Keno – A Comprehensive Guide

Learn everything about Keno in our complete guide. We’ve covered everything you need to know – playing rules, common terms, tips and strategies, and more

Online casino gambling has expanded in South Africa in recent years. Numerous casinos now allow players to play real money games from the comfort of their home. Though it’s not very popular, keno is one of the most exciting games you can play at leading online casinos. 

Like other famous casino games, punters can play keno in free mode and for real money. Additionally, this game is playable across all devices, including mobile phones and desktop computers. 

Our comprehensive keno guide provides all the information you should know before playing. You will learn about the history of the game, the rules of playing keno, winning tips and strategies, and more.

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What is Keno – A Brief History

The history of keno stretches back more than 2000 years ago. Since then, the game has evolved and spread to South Africa and globally. According to history, the game was invented during the reign of emperor Cheung Leung of the Han Dynasty. The main purpose of inventing and legalizing this game was to collect money to support armies. Besides helping troops, the money collected from Keno is said to have contributed to constructing the Great Wall of China. 

Nowadays, it has grown to become a people’s favorite game in land-based and online casinos.

Keno Review

How to Play Online Keno

Keno is a fun-filled game with straightforward gameplay. As earlier mentioned, you can start by playing the free mode to learn the rules before moving on to bet with real money. Many beginners often confuse keno with classic slot machines. The key difference between them is that action unfolds faster in keno. 

The first step is picking a number with the hope that it’ll be the best winning number. The payout you get in keno depends on your stake and the symbols forming the winning combination. 

Below are the basic rules of playing keno:

  • Players get a card with numbers ranging between 1 to 40 or 1 to 80.
  • Players choose between 10 and 15 numbers.
  • Keno numbers can be selected manually or by using the software.
  • Players adjust the bet size according to the budget.
  • 20 numbers are chosen randomly and crossed out to determine the winner.
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If you are playing keno for the first time, it is important to familiarise yourself with different common terms. This is the glossary of keno:

Bankroll: The money you set aside for placing real money bets on keno games. 

Ball Game: A version of this game that uses plastic balls to represent numbers.

Blank: A keno ticket that is yet to be used.

Buy-In Tournament: A keno tournament you can join by paying a fixed upfront fee. 

Caller: An employee whose work is to call numbers during the game.

Draw: These are 20 numbers that are drawn for the keno game.

Edge Ticket: This is a ticket with 32 marked numbers forming the outer edge.

Exacta: This is a ticket that is played for two games and comes with a special payoff rate.

Balls: These are keno balls that are similar to bingo. 

Flashboard: Electronic signs that show all numbers drawn for a keno draw.

Way Ticket: A ticket featuring two or more bets.

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Best Winning Tips and Strategies

Whether you are playing keno for the first time or looking for ways to increase your chances of winning, we have your back. We have provided tips and strategies you can follow to enhance your gameplay experience and winnings. Here are some of the advice that South Africans can follow:

Learn Keno Odds: One fact about keno is that it does not offer decent odds, but you can enjoy good payouts. Know which games have the best odds of winning before playing.

Practice with Free Keno: The advantage of this game is that you can practice by playing in free mode before advancing to real money gaming. Take advantage to learn how the game works and other features.

Begin with Small Bets: It is recommended to start with small bets when playing keno for the first time.

Bankroll Management: learn how to manage funds before playing games at a real money casino. You must determine if you are losing or profiting.

Pick Cold Numbers: Choosing numbers that haven’t shown up for a while is the secret to winning big.

Enough Options: Playing keno at online casinos gives you access to multiple options to choose from.

Choose Progressive Keno: Playing a progressive keno game opens an opportunity to win big payouts.

Don’t Fall for Many Numbers: Keno allows you to choose multiple numbers. Don’t fall for the lie of choosing many numbers to win.

Repeat Played Numbers: Try to play the same numbers that you played and won as the sequence may repeat itself.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Where to Play Keno Online

With so many new and established online casinos in South Africa, it can be hard for new players to pick a reliable site to play keno. Keep in mind the following factors when sourcing the best casino:

Range of Games

The number of games you can play at an online casino is very important. You must select a casino with a vast selection of games, including online slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and many others. Also, these games should be available in free mode and for real money.

Reputable Providers

Online casino operators don’t create their own games. They partner with leading game developers to supply them with new games. The best companies invest in the latest cutting-edge technology to deliver high-quality games that you can play instantly across all platforms. The most popular developers are Microgaming, Evolution, Playtech, Pragmatic Play, BGT, and others.

Licensing and Regulation

Every reputable online casino must bear the seal of the licensing authority. Also, all casinos should provide licensing information in their footer for everyone to see. There are different authorities that license and regulate online casino games in South Africa. You will find the best casinos with licenses from the UK Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority, Curacao eGaming, and Gibraltar. Also, all casino games should be regulated by third-party agencies like eCOGRA, TST, and GLI.

Payment Options

The casino should provide multiple reliable and secure banking options for players. The recommended online casinos offer traditional FIAT and cryptocurrencies. South African players can deposit and withdraw instantly and safely, using credit/debit cards, e-wallets, mobile transfers, and local bank transfers.

Bonuses and Promotions

One of the things that attract many people to online casinos is the massive bonuses and promotions. The casino should offer bonuses to new players when they register and reward existing members for their loyalty. Also, bonus terms and conditions should be convenient for all players to meet. 

Mobile Compatibility

A good modern online casino should be accessible on small-screen devices, like smartphones and tablets. Also, the casino should provide players with a chance to download the mobile app or access the site instantly through standard browsers.

Customer Support

The customer support service of the casino should be available 24 hours, seven days a week, to respond to all questions and concerns. Players should enjoy support service through email, live chat, and telephone. A good site should also provide support in different languages to cover players from different regions.


Keno is a fantastic game for people with all gambling experiences. You can play this game at your favorite casinos and on any device. As a luck-based game, you will not depend on the strategies to increase the odds of winning – the game just follows simple rules. Also, you can choose from different types of keno to play and win. The information we have shared should help you to play and win at any recommended online casino in South Africa. 


A standard keno game has a grid with 80 numbers. The numbers with the highest chance of winning range between 4 and 8

Keno is a pure game of luck. Therefore, there is no strategy you can count on to increase your odds of winning

Yes, it is legal to play keno online in South Africa. Ensure you choose a safe, licensed, and regulated casino site

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