In order to play live keno, or even online keno, a player has to know all of the keno terms that are used when gambling. Below you will find a complete list of keno terms, along with the description of what each means. As you learn and apply each of these keno terms, you will start to understand the game much better. For those players that want to expand their knowledge after reading the terms can check out our online keno guide to learn how to play, the rules, and how the house edge will affect the bets.
The maximum amount a casino will pay out in a single round in keno.
All or Nothing
The player wins if they hit all of their marked numbers or none of their marked numbers.
The money that a casino assigns to the operation of a keno game is known as the bank.
A player’s bankroll is the total amount of money they have set aside for gambling purposes.
In keno, small white balls labeled from 1 to 80 are used to determine winning numbers in a draw. A ball game is simply referring to this type of keno, which is by far the most popular form of the game in casinos today.
The small white numbered balls that are used in keno. These range from 1 to 80 in the standard game.
An unused keno ticket is known as a blank.
The section of a physical keno machine that forces balls into a tube from the goose to be collected by the keno caller and presented to players as a winning number.
Boc Hop Bu
The Cantonese name for keno originating in the 1800s. It was also referred to as puck-apu.
When the blower is turned off the balls are collected in the machine’s bowl.
A plastic bubble container that is used to store all the keno balls in a traditional game.
Casinos will often run keno tournaments for players where a set amount of money is paid to the casino to buy in. From this, a prize pool is kept for players who do well according to the tournament ranking system and a commission will be kept by the casino for running the tournament.
In traditional keno, balls are kept in a wire cage.
Announcements known as a call are made over a PA system in casinos. The caller will announce what balls have been drawn as winning numbers.
The casino employee who announces the numbers that have been selected in a particular draw.
If a number on your ticket is drawn in a keno round, then it’s a catch.
A type of keno bet where a player must catch every number on their ticket.
In this type of bet, a player is hoping to not hit any of the marked numbers on their ticket. Some payout charts pay for zero matches.
The brief amount of time between the draw and when the casino will stop taking bets on that draw.
A single ticket with a variety of different bets made on it is a combination ticket.
A computer generated keno ticket. These days this is the most common form of a keno ticket as most games are run by computers.
A slang term for the different rules and regulations that casinos have for their keno game.
The black writing tool that’s used by players to mark keno tickets.
Two keno numbers on a ticket that are next to each other and marked by the player.
A round in keno is referred to as a draw. In this draw, 20 numbers are selected randomly, generally by a computer. A draw can also refer to each individual ball that is selected or drawn from the traditional machine or by the computer.
A record of winning numbers from previous draws. They can be presented in a paper form or via keno display monitors.
A ticket marked with all of the numbers that go around the edge of all the numbers on a ticket.
Enhanced Pay Off
If a player has multiple bets on one keno ticket, then the payoff will be higher due to the risk involved in having to achieve wins on both bets in order to win.
This ticket is played across two rounds which will usually result in a higher payout if the player achieves a certain number of hits in both rounds.
Numbers that players mark, and don’t circle, on a keno ticket. The field can also refer to all the numbers on a keno board, this being from 1 to 80.
An electronic board which highlights the winning numbers. These have mostly now been removed in favor of TV displays, however, they can still be found in some casinos.
The part of the keno machine that picks up a particular ball to be drawn.
All the money that is wagered in a particular round of keno is the handle.
A form of keno bet where more catches are awarded a higher rate of win.
High Roller Ticket
When a casino has a relatively high bet minimum on a keno ticket.
When a number a player has marked on a ticket is drawn in a keno round they’ve hit the number.
The amount of money that the casino makes in a particular round of keno after paying out winning tickets.
Every casino game has a mathematical edge over the player to ensure they make money in the long run. In keno, the house edge can be as high as 30% and as low as 5%. The theoretical house edge will always match a practical house edge on a long enough timeline, which means keno is a game that no one can ever win in the long run.
A marked ticket which the player gives to the keno writer to collect an official game ticket.
A display that outlines the numbers in a keno game. These have now been mostly replaced by TV’s.
The section in a casino where keno players can get tickets and collect winnings.
A keno lounge dedicated area in the casino for keno players where seating and keno display monitors are plentiful. This lounge will usually be located near the keno counter or keno computer terminals. Most casinos have eliminated their keno lounge areas. They’ve been replaced by higher profit per square foot games.
The casino employee who issues tickets and subsequent winnings to players.
A number that is circled on the keno ticket is known as a king. It can be used with other numbers to complete a bet or way on a combination ticket.
When a keno ticket has one or more kings circled on it.
Left Right Ticket
A ticket where numbers are divided down the center, with winning numbers only occurring on the left or right of the ticket, according to what the player has made a wager on.
The traditional version of real money keno online where a paper ticket is used and balls are actually drawn from the casino machine by casino employees. This is opposed to video keno or rapid keno which are now more popular in most casinos.
A selection made on a keno ticket by a player or computer. This highlights a selected number on that particular ticket.
Multi Game Ticket
A single ticket that is used across multiple keno games.
The amount a player wins less the initial wager they made.
Online keno game is found at online casinos; we provide a list of the best online casinos and reviews. In this game, the player selects their numbers and bets via a digital keno board and numbers are drawn randomly using a random number generator computer program. The house edge in this form of keno will generally be much lower than in live keno and you’ll also be able to find smaller bet limits. On top of this, the game is much faster and quite often you’ll be able to take part in hundreds of draws in the time it takes to do a handful in a live casino.
Once a player gives their inside ticket, they receive the official game ticket which is known as an outside ticket. Wagers must be handed over to the casino to get this ticket and to be formally entered into the next draw.
When a player marks a ticket it may form a particular pattern. Some players do this for superstitious purposes.
Pay Any Catch Ticket
In this type of keno, winning bets will be awarded when a player hits any of their marked numbers.
Pay Table or Book
These outline what is paid to the player on certain wagers when they hit or don’t hit numbers.
A printed sheet listing previous games and the winning numbers. The holes on certain numbers are punched out to make it easy to check against old tickets to find a sleeper. These are becoming less common due to digital displays showing the same information in a more environmentally friendly fashion.
When a player’s winnings match that of their initial bet, it’s a push.
In this variation of keno, the top prize will continue to increase until it’s awarded to a player. It’s also known as a progressive jackpot prize.
A random selection of numbers made automatically by the computer for the player’s ticket.
Cashing in a multi-game ticket before the end of all the relevant draws.
A slang term for a single keno draw.
Random Number Generator or RNG
A computer program that’s used to determine which numbers are drawn in a computer operated keno game and video keno. The program uses a complex mathematical formula to ensure completely random results that are independent of previous draws. Contrary to popular belief these are not rigged in any way and operate completely independently of what action the player has taken in respect to choosing their numbers.
Another term for a pay book. This outlines payout rates and bet options.
Using the same ticket in concurrent games. A player can simply hand back either a winning or losing ticket from a previous round and use it in the next draw.
Another casino employee who collects and pays winnings to players throughout a casino. These are becoming rarer as they are being replaced by keno computer terminals which are much cheaper to operate and don’t call in sick.
When a ticket is a winner but hasn’t been cashed in yet, it’s known as a sleeper.
A bet type where two or more groups of numbers are being played on the same ticket.
The numbers that are marked on a keno ticket. Tickets are often referenced according to how many spots they have. If you selected 3 numbers then it’s a 3 spot ticket, and so on.
This is the basic form of play in keno. It involves simply choosing different numbers on a ticket for the upcoming draw.
A standard keno ticket that has 80 numbers on it for the player to mark their selections.
Top Bottom Ticket
When there’s a horizontal line in the middle of the ticket separating the top numbers from the bottom numbers. The player who wagers with this type of ticket will win only if their numbers are hit in the top or bottom sections.
A type of keno game played individually at a computer terminal. Draws take place on demand and the player selects their numbers and makes their wagers via a touch screen. Video keno will often have much lower bet limits and also offer better value for wins.
A second bet type on a ticket.
On this ticket, the player has more than one active bet.
The 20 numbers that are drawn in a round of keno are known as the winning numbers.