How to play keno online

Article by Simon Young
Discover how to play keno in Canadian online casinos
Last Updated: Feb 19th, 2024 Share On Your Network:

Discover everything you need to know about the exciting Keno casino game and the best online casinos for players in Canada. Do you have a burning desire to learn how to play keno? Or perhaps you keep seeing keno game tiles in online casino lobbies and want to know more? Our online casino experts are here to help. Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to play keno. We’ve broken down the game’s history, where you can play keno online in Canada, and investigated why this exciting game of chance is so popular with Canadian players. Ready to learn the rules of keno and get tips for how to win keno online? Buckle up, we’re going in.

Overview of Keno

Keno is a lottery-style gambling game available at many casinos, bars and lottery outlets across Canada. It’s a popular game of chance offering fantastic win potential. Keno is often mistaken for a form of bingo because of the cards used and the ball machines traditionally used to draw numbers. You select numbers between 1 and 80 and an amount to wager. When you’re finished betting, 20 numbers are drawn – in the case of online casinos using a random number generator – and marked off on keno tickets. 

How to play Keno

Learning to play keno is not very difficult, which adds to the game’s popularity. The objective is to guess which numbers will be drawn correctly. 

To play, you fill out a keno card by selecting the numbers you want to bet on. You can choose anywhere from 1 to 20 numbers, depending on your game and the amount you wish to bet.

The keno ticket is a card you fill out to play the game. The most common is a straight ticket, which has eight rows of 10 numbers from 1 to 80, known as spots. Fill in your card as follows:

  1. Select between 1 and 20 numbers to bet on – remember, the more you pick, the higher your chances of winning. Most players choose between four and eight spots.
  2. Next, select your wager per game – this is the same regardless of the number of spots you have chosen. The minimum and maximum wager available will vary from game to game.
  3. Finally, sit back and watch the numbers come in to see if you’re a winner.

Before filling out your ticket and committing your wager, ensure you understand the rules and payouts of the specific keno game you’re playing. This will help you make informed decisions when choosing numbers and placing bets. 

Keno Gameplay

The key thing to remember when you are learning to play keno is that the outcome of the game is entirely random. The numbers are determined by the game’s random number generator (RNG), powered by a complex algorithm to ensure genuinely random outcomes. The number of balls drawn in any one game varies depending on the specific game rules. Common versions of keno in Canada include the classic version, mini keno, power keno, and live dealer keno games. 

Odds and Payouts

The number of spots you pick per game dictates your payout for matching numbers. The more numbers you pick and match, the higher your payout will be. Payout amounts for online keno can be determined by reading the game’s pay table. The odds depend on how many numbers you pick and how many numbers are drawn. For example, If you pick one number from 80 and 20 are drawn, the odds of matching it are one in four. However, if you choose two numbers in the same game, the odds of matching both are one in 160. That’s a big difference, and the payouts are awarded accordingly. The house edge for online keno is the percentage of each bet the casino expects to keep as revenue. The house edge for online keno can vary massively, anywhere from 4% to over 35%, making it one of the highest house edges in online gambling. Keno is a highly volatile game, meaning it pays out infrequently, but you can win large amounts when it does. 

Strategies and Tips

If you’re looking for tips on how to play keno or strategies to win keno online, remember keno is a game of chance, so you cannot accurately predict the outcome. That said, you can employ strategies to ensure you get the most out of your keno experience. 


Do your research

Make sure you understand the game rules before you start gambling.

Pick the best payouts

Different keno games may have different payout rates, so always check the pay table before playing.

Play fewer numbers

One of the most straightforward keno strategies is to play fewer numbers per round. This way, you increase your chances of getting a higher payout. For example, playing ten numbers means you need five hits to break even, but if you play four numbers, you only need to match 2 to win your money back.

Play responsibly and never bet outside your means

Set a limit before you start playing, and don’t exceed it. Keno can be a great entertainment, provided you play responsibly and gamble within your means.

Keno in Canada

Keno originated in ancient China and was brought to the West around the 19th Century. The name “keno” stems from the Latin word for five. Fast forward to 2023, and keno has been popularised worldwide and enjoyed across Canada, with the first official game launched in the 1980s. Canada has an interesting relationship with the keno game – did you know, for example, that the once vibrant mining town of Keno City is named after the popular game after it was introduced to the country by Chinese railroad workers? Or that one lucky winner back in 2017 scored a staggering $2.5 million payout off a $1 bet? And the controversial politician John Turmel is the self-proclaimed King of Keno.

Playing Keno Online

Now you know how to play online keno; you are probably wondering which are the best online casinos to play keno in Canada. There are so many to choose from as it is such a popular game, so we recommend you focus on reputable casinos you know you can trust. For example, Golden Star Casino or Bitvegas if you prefer betting with crypto. Playing keno at online casinos gives you more opportunities to try different versions of the popular casino game. Online casinos are convenient as you can play at any time that suits you, and if you’re not playing, the live dealer version offers a faster gameplay experience. You can earn big rewards from small bets, but the game’s higher-than-average house edge and high variance means you could power through your balance trying to hit those big wins. It’s important always to gamble responsibly and never bet more than you can afford. 

Keno Variations

There are many versions of keno available for Canadians. Find out how to play popular keno games, including:

  • Classic Keno: You select up to 20 numbers from the 80 options on the board in the hope of matching the 20 that are randomly drawn. 
  • Mini Keno: A faster version of keno; 10 balls are drawn from 40 instead of 20 from 80. The payout rules differ, but the rest is similar to classic keno.
  • Power Keno: You choose one or more “power numbers” before each round in this version. If the last ball drawn matches one of your power numbers, a 4x multiplier is applied to your winnings.
  • Super Keno or Bonus Keno: Super Keno includes a progressive jackpot. Match the first number drawn with one of your picks and place a super bet to qualify for the jackpot. Multipliers for the super bet can range from 4x to 10x.
  • Live Keno: You can play live dealer keno at online casinos and watch the action via video stream. Players can interact with fellow players and the dealer using live chat. 

Legal and Regulatory Considerations

As most Canadians will know, outside of Ontario, online gambling is not legal for entities based in Canada. But there is nothing to stop Canadian residents from accessing online casino sites regulated in international jurisdictions, provided they are of legal gambling age. As Keno is a game that involves gambling with real money, the same rules apply.

Promotional Offers and Bonuses

Now, onto the juicy stuff: casino bonuses and promotional offers. If you’re looking for a new online casino where you can play keno, then you’re going to want to find an online casino that offers bonuses for keno games. Online casinos offer a variety of bonuses to enhance your casino experience, including welcome bonuses, no deposit bonuses, seasonal promotions and more. Many bonuses apply to various casino games, but you can also find exclusive bonuses designed explicitly for playing keno. Always check bonus Ts & Cs to ensure you know restrictions, wagering requirements and expiry dates before playing. 


Well, there you have it, the wonderful world of online keno unpicked and laid bare. Hopefully, this article has helped you master the art of how to play keno, and you are now ready to explore playing online. Always check the pay table and game rules before betting, stick to only a few spots per round, and never bet more than you can afford. Follow safer gambling practices whenever you’re gambling online, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy playing keno.

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