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Keno Odds: First Step to Building Your Strategy

What are the odds of you walking away with an epic online keno win? While theoretically, you have more chance of winning the lottery than landing all fifteen numbers in a game of keno, your odds of pocketing any prize with several selections on a winning ticket are surprisingly decent.

How so? Join us as we walk you through the first steps to understanding 80-ball keno and building your strategy for success. Let’s begin by exploring how online keno works.

Keno Guide: What Is Online Keno?

Keno is a lottery game, but it isn’t a lottery itself. Not really. A typical lottery requires you to pick five or six numbers, with bonus balls woven in, depending on the lotto you choose. That same number will then be drawn from a pot. Furthermore, you often need to match a good number of those drawn to win a prize. It’s a tall order. By contrast, Keno offers you far more flexibility, making it a lot more attractive.

With online keno, you can pick anything from one to fifteen numbers (sometimes just ten), and a total of twenty will be drawn in an 80-ball game. You’re not typically required to have as many matches to land wins, and the numbers you pick, coupled with those landed, will determine your prizes. This is as opposed to a lottery, where winnings (save for the jackpot) are often fixed before you buy a ticket.

Keno Mega Million

Betting with just a few numbers makes keno more advantageous than some of its counterparts. Let’s see how this works using a famous example:

  • In the Mega Millions lottery, you’re required to pick six winning numbers from two batches of numbers (1-70 standard balls and 1-25 golden Mega Balls). To land any prize, you’ll need at least the Mega Ball, or ideally, the Mega Ball and one standard ball. Your minimum odds of success are 1 in 24.
  • By contrast, in online keno, you can choose just a single number. As there are 80 in total and 20 numbers drawn, your minimum odds of landing a winning ticket are just 1 in 4, which is naturally better.

However, the more numbers you bet on in keno, the more difficult it is to land them all. Again, we’ll compare keno to the Mega Millions lottery as an example:

  • In the lottery, you’ll need to match all five standard balls and the Mega Ball to win the jackpot. Your odds of doing that are 1 in 302,575,350.
  • By contrast, landing all fifteen numbers on a winning ticket (from twenty drawn) in keno online means you must defy odds of 1 in 428,010,179,098.

If you’re going to be wagering on five or six selections in keno (as would in a lotto), then keno is clearly more advantageous for bettors.

Online Keno vs. Land-Based Keno

Today, most gambling games can be played online, and keno is no different. There are a few differences between online keno and land-based keno. The most notable difference is the house edge. A typical house edge in a game of keno in a brick-and-mortar establishment is likely to hover around 30% to 35%. However, online keno games offer you considerably more flexibility in terms of variants. It isn’t impossible to find one which dips as low as 5%.

The cost is also more flexible. You can often purchase a land-based ticket for $1-$2. Online keno allows you to enter a draw having paid anything from $0.10 up to $100, sometimes more. The player chooses the stake, and there are more flexible payment options when betting online.

80 Ball Keno Odds of Winning & Payouts with 20 Balls

As touched on above, the amount you can win playing keno really depends on the number of selections you’ve made, coupled with your stake and the number of matches you land. Your keno paytable will automatically tell you what’s what. However, it is possible to get an idea and gauge what’s up for grabs before you start betting.

Let’s look at the basic keno odds in an 80-ball game with twenty calls below. Our table shows the number of picks/selections you can make on a winning ticket, the probability of landing a complete cover (all numbers matched) and the odds of landing just a single number, like so:

🔢Number of Selections🤞Odds of Landing All Hits🤞Odds of Landing 1 Hit
11 in 41 in 4
21 in 161 in 2.6
31 in 721 in 2.3
41 in 3261 in 2.3
51 in 1,5501 in 2.4
61 in 7,7521 in 2.75
71 in 40,9791 in 3.1
81 in 230,1141 in 3.75
91 in 1,380,6871 in 4.5
101 in 8,911,7111 in 5.5
111 in 62,381,9781 in 6.9
121 in 478,261,8331 in 8.7
131 in 4,065,225,5811 in 11.2
141 in 38,910,016,2811 in 14.5
151 in 428,010,179,0981 in 19.1

More often than not, you’ll end up with several matches, not just one and very unlikely all of them. Therefore, let’s look at some of the specific odds related to each type of bet in more detail:

Single Number Keno Payouts

The fewer selections you make, the easier the odds are to calculate. There are 80 balls in a game of keno, and 20 will be drawn. Therefore, if you pick just one, your odds of success are 1 in 4.

2-5 Number Keno Payouts

The more selections you go with, the longer the odds become. For instance, if you were to bet on two numbers, your odds would be 1 in 16. However, if you bet on three numbers, your odds of landing them would be 1 in 73, while the odds of landing just two numbers in a three-number selection would drop to 1 in 8.

With four numbers in play, you’ve got odds of 1 in 51 in 24 and 1 in 326 of landing two, three, or all four numbers on a winning ticket. Play with five numbers, and the odds of landing big wins start to tail off quite a bit. Here, for instance, you’ve got a 1 in 1,550 chance of landing all five, a 1 in 83 chance of getting four of them, and a 1 in 12 chance of landing just three.

6-10 Number Keno Payouts

Betting on six numbers and upwards sees the odds start to spiral out of control. For instance, bagging all six numbers sees you tackle odds of 1 in 7,752. The odds drop to 1 in 3241 in 36 and 1 in 8 for just five, four or three of those.

Choose to play with seven numbers, and you’ve got a 1 in 40,979 chance of landing all seven and a 1 in 6 chance of pocketing three of them. An eight-number wager gives you a probability of 1 in 230,114, while the odds of matching just four of them are set to 1 in 13.

With nine numbers in play, keno fans are looking at 1 in 1,380,687 to complete their card. The minimum prize here requires you to match four numbers at odds of 1 in 9. Finally, a ten-number winning ticket has odds of success of 1 in 8,911,711 for the full house. Notably, matching just five numbers has long odds of 1 in 20.

11-15 Number Keno Payouts

If you start playing with eleven to fifteen numbers selected on your keno card, you’re going to rely heavily on Lady Luck to do you a favor. Odds of success with an 11-number bet are set to a mouthwatering 1 in 62,381,978. Even bagging the minimum win is now 1 in 7 at this stage. Let’s skip forward a bit now.

Go for the maximum selection and wager with fifteen picks, and you’re faced with odds of 1 in 19 to land the lowest payout. The top prize (for landing all fifteen) requires you to defy silly odds of 1 in 428,010,179,098. Good luck with that. It is said that if you stretched out keno tickets end to end, they’d reach the moon before a 15-number winning ticket emerged. It’s not hard to see why.

Online Keno Odds vs Land-Based

There can be differences between the odds made available in online keno and those in land-based games. Sometimes, this is down to the number of selections that you’re allowed to make. For instance, online keno often allows you to make up to fifteen picks per ticket. In land-based keno, it is up to the game provider or lottery commission in charge. However, many choose to limit the number of selections to ten.

Naturally, this adjusts the odds you’ll find in each type of game and the house edges along with it. House edges in land-based keno can reach heights of 30% to 35%, while in online play, they tend to sit at anything from 5% to 12%.

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Playing keno online is about as straightforward as playing any other lottery-based online game. Here are the steps you need to take to get started:

  • Find a suitable keno game at one of our recommended casino sites.
  • Choose at least one or up to fifteen numbers from the 80 available on your keno card. How many numbers are selected is down to you. You can randomly select those numbers via a Quick Pick button if you prefer.
  • Decide your wager amount and enter that into the bet slip box provided.
  • You’ll notice that the amount you stake alters the prizes that you can win on the paytable. The same is true for the number of selections you make.
  • Once you’ve made your bet, the game will begin.
  • A total of 20 keno numbers will be called in keno drawings. Your paytable will tell you how many matches you must have to land a win.
  • Your numbers are automatically checked. You don’t need to do a thing.
  • You can claim prizes won on a winning ticket once all 20 numbers have been drawn.

What Are Odds and Evens Keno Games?

There are all sorts of keno variants out there, from progressive jackpot keno and keno bonus games to Heads and Tails Keno. The latter is interesting if you want to play a different way. In this game, the keno card will be divided into two. The top half of the grid features numbers 1-40 and is called Heads. The bottom half features numbers 41-80 and is called Tails.

Odds And Evens

Obviously, you’re betting on which side of the grid will have more calls – Heads or Tails. However, if you can’t decide, you can choose to play Evens. This bet involves wagering that the same number of calls will be made in each half and can see you quadruple your keno winnings.

Is There Any Strategy for Having a Winning Ticket in Keno?

If you think you’re going to string together a winning strategy that guarantees a jackpot in keno – think again. Online keno, like all games with lottery rules, is a game of pure chance, absolute luck. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a thing or two that you can do to increase your chances of success. We’ve detailed our top tips for you below. They include:

  • Be Selective About Your Game: Choose the keno games that feature the best prize payout rates. Peruse a game’s paytable to see what you can get before you bet.
  • Play Free Keno Online: Try free-to-play keno games. They are commonly available online and will help you understand how it all works before you wager your hard-earned moolah.
  • Understand the Odds: Many newbies think that the more numbers they pick, the better their chances are. That isn’t the case. As explained in our intro, having “too many” numbers will result in high odds for a maximum prize payout and lower payouts for matching fewer numbers.
  • Four to Eight Numbers Is Perfect: Choosing between four and eight selections/picks on your keno ticket is ideal for a single keno drawing. That’s the sweet spot between fair odds and decent prizes.
  • Pay No Attention to Patterns: Ignore hot and cold numbers and sequences such as consecutive numbers. Online keno games use random number generators. This may make you believe that there’s a pattern to the algorithm. In all RNG-certified online keno games, there won’t be any noticeable pattern. Betting on hot and cold numbers (those that have appeared regularly or less frequently) or sequential and consecutive numbers won’t see you able to cheat the game. The same applies when betting on superstitious numbers of those personal to you, such as birthdays.
  • Try Keno Variants – there are multiple variants now of this simple theme game, especially online you will find a wide variety of keno slot machines that offer enhanced gameplay and features.

Has Anyone Won Big on Keno Online?

With odds such as those listed above, you’ll understand that big jackpot wins don’t appear every day when it comes to keno. However, there are ample games out there that dish out prizes regularly, and having a winning ticket which is worth a considerable sum, even if it isn’t a jackpot, does happen often enough.

Sadly, any player who lands a mammoth keno win isn’t going to share it. They often choose anonymity (and rightly so). However, there are plenty of examples of big winners in land-based keno games, with prizes worth in excess of hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of dollars. Given that the house edge is lower in online keno, it’s mathematically improbable that there aren’t players walking away with life-changing sums from time to time, even if we can’t name names.

Keno Odds Calculator

There are ample resources online that you can use to calculate keno odds before you get involved in a game. Others can provide you with an inkling of what your total return should be.

Keno Payout Calculator

Most of these are straightforward enough to use, simply requiring you to enter the numbers used in your game (up to 80), your number of picks/selections (1-15), and, in some cases, the payouts for 0 hits and 1 hit. The calculators will then display your overall return or odds, depending on the calculator you are using.

It is also possible to calculate keno odds for yourself, and there are equations out there for the mathematically gifted to use, which help. However, for first-timers, we recommend exploring our tables as a quick reference to get started.

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Your chances of success rely on more than having fair or good odds. They also depend on you choosing a safe and trusted place to play online keno. We’ve got plenty of top and recommended online casinos supporting the best keno odds for you right here.

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