Keno: A Beginner’s Guide

Keno: A Beginner’s Guide
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If you’re interested in playing Keno, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together a guide to help you understand everything you need to know about Keno. Our helpful guide will talk you through how to play Keno so you can start playing straight away! We’ll explain the different types of ways you can pick Keno numbers and how it’s different to Bingo. And let you know where you can play bingo online in New Zealand.

So, let’s get started by explaining what Keno is and how it works…

What is Keno?

Keno is a lottery-style game that hails from China. The rules are similar to Lotto and involve choosing numbers to see if they match numbers that are drawn at random. You can choose how many numbers you want to play per line, how much you want to spend, and how many games you want to play. You can even add a Multiplier to boost your chances of selecting the winning numbers!

The Keno rules are pretty simple. At each Keno draw, 20 numbers are chosen randomly out of 80 potential numbers. If enough of the numbers you choose are drawn, you have a winning ticket!

Steps to Playing Keno

If you’re ready to start playing Keno, just follow these steps to get started.


  1. Select Card: At the beginning of a Keno game, you’ll receive a card displaying numbers from 1 to 80. You need to select the numbers that you think will be drawn.
  2. Choose Numbers: If you’re playing offline, say at a local club or pub, you can usually mark up to 10 numbers per game. But if you’re playing online Keno, many casinos will let you choose up to 15 or even 20 numbers per game. Each individual number is known as a ‘Keno spot’.
  3. Payout Table: In online Keno games, once you choose your numbers, you’ll be able to view the payout table. This lets you know how much you could win per game by matching specific numbers. The more Keno numbers you match when the numbers are drawn, the higher the payout.
  4. Depending on where you’re playing, some Keno tickets reward matching zero numbers if you choose above a certain amount of numbers. We always recommend that you check out the terms and conditions of each online casino before playing.
  5. Bet Size: You’ll next need to think about your wager amount and whether you want to play multiple games using the same numbers. You can also choose to multiply your bet, which will give you higher payouts if your numbers are randomly selected.
  6. The Game Starts: Once you’ve made your wager, the drawn numbers will appear on the screen. Most screens will also show you hot numbers, which are those numbers that have been recently drawn. They’ll also display cold numbers, which haven’t appeared recently.
  7. You may wish to use these hot numbers and cold numbers to inform your next wager. But remember, like many online casino games, it comes down to the luck of the draw!
  8. Matching Numbers: Check to see if you’ve got any matches to see if you have a winning ticket. If you’ve got a match, it’s often referred to as ‘catching a spot’ in Keno. The number of spots you match determines your winnings.

Once the draw is completed, you can choose to get a new ticket if you’re playing in a physical location. If you’re playing online Keno, you can use the same set of numbers, select new numbers, or allow the numbers to be randomly selected for you.

Picking Keno Numbers

There are a few different ways that you can pick your Keno numbers. Some players prefer to choose between four and eight numbers because it gives decent payout odds with less risk. At the same time, others enjoy the thrill of selecting just one number which can help boost your winnings.

The more numbers you select, the bigger the chance you’ll get a match. However, remember, that the payout multiplier decreases when your numbers increase.

There are two options for choosing your numbers when playing Keno:

Manual Picks

Follow these steps if you want to pick your numbers manually:

  1. Decide which numbers you want to choose to play.
  2. Consider the payouts and odds for the numbers to ensure they work for you.
  3. Consider your budget and how much you want to wager on each game.
  4. Place your wager and watch to see which numbers match!
  5. You can then choose the same numbers to play again or start again with new numbers.

Automatic Picks

When choosing automatically, it works differently than manually picking your numbers.

  1. Consider how many numbers you want to play.
  2. Choose ‘select numbers by random’ to be automatically assigned numbers.
  3. Your random numbers will pop up on your card, and if you’re happy with these, you can place your wager.
  4. Check to see if you’ve got any winning numbers!
  5. Play again using the same numbers, or start with a new set of numbers.

Different Keno Bets

Learning about the different types of Keno bets available can help you decide how many numbers to pick, the best number combinations for you and even how many games you want to play. Let’s take a look.

Straight bets

These are the most common types of Keno bets and are known as the simplest way to play. Depending on the game you’re playing, and where you’re playing, you can place a wager on up to 20 numbers per game.

Way bets

This is when you choose a group of numbers and break them into subgroups, known as ‘ways’. To win this type of bet in a Keno draw, each number must only appear one way. Repeated numbers aren’t allowed.

Split bets

You can split your bets by betting on more than one set of numbers per game. Each number is treated as a separate number.

Combination ticket

This type of Keno bet is also known as a ‘combo bet’. It works by choosing a group of numbers you play together on the one Keno ticket for a single game. You can choose a combination of way bets or straight bets.

King ticket

This type of bet works by choosing just a single number. It’s similar to a split bet, but the number you choose, known as the King, must appear in all your groups during a Keno game.

Helpful Keno Tips

Keno is like a lottery game, so it comes down to luck. But there are some tips you can use that help to increase your odds of winning.

  • Only play at trusted sites: We only recommend our readers play at licensed and reputable sites to keep your personal information safe and secure.
  • Play for free: A great way to learn how to play Keno is by playing in demo or free mode to practice. You can place ‘bets’ without risking losing any money and work out how many numbers or what type of bets work best for you.
  • Look at the payouts: When checking payouts, the lower the house edge and the larger the payouts, the better. Try a few different sites before playing to ensure you’re happy with the payout offer. Also, try to find Keno games that pay out even if you only have some spots.
  • Maximise bonuses and promotions: Many online casinos will offer you Keno bonus offers to sign up and start playing. These can be a great way to get some extra funds to bet free and improve your chance to win.
  • Gamble responsibly: Make sure that you set a budget and always gamble within your means. If you’re ever worried your gambling is getting out of hand when you play Keno, there is lots of help and advice available for responsible gambling in New Zealand.

Bingo vs. Keno

While there are some similarities between Keno games and Bingo, they also have some big differences. Let’s look at each so you can decide which type of game is right for you.


In a game of Bingo, you’ve issued a ticket with numbers on it. You don’t place any bets during Bingo, but instead, cross out your numbers as they’re drawn. To create a winning card.


Unlike Bingo, Keno involves more participation and decision-making by individual players. When you play Keno, you choose your own numbers. You also need to consider the payouts and odds and can pick different types of bets that offer higher Keno winnings than other combinations.

It’s also your responsibility to make sure you keep track of the numbers that are drawn on your Keno ticket.

Where to play Keno

Now you know how to play Keno, are you ready to play Keno for real money? Keno is widely available in New Zealand. Our expert team has reviewed plenty of casinos that offer Keno drawings and put together a list of the best casinos for you to play at.

Visit a few sites, take a look around, and see what bonuses are on offer. Then grab your Keno ticket to be in with a chance to win!

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Noah Adams
Noah Adams
Senior Content Editor
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Noah is the senior content editor at CasinoCrawlers and a writer with many iGaming articles under his portfolio. Therefore, he is skilled at writing bonus guidelines, gambling strategies, and casino reviews. During his spare time, he enjoys playing Call of Duty and is a huge rugby fan.

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