Keno’s like that one friend we all have - the one without a a bad bone in their body. Easygoing, generous and zero fallout, what’s not to love about one of the most popular online lottery games. Players enjoy the instantaneity, being able to find out if they’ve won, and the fact that they can play on demand. So how do you play keno and what’s it all about? Read on to:

  • Discover winning tips and tricks
  • Learn about different types of bets
  • Find out why you should play keno
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Keno offers progressive jackpots so when you win, you can win BIG!

How to play keno: in a nutshell

How to play keno: in a nutshell

The premise is simple. Make your claim on your lucky numbers then hope they match your ticket when the ballot is drawn. Before you begin, set yourself a gambling limit and check the payout chart. When you’re ready to play, start out with the betting minimum and raise the stakes as you progress, making sure not to bet on too many numbers or you’ll lower your payout.

Top Tips for Keno Beginners

Top Tips for Keno Beginners
  • Look out for special feature tickets where the casino will incentivise your game offering higher payouts or discounted wagers.
  • If you’re playing video keno, look for bonus features such as free spins, wilds, or scatters. Check the payout isn’t lower, though.
  • Play at a reputable and fair casino, such as one recommended by our gambling experts, as you’ll find better bonuses and bigger jackpots.
  • Get the best payout deals. They vary so much for the same combinations from one machine to the next so make sure you’re putting your money into the best ones to boost your buck.
  • Play progressive jackpot keno so you get in on the chance to win the mega money. The payout could be positively life-changing!

Different Types of Keno Bets

Of all the online gambling games to indulge in, keno is the most mindless of them all. It’s simply a game of luck. Anyway, let’s look at the types of bets.

  • Straight is a ticket where you select up to 20 numbers. Payout varies according to how many you selected and how many you bet on hitting.
  • Way bet is where you choose your selected numbers to show up in certain combinations. E.g. in 12 numbers you want two groups of six, three groups of four, and one group of 12. That’s three combinations.
  • 190-way ticket is a variation on the way bet and, just as it sounds, gives you the chance to win in 190 ways!
  • King number is a number that’s circled on its own. This number, in conjunction with a way bet, could join two other combinations together, adding yet another bet and chance to win on the ticket.
  • Split tickets allow you to combine multiple straight bets on the same ticket. It’s not much different than doing several straight tickets, but here you can’t use the same number more than once.
  • Combination tickets involve you putting a variety of bets on one ticket. So, you could have straights, kings, and way bets all paid for and displayed on one ticket.
  • Progressive jackpot games are scarce as payouts can be so huge that it works against the house. Progressive jackpots work by pooling all the money pumped into them by other players across a network. Rules vary so check them out, but you could win millions of dollars.

Where Does Keno Come From?

Where Does Keno Come From?

During the Chinese dynasty of Han over 3000 years ago, Emperor Cheung Leung had exhausted all political means to get money from his people and introduced a lottery, now known as “keno”. It soon spread across the country via white pigeon.

It proved a lucrative endeavour, and rumour has it that when the construction of the Great Wall of China was in need, the profits from the timeless game were called upon.

In the 19th century when Chinese workers set sail to the US, they took with them this lottery game. It thrived despite the ban on lotteries. Disguised as a horse race betting system, it continued to attract gamblers until its legalisation in the 20th century.


  • Keno was originally played with Chinese characters, not numbers!
  • Competitive keno players in live casinos prefer to mark their tickets with crayons instead of a pen.
  • NZ citizens aren’t required to report their keno winnings to the tax office, so it’s all free cash.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • It’s just like the lottery. Simply choose your lucky numbers and hope that when the ballot is drawn, they match up to your ticket.
  • We’d advise you stick to playing at online casino sites we’ve recommended. The way the numbers are generated is via software that’s audited to ensure it’s done fairly, so you can guarantee you’re playing a fair game. Make sure you keep to your bankroll and don’t exceed your gambling limits.
  • Keno is all down to luck so there’s really no strategy to maximise your potential. One thing we can say, however, is to bet more when you’re winning and bet less when you’re losing.
  • The odds in keno vary greatly depending on how many numbers you bet on. If you only choose one number, there’s a 1 in 4 chance you’ll win. If you choose four numbers, to hit them all you stand a 1 in 326.43 chance of winning. It’s worth consulting an odds chart beforehand to have a clear idea.
  • Not in New Zealand - whatever you win is yours to keep!
  • Yes! When you’re feeling confident enough and know how to manage your bankroll carefully, you’ll be ready to play real money keno games.
  • Sure! If you don’t want to commit your money to a game or simply want to get some practice in, there are plenty of free options on our recommended sites.
  • The minimum age requirement to play in New Zealand is 18 years.