An Introduction to Keno

Despite the proliferation of numerous games in casinos, Keno remains a constant fixture and a favorite among gamblers. Aside from gambling venues, Keno is also frequently played in commercial Bingo halls. For those who have yet to sample the game, Keno offers interesting challenges and possibilities.

Keno rules are simple and straightforward: a player purchases a Keno card, comprised of 80 numbers. From these figures he or she will select (mark or spot) a series of numbers. Usually the numbers range from 1 to 20, although in some casinos the range offered is 1 to 10, 1 to 12 or 1 to 15.

After the player spots 20 numbers on the ticket, the casino begins to draw the numbers by way of an RNG (Random Number Generator). According to Keno rules, the payout is determined by two factors. The number of matches between the numbers drawn and those that were "spotted" by the player, and by the paytable base rate.

The paytable base rate is not standardized; not only do they vary from casino to casino, but in some instances, a casino will tender different base rates for each paytable in the venue.

As varied as the base rates in the paytables are the betting options. Instead of selecting numbers, Keno rules allow for Top/Bottom paytable wagers. Here the player will place his wager on the allotment of numbers from the top (1-40) and bottom (40-80).

Other paytable variants include Odd/Even (betting on the distribution of the odd and even numbers), Odd Only, Even Only, Top Only, Bottom Only etc.

A typical Keno game begins when the player hands a "Keno runner" the inside ticket and a paper containing the bet amount. The runner returns with an outside ticket, which is the receipt. With this in hand the player now proceeds to watch the numbers as they appear on an electronic board.

As stated earlier, the numbers drawn are generated by the RNG, but other systems use an AKV or Rabbit Ear Blower, similar to those used in Bingo.

Keno rules on payouts, as are the other aspects of the game, are variable, and dependent on the casinos. Usually winnings from a single game are collected immediately, but in multi race Keno (using a Keno ticket for several games) the payouts are collected over extended periods. The period range varies from a week to almost 300 days.

Despite the clear-cut approach of the game, betting in Keno is open to several possibilities. By purchasing a combination ticket a player can make use of various number combinations, such as grouping spots in distinct ways, hence the name "Way" or "Combination" Keno.

Today there are lottery and video variations of Keno, and for all the other games that have come and gone, Keno remains one of the most popular, played by thousands of people across the United States. And this will certainly be the case for many more years to come.

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