Keno is a highly underrated gambling game with great potential for fun and excitement. The simple rules make it an ideal game for online casino beginners. And the best part – you get to make some big wins with some luck on your side!
If you are looking for a complete guide to online Keno for South African players, you have come to the right place. We have everything you need on this page, including a curated list of trusted South Africa casinos with keno games.
In addition, we also offer an in-depth look at the following aspects of Keno:
- A history of the game of Keno
- A beginner’s guide to playing Keno online
- Online keno rules
- Keno Winning strategies and tips
- Guide to Free Keno and more.
The Best Real Money Online Keno Sites in South Africa
Our team of experts carefully chose all casinos on this list after a strict review process. With your eyes closed, you can pick any of these sites – they are 100% safe and trusted!
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- NO DEPOSIT BONUS
How We Chose the Best Online Keno Casinos
Our team of experts here at PCSA have decades of experience in online gambling, both as players and industry insiders. When looking at any Keno Casino that accepts South African players, our team looks for the following essential features:
- An Online Gambling License – All trusted and safe online casinos have one thing in common – a valid license from a respected gambling authority. We prefer casinos licensed by Malta Gaming Authority, UK Gambling Commission, or, to a slightly lesser extent, Curacao e-Gaming. Licensing tells us that a casino follows the basic rules of data safety, player security, and fairness.
- A Decent Selection of Keno Games – It is not just players who overlook keno; even many online casino operators don’t see the point of offering this under-appreciated category of games. Casinos ranked highly on our list have a good selection of keno games from well-known software providers. We ignore casinos that offer pirated or non-branded games since there is a high risk of rigged and unfair games.
- Rand Payments – In 2022, hundreds of online casinos accept South African players. These sites offer full support for payments in Rands for deposits and withdrawals. This way, you can avoid converting your money to Euros or Dollars, a process that comes with steep currency conversion charges.
- A Positive Reputation – There are no hiding places on the internet – if a casino has a habit of treating its players poorly, it will quickly appear in online gambling forums and player reviews. Before recommending a Keno casino to our readers, we always look for any potential red flags on such forums. If a casino is guilty of frequent delays in payments, arbitrary interpretation of bonus rules, and other misconduct, we don’t include such sites on our list.
- Fast and Regular Payouts – All casinos have instant deposit features, but only the best sites offer equally fast payouts. Casinos rated highly on our list of the best Keno sites in South Africa tend to have quick payments within 24-48 hours via secure methods like credit cards, e-wallets, and sometimes cryptocurrencies.
A Brief History of Keno
Keno is a lottery game played on tickets or sheets of paper marked with numbers from 1 to 80 in squares. Players can select up to 20 numbers from this card by circling the ones they want. During the draw, 20 numbers are picked at random and the player gets paid if their numbers get selected.
The word “keno” comes from the French word “quine," which means "five winning numbers," a reference to the numbers required for a big prize. However, the earliest origins of the game lie not in Europe, but in China.
Ancient keno was played across cities and villages in China, with results carried to far-flung places using carrier pigeons. They even had a name for the game stating this – white dove ticket, or baak-gap-piu in Cantonese. Instead of numbers, they used Chinese characters.
Over time, the Ancient Chinese lottery game went into decline and was not played across China for centuries. Soon, Chinese immigrants brought the lottery game to the United States. By 1866, the game of Chinese lottery, using numbers instead of Chinese characters, had become popular in Texas and other states along the Trans-Continental Railroad.
Today, Keno is available across casinos in America, Australia, South America, and of course Asia. And with the advent of online gambling, the game has also gone digital.
How to Play Keno Online
To play Keno online with real money, you first need a registered account at an online casino. Follow these simple steps to get started:
- Pick any suggested South African Keno casino from our list on this page
- Click on the link provided to visit the website – you can do this on PC or mobile
- Start the registration process by clicking on “Sign Up” or “Register Now”
- Fill up a few simple forms with your personal details and contact information
- Accept the casino terms and create your new account
- Deposit some funds using the available payment methods
- Once your funds are in, go to the “Casino” area for the games
- Look for the “Keno” section – sometimes, it is located inside the “Other Games” section
- Click on any available Keno game and start playing!
How to Play Free Keno
Keno is a simple game to catch and learn. And many beginners make the common mistake of playing with real money. With the option to pick as many tickets as you like, Keno can empty your bankroll in a flash if you are not careful.
The game also has a massive house edge, going as high as 25 at some casinos. This is why we always recommend that you play for free if you are a beginner. It is still fun, yet incredibly safe – a great way to learn such a great game. Here are the main steps involved:
- Pick any casino from our list and visit the website
- Skip registration and head straight to the game library
- Find a keno game you want to play and click/tap on it
- You will get one of Fun Play/Free Play/Demo Mode as an option
- Pick this option to load the game
- You will be awarded lots of fake coins in the game
- You may lose the virtual cash to get your tickets and play the game for free
However, one issue is easy access to free play keno. This is virtually impossible at UK-licensed casinos. A new rule introduced in recent years to prevent gambling addiction requires casinos to seek ID proof and full KYC before gaining access to gambling content. Casinos based in other EU regions don’t have this issue.
Keno Online Rules
The basic rules of Keno are the same, regardless of whether you play online or offline. A traditional keno ticket has 80 numbers. You can pick between 1 and 20 of these numbers in any order or pattern you prefer.
There is no need to pick the maximum numbers – you can even place a bet with just one number. However, some online keno games require picking at least 4 or 5 numbers.
In offline casinos, picking a single number will cost you a minimum of $1 or R15. At online casino keno games, you can set this amount to a hundredth of that, at $0.01 or R0.15. With each additional number, your betting amount will also increase. So, if you pick 5 numbers, you will have to pay $5 or R75.
After picking your numbers, 20 winning numbers will be drawn randomly from the pot. The objective in Keno is to get as many winning numbers as possible, so the game is entirely luck-based.
Online Vs Offline Keno
There are some significant differences between the online and offline versions of keno. You don’t have to handle the hassle of circling numbers with a pencil on your paper ticket when playing online.
Many online keno games allow you different options for picking the numbers. You can do it the old-fashioned way by manually selecting the numbers on the screen with a mouse (or your finger if on mobile).
You can also automate the whole thing to speed up the process, letting the game pick some numbers at random. While the bet amounts are higher in offline casinos, online keno games give you much freedom to pick much lower bets if on a budget.
The whole experience of the number draw is also more fun in online keno. Most digital keno games have a unique flavour or theme, like the jungle, animals, candy land etc. The draw is often depicted in humour – for instance, in a jungle-themed game, a cartoon monkey may throw coconuts on the number grid to show the winning numbers!
Common Keno Terms Explained
Like any classic gambling game, Keno has a vocabulary of special terms. If you want to enjoy Keno to its fullest, you have to learn what these terms mean:
- All or Nothing – To win, you either need to hit all the winning numbers in the draw or none at all
- Bankroll – The total amount of cash a player has set aside for gambling on keno (or any casino game)
- Ball Game – Most offline casinos use white balls with numbers for the lucky draw. This is just another name for offline keno
- Blank – An unused keno ticket
- Call – Announcement of winning numbers made via a PA system in a casino. The employee making it is called a caller
- Catch – When a number circled by the player gets drawn, it is called a catch
- Catch-All – A round where the player has to get all the numbers correct to win
- Catch Zero – A round where the player must have no drawn numbers on their ticket to win (the opposite of catch-all)
- Deuce – Two marked numbers on a ticket that sit side-by-side on the grid
- Draw Sheet – A record of previous Keno draws maintained by the casino or game software
- Edge Ticket – A ticket where the player has marked all the numbers that go around the edge
- Exacta – A ticket played across two rounds, with the promise of bigger wins if the player hits winning numbers in both rounds
- Handle – The full amount of money wagered by all the players in a round of keno
- Pay Table – A table showing specific payments to players on getting x number of hits. The payout rate can vary depending on the number of picks on a ticket.
- Push – When the winnings from a round of keno match the initial wager, it is called a push
- Stud – Also called progressive jackpot, an additional feature in some keno games where a common prize pool keeps increasing until someone wins the top prize
How to Win at Keno
To put it plain and simple, Keno is a luck-based game without any cheat sheets or guaranteed winning strategies. You cannot win every single bet in keno. You cannot do anything to influence the outcome of a draw of random numbers in the game.
Many players select numbers in specific orders and patterns, largely out of superstition or a misplaced belief that it will somehow improve their odds of getting the winning numbers. This is not true. However, it is not all doom and gloom in Keno.
You can still take some sensible steps to improve your odds of winning, especially in online keno.
1. Check the Odds and Payouts Table
In Keno, all numbers are equally likely to get picked in the draw – 1 in 80. However, the rate of payouts will vary depending on how many numbers you pick. This is because the number of correct picks required for a payout does not scale uniformly when you pick more numbers.
Here is a sample payout board to illustrate how this can work to your advantage:
|Player Selections||Minimum Hits for a Payout||Prize Amount (per R15)||Odds|
|1||1||R30||1 in 4|
|2||2||R300||1 in 17|
|3||2||R30||1 in 8|
|3||3||R375||1 in 73|
|4||2||R15||1 in 5|
|4||3||R75||1 in 24|
|4||4||R750||1 in 327|
|5||3||R30||1 in 12|
|5||4||R225||1 in 83|
|5||5||R7500||1 in 1551|
As you can see from the table, if you hit the full selections at higher levels, your payout also increases substantially, hitting R7500 on an R15 bet if you get five out of five. But the odds of hitting a 5 in 5 is extremely low at 1 in 1551.
On the other hand, with 2 hits out of 3 selections, you can double your wager at low odds of 1 in 8. These odds and minimum payout limits will vary with each keno game. You should check out the table to find the selections combining the lowest odds and best prize payouts.
2. Start with Small Bets and Fewer Selections
Pick the number of selections based on your appetite for risk and bankroll. Automatically picking the maximum number of selections in the game is not the right idea in many cases. You will spend more and face higher odds for bigger prizes.
If you are still new to the game, set the bet size to the lowest permitted by the game. You can also restrict the number of selections to lower levels. Generally, 4-8 selections are often considered an optimal compromise in Keno, based on payouts and odds.
3. Pick a Reputed Online Casino
Casinos online can vary wildly in terms of the quality of service offered. The best South African casinos promise assured payouts and 100% fair games. You can find the finest keno casinos for South Africans right here on PCSA.
Avoid playing at unfamiliar or new online casinos that our experts do not recommend. Unlicensed gambling sites have no restrictions and often offer pirated or rigged games. If you wager real money at these scam sites, that cash is as good as gone.
The Most Popular Keno Variations
Keno, in the age of online gaming, has evolved a bit like slots. The standard 80-number game is represented in a wide range of fun designs and themes. Apart from such cosmetic changes, game developers have also created other variants of Keno. Some of these popular variants are:
Instead of the standard pool of 80 numbers, the mini keno has just 40 to pick from. In this lite version of the game, your maximum selections are also reduced to 10 or fewer. All the other rules of standard keno are retained in Mini Keno.
Its main draw is the removal of higher odds and larger payouts, making it a great option for beginners and conservative players who don’t want to get attracted to bigger bets (larger selections).
In this variant, if the last number drawn matches one of your selections, you are rewarded with a cool 4x multiplier. Power Keno uses the standard pool of 80 available numbers. So, your odds of catching the last number are 1 in 80, which is neither great nor awful.
The multiplier is more like a free bonus feature – you don’t have to pay extra to unlock it. The maximum number of selections is usually restricted to 10 numbers.
Some Keno games online have an additional bonus feature – a random number will be picked each round as a multiplier. If your selection has that bonus number, you get additional winnings. The exact nature of the bonus and its associated multiplier will vary from game to game. All other features from the 80-ball Keno are retained.
Progressive Jackpot Keno
Like slots, some keno games also have additional progressive jackpot pools worth millions of Rands. The odds of hitting one are quite slim indeed, as you have to match the maximum number of selections. In a 10-selection maximum game, the odds of picking all 10 winning numbers are around 1 in 8 million! Regardless, it is a nice feature in a keno game.
Live Dealer Keno
Harnessing the power of video streaming technology, live casino gaming brings authentic casino action to your PC or mobile device. A human host will run the game in a remote studio in live keno. Real balls and a lotto machine are used to pick the winning numbers instead of a software RNG.
Real Money vs Free Online Keno
Free or fun play is an amazing feature available at most online casinos accepting South African players. This mode allows you to play casino slots and keno games for free without spending any money. The only downside is that you will not win real money.
However, free online keno is still worth exploring if you are a total newbie to the game. It gives you a chance to explore the game rules, try out new variants, learn how to place bets, figure out the best odds and so on.
At the majority of South African online casinos, you don’t even have to sign up to access free play in Keno. Any visitor can head to the games library and start playing for free. This simple table will tell you everything you need to know about real money vs free online keno:
|Real Money Keno||Free Online Keno|
|You need a registered account to play||You can play by visiting the casino|
|You have to spend money to play||No deposit is required|
|You could lose the money||No risk involved|
|It pays out real money if you win||The game is played with fake coins and pays virtual money (no value)|
|It May not be suited for beginners||Excellent game mode for beginners|
|You can play the live dealer version of Keno||You cannot play live dealer Keno in free play|
Keno Online Bonuses
Unlike other game categories like blackjack or roulette, keno is very bonus-friendly. Due to the high house edge, casino operators have no qualms in giving out large bonuses and no deposit bonus chips that you can freely use on keno games.
Some of the top South African casinos offer no deposit bonuses to new players. If you want to play Keno for free and still stand a chance to win real money, always pick a site with a no deposit bonus credit. You could get up to R500 or more for free bets on Keno.
The wagering requirement is always a concern when playing with bonuses at online casinos. Games like blackjack and craps do not contribute much to your bonus wagering, leaving you with a lower chance of getting a bonus payout.
Keno is not in this group of games – if you wager R100 on Keno, it will get reflected as R100 in your bonus wagering progression. Along with slots, bingo, and lotto games, Keno variants have a 100% contribution to wagering requirements. You can find the best South African keno bonuses right here on PCSA.
Playing Online Keno on Mobile
Like all other games at modern online casinos, keno is 100% mobile-friendly. What that means is that you can play Keno online on any modern smartphone or tablet released in the last five years. The games work on Android and iOS – so it doesn't matter if you own an iPhone or Samsung/Huawei/Xiaomi.
You can even join South African keno casinos right from your mobile device. There is no need to use a PC or laptop at any point. You can access all the games, promo offers, payments and withdrawals, and tech support from your mobile browser.
Games Similar to Keno Online
As mentioned in the section on the history of Keno, the game shares a common Chinese ancestor with bingo and lotto games. All these games are usually located in a common area of online casinos – called “Specialty Games” or “Other Games.”
Like Keno, Bingo also works with a collection of 70 to 90 numbers. In Bingo, you don’t select numbers on a card – instead, you buy cards with numbers set in random orders. Once you get a card, the game randomly draws different numbers, just like in Keno.
But the drawing process is much slower in Bingo. The aim is to get straight lines across the grid – horizontal, vertical, or diagonal – with the lucky numbers. In some variants of bingo, you have to fill the entire grid. Bingo is a more social game than Keno online. It is most commonly played as a multiplayer live game.
This game is similar to bingo in that you must buy cards. In online instant win games, you get random cards with different sequences of symbols. The symbols are usually based on a specific theme, like in video slots.
You win money if the symbols on your card are all matching or in a specific sequence defined in the game's paytable. Scratchcard games are often found in the same game section of South African online casinos as lotto, keno, and bingo games.
FAQs about the Best Keno Online Casinos
What sites have live Keno?
Live Keno is less popular than live blackjack, roulette, or mahjong. However, you can still play it at the top South African live dealer casinos. There is a better chance of finding live keno games at huge multi-vendor casinos – if they have live games from different studios like Evolution, Ezugi, Pragmatic Play Live, and Betgames. Tv, chances are you will find Keno among the available game rooms.
Can I play Keno on the app?
If the casino comes with a mobile app and has keno games, you can play them on your iOS or Android device. Keep in mind that mobile apps are usually offered by larger brands in major markets like the UK. Most online casinos prefer instant online play on mobile browsers since it is less complicated and easier to maintain across many regions.
Are online Keno games fair?
Online keno games are 100% fair IF you play them at a reputed and fully licensed site. Strict gaming rules bind these casinos are only offer keno games from reputed vendors. Such games are fully secure and routinely tested for any signs of artificial tampering or rigging. You will get 100% fair and random results on RNG-tested keno games. If you want to find South African online casinos with provably fair keno games, check the list at the top of this page.
What are the odds of winning at Keno?
The odds of winning at Keno will vary depending on your number of selections. If you pick the maximum number of 10 selections in a standard game, your odds of winning the top prize with 10 hits out of the 20 winning numbers are around 1 in 2 million. However, you can find much lower odds of 1 in 5 or better if you aim for fewer selections, usually between 4 and 8. Since the odds can vary from game to game, always check the paytable to find the exact figures.
Can I play Keno online for free?
Yes, there are two ways to play Keno online for free at South African casinos. With demo mode or fun play, you can enjoy keno for free with fake currency – but you get no chance to win real money. With a no deposit bonus, some online casinos give you free betting money of up to R500 on sign-up. You can use this money on keno and stand a chance to win real money for free!
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