Keno Game Guide

Keno Runner


Play Keno Like Pro

Keno is pretty much exactly like bingo, a gambling game, which is commonly played at casinos in the present day.

History of Keno

Keno’s roots originate from the Han Dynasty of ancient China way back between 205 and 187 B.C. Chinese traders and immigrants managed to introduce this game to the whole world after teaching America about it in the early 19th century. There are stories relating this game to having raised funds which was used to build the Great Wall of China. Some say that this game even saved an ancient Chinese city during a war. As time went on, the Chinese helped to build the American trans-continental railroad in the 19th century during which they taught the Americans to play keno.

Traditional Keno

Traditionally a live keno game in a casino is played using a circular enclosure made of glass called a “bubble”. This bubble contains 80 balls that look a lot like ping pong balls which play the role of determining the result of the ball draw. The balls are mixed by using a blower inside the bubble during the ball draw. All the balls are numbered from 1 to 80. A “caller” pushes a lever which opens a tube where the balls are lifted one at a time into a V-shaped tube called the “rabbit years”.

Then the “caller” and a “verifier” record all the 20 balls that were drawn and the computer calculates all the wagers depending on the numbers drawn. Players need to mark “X” on their spot choices of the blank keno ticket which has 80 selection boxes one for each numbered ball. The players are then requested to place their wager after which the 20 balls are drawn at random. Depending on the type of the “paytable” which is a pay scale; players are paid with regard to the numbers on the balls matching the selected numbers on the keno ticket. The “paytable” varies widely from one casino to another.

Modern Keno

In modern keno the ball draw takes place in the “keno-booth” which is called the bubble in traditional keno. It does have a traditional “rabbit ear” blower to mix the balls exactly like traditional keno. Here the balls are encoded which are read by a computer when drawn and the number of the ball is sent to a computer. This where the keno runners come on stage, they run around shouting “keno”, their job is pretty simple; these so-called “runners” offer to carry the players wagers to be processed. They are handed the wager payment and keno wager forms filled up by the players.

Keno runners come back when all the processes are over with an “outside ticket”, this is the official receipt. The players will have to check if there are any mistakes in the ticket before the ball draw happens. After recording the keno ticket, players have to wait patiently to see the outcome of the ball draw. Winners leave with more cash than they came in, while losers do it the other way around.

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