How Do You Play A Keno Machine?

When you step into a casino you are faced with the choice of several different electronic gaming machines to choose from. Everyone knows about slot machines and video poker, but one underrated and often overlooked game is Keno.

You can find Keno machines in most casinos but they’re not as popular as some other options. This is largely because many people don’t know how to play them.

How Do You Play A Keno Machine?

However, Keno is definitely worth learning about as it is one of the easiest and most interesting games available.

That’s why we’ve written this article about how to play a Keno machine (see also “What Is A Progressive Keno Machine?“). We will explain what Keno is, how it works, and everything else you need to know about this fun game.

Let’s get started!

What Is Keno?

Keno originates from China and is a lottery-style game. If you’ve ever played the Lotto before then Keno will soon seem familiar as it consists of picking some numbers and hoping that they match the numbers drawn at random by the machine (see also “Best Keno Machine Strategy“).

Keno uses the numbers 1 to 80. In every game, a machine randomly picks 20 of these numbers and it is these numbers that players need to match. 

Players will choose their numbers before every draw. The numbers that are picked by the players are traditionally known as spots.

The number of numbers that a player can pick will differ depending on the machine and other factors, but it is typically somewhere between 1 and 15.

How To Play Keno

Traditionally, Keno is played like the Lotto and has a big machine full of 80 numbered balls that are drawn at random (see also “Are Keno Machines Random?“). With Keno machines, this is different, of course, but the basic method is the same.

The screen of your machine will show a Keno card that has all 80 numbers listed in numerical order. You can make your selections by pressing the numbers, or Keno spots.

As you select your numbers, the machine will usually update you with details about your bet. It will tell you how much you could win depending on the number of matches and how much your stake is.

This allows you to see what you are playing for and make good decisions. 

If you select a large number of spots, some machines may even pay out if you match zero numbers at all as that becomes more difficult than matching one or two!

Keep an eye on the information displayed to see what you might win.

Some machines may also indicate what are hot or cold numbers. Hot numbers are ones that have been frequently drawn and cold numbers are ones that haven’t. This can also help you to choose your numbers.

Once you have made your selection and confirmed it, the Keno machine will draw the winning numbers. This will appear on the screen. If you pick a number that is drawn, this is known as either a match or a catch.

As the numbers are drawn, the Keno card will automatically update and highlight any matches that you have so you don’t have to keep track of this. Instead, you can just sit back and watch as you hopefully win big!

How To Pick Keno Numbers

There are two main methods of picking your Keno numbers. Let’s look at them both in turn.

Manual Pick

This is the option that most people probably think of when it comes to picking numbers. Whether you decide to choose numbers that have important relevance to you or to just select numbers at random, these are spots that you have picked yourself.

You will need to decide how many numbers you want to play and how many games you want to play.

Most Keno machines will give you the option of saving your numbers for subsequent games but you can also pick fresh numbers each time if you wish. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the odds and prices as you select your numbers.

Automatic Pick

If you don’t want to pick your own numbers and are willing to put your success in the hands of the Keno machine, you can get the machine to pick for you.

This is far quicker than manually picking your numbers as well so if you’re running low on time you may want to select this option.

Decide how many numbers you want to play and then select to have them generated at random. Once the Keno machine has picked your numbers, you will be able to decide how much you want to stake and can check the odds.

The Different Types Of Keno Bets

There are many different bets you can place on a Keno machine so let’s run through some of these (see also “Can You Win on Keno Machines?“). They may not all be available on every machine, however.

Straight Bets

How Do You Play A Keno Machine? (1)

This is the most simple bet. You choose your numbers and then get a payout depending on how many numbers you match.

Way Bets

After you have selected your numbers, you then separate them into equal subgroups known as ways. You can only include a number in a single way. For example, 15 numbers can be split into three ways that have five numbers each.

Split Bets

This option allows you to play several games at the same time. You can choose more than one set of numbers and play them separately on the same draw.

Combo Bet

Also known as a combination ticket, this allows you to mix up how you play. You can combine the other types of bets so, for example, you can play some numbers as a straight bet and others as way bets.

King Ticket

This follows the same pattern as split bets with one major difference. On a king ticket, you choose one number to be the King, and this number is included in all of your groups.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we introduced how to play a Keno machine. We looked at selecting numbers and the different types of bets.

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Richie Thames
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