The game of keno is easy to learn and very exciting to play. When reading about keno or playing it in a gambling venue, you are likely to come across certain terms that may be confusing to new players.
This guide to keno terminology will help to clear up any misconceptions about what that jargon means. Here we are including mainly terms that refer to online keno play but you will note some that are also used in traditional play.
The most important keno terms
Bet: Also called the wager, this is the amount of money a player stakes on a round of keno.
Call: In gambling venues, the announcement of numbers as they are drawn is called the call and is usually done over an intercom or loudspeaker
Caller: Like in bingo, the caller’s job is to announce the drawn keno numbers
Catch: When you ‘catch’ a number, it means that a drawn number matches one in your selected group.
Combination ticket: One keno ticket showing two or more different wagers
Draw: When 20 numbers are drawn at random from the available pool of 80 numbers
Group: When the player has decided which numbers to choose, they will circle the corresponding numbers on their ticket to form a group. When there are multiple groups on the same ticket, each one is called a way.
Hit: Similar to ‘catch’, when a number is ‘hit’ it means that it matches a number selected on a player’s ticket.
House: The casino or entity operating the game of keno
House edge: The built-in advantage the house has over the player. Also described as what percentage of wagers the house is expected to win in the long term.
Jackpot: The prize sum that can be won during a game. This can be fixed or progressive.
Keno balls: Similar to bingo balls, there are 80 numbered plastic keno balls that can be drawn during a round. Keno balls are used in traditional settings, which are being phased out in favour of software.
Keno lounge: The section in a casino or gambling venue dedicated to keno play.
Net win: The amount a player has won before deducting the cost of the keno ticket.
Odds: The likelihood or probability of a particular outcome
Payout table: A schedule that shows how much money a player will win when matching a specific number of draws.
Progressive jackpot: A type of jackpot prize that continues to increase until it is won.
Quick Pick: This feature randomly selects numbers on behalf of the player. It is used in both video keno machines and online keno.
Race: Another term for a round of keno.
Random Number Generator: A computer program that randomly selects the drawn numbers in a keno game.
Split ticket: When two or more groups of selected numbers are used to make separate bets on the same ticket.
Spots: The numbers selected by the player and marked on their ticket.
Straight ticket: The basic standard ticket a player starts off with, featuring a grid of 80 numbers.
Video keno: This is played at a computerised machine, often found in casinos, bars, pubs and other venues. Similar to online keno but can only be played on these dedicated machines.
Way: On a ticket being used to show multiple bets, one of these bets is called a way.
Way ticket: A ticket with two or more ways or bets made on the same game.
Winning numbers: The 20 individual numbers drawn in a keno game, which the player hopes to match to their selected numbers.