The History of Keno

Keno was introduced in two hundred BC by the Chinese military leader, Cheung Leung who utilized keno as a way to finance his failing army. The city of Cheung was waging a battle, and after awhile of war time seemed to be looking at a country wide famine with the excessive decrease in supplies. Cheung Leung had to come up with a fast fix for the financial adversity and to produce income for his army. He, as it follows developed the game we now know as keno and it was a fantastic success.

Keno used to be well-known as the White Pigeon Game, due to the fact that the winning numbers were broadcast by pigeons from larger municipalities to the tinier towns. The lottery ‘Keno’ was imported to the USA in the 19th century by Chinese newcomers who migrated to the States to jobs. In those times, Keno was played with 120 numbers.

Today, Keno is typically gambled on with 80 numbers in most of American land based casinos as well as internet casinos. Keno is mainly played today as a result of the laid back nature of playing the game and the simple fact that there are no skills required to play Keno. Despite the fact that the odds of winning are horrible, there is always the hope that you will win quite large with a tiny gaming investment.

Keno is played with 80 numbers with 20 numbers drawn each game. Enthusiasts of Keno can select from 2 to ten numbers and gamble on them, as much or as little as they are able to. The pay out of Keno is according to the wagers made and the matching of numbers.

Keno has grown in universal appeal in the US since the end of the 1800’s when the Chinese characters were changed with more familiar, American numbers. Lotteries were not covered under the legalization of gaming in the state of Nevada in 1931. The casinos renamed the ‘Chinese lottery’ to ‘horse race keno’ employing the idea that the numbers are horses and you are wanting your horses to place. When the Nevada government passed a law that levied a tax on off track betting, Nevada casinos quickly altered the name to ‘Keno’.


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