Keno often gets maligned as a bad bet, based on the high edge of the land-based and online casino. Yes, the edge of the house is likely to be around 28 per cent, but Keno is different from any other casino game. It’s not supposed to be short and fast like a game of hot craps. Initially based on a Chinese lottery game the game was played twice a day.
Casino operators moved the writing and paperwork toward where each game could be played four or five times per hour to make the game more exciting (and profitable). The edge of the building is still about 28 per cent, however. Yes, that is much higher than most sports, but much smaller than the lotteries provided in most of the U.S. that hold 45 percent of every dollar in!
You may already know how to play Keno but the basics alone. The game is like Bingo in many respects, with a large board full of numbers which you try to hit to win. Bingo is played against other teams, however, and the numbers are not picked. You choose your own numbers in Keno, and only play against the house.
Keno is Affordable
Keno’s biggest thing about it is that the game is very cheap to play. There are only so many games played like a day at the horse races and you can often bet as little as one dollar a game. Most casino brochures will show how to make a bet of $2 or $5 but will allow you to bet only $1. And, you can bet just as cheap Way Tickets!
A straight ticket is one where you can choose between 1 and 15 numbers and win according to how many numbers you have reached. Obviously you have to hit the number on a 1 number ticket to win 3x your bet. On a ticket with a number 2. You need to hit both numbers to get your bet payoff 12x. Your payoff, however, may include times when you only hit some of your numbers, starting with 2 numbers on a three spot that returns your bet, or 42x if you hit all three.
A ticket route is one that includes more than one set of numbers as a bet. Since a Keno ticket has numbers 1 to 80, you can bet your favorite numbers 2, 19 and 37 as a three-spot, but also the five-spot favorite of your partner, 3, 11, 41, 42, 43. There are two ways this ticket can win on the same game. You could also include both the number sets for an eight-point which consisted of your numbers and the numbers of your partner. Now you’d have a ticket with three ways to win. You choose the amount you wager for each way. However, in a club that offers a $1 straight ticket, they usually allow just 25 cents per way for a way-ticket, making the pass only 75 cents a game.
The 190-way eight was an extremely popular fare for many years. However, for just 10 cents per way, many casinos still require a player to play the 120-way eight, and the 190-way 8.
Each amount is protected on a 190-way eight, and any way to make an eight-spot is included (yes, there are 190 ways to do that). Since this is a 10 cents per way 190-way ticket, the overall cost for a single game is $19. The ten-way 120 cost $12.
Unless otherwise stated in the Keno rules, way tickets pay the same as other games regardless of their cost per way, so a 10-cent way pays 1/10th of the $1 straight fare. An eight-place winner will pay as much as $1,800 on that easy 10-cent ticket
In the past you had to collect your winnings from your game before the next game started, because Keno was done completely by hand. Today most casinos are honoring their 30-day tickets. Test the counter before you quit Keno!
You can play multiple games (called multi-race tickets) and test your winnings later, since games are now entered in a computer system. There is also a chance that multi-race games will be available at a reduced rate. In many cases, 100-game tickets can be played for 10 cents per game or a way. At the start of their break, some players like to play a 100-game ticket and forget about the games— waiting until the 100-games have passed before checking to see if they qualify.
Playing a multi-race 100-game ticket with a 10-cents eight-spot per game is only $10. That’s a low-cost bet for a $1,800 chance to go home if it hits, and a six or seven-spot hit will get you some cash too. Additionally, some Keno operators are offering special tickets, maybe an eight-point with a super payoff for the eight-point but nothing for the lower hits. Once you leave, ensure you know what the payoffs are.
Keno is a simple, soothing game you can play for a couple of dollars while you’re resting or enjoying a leisurely meal. A way ticket will give everyone a chance to join in the fun at your dinner party, without spending more than a few bucks. It’s one of the best bargains casinos for potential payoffs, even if the edge of the house is high.