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Keno is a lottery game. As with any other casino game, the history of Keno is also a guess work with no pure evidences. It has its ancestry pointing to the Chinese. It has an interesting story behind it. Cheung Leung of the Han dynasty was the one to introduce the early ancestor of the Keno game. The game was created to collect fund for the kingdom as people refused to contribute towards the war expenses. This version was a great success. The also had the name of ‘White Pigeon Game’ because the pigeon was used to send the winning number from the larger cities to the smaller towns. This game of chance helped fund the building of the Great Wall.
There is another factor of heritage attributing to this game. The keno boards have a set of thousand characters. All these characters are from the ‘Thousand Character Poem’. The poem has a set of independent characters in a rhymed form. Each character was specific and distinct. The game reached the English land, the people could not understand these characters and thus the number of number came down to a recognizable set of 80.This was in the 19th century.
Keno was played illegally by Chinese immigrants in Americas. The game thus got another name ‘Chinese Lottery’. In 1931, when gambling was approved in America, the name of the game was changed from ‘Chinese Lottery’ to ‘horse race keno’. The U.S Government passed a law taxing off track betting and the name was then changed to just keno. That’s how the name Keno evolved from its Chinese ancestor.
To play the game special tickets are acquired by the player from the Keno Lounge. These tickets have 80 squares having numbers 1 to 80. There are 80 ping-pong balls placed in a plastic sphere or steel wheel. The wheel is spun to toss the balls. Out of these balls are withdrawn. Usually 20 balls are withdrawn from this and the result is displayed on a big board.
The player on getting his ticket marks out 5 numbers and brings the card to the keno clerk who notes the numbers and issues the layer a receipt. As the numbers are displayed, the player has to mar down these. At the end of the 20 number displays, the payer who has the most matching numbers wins. The player has to be very quick in claming his win or else he looses his win. Once a new game starts, the old game ticket becomes void. Some games allow for multi race, where a set of tickets can be bought for the same number draws. The players can then go for the keno clerk and check for his winning games. To make things easier for the player who doesn’t want to pay attention to the numbers being drawn, there is a special ticket called ‘stray and play’. The difference is that, the player need not show up at the keno clerk table at 25 or 30 games. The player can come back any time. Most of them have a validity of about a year.
The game offers exciting payouts. The keno players have an option of a choice of ticket combinations and thus making the game all the more fun and frolic.


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