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Online keno isn’t the most popular game at online casinos, but it’s one of the most accessible and entertaining, especially for players looking to branch out from typical slots and table games. In this online keno guide, you can play the game for free, try your hand at the game for real money at top online casinos, and learn the best keno strategy to help you win more.

Free Online Keno

Lightning Box Keno

Lightning Box Keno

Lucky 8 Keno

Lucky 8 Keno

Jackpot 51 Keno

Jackpot 51 Keno

How To Play Keno

Know the Object of the Game

The goal of keno is to match your numbers with the winning numbers. The more of your numbers that match, the bigger the prize. Online, keno wins are multipliers that apply to your bet (AKA “stake” or “wager”). For example, if you set your bet to $10 and match three numbers, you could trigger a 3x multiplier for a $30 prize.

Set Your Stake

The first step of keno is to decide how much you want to bet per round. Keno has an average return to player (RTP) rate of 92%, meaning it has pretty poor odds compared to most casino games. However, it offers excellent win potential, with many keno games paying out well above six-figure prizes. Still, it’s important to be cognizant of the odds and bet with the expectation that you’ll lose more often than you’ll win, even more so than the typical casino game.

Check out our list of casino games with the best odds.

Select Your Numbers

Next, choose how many numbers you want to play. The minimum is usually three, and the maximum is ten, but some versions of keno allow just two numbers. The more numbers you play, the bigger the win potential, but the more numbers you have to hit to receive a payout.

For example, if you play three numbers, getting two or three numbers hits a payout, with a maximum prize of 24x your bet. If you play ten numbers, four will win you your wager back, and ten triggers the maximum prize, which can be 2,000x your bet or more.

You can have the keno game randomly select all or some of the numbers for you or choose the numbers yourself. The odds of winning are the same either way.


When you’re ready, press the play button. The game will draw 20 numbers. The more that match your numbers, the more you win.

When the game is over, you can clear the board of numbers or only remove a select few, whichever you choose. There are as many keno number strategies as there are keno players.

Online Keno for Cash Prizes

Your state doesn’t have real-money online casinos, but you can play keno for cash prizes at the best social and sweepstakes casinos, no purchase required.

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Online Keno Vs. Keno In-Person

Online KenoIn-Person Keno
✅ Features many different variants.👎 Usually only features basic keno.
✅ May contain additional elements such as respins and jackpots.✅ Contains simple features. Simply pick numbers and await the drawing.
✅ Usually a solitary game.✅ May be a community-based game with other players around you.
✅ Easier to play multiple cards at once.✅ May only be able to play one card at a time.
✅ Faster-paced and instant play.👎 Runs on a schedule.

Keno Strategy


Choose 4-8 numbers.

The house edge of keno, while higher than most other games, does change based on how many numbers you wager on. Many consider the sweet spot to be between four and eight numbers. Too few, and your overall chance of winning is extremely low. Too many, and the additional bets you’ll need to bet to trigger a win will go against any winnings you may receive.


Consider RTP.

As with any online casino game, you should always check the theoretical return-to-player (or RTP) before diving in. While this is theoretical math that covers a game with random outcomes, it can still give you a decent idea of what to expect in terms of winning. Some keno variants that offer flashy features, such as jackpots, may negatively affect the RTP. While your chance to win big may increase with such quirks, your overall chance to win may decrease. Keep this in mind when searching for your optimal keno variant.


Don’t fall for patterns.

It’s human nature to think, “A certain number has been winning the past three games, so I should bet on that number.” In reality, there is no such thing as “hot” numbers or “cold” numbers in keno. Every game is independent of the others and is completely random. Don’t fall for pattern-based betting.


Play for free first.

Before you hop into any real money online casino game, you should first play free casino games first to get an idea of how they work and what to expect, as well as hone your strategy. The same is true for keno, and we happen to have free demos at the top of this page that you can try with no risk involved.


Utilize a bonus.

If possible, you should take advantage of both welcome bonuses and bonuses for existing players. Most players in the US have access to no deposit sweepstakes casino bonuses, which means free keno action for the chance to win cash prizes. As long as the bonuses are fair (always read the terms and conditions) and match your play style, they are great opportunities to play more for less.


Play responsibly.

As with any online casino play, you should always make sure you’re practicing responsible gambling. Never bet more in keno than you’re comfortable losing, and always play within your budget.

Where To Play Keno

Online Keno

Online keno is available at most real money online casinos as well as sweepstakes casinos with cash prizes. Options here typically include the basic keno variant as well as many other variants you won’t find outside of online casino sites. One such example is Lightning Box Keno, which features lightning respins, jackpots, colossal symbols, and more.

Lottery Keno

Keno is a ball-draw game. For that reason, it fits well within typical lottery games and can be found at various in-person retailers, such as gas stations, bars, restaurants, and liquor stores. In addition, some states allow players to take part in online lottery keno. Lottery keno is regulated by each state’s lottery commission.

Keno Machines at Retail Casinos

Most land-based casinos offer keno machines. These vary from individual screens to multiple kiosks in front of one large screen that displays the winning numbers. Keno machines at retail casinos are almost always the basic keno option, with no additional features or mechanics.

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About the Author

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels is a lead writer and gambling expert for He has been involved in the online gambling industry since 2013. Previously, he worked for Gamesys and Bally's Interactive as a copywriter and social media strategist for multiple North American online casinos.
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