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Keno Terms - Learning the Lingo

Over the years, Keno has earned a place in the hearts of many gamblers around the globe due to its large jackpot prizes and fantastic payouts. Moreover, other than its very attractive potential prizes, learning the game’s rules is child’s play as the premise of the game is to select numbers which you think will hit during the next Keno race. Nonetheless, whether you’d like to play the game at a brick and mortar casino or Keno online, you should definitely opt to learn some Keno Terms & Lingo before you start selecting your numbers and placing your bets! 


Aggregate Limit: This aggregated limit refers to the total amount of money which can be given to a player once he/she wins a race or to the total number of players who’ve managed to win the game. Each casino has its only aggregated limit.

All or Nothing: This term refers to a keno ticket only pays out if all the selected numbers were drawn or provided that no selected numbers were drawn.


Ball Game: Any keno game which typically uses 80 plastic balls in order to represent the numbers that are drawn during the game.

Balls: The ‘balls’ in a keno game are used to draw the numbers from 1-80.

Bank: This specifies to the amount of money the casino has during the game.

Bankroll: The term ‘bankroll’ refers to the amount of money a player has dedicated towards playing the casino game.

Bet: A bet or a wager must be placed on each number whilst playing a keno game.

Blank: A keno ticket which has not yet been played.

Blower: A ‘blower’ is a hopper-like machine which is used in keno to draw winning numbers. The blower uses suction in order to dispense the balls into a tube. Once, the balls come up the tube they are removed by the keno operator and the numbers which have been hit are announced by the operator.

Bowl: This term, which is also called a bubble, refers to the glass bowl which is used during a keno game in order to draw the balls.

Buy-In Tournament: A ‘buy-in-tournament’ is one which requires the player to pay a participation fee by which they play a specific amount of games. The winnings generated are then kept by the players.


Cage: This refers to part of the apparatus used to hold the keno balls which are drawn during the game.

Call: The ‘call’ refers to the act of calling the keno numbers that are drawn.

Caller: The ‘caller’ is the person employed by the casino to call out the numbers which have come up.

Catch Zero: A variant of the original game of keno which does not require players to catch any of the numbers.

Combination Ticket: Typically, on selecting numbers in a keno game, you’ll be required to place a wager on each of the numbers selected. The wager you decide to place will be the same for all the numbers.

Computer Ticket: A keno ticket with various numbers selected with a different keno wager placed on each.

Crayon: Typically, keno tickets at land based casinos are marked by an instrument called a crayon. This is usually black.


Deuce: The term deuce refers to two keno spots which are found neighbouring each other.

Draw: A keno ‘draw’ is the group of 20 numbers which have come up during the game. The numbers which are drawn are the winning numbers.

Draw Sheet: A draw sheet is usually handed out at a keno counter. This serves as an indication to the numbers which have been drawn during the previous game. The numbers which have been drawn are shown with punched holes.


Edge Ticket: An edge ticket is one in which 32 numbers around the outer edge of the ticket.

Enhanced Payoff: An enhanced payout is one which is received by playing a combination of keno races on a single ticket. Typically, this payout pays more than would have been received, provided that the games had been played on individual tickets.

Entry Fee Tournament: Players pay a fee up front to compete with each other for prizes. Usually, players would not keep winnings from a single race in a keno tournament.

Exacta: An exacta is a ticket with a special payoff rate.


Field: The ‘field’ makes reference to a group of uncircled spots in a keno ticket.

Flashboard: A flashboard is an electronic sign that displays the numbers which are drawn in a game of keno. Although, most are LED, older boards which use light bulbs instead are still found.

Fractional Rate Ticket: A ticket which is played for some fraction of a normal rate. Normally, only used on a one way ticket.

Free Play: Typically, most casinos will offer a keno game you’ll be able to play for free. This means you’ll be able to play without betting real money.


Group: The number of spots on a keno ticket which have been marked are called a group.

Gooseneck: Once the blower is activated, the balls circulate in the hopper and within just a few seconds, a ball gets caught in the machine’s long necked tube.

18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply
18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply


Handle: The total amount of money the casino has made from keno.

High End Ticket: A high end ticket is one which pays for catching a large amount of numbers. However, it pays less for hitting a few spots.

High Roller Ticket: A high roller keno ticket is one which has a high minimum ticket price, which a players must pay in order to be eligible to play the game of chance.

Hit: A ‘hit’ makes reference to the amount of numbers a player has selected which are drawn in a keno game.

House: The house refers to the casino itself.

House Edge: The house edge or casino edge represents the casino’s advantage in a game. Typically, this is presented to players in the form of a percentage. The house edge in Keno is approximately 25%.


Inside Ticket: A keno ticket which has been marked and has been presented to the casino.


Jackpot: A jackpot is the mammoth amount of money that is given to a player who has opted to place a wager on the progressive side bet.

Jackpot Meter: The jackpot amount is typically displayed on a jackpot meter to indicate how much money a player who places a progressive side bet can stand to win.


Keno Board: A keno board is one which displays the numbers which are drawn during a race.

Keno Counter: A keno counter is the place where players place their bets and collect their winnings.

Keno Punch: The machine which is found at a land based casino that punches holes in the keno draw sheet.

Keno Lounge: A Keno Lounge is an area at the casino where players can sit and mark their tickets.

Keno Writer: A keno writer is the person who works at the keno counter and is responsible for taking a player’s wagers.

King: On playing Keno, you must select numbers. If you choose to select one number, this is called a king.

King Ticket: A way ticket which has two or more kings.


Left-Right Ticket: A ticket which is marked vertically down the Keno ticket’s center. The aim of the game in this case is to catch the numbers present on one half of the ticket (or no numbers on one half of the ticket).

Live Keno: A live keno game is a normal game of keno which is played at the casino.


Mark: A mark is made on a digital keno ticket at an online casino by using a mouse.

Multi Race Ticket: This phrase refers to a keno ticket which is that is used to play multiple keno games.

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Odds: The word ‘odds’ refers to the probability of an outcome. When playing keno or any casino game for that matter it is very important to pay attention to the odds you have of actually winning a game.

Open: This refers to the time the keno counter is open for accepting bets.

Outside Ticket: An outside ticket is one which is returned to the keno player in exchange for his marked ticket along with the wager he/she has placed.


Pattern: A pattern is made up of the amount of numbers which have been circled on a keno ticket.

Pay Any Catch Ticket: This phrase refers to when a keno ticket pays an amount of money no matter the amount of numbers which have been hit.

Payoff: A payoff/payout refers to the amount that a player will win once their numbers are hit in the game of keno.

Pay Table: A pay table is a chart which indicates what each win pays out.

‘Play 1’: When a Keno Online user opts to press the ‘play 1’ button, this means that the keno player has decided to play 1 game using the spots he/she has selected.

‘Play 5’: If a Keno player has selected the ‘play 5’ button, this means that the keno player has decided to play 5 games instead using the spots he/she has selected.

Progressive Jackpot: A progressive jackpot is a huge amount of money that is given to a player provided that they have chosen to bet on the maximum amount of numbers and all of his/her numbers are drawn during the game.

Punch Outs: This phrase makes reference to the sheet which is given at the keno counter. This indicates which numbers have been drawn from the previous keno game. The numbers are indicated by small holes which have been punched through.

Push: In Keno, a push typically refers to a win which is equal to the amount that was initially wagered.


Quick Pick: On playing Keno Online, a player has the option of either selecting the numbers himself/herself or pressing the button ‘quick pick’ which would let the computer game pick the numbers for you.

Quit Race: This phrase refers to when a player decides to cash in a multi game ticket before the end of the keno game.


Race: A single game of keno is typically known as a race.

Rate: The price a player pays for a ticket of a way.

Rate Card: The rate card refers to a ticket which is provided by a casino shows the amount of money that is paid out for various bets.

Random Number Generator: A random number generator, which is also known as RNG, is a software program that is set to select winning combinations completely at random. Generally speaking, the majority of fair games you’ll find in the digital world use RNG.

Replayed Ticket: A ticket which is presented to the counter in order to replay the numbers.

Regular Ticket: This term, which is also referred to as a straight ticket, is used to refer to a normal keno ticket.

Runner: A runner is a person who goes round the casino picking up tickets and paying winnings out to their clients.


Sleeper: A sleeper is a keno ticket which has not been present to the casino by the player to redeem his/her winnings.

Split Ticket: This refers to two or more groups of numbers which are played separately on the same ticket.

Spots: The numbers that are selected from the keno ticket and circled are known as spots. These typically, form into a pattern.

Stud: A version of a keno game in which the top prize increases until it is won.

Straight ticket: Regular keno tickets in which 1-20 numbers are chosen and one group of numbers is bet on is known as a straight ticket.


Ticket: A keno ticket or card is generally made using low quality paper and is marked with 80 numbers. This is used by a player to mark his/her spots.

Top-Bottom Ticket: A top-bottom ticket is a keno ticket which is market horizontally in the center. The primary objective is to catch the numbers which are on one half of the ticket rather than to catch numbers in the whole ticket.

Tournament: A keno ‘contest’ in which players compete against each other as well as against the house. Typically, prizes are offered to the winner.


Video Keno: Unlike Live Keno, Video Keno is played on an electronic machine.


Wager: A wager is another word for ‘bet’.

Way: A separate bet which is placed on a ticket.

Way Ticket: A way ticket is a keno ticket in which numbers are selected and put in groups to form two separate bets.

Winning Numbers: During a keno game, 20 numbers are drawn. These are called the winning numbers.

Win: A win points to the amount of money that is won during a game. This suggests that the amount won is larger than the amount which was initially wagered.

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keno terms

As a game of chance, Keno typically offers the opportunity for players to win a large sum of money without the need to learn any complex strategies. Strategies usually go hand in hand with learning how to play other online casino games. Games such as Blackjack, Caribbean Stud, online Craps and many more. If you're knowledgeable about Keno Rules and the Keno Terms, you’re already more than halfway there to experience playing your first real money Keno online game! If you'd like to play a real money Keno game, we suggest finding the right casino to play at by visiting our 'Best Keno Casinos' toplist. The list allows you to compare casino reviews and allows you to make a decision in regards to which online casino bonus is best for you.