Keno History

Keno is laid back. It's the least hectic casino game you'll ever play. There is no strategy, it's a lottery. Keno is still a winnable lottery. Anyone can play, and there's no special tactical system you can use to win.Keno's just a mellow way to place chance bets about every six minutes or so. The minimums are always pretty low, so you won't have to worry about blowing your whole bankroll on keno. It's a "sit back and relax" sort of gaming experience. But where exactly did keno come from? 

Chinese Origins
Keno has a storied past that dates back thousands of years. According to ancient texts, the game was created by Cheung Leung, a Chinese warlord. Around 200 BC, Cheung Leung needed to raise funds to provide for his troops. After years of war, the inhabitants of his city refused to make contributions for armaments and other supplies.

In order to raise funds, Cheung Leung created a lottery-like game of chance that used characters from the Chinese alphabet. Like the modern game of keno, there were 80 characters to choose from. The "white pigeon game," as it was called at the time, used carrier pigeons to communicate the results of the lottery drawing to people in distant villages. The game brought in a heavy stream of income (it was more than enough to support the war effort). The extra income generated from the game was used to fund the construction of the Great Wall of China.

Chinese immigrants brought the game to the western United States in the middle of the 19th century. The game became known as Chinese lottery, and it was extremely popular in Chinese-American communities. At some point along the way, the Chinese characters were switched to numbers.

Horserace Keno
When Vegas sprouted in the 1930s; Chinese lottery was renamed horse race keno. Lotteries were banned at the time, so the game was repackaged to resemble a horse race. Players placed wagers on numbered horses instead of numbered spots.

Once lotteries were legalized, the horse race trappings were stripped away, and the game became known as keno. Keno's connection to its horse race-themed past remains steadfast. Players who pick the same number on multiple Keno cards play multi-race tickets, and drawings are still called races.

Video Keno
Video Keno has lower minimum bets than live keno games. The house advantage is also lower in video keno. The speed of the game, however, is increased. Video Keno plays as quick as a slot machine, so if you decide to play video keno, make sure you play slowly



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