Rules Of Playing Keno In Casino
Keno was Nevada’s form of the lottery until Megabucks appeared. Keno is a very simple game to play. As shown in the illustration, there are 80 possible numbers on a Keno ticket. The player tries to guess which numbers will constitute the 20 picked by the Keno machine. A player can pick from one number up to 15, or even 20 numbers.
Keno is a very slow game. The casinos maintain a lounge where the machine is located, and spectator/players drink and bet. This machine has the 80 numbered balls in its holding tank.
When the machine is turned on, 20 balls are sucked into the top part of the machine – these are the winning numbers. Since winnings can be very large (one casino advertises a $1,000,000 Keno payoff) the machine is constantly being filmed by surveillance.
Keno boards are posted all over the casino so the players can see which numbers were picked. These boards have the numbers 1-80 on them and the numbers that are picked light up.
The casinos have runners who walk around the entire casino picking up Keno tickets from customers who want to play. The Keno game must wait for all the runners to return with the Keno tickets before the next game can be run. This delay is up to 10 minutes between games.
Look at the math behind Keno. Do not read this if you just ate, because it will make you sick, as Keno is a disgusting game for everyone except the casino. Suppose a player picks 8 numbers. The odds of picking 8 out of 8 are 230,114 to 1! If the player bet $10, therefore, he should win $2,301,140 minus the casino edge. These are the true odds. What payoff does the casino actually give the player? $250,000. That is correct! This is taken from one of the largest casinos in Las Vegas; most Keno games in town have the same payoffs.
Keno is a terrible game for the player. The casino’s edge is more than 25 percent – and they call me a thief! If that isn’t bad enough, the casinos have come up with even worse (for the player) ways to play. Multigame tickets allow a player to mark a number of Keno tickets (2-20) all at once and then hand them to a Keno runner. By doing this he is free to go dust his money on video Keno, because he does not have to worry about the results from the real game until the last game he played is called.
Remember, 20 games of Keno will take hours. If you play single games you must collect your winnings before the next game starts. Some casinos even have “Keno To Go.” This is great (if you’re the casino). You can play from 21 to 1,000 consecutive games, and have up to a full year to collect your winnings. STAY AWAY!
The 1993 Annual Report of the New Jersey Gaming Commission notes that, bowing to public pressure, Atlantic City casinos would lower their Keno take from 38 percent to 35 percent. Unbelievable!
Other than self-destructive tendencies and sheer boredom, why do people play Keno? Actually, as bad as Keno is a player cannot lose too much money since it’s a cheap game to play. A player cannot make big bets, and the game is so slow he cannot quickly dust off a ton of money. Some people play Keno just to take up time.
Cheating modern Keno is very difficult. The game is filmed 24 hours a day. There are many checks and guards against any kind of wrong or phony ticket being paid. Any amount of money paid out over $1,199 in Keno (slots, too) must be reported to the IRS. This means the casinos ask for identification before they will pay. This is an obstacle cheaters must overcome – false ID helps.
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