Keno has one of the highest house percentages against the player ”” a minimum of 22 percent ”” yet the game remains popular. The reasons are that it is an inexpensive way to gamble ”” you can play a keno ticket for as little as 40 cents (most casinos have a $1 minimum ticket); and there’s a possibility of hitting a lottery-like jackpot.
Anyone who plays keno should think of the game as a form of lottery or bingo and not a serious form of gambling. Therefore, any money bet on keno should be for fun, without any great expectancy of return.
Keno is played on a blank ticket, which you obtain at the keno parlor or at other places throughout the hotel-casino. A player selects from one to 15 numbers out of a possible 80, and marks them on the ticket. The marks are called "spots," and the number of spots determine how much the ticket is worth.
The operator of the game turns on a machine that randomly selects 20 numbered balls out of the possible 80 and calls out the numbers. If the player’s numbers match most or all of the numbers selected, he wins a payoff based on how many spots he marked, how many spots he hit or "caught," and how much he bet.
Most casinos offer keno at the rate of $1 per ticket. Some hotels in downtown Las Vegas offer lower prices, while some Strip resorts have a $1 minimum.
If a player has a winning ticket, he must present it to the keno operator before the next game begins. Failing to do so voids his winning ticket.