Origins of Keno


The origins of this very popular casino game can be traced back over many many years.  Keno is considered as one of the oldest games used for gambling and the word Keno comes from Latin or French origins.  It is widely believed that Keno first originated in the time of the Han Dynasty.  At this time the Han Dynasty was under the rule of Cheung Leung who was unable to get money out of his people and he could not impose any further taxes on them. 


Legend has it that Leung decided to use a game in order to make money and Keno came about.  Initially the game was a lottery kind of game which Leung used to bring in much needed revenue and was also used many years later to fund the building of the Great Wall of China.  Historical records do differ though and it was only in the 1800s that lottery style games received licensing so many of these legends are just that, legends.


How Keno came to the West


Much like the online Blackjack Canada now enjoys, the Keno of the past is very different to the Keno that is played today.  Today Keno uses 80 numbers, but initially it was played using 120 Chinese characters.  The Chinese people still use these characters today, but also use 80 instead of 120.  Modern day Keno uses 80 numbers.  In Europe and the US there were a range of lottery type games being played and when Keno found its way to these countries it become an instant hit.  It was brought to the shores of San Francisco by Chinese sailors at the start of the 20th century.  It was then that the Chinese characters were replaced by numbers.  This of course meant that American casino players could also enjoy Keno.


Racehorse Keno


In one of the casino capitals of the world, Nevada, playing casino games was legal, but lotteries were not allowed.  Keno was seen by the government as a type of lottery game.  In order to get around this, players changed the name to “Racehorse Keno” to make it look like a racing game rather than a lottery game.  The numbers on the card were linked to various horses and each draw was a horse race.  The game was legalised later and many casinos went back to using Keno, but some casinos to this day still call it “Racehorse Keno”.


Keno Moves to the 21st Century


Keno has also moved with the times and this game has been made more accessible to many players from all parts of the world.  Keno is a great form of entertainment as no complex strategies are needed and is really all about the luck of the draw.  Many online casinos offer a range of Keno variants all based on the traditional game and many also offer tournaments.  Playing Keno online has now moved to players being able to play Keno from their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, which means it is even more accessible to players and much more convenient.  Players can also try out playing for free online and enjoy risk free Keno.  Online casinos will also offer generous bonuses and rewards which are a great way to attract a new following of Keno players.



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