What’s Keno?

It’s Ancient History

In the world of gambling games, keno enjoys particular prestige as one of the oldest known of its kind in the world. While the popularity of and appetite for keno has grown exponentially worldwide in the internet age, the exact origin of the game is subject to much debate and conjecture. The name itself, “keno”, is easy enough to pin a history to, likely boasting Latin or French origin, but the ins and outs of the game itself enjoy a much far-reaching history. In fact, the earliest examples of what we’d today understand as keno draws can be traced back all the way to ancient China. Lets play keno online today and consider how it was in those first formative years and you might not even register the two as the same game. At least not upon first glance.

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Online Keno Reviews:

From Fernando P.

Keno is a cool way to pass time. I am a student and I do spend good amount of time at school and doing specific assignments. But invariably, I also end up with quite a bit of ‘me’ or free time on my hands. I am not much into television and music is something I cannot listen to for more than 30 minutes straight. I like to indulge into interactive stuff when I am not doing anything, and online casinos do fill the vacuum.

I haven’t stepped foot into a real casino before and when I started playing some online casino games, I was not sure what to expect. I initially thought it would be a bit difficult and the game would get the better of me. But I am glad to say I was so wrong! It took me only a few days to learn some of the games and keno (according to me) has the shortest of learning curves of almost all online casino games. If you know how to use a website or mobile application, you are good to go. And since I can play keno for free always, I end up spending a lot of time playing keno when I have nothing else to do.

In this article:

1. The Legend of Keno

2. Becoming a Casino Favourite

3. Evolution of the Game

1. The Legend of Keno

Legends suggest that the game that would become keno was in fact invented by a Chinese man to create funds for a fledgling army tasked with defending a city at war. The citizens of the city, unwilling to part with more of their money in the form of taxes, outright refused to contribute more of their own capital to the cause, despite it leaving their home and its defending force at risk. An enterprising local who realised the urgency of the financial bottleneck struck upon the idea of holding keno draw games in order to rouse up citywide interest and drum up a neat profit that could be injected straight into food, armour and arsenal for the native army.

The idea proved fruitful, with the first keno games proving incredibly popular with the residents of the city. A once impoverished army, armed with minimal resources and set for certain defeat, were now bolstered by some serious investment and fought their way to victory, keeping the city safe from invaders. Even after these initial keno draws had served their purpose, the appetite for the game was maintained and the draws continued. Soon, news of this innovative new game spread to neighbouring regions and keno draws and results became a fascination of cities far and wide. In fact, it’s reported that carrier pigeons were used to quickly ferry updates on who had won the latest keno draws and what kind of prizes and payouts lucky players might have pocketed. The operators that lets play casino online today give us great graphics and first-rate features, but this historic draw must have generated hysteria in the time of the Han Dynasty.

Word of mouth was all the marketing this game needed and excited followers and fans spread opinion like wildfire. While keno would largely remain a Chinese institution for many more centuries, it would firmly find its feet during this time, adopting many of its most popular hallmarks. Continued claims of the role of keno and its popularity can be observed throughout Chinese history, with some even claiming that funds accumulated from the success of the game went towards partial construction of the Great Wall of China. Although China wouldn’t officially adopt legalised lottery-like games until the 1800s with the introduction of licenses and stricter regulation, keno remained a stalwart of cities and villages across this sprawling nation for centuries. Played with passion from the busiest city streets to the most rural of mountainside villages, keno was firmly bedded into the national consciousness by the 19th century when many Chinese people began to disperse from their ancestral homelands and head west to destinations across Europe and the Americas. These Chinese expatriates brought many valuable gifts westward with them as they travelled, from culinary expertise to distinct sensibilities. Keno also came along for the road, gaining momentum in the New World as quickly as it had first done in China hundreds upon hundreds of years prior.

2. Becoming a Casino Favourite

This Chinese favourite truly came into its own in the 19th century, hitting its stride once again as it reached the shores of the newly formed United States of America. This lottery-like classic might have had thousands of years to formalise its foundations and firm up its rulebook, but the winds of change that were blowing across the landscape of America would similarly redefine keno. While gambling was technically illegal in the country during the time the first waves of Chinese immigrants arrived in the US, these regulations did little to dampen the appetite for gambling games. Anything new and fresh was quickly set upon by keen and eager players, with keno quickly proving a popular pick.

Again, this classic game entered a period of rapid change, adopting many now iconic features many of us take for granted. Many of these changes were for simplicity and to maximise accessibility, helping introduce a western audience to the game and allow them to engage with it more readily. Whereas in the past in its homeland, the game had utilised Chinese characters, the westernised version saw a push toward Arabic numerals, deemed a simpler system for its new playing circle. Around the mid-to-late 19th century, several westernised names for the game entered common usage, with ‘puck-apu’ banded around, not to mention ‘boo hop bu’. One of the first recording instances of it being referred to as its current name however, was the version of the game that emerged in Houston, Texas in the 1860s. It stuck, becoming the standard moniker used pretty much everywhere else up to this very day. In fact, lets play keno online today and many of those standout features you know and love likely found their way into the game around this point in time.

While some commonly played games lost their appeal when gambling was eventually decriminalised, the appetite for keno never seemed to wane. In fact, the popularity of the game seemed to pick up steam as the 20th century rolled around and bricks and mortar casinos began to crop up left, right and centre. The game we know and love today truly came into existence around this point, with all those iconic signatures finally taking shape. A rotating cage of 80 balls to draw from and he 20-ball draw almost instantly became synonymous with the game and have remained identifiers of it ever since. In the earliest days of the casinos, jackpot payouts and cumulative wins were somewhat limited, but casino operators and state legislation gradually loosened. As of today, most casinos are allowed to ultimately decide their own upper limits as far as payouts are concerned.

3. Evolution of the Game

In ancient China, it took nothing more than word of mouth to generate a buzz that quickly became a phenomenon. In 19th century America, game-hungry settlers took to it like ducks to water. Keno has never had a hard time finding and captivating an audience, so it should come as no surprise that the advent of the internet and online gambling saw another seismic evolution for this ever-popular game. When you’ve got that mental urge ‘lets play keno online’, it’s easily done. Games are easy to find, quick to access and rapid to resolve.o

Much of the charm of this game is its simplicity. Even though little details and superficial elements have changed over the years, the fundamentals remain firmly in place, and for good reason. That reason is that they’re incredibly accessible to even the most novice gambler looking for an easy and low-risk introduction to the world of wagering. Whether it’s native Chinese characters or the more commonplace numerals you find internationally, there’s no trouble getting your head around the simple number pick and draw result. Betting options are also relatively simple, with a house edge always in place, as you’d find in any bricks and mortar casino.

Lets play keno online at one of countless sites and you can generally expect to find an 80-ball board and a 15-ball draw. A random number generator, or draw generator, takes the place of an individual in charge of the draw aspect, giving you a pretty realistic representation of a game would play out in the casino itself. The game has always been beloved for its rapid turnaround and frequency, with the internet and casino operators really capitalising on this aspect. You can find a game ready to go anytime of the day, wherever you are in the world. There’s no need to worry about waiting on a caller to get themselves together before a game resumes as in the real world, while you don’t need to worry about all those little extra expenses usually incurred from a trip to a live casino.