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Keno School

Keno Terms

Keno Terms
By Wilson of Predictem.com

Sometimes the most frustrating experience for a novice gambler is simply not knowing or understanding the language of the particular game they are playing. If you walked up to a craps table in the Las Vegas Hilton and heard a dealer yell “com’in out, get your Yo’s and pass lines.” Would you know what that means? Just like craps and blackjack, keno also has a specific language and variety of bets that players need to understand before they invest in the game. You won’t hear a ton of hollering at a keno lounge like you would at a craps table but you will need to know the terminology and definition of the different wagers. Let’s take a look at some of the most common terms within the realm of keno.

Edge Ticket: Describes a ticket where all of the numbers marked are located on the edge of the ticket

Exacta: This ticket is good for two games and often offers a bonus payout for specific numbers.

Group: A group of numbers that are marked on a certain area of the ticket.

Hit: Any number marked on a ticket that shows during the draw of that game.


Inside Ticket: A ticket that has been marked by a player and submitted to the keno window. The ticket is inside and the player is waiting for a confirmed print out of the chosen numbers.

Jackpot: This represents the total amount of cash that is paid out as the ultimate prize in a progressive game of keno.

Keno Board: Often referred to as the “Big Board” it is the visual or big screen that reveals all of the numbers in each individual game. In most casinos you can find several different screens throughout the casino for your easy viewing access.

Keno Lounge: This is the core area of keno where you will find a large seating area much like a small theatre room as all the seats will be facing the big board.

Keno Writer: This person is also referred to as a clerk, but they handle all the wagers, payouts, ticket printing, and any other customer service concerns as well as coordinating bets with the keno runners.

King: One single, isolated number that is circled on a keno card.

Left-Right Ticket: This wager is a simple bet that claims which side of the ticket the numbers will show- left or right.

Multiple Game Keno Ticket: You guessed it; this ticket can be used for several keno games, occasionally as many as 1000 games!

Paybook: This is the casinos keno rule book and payout legend. You can find these in the keno lounge, at the keno windows and booths.

Payoff: Yep, this is what players look forward too…this is the cash you win if your numbers show.

Pay Table: Usually posted or printed agenda of each payoff based on the type of wager.

Progressive: In a progressive game the top jackpot will not hit at the end of every game but will carry over often for several games or days and the pot grows higher depending on the number of players and wagers until ultimately one lucky winner hits the jackpot.

Quick Pick: Instead of the player taking the time to chose each number he asks for a quick pick in which the casino’s computer selects random numbers for the player. This is similar to a state lottery quick pick.

Random Number Generator: A computer program designed to select random numbers for a keno ticket and game.

Runner: A casino employee who serves players by picking up marked tickets and returning payouts to those players who may be in other areas of the casino such as a restaurant or other gaming areas.

Spot: Simply a number that is marked by a player on a keno card.

Top-Bottom Ticket: A wager where a player bets on the top 40 numbers or the bottom 40 numbers and gets paid depending on how many of them show.

Video Keno: Much like a slot machine or video poker, video keno is played on an electronic screen. The advantage with video keno is the fact that a player can play at a much faster rate but can be subject to losing faster as well.

Wager: The total cash a player decides to risk on a game or bet.

Way Ticket: This keno bet is a combination of numbers that create different ways for a player to win.

Have Fun!

Ok, so now you know a little bit more about the terms and different types of wagers in the game of keno. I like keno, it’s kind of exciting to go have breakfast- send a runner with a ticket (tip the runner at least a couple of dollar chips or so), and hopefully you’re making money while you eat! Remember, the best gamblers are those who do their homework; know before you go. Luck to ya!


The chances of hitting 0 numbers on a 20 spot ticket: 1 in 843.38 for a minescule chance of less than 2/10th's of 1%! (0.12%)

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Keno was created in China around 200 B.C. where characters instead of numbers were used. The characters used were the first 80 of China's famous poem called "The Thousand Character Classic"