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Online Keno UK Guide - How To Play Keno Online & Keno Bonuses

Online keno is a game which is known for its simplicity. It is truly one of the easiest games to play online. Players in the UK may not be as keen on keno as other numbers game like bingo and lotteries, but it is still considered very popular.

When playing the game online, there are not many rules you need to know. It is effectively a game of chance, which means that there is little that any strategy will do for a player. There are ways to strategize, undoubtedly, but as the element of skill is absent from keno, this type of input is minimal.

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A History of Keno

Keno has a lot of history. In fact, the origins of the game go back thousands of years.

The widely accepted theory is that keno originated in China, however, the name keno derives from Latin. Despite this, it is believed that the game can be traced all the way back to 200 bc. That game was different from the one which we play today. For a start, it used symbols instead of numbers.

The game came to prominence under the regime of Cheung Leung in the times of the Han Dynasty, which is roughly 2000 years ago. Keno derived from a poem written by Zhou Xingsi. This was used by Chinese parent's to teach their children basic literacy. The poem was structured with 1000 characters and broken down into 250 phrases that each consisted of 4 symbols.

Leung selected 120 characters from the poem to develop 8 divisions. The game involved guessing the content of one of the groups with a sum of money for food being the prize. Keno, in effect, was like the first type of bingo or lottery and helped the poor to pay for food. It was even rumoured to have contributed towards the building of the Great Wall of China.

With Chinese emigration to the USA, the game known as ‘White Pigeon’ circulated among the construction and rail workers of Chinese extraction as beyond. It was known then as the underground Chinese lottery. A small number of Americans could play it, however, and the characters eventually became numbers which made it more accessible to one and all.

The game eventually became keno. However, Americans would have to do some work to keep the game popular when gambling was prohibited in the early 20th century. They got around this by renaming keno to "Horse Racing Keno" and associated the 80 numbers to several horse races.  When lotteries were legalised, the game was changed back to keno and would become the game we know and love today.

Keno Today

Most casinos and sites worth their salt has at least one version of keno for players to try their luck on. In the modern day version, keno uses a glass bubble which holds the 80 balls that are drawn. You can win cash prizes based upon your selections. There are a number of possibilities of wins depending on your bets.

Why Play Keno Online?

Keno pays higher prizes online than you would expect to get when playing at a landbased casino. It excellently transfers over to the online platform, and it is merely a bonus to find that payments are better when you are playing from the comfort of your own home.

The game is very easy to play and does not require much skill other than choosing your numbers. The more numbers you can predict, the higher the prize you win. However, the odds are very much against you, as you can see from the table above. Your chances of winning by predicting all 20 numbers are a whopping 1 in 3,535,316,142,212,173,800. You would be very lucky indeed.

There are many casinos you can find which will have at least one keno game. Most should have a number of different keno games, so you will get a chance to choose which type you want to play. This will give you a great chance to find your forte in a convenient environment.

The Best Way to Play Keno

There are some wise ways to play keno and some others which UK players would be better avoiding.

Multi-race cards are a good idea

Keno players should always use multi-race cards as using one means that you can only do so once. Multi-race cards give players variety and can save a lot of time if you are superstitious or simply prefer to use "your numbers".

Never choose too many numbers

This applies to online keno and keno in landbased casinos or elsewhere. Never bet on too many numbers at the one time, as this will simply cost you more in the long run. Betting on minimal numbers is also a bad idea as it means that your chances of winning are brought down significantly.

Most savvy players tend to select between 5 to 6 numbers out of the 80 which are drawn. The Keno grid is composed of 80 numbers, so your odds of winning decrease as you pick more numbers. The risk increases with the more numbers you choose, which means that the game can be costly if not managed right.

Choosing the same numbers

Numbers are randomly generated. This can technically work against players who prefer to pick the same numbers over and over again. This means that patterns are not really going to be something which you can take advantage of.

Once again, this is simply up to you. You can play however you want.

Too many cards

While having one card is not always a good idea, having too many can also be counterproductive.

Playing too many games at the one time is not going to do much for you. If you don't know how the game works, this could end up costing you a lot as you learn! Too many cards may simply be counterproductive for the cause.

Are There Strategies Beyond This?

There are ways in which you can certainly improve your chances of winning at keno. We covered a few of the best ways to approach keno above, but will recap and add some more in detail:

  • Always know what version of  keno you want to play before choosing a casino
  • Think about the types of bonuses you can get to boost your bankroll
  • Play any and all free mode versions of keno before depositing
  • Use multi-race keno cards
  • Refrain from choosing too many numbers
  • It is probably not a good idea to stick to your numbers
  • Consider odds and how they affect your chances
  • Are your lucky numbers actually that lucky?
  • Stick to your bankroll

Always choose the right bonus

Online keno has many advantages over playing in a landbased casino. This will be enhanced when you choose the right casino.

Always be mindful that there is massive competition between online casinos that may benefit you. How? Well, the main way that they get customers through the door is by offering bonuses. Compare what bonuses you can get, and study the terms and conditions to see which one will work out the best for you.

There are many bonuses which may look great from a distance. It is up to you to read through the terms and conditions to see if they will actually benefit you or not before you accept the bonus. If the bonus ends up affecting your real money balance then you may be disappointed if you have not studied the T's and C's. The best thing to do in this case is to acquaint yourself with all the details before you sign up.

Play in free mode

There are many ways to prepare yourself for real money games. The most obvious and helpful of them all is to play in free mode. This gives you the advantage of learning the ins and outs of keno without having to play with - or lose  - money in the process.

Playing in free mode is an excellent way to lay down the foundations before you move over to paying with your hard earned cash.

Remember the game is random

As the numbers are randomly drawn, there is no need to tie yourself up in knots trying to figure out what is coming next. Quite simply, you will have no idea what numbers are going to be drawn. If you get excited at the prospect of picking the numbers, mulling over each one carefully, then knock yourself out.

We all have our own kicks to chase.

Use multi-race cards

The majority of casinos with keno games will offer multi-race cards. These are where players can choose numbers just once over several games. Playing with one of these multi-race Keno tickets saves time and is a great way to cut down on unnecessary graft if you’re frequently playing lucky numbers. Having to manually choose time and time again will get very boring very soon.

Know that the house edge matters

It certainly does, no matter where you play. In typical fashion, most casino games played both online and at land-based casinos have a strong house edge. Smart players will always measure the risk against the reward before they bet on numbers, as this can help understand the best way to play the game. It essentially gives a representation of the loss to win ratio, helping you to work out if all of those bets are worth it.

It is no secret that most casinos hosting keno games have a considerably high house edge of 25 to even 40%. This will come down to which casino you choose to play. Regardless, you will lose more than you win if you play over a certain amount of games. To help your cause, playing a shorter amount of games is probably a good idea. With the house edge, every $100 that you stake will give a representative figure of 40% to the casino.

Don't rush yourself into losses

Online keno is played at a much higher pace than in landbased casinos. When playing in landbased casinos, the process isn't as automated, so there is a lot of waiting around to give everyone a chance to place bets. Online you can keep playing at a higher pace to your heart's content. This can have the downside of you spending so much money in a very quick timeframe.

Keeping tabs on your bankroll is important

This is the first thing you should think about before you play. Keeping to your bankroll is important wherever you are playing. Your bankroll should keep you in the game long enough should you opt to place bets of an acceptable size. There are many ways to do this, but the first is to keep your average spend on a game to a reasonable amount. This does not take much time to figure out.

Are you aware of the odds?

If you have any plan of making money when playing keno, you should have some sort of approach which factors in the odds and how they can work for you or against you.

The game depends on you choosing the numbers which you believe will help you win cash prizes. Whether this is 4 or 14, it is up to you, when. Put simply, you're free to pick as many as you wish, providing they are within the limit.

It is probably not a good idea to pick all the numbers, given that your chances of winning with this strategy are astronomically high. If you want to hit 20 numbers on a 20 spot ticket, your odds will be 1 to 3.5 quintillion (1 in 3,535,316,142,212,174,336). Even trying to hit a couple below the full 20 will still be ridiculous. For example, the odds of hitting from 17 to 19 numbers are always going to be against you. If you did manage to win this way, it would be someday, granted. You have to ask yourself if it is wise to be betting this way, however.

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