How to play Keno(and win) - Mad Casino Bonus UK

Learn how to play Keno in any online casino. Keno rules, tips, guidelines, strategy and different Keno tables to play in online casinos.

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How to play Keno, and strategies to win at Keno

Keno is a game played in online casinos in the UK and quite honestly, in the entire world. The main strategy for winning real money playing Keno is the branch of mathematics known as combinatronics.

In this short article we will provide you all the answers you might need when it comes to playing Keno. We will bring them all to you: rules, strategies and even a free formula you can use to calculate your Expected Return (ER) when you play for real money in online keno.

Online Keno is a perfect example of a love it or hate it type of game. And that’s perfectly fine! Some Casino games are just like that - you will either enjoy endless sessions regardless of the odds stacked against you or in your favour, or they will just feel like a chore.

Many gamers all around the UK gather to play online Keno for hours on end, while others scratch their heads in bewilderment that this game is still allowed to wreak havoc on people’s nerves.

Since you’re here, we’ll assume you belong to the group of people who enjoy keno, or those who are curios to learn how to play keno, in which case we’ve curated a list containing UK’s finest free bonuses. Check them out below!

In this article we will be going over how to play keno, the basic strategy used while playing online keno and win real money, as well as the history of the game. Let’s go! But first, check out our recommendations for online keno casinos with free bonuses!

The history of Keno

Although the word keno has French or Latin roots - meaning five winning numbers, the game actually originates from China. If you like fuzzy feel good stories, you’re going to love this one! It’s said that keno saved a city from a siege once! Keno may have even served to raise funds for building the Great Wall of China. It’s not every day a fun pastime contributes to one of the Seven Wonders of the World!

According to some, in great cities the results of keno games were sent to outlying villages and hamlets by carrier pigeons, making an alternative name for keno to have been “white dove ticket”.

The Chinese played the game using the first 80 characters of the Chinese alphabet. Eventually, Chinese immigrants taught the new world how to play keno in the 19th century, in the Americas. Come 1866, it was already an incredibly popular gambling game in Houston, Texas, under the name of keno.

How to play Keno: The rules

If you had to pinpoint the most underrated Casino game with free bonuses, what would it be?

Many players would say it’s Keno.

Keno is a game that requires you to choose 1 to 10 numbers from a given table of numbers ranging from 1 to 80; in this aspect, it is quite similar to Bingo.

The numbers are then drawn and, depending on how many of them you got right, you might get a lot of real money.

More rules, More Keno

At traditional casino tables Keno is played with numbered balls. All of them are put in a circular transparent container where they spin around until 20 of them are drawn.

When it comes to online UK casinos however, the technology available today allows casinos to play around with the draw animations and so forth. Fear not, all the casinos software has to be independently licensed, checked and vetted. So you can be sure that online gambling is safe nowadays!

After everyone has picked their numbers, the game will “call” 20 random numbers which rule out the round’s losers. The real money paid out in Keno depends entirely on how many numbers selected by you have been drawn by the casino. The more correctly matched numbers, the larger the reward.

The amounts of real money won on Keno can differ depending on the casino or keno variant, so check the rules before playing!

Luckily for you, we’ve gathered a list of great places to play keno, with free bonuses of course!

How to play a game of Online Keno

When starting a Keno game, you will receive a card or see a table which displays numbers from 1 to 80.

You can place your bet by selecting the numbers you think will come up at the draw.

Although, generally, keno players are allowed to mark 1 to 10 numbers on their cards, some online Casino platforms let you mark up to 20 numbers!

No matter which Keno platform you choose, the basic rules stay the same. Only the design, bet amount range and real money you can win, differ.

If you're a lottery or Bingo fan who likes games of chance like Slots, Roulette or Bingo, you should give Keno a try. Be aware that we do not have specific rules that will guarantee you will win, only ways to improve your chances. Although many online platforms advertise their magic keno numbers that will help you win, please don’t bother with them. These will either work in rogue casinos, opening you up to a host of unforeseen consequences, or are outright scams. Don’t be fooled! Even the best Keno strategy or system cannot guarantee a win every time you play. In order to learn how to play keno, you must understand that it is still very much a game of chance. It certainly is enjoyable, feels like a sugar rush and, much like an actual sugar rush, it can’t be controlled.

And now, for the strategy tips!

No.1 Strategy to win at Keno

Many self-proclaimed professional gamblers say that Keno is "a game for suckers" due to the high odds of winning the house has against the player. Indeed, the odds are stacked in favour of the house, the house having a 40 to 25 percent edge in some cases. A little math however shows that the rules of online Keno can bring you a lot of money, if used correctly.

While the house edge makes jackpots a lot more rare, a full game of Keno can last up to 10 minutes in total and can cost you only a pound to play. In fact, it might be free! Check our selection!

Keno is a great game to play while relaxing and thinking of nearly free wins. It is a game for fun loving people and for those who want to try their chance at huge sums without spending a whole lot of money.

Make Sure You Get a Bonus to Play Keno

While traditional casinos will entice you to the keno tables with drinks and snacks on the house, online Keno sites keep you on their pages with free bonuses – and our partners are no exception.

As a Keno player, you would normally need to spend some time looking for good keno online casinos, but not here. Once you’ve learned how to play keno, we’ve got you covered for UK casinos too!

Finding the right bonus to play might not seem an important part of an effective Keno strategy, especially if you think it's all about lucky numbers bought at a low cost. However, free bonuses can be your best defence against high house odds and variance.

Hot and Cold numbers – Don’t Try It! How to play keno with better numbers

Never base your Keno strategy on cold numbers and hot numbers. Like any game of chance, the numbers picked are verifiably random, if you are playing at a reputable casino. This means that while the casino cannot purposefully make you lose, you also will be unable to win with magic numbers.

Whether you use the Quick Pick feature available at almost any online casino or the date of your birth, the odds are the same.

Don’t always use quick picks however – it takes some of the fun out of the game.

For the most fun, write down a list of numbers that mean something to you or even nothing at all.

A personal favourite of ours is to use prime numbers. Once you’ve ruled out the numbers you don’t want, sit back and enjoy.

Multi Race Cards at Online Keno

If you’re in a rush however, especially if you plan on playing the same numbers again once you’re done, you should pick the Multi Race Cards that most online Keno sites make available to players. This is a good strategy if you don’t have time to waste.

The Multi-Race cards strategy allows you to play the same numbers over a series of consecutive Keno games.

Winning Odds in Keno

It’s time for math! Yes, we know, numbers can be boring, but it’s best you know the odds.

What are the chances you will hit all 20 numbers – is it a strategy or not?

The key to getting huge keno wins and even the seven figure jackpot consisting of real money offered on many Keno casinos is to play for 20 numbers and get every single one of them. Is this something that can realistically happen though?

Joan Kung once said "Learning Mathematics Helps Us Be Virtuous."

There are 3,535,316,142,212,172,000 different ways for a random group of 20 numbers to be picked among a total of 80 numbers.

While this might make keno put a bee in your bonnet, you don't need to play all 20 numbers in order to win real money.

If the 20-spot ticket isn't going to be included in our games for obvious reasons, let's see what happens when you play Keno with a 6-spot ticket.

Here’s a little graph showing the probability of winning on all 20 numbers:


0 - 0.16602 1 in 6

1 - 0.36349 1 in 2.75

2 - 0.30832 1 in 3.25

3 $1 0.12982 1 in 7.7

4 $5 0.02854 1 in 35

5 $75 0.00310 1 in 322.5

6 $2.000 0.00013 1 in 7,962

If algebra bores you, I’ll sum up this graph: you have less than 2 in 10 chances to grab the jackpot. You can still win plenty of money that isn’t a jackpot though!

So use our bonuses for an extra boost. Who knows? Maybe you don’t need the other 8 chances!

Getting free real money as a bonus may change the rules of the math game in your favour.

In case you want to see the odds of hitting all the numbers in the combination of 20, including those in between 6 and 20, we’ve prepared this table for you. Keep in mind, however, that most games will only give you 10 numbers to pick.


0 1 in 843.380 (0.11857057%)

1 1 in 86.446 (1.15678605%)

2 1 in 20.115 (4.97142576%)

3 1 in 8.009 (12.48637168%)

4 1 in 4.877 (20.50318987%)

5 1 in 4.287 (23.32807380%)

6 1 in 5.258 (19.01745147%)

7 1 in 8.826 (11.32954556%)

8 1 in 20.055 (4.98618021%)

9 1 in 61.420 (1.62814048%)

10 1 in 253.801 (0.39401000%)

11 1 in 1,423.822 (0.07023351%)

12 1 in 10,968.701 (0.00911685%)

13 1 in 118,084.920 (0.00084685%)

14 1 in 1,821,881.628 (0.00005489%)

15 1 in 41,751,453.986 (0.00000240%)

16 1 in 1,496,372,110.872 (0.00000007%)

17 1 in 90,624,035,964.712

18 1 in 10,512,388,171,906.553

19 1 in 2,946,096,785,176,811.500

20 1 in 3,535,316,142,212,173,800.000

Hot and Cold: Keno, not Potato

We’ve mentioned them before, so let’s talk a bit more about hot numbers and cold numbers.

Cold Numbers: These are the numbers that haven’t been drawn in a long time. After 15 consecutive times when a number is missing from the draw, it will generally be considered a cold number.

Hot Numbers: A hot number is a number that comes up frequently in a sequence of five Keno games. Many will let you in on a “secret” about which number is really hot. It’s false, don’t fall for it. Only play the numbers you want to.

Common strategies used to win games of online Keno

The Combinatronics strategy

Time for some more math! If you feel you got a good grasp on the rules of keno, please view our selection of bonuses we’ve mentioned at the beginning of this article.

A game of Keno is built in such a way that you can calculate your expected return every time you play. Very few games allow you to predict odds and the ones that do, such as blackjack, don’t take kindly to you attempting to do so. This isn’t blackjack however, so it doesn’t count.

Slightly similar to blackjack, combinatronics can help you calculate the different ways you can arrange a fraction of a whole. Yes, keno is a piece of cake: both in taste and statistically.

Out of 80 numbers, only 20 will help you win. So which numbers could they be?

Using combinatronics can get you the Expected Return (ER) and figure out how much real money you stand to gain in your games.

Summed up : Expected Return = Payoff x Probability

Here’s the equation we promised:

Winning Spots Payoff Probability Expected Return 3 GBP1 0.0839 0.0839 4 GBP11 0.0121 0.1331 5 GBP750 0.000645 0.4838 Total ER:0.7008

E = Total ER - Amount Bet: 0.7008 - 1 = 0.2992

From here, we can also check the house edge, which in this case is 29.92%

Ready to give the squares a good shakedown?

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