How to Play Keno

It is not strange for online gamblers to ask ‘what is keno?’ It is not as well-known as some other gambling games. Yet, this simple numbers prediction game has a long history that started many years ago in China. Originally, they played the game using sheets printed with Chinese characters, but in the game we know in the West and at online gambling sites, the sheets or ‘tickets’ contain the numbers 1-80. Keno is very similar to the lotto where you also choose numbers. If your numbers are drawn, you win! In some ways, keno is also similar to bingo, because the ‘tickets’ look somewhat similar to a bingo sheet.

  • Our researchers and reviewers find the best online keno sites.
  • We ensure that those sites have convenient payment methods available for New Zealand players and that you can have your real money winnings paid out in New Zealand dollars.
  • We ensure that you can play online keno games at sites with excellent security.

The difference between keno and bingo is that you choose your own numbers from the start – and the numbers are generated all at once by a random number generator (RNG), and not one by one as for bingo. That’s why we recommend Spin Palace, it’s trustworthy and offers the best keno to New Zealand players.

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How does it work?

Most keno games at online gambling sites have the same basic rules, although there are some variations.

  • Players each receive a ‘ticket’ with 80 numbers organised into eight rows of 10 numbers each.
  • Players then choose numbers to bet on. Depending on the variation of the game you are playing, you will be required to choose anything from one to twenty different numbers. The more numbers you have to pick correctly to win, the bigger the jackpot is likely to be, but the lower the odds that you will get them all correct.
  • When the players have made their choices, the winning numbers are produced by the RNG. There can be more than one winner at each keno game. Every person playing can predict any number or numbers that he or she wants, so if those numbers come up, you will win, whether someone else has also made the same predictions or not.
  • Just as in the case of the lotto, the odds of winning the jackpot at keno are extremely low. Because of the low odds, players who hit 17, 18 or 19 correct numbers would in many cases receive the same pay-out amount as if they had hit 20. Also as in the case of the lotto, there are many opportunities to win smaller amounts by getting at least one number right, and the more numbers you have to choose for a particular version of the game, the higher the chance that you could get at least one right. This means you can play for very modest amounts and still stand the chance of winning big amounts if your numbers come up.
  • Unlike land-based casinos, we have to wait a while after every keno game for the next one to start, the games at online keno sites casinos start immediately after the previous one.

Try playing keno online at a site designed for New Zealand players. Whether you are using your computer or mobile device, you can enjoy the fun of selecting your keno numbers and waiting to see if you predicted correctly. Who knows, you could win big amounts of real cash with online keno!

More Detail On Keno

For many decades, the lottery (to become the Golden Kiwi Lottery in 1961 and the National Lottery, or Lotto, in 1987) was pretty much the only type of land-based gambling that fans of real cash wagers in New Zealand could enjoy; it wasn't until the mid 1990s that offline casino gambling was legalised here.

It makes sense, then, that keno is a very popular game with Kiwis because its mechanics are so similar to those of a lottery – the act of picking numbers, whether at random or using lucky numbers that are dear to one's heart, feels instantly familiar to those who are used to playing the lottery.

Keno gambling may not have the best odds when compared with other casino games, but it's a game that remains extremely popular in NZ and beyond, and one that you're sure to find in most online casinos.

There are lots of things to watch out for when you're on the lookout for a new site where you can do some online gambling. Keno is a pretty simple game, so it's not as if you need a site to be running top of the line software to access it. However, we'd still recommend that you look for a site using one of the best software providers out there such as NetEnt or Microgaming because it suggests that the casino is eager to paint itself in the best possible light.

A generous welcome bonus is also important to watch out for, and you'll want to check whether or not keno gambling counts towards the site's wagering requirements. If not, it's still worth claiming a welcome bonus anyway just in case you feel like trying some other games or so you can enjoy some free spins.

Of course, another key thing to know is how quickly and efficiently a keno gambling site pays out. The last thing you want to worry about when cashing out your winnings is how long it will take to get your hands on your cash, or even whether you'll get it at all.

Finding A Top Keno Site:

Keno may not have the best odds in the casino but we definitely understand why so many gamblers in New Zealand fall in love with the game, particularly if they've grown up with access to the lottery but not casino gaming.

For the rest of us, online keno is a nice way to unwind (even if we can't enjoy a comp'd drink as we play, as is common in land-based venues!) and try our luck without having to think about a lot of complex rules or strategy. If you fancy giving it a try for yourself, all of the top-rated casinos on this page offer keno in their game library.


How popular is online keno?

Despite having comparatively poor odds, keno is very popular both online and in land-based venues. We've covered above why that's the case, but the short answer is probably that it reminds New Zealand players of back when the lottery was the only legal form of offline gambling.

Where can I play keno?

Pretty much all of the best online casinos offer keno gambling, although it may not have the same beautiful graphics of other games that they offer.

Do all online casinos have keno?

Not all, but most. Keno is sometimes tucked away in a corner of game libraries, labelled something like "Other" or "Specialist". Still, you'll usually be able to find it somewhere or other either by knowing where to look or using the search function to pinpoint its location.

How much can I win?

In theory, it's possible to win thousands or even tens of thousands of NZD in a single keno sitting. Of course, you'll need to have Lady Luck on your side but matching the maximum amount of numbers in a single keno session can result in a hefty jackpot.

Are there keno tournaments?

Some casinos do offer keno tournaments, in which players are usually allocated a certain amount of tournament credit. Whoever has the most credit after a certain number of rounds or a certain amount of time takes home the grand prize (which is NOT always equal to the amount of credit accrued).

Is online keno gambling rigged?

As long as you stick with reputable casinos, all of the outcomes are determined by random number generators wherever and whenever you're gambling. Keno and casino sites are subject to regular third party testing to make sure that they're playing by the rules, and are fined or shut down if they're found to be behaving irregularly.

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