Go Back

What Is Keno Lottery & How Do You Play?

What Is Keno Lottery & How Do You Play?

Welcome to Dove Casino's latest blog post, where we dive into the world of Keno lottery. It is a thrilling game of chance that's easy to learn but offers exciting gameplay. Whether you're looking to start playing or just curious about how Keno stands apart from games like Bingo, you're in the right place. 

We'll cover the basics of what Keno is, how to play, and the odds of winning to give you a full understanding of its unique appeal. Join us as we explore this fascinating game. 

What Is Keno Lottery?

Keno is a popular lottery-like gambling game often found in modern casinos. It is also offered as a game in some state lotteries. At its core, Keno involves choosing numbers, typically between 1 and 80. After players make their selections, the game draws 20 random numbers. 

The excitement in Keno comes from seeing if any of your chosen numbers match those that are drawn. Your winnings depend on the number of matches you get. The game is straightforward, requiring no complex strategy, making it accessible to everyone. 

Players simply pick their numbers, wait for the draw, and see if any match. With its simple rules and the thrill of the draw, Keno appeals to a wide audience, from beginners to seasoned gamblers looking for a quick and straightforward game. 

How Is Keno Played?

Playing Keno is straightforward, making it a favourite for many. Here's a quick step-by-step guide: 

  • Choose Your Numbers: You'll select your preferred numbers from a pool of 1-80. You can pick as few or as many as you like, typically up to a maximum of 20. 
  • Decide on Your Bet: Determine the amount you want to wager on your selection. 
  • Submit Your Ticket: Once you've chosen your numbers and bet, you'll submit your ticket to the Keno operator or through an electronic machine. 
  • Watch the Draw: The game will then randomly draw 20 numbers. This can be live in casinos or through automated systems online. 
  • Check for Matches: Compare the numbers drawn to the ones you've chosen. 
  • Collect Winnings: If your numbers match, you win. Collect your winnings according to the paytable. The more matches you have, the greater your winnings. 

Keno Vs Bingo

Keno and Bingo are both popular number-based games, but they have distinct differences alongside a few similarities. 

In Keno, players choose their numbers (usually between 1 and 20 out of 80) before the game starts, whereas in Bingo, players are given cards with pre-selected numbers. Keno draws are independent and involve 20 numbers being randomly selected, while Bingo requires players to complete a specific pattern on their cards as numbers are called out sequentially. 

The speed of the games also varies; Keno can be played at a player's own pace, especially online, while Bingo moves according to the caller's pace. 

Despite these differences, both games are easy to learn, rely heavily on chance, and share the excitement of watching numbers appear and hoping for a match. Whether you prefer the personal choice of Keno or the community feel of Bingo, both offer unique fun and the thrill of the chance to win. 

Why Is It Called Keno?

The name "Keno" has an intriguing origin, rooted in history and linguistic evolution. 

Initially, the game traces back to ancient China, where it was believed to have been created to raise funds for the construction of the Great Wall. The original Chinese game was called "baige piao" or "pai-ko p'iao", meaning "white pigeon ticket" or "white dove ticket", referring to the birds used to deliver the winning numbers from village to village. 

As the game made its way to the West, particularly during the 19th century with the influx of Chinese immigrants to America, its name evolved. The Western adaptation of the game saw a shift from "baige piao" to "Keno," a name likely derived from the French or Latin word for five, "quine" or "quini," reflecting the five winning numbers drawn in early versions of the game. 

Today, Keno retains its simple, catchy name, while the game itself has evolved significantly from its historical roots. 

Is Keno Still Popular?

Yes, Keno remains a popular game, enduring through centuries to maintain a strong presence in the gambling world. Its simplicity and the excitement it generates have kept it appealing to both new and seasoned players. 

With the advent of online casinos and mobile gaming, Keno has found a new audience, offering the classic game at the touch of a button. While it may not command the same level of mainstream attention as some casino games, Keno's loyal fan base and its inclusion in many state lotteries and casinos worldwide attest to its enduring popularity. 

What Are The Odds Of You Winning Keno?

The odds of winning in Keno vary widely, depending on how many numbers you choose and match. Keno is a game of chance with a significant house edge, often ranging between 20% to 30%. For example, if you pick one number, the odds of hitting it are about 1 in 4. However, the more numbers you choose, the more complex it becomes to hit all of them. 

Catching all 20 selected numbers is exceedingly rare, with odds upwards of 1 in 3.5 quintillion for a standard 20-number game. While winning smaller amounts is more common, the chance of hitting a large jackpot in Keno is quite low, making it a fun but challenging game to win big. 


Keno is a popular and enduring game that combines simplicity with adjustable play based on how many numbers you choose to play. Its straightforward gameplay allows players to easily select numbers and wait to see if they get a match with the drawn numbers, making it accessible to beginners. 

While the game's origins are ancient, Keno has evolved to remain relevant in both traditional and online casinos. Despite the challenging odds for large jackpots, the excitement of potentially winning keeps players coming back.

Whether you're drawn to its history, the simple gameplay, or the quick pace of results, Keno offers a unique gambling experience that continues to captivate audiences worldwide. 

*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins, etc.) mentioned in relation to this game are subject to change at any time. Game features mentioned may not be available in some jurisdictions.