KENO: Things you have always wanted to know about the game
What is KENO, where did it come from, and how is it played? Originating in ancient China, KENO has a rich and fascinating history that intertwines with cultural heritage, excitement, and the possibility of life-changing payouts. In this blog, we’ll delve into the origins of KENO, explore its intriguing history, learn how it’s played, examine its payouts, and discover some fascinating facts along the way. Get ready to unlock the secrets of this enchanting lottery game!
It’s a long story
The game of KENO has a long and rich history that can be traced back to ancient China. Its roots can be found during the Han Dynasty, around 200 BCE. KENO, meaning “white dove ticket,” was initially known as “baige piao” or “pai-ko p’iao,” which translates to “white pigeon ticket.”
During this time, China was engaged in various conflicts, and the government required additional funding for military campaigns and other public projects. Legend has it that the creation of KENO was a way to finance the construction of the Great Wall of China. It is believed that the game was introduced by a man named Cheung Leung, a Chinese ruler during the Han Dynasty.
The game quickly gained popularity and eventually made its way to the United States in the 19th century, thanks to Chinese immigrants who came seeking fortune during the California Gold Rush. Initially, KENO was played with Chinese characters, but as it spread across the globe, it evolved to incorporate Arabic numerals.
How to Play KENO
Playing KENO is relatively straightforward, making it accessible to both newcomers and seasoned gamblers. In a manner similar to many popular lotteries today, the game revolves around numbers, luck, and anticipation. Here’s a simplified breakdown of the gameplay:
- Players start by choosing numbers from a pool typically ranging from 1 to 80. The number of selected spots can vary depending on the casino or platform.
- After selecting their numbers, players place their bets. The amount wagered can also vary, providing flexibility for players of different budgets.
- The KENO machine or computer system randomly selects a predetermined number of winning numbers, commonly known as “spots.”
- The more numbers a player matches with the winning spots, the higher their payout. Different pay tables offer varying payouts based on the number of matches.
- Payouts are determined by the player’s initial wager and the number of matches, offering an exciting range of possibilities.
Payouts and Rewards
One of the most enticing aspects of KENO is the potential for substantial payouts. The more spots you match, the higher your payout. Here’s a glimpse into the world of KENO payouts:
- One Match: Typically, matching a single number results in a push or a small payout.
- Multiple Matches: As the number of matches increases, so do the potential payouts. Matching three or more numbers can yield substantial rewards.
- Maximum Matches: In some cases, players who match all of their selected spots can win a massive jackpot, often reaching life-changing amounts.
KENO has gained popularity worldwide and is now available in numerous countries, both in land-based casinos and online gambling platforms. With the rise of online gambling, KENO has successfully made its way to the digital realm. Players can now enjoy the game from the comfort of their own homes using computers or mobile devices. Unlike traditional lottery games, KENO offers quick results. Drawings occur frequently, ensuring a fast-paced and exciting gaming experience. Some KENO games offer progressive jackpots, where the jackpot amount keeps increasing until it is won. These jackpots can reach staggering sums and provide players with the chance to win life-changing amounts of money.
Many casinos offer multi-race KENO, allowing players to select numbers for several consecutive games in advance. This feature adds convenience and excitement, as players can participate in multiple games without having to choose numbers for each individual drawing.
One of the most famous and notable KENO wins occurred in 2015 when a woman named Cynthia Jay Brennan hit a life-changing jackpot while playing Mega KENO at the Desert Inn Casino in Las Vegas. Her incredible win amounted to a staggering $34.9 million.
Yes, there’s Strategy
While KENO is primarily a game of chance, some players employ strategies or betting systems to enhance their odds.
Some players believe in selecting numbers that frequently appear in previous KENO draws. These numbers are considered “hot” numbers, and the theory is that they may have a higher chance of being drawn again. Conversely, others prefer to choose numbers that haven’t appeared recently, called “cold” numbers, in the hope that they are “due” to come up.
Some players look for number patterns or combinations that they believe may have a higher probability of being drawn. This could include selecting numbers in a diagonal line, a specific shape, or using other numerical patterns.
And some players believe in the Winning Streak concept. The idea behind this strategy is that when a player experiences a series of consecutive wins, they may believe that their luck is “hot” or that the winning streak will continue. As a result, they may increase their wagers or continue to bet on the same numbers. My own mother used this approach successfully and I use it myself when playing Black Jack.
KENO can be a lot of fun in an in-person casino, especially if you’re sitting with a group of friends while you play. Gathered around KENO lounges (or even a screen if at home) and watching the numbers being drawn is exciting and because there are multiple prize tiers even if players don’t hit the jackpot, they can still win prizes for matching a certain number of spots, which adds to the enjoyment of the game. And some casinos offer themed KENO games – pop culture themes or seasonal variations – which adds to the traditional KENO experience.