Looking At The Beginnings and Nature of Keno

Keno traces its roots from ancient China during the Han Dynasty which flourished from 205 to 187 B.C. At the dawn of the nineteenth century, immigrants from China introduced it to the Americans.

The name of the game was derived from the French and Latin word "quine" which means five winning numbers and "quini," meaning five each. However, all indications point to China as its origin more than two thousand years ago. It was believed that the invention of keno spared an ancient city during the war and its popularity was responsible for accumulating funds to construct the Great Wall.

In one account, the outcome of the keno games in the major cities was extended to neighboring villages and hamlets through carrier pigeons. Consequently, immigrants from the country brought keno to the Western world when they set sail for the Pacific to assist in American efforts to establish a trans-continental railroad during the nineteenth century.

The casino game keno has some resemblance with lottery and bingo which is played in modern day casinos. A typical land-based keno game utilizes a circular glass pen known as "bubble" which consists of 80 table tennis balls from which the results of the draw are determined. During the drawing, a blower is responsible for pushing air into the bubble which mixes the balls.

Just like in bingo, there is a caller responsible for drawing the numbers. The ping pong balls are lifted into the "V" shaped gadget known as "rabbit ears." Together with a verifier, they record the 20 numbers drawn and then the keno machine computes all the bets as determined by the numbers drawn.

To make a bet, players put an X mark on the spot selections found on a blank keno ticker which contains 80 possible choices. When all players have made their bet, 20 numbers are randomly drawn. There are casinos that automatically conduct the draw at fixed time periods regardless of whether or not the players have made their bets.

Every casino follows their own "paytables" and the winning players are paid depending on the number of matches on the table and ticket. The payout will correspond to the bet amount for that particular number of matches. Paytables will vary from one casino to another and there is a big difference in the house advantage for each paychart.

In addition, casinos have their own unique paytables and specialized keno wagers which gamblers can select. The house edge in keno may be from a minimum of 4% to a maximum of 66%. In non-slot games, the usual advantage of the casino may range from 0% to 5%.

  
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