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  Keno:

Keno is also called “Chinese bingo,” and with good reason, as the two games are quite similar. Keno is also quite like playing the lottery. In fact, we might say that if bingo and lottery met each other after a wild night in Vegas and somehow produced a love-child, their offspring would be Keno.

In Keno, a special machine mixes eighty numbered balls inside a clear plastic sphere or bubble (much like in bingo). A single ball will pop out of the machine every so often, and the number will be called out. Players will have been issued Keno tickets (often for the price of about five dollars), and have selected twenty numbers out of the eighty on the ticket. The object is to have selected as many numbers matching the ones thrown out by the machine as you can. A computer helps to determine exactly how much your partially-correct ticket (a ticket with completely correct numbers is well-nigh impossible) is worth.

If we are going to try to find a “skill” element in keno, then, we will be locating it in the wager system. The complexity of this system more than makes up for the simplicity found in other elements of the game.

Firstly, casinos offer different tickets. You can choose to purchase a ticket that asks you to fill up ten, twelve, or fifteen numbers instead of twenty, for example. The option to fill up fewer numbers (or “spots,” in keno jargon) might be very helpful, especially for new players, because it narrows down your options. It also prevents players from getting bored and annoyed in the process of selecting a long list of numbers. Players might have an easier time winning money on tickets that ask for fewer spots. Of course, the payouts tend to be smaller. It is really up to the player to decide what he or she values more.

Keno


Keno players would also do well to master the paytable system in their favorite casino. A paytable is the common term given to the different pay scales available in a casino’s Keno game. Every casino has its own system. Try to learn as much as you can about your options before placing your first wager. Unfortunately, the larger casinos tend to have dozens of options. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of keno, especially for beginners.

It must be understood that the mechanics of the paytable system are well worth learning, because the most unexpected tickets can generate huge rewards. For example, under certain systems, you might actually get several hundred or even over a thousand dollars’ worth of prize money for getting absolutely none of the numbers right! (Not as weird as it sounds. You have twenty chances to get at least a few of the numbers right. A ticket that has none of the twenty “correct” numbers is, in a way, more special than a ticket that has one or two correct numbers.) If you have neither the time nor the inclination to learn all the options available to you, try to ask a more experienced player (whom you trust, of course) for advice.

Now that we know a bit more about how Keno works, let us evaluate the playing experience.

Like other games of chance, such as slots or roulette, the appeal of keno has a lot to do with thrilling rituals or charming paraphernalia. A great deal of the fun comes from watching the balls bounce around in the machine, and of clutching your ticket while hoping for good results. Keno can be a great experience in the larger casinos, which usually know how to put on a good show. A good caller will know how to draw out the audience’s suspense, while at the same time not stretching their nerves to the point that the players become exhausted and move on to another game.

Keno Online


In addition, the structure of the game opens it up to a wide variety of players. The basic rules are quite easy to learn, so people who are not used to gambling at all can give it a try. The stakes are not very high, so even players on a budget can give Keno a few tries. Those who are looking for a more involved, skill-heavy experiences can also have fun experimenting with different types of tickets, paytables and betting strategies. Part of the beauty of Keno is that both types of players have a chance at winning.

Now on to the less positive points. There is very little player-to-player interaction in the sense of other games, such as poker. Players looking for a game that enables them to match their wits with other experts would be better served elsewhere. Then again, not every player is after interaction, as demonstrated by the popularity of other rather solitary casino games, such as slots.

Another potential nitpick is the wager system. Though the basic rules of Keno are simple, a beginner wishing to learn the various advantages and disadvantages of the different paying structures is likely to become confused. Also, once you master the system used in a particular casino, you still cannot expect to use that knowledge once you move to another establishment. True, many players might benefit from a more uniform system of paying structures that is the same across the board. However, a wide variety of paytables may be beyond the means of small casinos, and larger casinos will be understandably reluctant to narrow down the types of paying scales they offer. In addition, we cannot say that the wide variety of systems out there is not an advantage to players. Some may even have a fun time going casino-hopping, trying many different places until they find one with a system that suits their inclinations and budgets.

In sum, keno is a fun, charming game that accommodates both inexperienced players and those who have been around the block a bit more and are keen to try out their knowledge or any interesting strategies they may have heard about. It is no wonder that, though the game began in China, it has become a big success in the West, as well.

  List of casinos with Keno:

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