Keno is a lottery-based game, in which winning is up to pure luck. Like the lottery itself, keno is based on random chance. But unlike the lottery, keno typically runs every five minutes, making it more like a typical casino game.
Many people love keno because there’s not as much risk, but there’s still a huge payout. And the game itself is more involved. Unlike other popular games like slots, keno requires you to make choices that determine your potential winnings such as how much you’re willing to bet, as well as which and how many numbers you’re willing to bet on.
If you’ve never played keno, you’ve probably at least heard of it. Keno is offered in both casinos and lotteries, making it a fairly diverse game. But it can sound incredibly intimidating if you’ve never played.
Thinking about the choices you have to make can leave you feeling a bit confused.
Which options give me the best chances of winning? Are there any moves to avoid? How do I even fill out the ticket?
These questions might sound familiar, and if you’re betting money, they can be especially important. When you’re new to a game, chances are you’re going to end up at a net loss, but we can all agree that it’s best to minimize these losses in any way possible. And there are steps that can be taken to achieve this.
Although most of your keno-playing questions will be answered once you start playing and get in the groove of the game, here are some tips that could help you avoid making big mistakes early on:
Familiarize yourself with the rules
Although keno is considered a simple game that doesn’t require much skill or strategy, there are still such things as better and worse plays.
Since keno is probabilistic, and the rules for winning can vary from casino to casino, it’s important to take these into consideration before making any bets. Though you could probably stick to an age-old strategy that you’ve gained from experience or from reading about keno on the internet, this might not be the best way to maximize your wins, considering the amount of variation that can exist between different casinos.
Get experience with the game
Like most games, increasing your chances of winning means understanding what works and what doesn’t. Although you don’t necessarily need to develop a strategy or strengthen your skills before playing keno, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the game, before you start betting money on it.
According to Gambling News Magazine, the first online casino opened up in 1996 and has drastically changed the gambling world. Now that many casino games have opened up online platforms, you can play games like keno online rather than in person.
This can be especially advantageous for new players. The best online casino often offers bonuses for enrolling. Using these offers, you can play new casino games and gain experience without having to bet your own money.
But even with these great opportunities, it’s still vital to read the fine print. Make sure you know the rules before you accept any bonus offers because there might be wagering requirements. According to Weekly Slots News, although online casinos can be a great place to play, you should still be wary of scams.
Numbers are chosen at random
In the excitement of the game, it can be tempting to let your strategy be guided by perceived patterns in the numbers. But don’t let your experience fool you – the results of each round of keno is entirely independent of previous rounds.
These kinds of mistakes are often made in similar, chance-based-games like roulette. According to Gamblers Daily Digest, two big mistakes that are made because people forget about the inherent randomness of the game are: (1) believing in long term balance, and (2) letting streaks influence your judgement.
The former, long term balance, refers to the idea that in the long run, all of the numbers will be hit at least once. From this, many people might be tempted to bet on numbers that haven’t shown up in previous rounds, because they ‘have to’ show up eventually.
The latter refers to seeing streaks between rounds, in which a number keeps showing up. Just because a number has shown up in the last three or four rounds, doesn’t mean that it’ll show up in the fifth. It also doesn’t mean that it won’t show up either. As explained before, it’s completely random.
Don’t pick the maximum number of spots
Although in keno each ticket will end up costing you the same amount, it’s not actually favorable for you to bet on as many numbers as you can. This is because with each additional number you choose, the chances of you matching all your numbers decreases. Also, even though keno rewards you for hitting some of the numbers you pick, the fraction of hits to the amount you guessed will further determine how much money you receive.
For example, if you decide to play a 20-spot game, you have 20 numbers to possible win from. However, depending on the casino, there could be a minimum number of hits to win anything at all, which varies with the number of spots chosen. Generally, this number increases with the number of spots you choose.
So, even if you can make more money with a higher number of spots chosen, the chances of you winning might decrease, meaning that you’re likely to win less frequently.
Ultimately, you’re betting style in strategy will be up to you and will probably be influenced by the specific rules at the casino you’re playing at, but typically people don’t play the maximum spots.
Bet lower amounts
In keno, the potential you can make from each round depends on a lot of choices. You choose how many spots you want to bet on and the amount of money you’d like to wager. Keno players typically stick to lower monetary bets per round. Although this means that you can’t make quite as much, it also means that for any given amount of money, you can place more bets, and increase your overall net payout.
Manage your money before playing
Before going into any casino game, it might be a good idea to have a game plan when it comes to how much you’re willing to spend. Set limits and stick to them. While this isn’t a rule for keno, specifically, giving yourself a limit can not only stop you from losing too much, but it can also help you become a more deliberate player, maximizing the most of each bet.
Although keno, and gambling more generally, are often used as a ‘budget remedy,’ this isn’t the most secure money-making platform. Even though the general idea of using gambling as a temporary source of money is nothing new, disputes over the line between a typical lottery and keno sparked in Washington D.C., as the addition of keno into the D.C. lottery became a hot topic.
Keep in mind that at the end of the day, the odds are rarely in your favor
Although there are many strategies to maximize your wins, casinos are always the ones making money. Casinos, themselves, are designed to maximize their own profits, which comes at the expensive of the players. So even if you can make the smartest bets and use math and probability to calculate the best plays, you’ll probably end up breaking even at best.
Lucian Marinescu from OnlineCasinoGems points out, “if you follow a math equation to increase your odds at keno or the lottery, how is that working out for you? … If your total is not a negative number, then you have been lucky. Chances are that you have barely broken even by using math as your guide.”
But even if the casinos are making most of the money, and people on average are losing, games like keno are about more than just money. It’s the fun and thrill that hooks most people.
In general, if you think you’re going to be one of those players who bets a dollar and comes out a millionaire, the chances are you won’t. But you can still make some money and have a lot of fun doing it.
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