.

When the game begins, the eighty numbered balls in the Keno bowl are mixed. Twenty of the balls are ejected from the bowl at random. These numbers are then lit up on the Keno boards which are located throughout the casino and in many of the restaurants. If enough of your numbers are selected, you win. To determine how many numbers you need to win and how much your payout will be, refer to a copy of the payout table booklet mentioned above. The more numbers you select, the more numbers you need to hit before you are a winner.

Also realize that if you are a winner, you must cash in your winning ticket before the next game begins. If you are playing more than one game on a ticket, you don't have to collect until after the last game has been called but before the next game after that begins. The exception to this rule is if you are playing from 21 - 1000 games (this can vary from casino to casino). When you place bets for this many games, you have up to one year to collect. Before assuming this is true at the casino you are playing, be sure to ask a Keno employee for assistance.

Casinos also offer "Special Tickets" which can vary from one casino to the next. These tickets add variety to the game. For example, one game is called "Top and Bottom Keno". To play, you mark no spots (numbers). Instead, you write a "T" on the top portion of the ticket and a "B" on the bottom portion. You win when 13 or more of the 20 numbers are in either the top or bottom portion of the ticket. This is an example of one type of game that a casino offers but may not be available everywhere. For an accurate listing of what games can be played at the casino you are visiting, ask a Keno employee for assistance.

Need more help? Visit the Keno Books page.

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