The History of Keno

Keno was first played in 200 BC by the Chinese military leader, Cheung Leung who used this game 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 drastic decrease in supplies. Cheung Leung had to develop a fast response for the financial adversity and to create revenue for his army. He therefore developed the game we know today as keno and it was a wonderful success.

Keno once was referred to as the White Pigeon Game, seeing as the winning numbers were broadcast by pigeons from bigger municipalities to the lesser towns. The lottery ‘Keno’ was brought to America in the 1800s by Chinese newcomers who came to the US for work. In those times, Keno used 120 numbers.

Today, Keno is normally played with just 80 numbers in a majority of American based casinos as well as internet casinos. Keno is largely loved today as a result of the relaxed nature of playing the game and the simple reality that there are no skills required to enjoy Keno. Regardless of the fact that the odds of coming away with a win are terrible, there is always the possibility that you might win quite large with little gaming investment.

Keno is played with 80 numbers with 20 numbers drawn each round. Enthusiasts of Keno can choose from 2 to ten numbers and bet on them, as much or as little as they are able to. The payout of Keno is according to the bets made and the matching of numbers.

Keno has grown in popularity in the United States since the end of the 19th century when the Chinese letters were replaced with more familiar, American numbers. Lotteries were not covered under the legalization of wagering in the state of Nevada in 1931. The casinos renamed the ‘Chinese lotto’ to ‘horse race keno’ utilizing the concept that the numbers are horses and you want your horses to come in. When a law passed that taxed off track gambling, Nevada casinos swiftly adjusted the name to ‘Keno’.


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