Keno is a casino game that offers players a choice of numbers 1 – 80. Players are to select up to twenty numbers of their choice but can also select less than 20 numbers to play. A computer or operator then picks 20 random numbers per game of Keno and players win by matching your choice of numbers to the 20 picked by the computer or operator. It is sort of like bingo but without the BINGO word on the ticket on which you choose your winning numbers.
Keno started out being played by the Chinese several centuries ago. The Chinese used 120 Chinese characters for their game, but as it came to the west along with Chinese railroad workers, they reduced the number of characters to 90. It was soon called the Chinese Lottery when it became quite a famous game for both Chinese and Americans. As it was poised to gain popularity, the number of Chinese characters were changed from 90 to only 80 characters. As more and more Americans joined in playing the so-called “Chinese Lottery” around the entry of the 20th century, operators of the game changed the Chinese symbols or characters into Arabic numbers for better understanding for the American players.
As gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931, lottery of many forms was not included. Since Keno was still known as the Chinese Lottery at that time, it was definitely not one of the legalized forms of gambling. Wily operators changed its name from Chinese Lottery to Race Horse Keno where each Arabic number was supposed to be a horse. Eventually, due to more changes in the laws regarding gambling, Horse Race Keno was simply called Keno.
Players of Keno win by matching their chosen numbers to the ones chosen by either the computer or the operator. The numbers chosen by the player that matches those winning numbers generated by the computer is then multiplied to the wager that the player initially placed. If the player chooses the maximum of twenty numbers allowed, then he has a greater chance of winning. Players hit the jackpot if they get all 20 numbers correctly.
Nowadays, Keno is played via screen or monitor where the numbers chosen are displayed. Players first record their chosen numbers and register these at a booth and then watch the rollout of the numbers in a monitor. If you have individual game winnings, it is best to claim them immediately after the game in which you won because claiming these after will make them null and void.