Tips When Playing Keno at Casino

By Alan Kirk
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When playing the game of Keno, one of the key facts to remember is that the game is based on luck. The amount of skill used in Keno is limited to choosing the best type of ticket to play and making sure you receive your winnings. When playing Keno, you have no ability to influence the numbers that will be drawn at random. Keno is a guessing game, unlike skill-based card games such as poker and blackjack at the casino.


Before deciding in which casino to play Keno, check the payouts for the game. Frequently this information is either printed on the back of the Keno card you are filling out or posted on a payout table near where you pick up your card. Not all payouts are the same; compare which casinos offer payouts for getting the least numbers correct and which offer the highest payout. Playing at a casino offering lower payout on the same bet is just cheating yourself out of money. Ask at the Keno desk if there are any specials for Keno at the casino currently. Sometimes casinos run specials with special payouts if you play a certain amount of numbers on a Keno card and get 0 correct. If you don't ask, you might end up throwing away a winning Keno ticket.

Timeframe for Cashing a Ticket

Check with the casino about how long you have to cash in your winning Keno ticket. The Keno Guide website indicates that some casinos only give a very limited time, such as five minutes after the drawing, to cash in a winning ticket; others allow up to a year to redeem a winning ticket. One strategy suggested by the website is to purchase tickets for multiple games of Keno at once; this way if one of your first couple games win, you will have longer to redeem them since the expiration countdown starts after the last game on your ticket. When purchasing your ticket, find out where you can cash in your ticket. You might have to take the ticket to the cashier booth, but some casinos have machines that will read your winning tickets and pay you, reducing the amount of time standing in line.

Future Drawings Are Not Related to Past Drawings

Ignore the video display boards at casinos that show the most frequent winning Keno numbers. According to Keno Guide, some players feel these numbers are hot and bet on them, while others feel that since the odds for every number are equal, that numbers not on that list are likely to win soon. Neither of these philosophies is valid, because every Keno drawing is independent of the previous one. This means even if a number has been a winner for 10 games in a row, it has exactly the same odds of being a winner in the next game as a number that hasn't been the winner in the past 50 games. Keno machines do not tally how often numbers are drawn as winners and try to keep them even.


The United States government requires that you report all of your net gambling winnings on your taxes, but only requires casinos to report wins of certain dollar values. The "il dado" website recommends that you find out what the minimum single win is that requires the casino at which you are playing to report your winnings to the IRS. When wagering on Keno, make your wagers so the maximum win is below that limit. Do not mislead the IRS about your winnings; but this way you can keep track of your own wins and losses and not have your earnings reported by the casino to the IRS.

About the Author

Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications since 2006. He has more than 15 years' experience in catering, management and government relations. Kirk has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.