Last Update: Mar. 1, 2013
Play this realistic version of Keno at Bovada for free.
No registration is required, just one click and you’re in the game.
Keno is a simple game of luck, much like most lottery games, where the player chooses numbers and hope as many as possible match those randomly drawn by a hopper or machine.
There are two formats for playing keno: live and video. In live keno, the player uses a crayon and paper to indicate his picks. Every few minutes numbers will be a live draw from a hopper filled with numbered balls. In video keno, the player touches a screen, sometimes using a wand, to pick numbers and the machine does the draw randomly.
Like most games of pure luck, the odds in keno are pretty poor. Keep reading to learn more about the rules and how much you can expect to lose on the game.
Following are the rules for basic keno.
The following return tables are from the Station Casinos $1 live keno game. The bottom right cell in each total shows the total return, which ranges from 61% to 75%.
In 2001 I did a survey of every live keno casino game in Las Vegas. The returns ranged from 65% to 80%. In other words, the house edge was 20% to 35%, making live keno among the worst bets you can make in Las Vegas.
In 2012 I did a similar survey of live keno in Laughlin, which showed a range of return of 50% to 74%.
In 2008 I did a survey of video keno in San Diego. The returns ranged from 84% to 95%. While the odds are much better in video keno than live keno, keep in mind that the rate of play on a machine is about 50 times faster. Assuming the same bet size per game, you can expect to lose more per hour playing video keno.
If you must play keno, the only skill is choosing where to play to play and then how many numbers to choose. It makes no difference which numbers who actually choose. Contrary to popular myth, legitimate keno games, like those in Las Vegas, are fair and every ball has a 1 in 80 chance of being drawn each game. To determine the odds of any keno game you can use my keno calculator. Just put in the pay table and you will see how much you can expect to get back every bet.
However, I tend to think anybody who would take the trouble to analyze the game is probably not playing it in the first place. The odds in video keno are about as bad as slot machines. If you want to lose a lot less money gambling I would highly recommend converting to video poker. For live keno players, I would suggest converting to bingo.
Get your keno fix right here on my practice game.
Click the image below for my keno calculator. Then choose your number of picks, put in the pay table, and you'll have all the odds instantly.
Reason #1 why the Wizard likes Bovada:
Excellent customer support
The thing that separates Bovada from the rest is its customer support. Many other online gaming companies outsource their support. It can be difficult getting a response from them, and if you do it is often slow and handled by somebody with little understanding of gambling or even of English. But Bovada’s support is handled by Bovada, and their support staff is actually knowledgeable and helpful.
I’m so confident that you’ll have a good experience with Bovada that if you have a problem getting paid and you can’t resolve it with them on your own, I’ll talk to them myself. I personally have known the Bovada management for about three years and always found them to be professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. I have also personally visited one of their call centers so I could see first-hand how they handle customer issues. (More on my mediation service.)
If you have a problem with any other casino besides Bovada, I can’t help you. I get complaints from players of other online casinos every day who have difficulty getting paid. However that isn’t my job nor my problem. If you play at Bovada after clicking through my site I’ll stand behind you 100%. Any place else and you’re on your own.