If you’ve read the other gambling strategy articles on this website the title of this one might sound a bit strange. We’re always talking about the importance of understanding the math of gambling, probability and randomness theory and many other mathematical concepts and *not* buying into luck, chance or instincts. Have we lost our minds? Not really–and you’ll understand what we’re talking about in due course.

As we’ve said elsewhere, keno is a game of luck. To some extent, ‘luck’ or ‘chance’ or ‘probability’ is involved in every casino game and plenty of non-gambling activities. Keno is entirely luck. The reason for this is that the house edge is among the highest of any casino game. Depending on the casino–land based or online–where you play and the specific rules in use live keno has a house edge ranging from 20% to 35%. Video keno is a slightly better bet, with a house edge ranging from 6% to 14%. Online keno is actually the best betting option as they just don’t have the same degree of overhead. It’s possible to find online keno games with an edge of 3% to 6%. The problem with both online keno and casino video keno is that gameplay is much faster–50% to 100% faster. This means that even with better odds you’ll lose your money faster.


The reality of all of these numbers–you just can’t win longterm playing any form of keno. You’ve always got a chance to ‘get lucky’ in the short term just like you can at any casino game. But with such a massive house edge there’s no way to do anything to give yourself a long term edge. A good thing to remember is that you can’t make money long term in any ‘negative EV’ casino game. To make it ‘positive EV’ it has to be a reasonable house edge and your decisions have to ‘matter’. In keno, the only ‘decision’ to make is which numbers to pick. From a theoretical standpoint, however, it doesn’t matter–since the ball draw is completely random the numbers you select aren’t relevant to the longterm ‘house edge’.

As we’ve said in the past, the only intelligent response for the gambler is to be aware of these numbers and play keno for fun. Unfortunately, there’s fewer people with that type of presence of mind than you’d imagine. That’s why there’s a market for ‘keno systems’. You’d think such a thing wouldn’t exist–and certainly couldn’t be sold–in a game with a house edge of over 30% in some situations. That doesn’t look like the case as you can find all kinds of ‘keno systems’ available for sale online.


The bottom line with keno–you can’t win it with any type of strategy. You can’t win in the longterm. The best you can hope for is short term profits. You can apply the so called ‘hit and run’ approach–try to get a nice win quickly and then cash out and leave the game. This doesn’t always work, but it works just as well as anything else you can do. It doesn’t matter how much you study or if you pay for ‘systems’. You can’t beat the game in the long run.

In light of all of this, you might as well use your instincts or ‘play your hunches’. They don’t cost anything and you might get lucky. And ‘getting lucky’ is the best thing you can hope for when playing keno.