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The Rich History of NZ Keno | July 2024

Have you heard of Keno NZ? This classic lottery-style gambling game is considered to be one of the oldest games around, and may have Asian, French and Latin roots. This makes Keno one of the most historical casino games on the market today, with a rich back-story that often surprises even its most faithful players. The most popular legend around Keno’s invention says that the game was first played in the empires of ancient China.

The government at the time purportedly needed a way to raise funds to build the Great Wall of China itself, so they began to host Keno games to bring in money for their great venture. It’s not certain whether this is the truth or just a romantic folk tale, but one way or another, Keno has managed to win the hearts of thousands of players in New Zealand, along with many other fans across the world!

How to Play Keno Online

If you’re looking for great online entertainment and a way to win real money, playing Keno online is one of the best ways to get both! This New Zealand lottery game is available at all of the best casinos online, making it easy for you to get in great gaming for real money. Most online casinos actually have a separate tab for their Keno games, making sure that their players know that Keno is in a class of its own!

Playing Keno is also as simple as can be, and many casino amateurs choose this game to begin with thanks to its simple nature and generous jackpots. Essentially, Keno is just a game of numbers, and will be very familiar to you if you play any standard lotto games. This game is also one of luck, with very little strategy involved in winning. All you need to do is select your lucky numbers, play them, and receive a payout based on whether or not your chosen numbers appeared in your Keno game’s draw.

In online Keno, each New Zealand casino site offers their own unique payouts for their games, as well as different odds depending on where you look. It might thus be very beneficial to you to compare Keno games at our top NZ casinos to find the best odds and jackpots before you sign up to play.

Keno is a lot like pokies in that it’s incredibly easy to play and offers some really incredible prizes. You also don’t need to invest vast amounts of time into a game. The action is pretty quick, and you’ll find out whether you’ve won or lost in next to no time!

The Basic Rules of Keno

Keno is exceedingly simple to play, but there are still some rules involved. Understanding these rules is vital to knowing how each game of Keno works, which can in turn boost your chances of winning. When you place a wager in online Keno, you’ll be able to choose numbers from 1 to 80. Depending on the game variation you’ve chosen to play, you can select anywhere between 2 and 10 of these numbers as your lucky numbers. It’s good to note that all Keno numbers have a completely equal chance of winning – the odds do not differ between numbers on the board.

After you make your choice, your online Keno game’s software will randomly select winning numbers for your game using RNG technology. RNG stands for Random Number Generation, and this innovation is present in all the best online casino games. Essentially, RNG makes sure that the results of every casino game you play online are completely random and fair, eliminating the chance of being cheated.

How to Win Keno NZ Games

There isn’t any hard and fast rule for winning Keno NZ games unfortunately, since the outcome of the picks is so totally determined by luck. But there are some things that you can do to ensure your odds of winning are as high as they can be!

If payout or return charts are available for the Keno NZ games you are playing, you will quickly see that returns depend largely on how many spots you choose. It thus follows that the combinations that make the best possible returns a reality are the ones you should be playing.

Certain highly recommend NZ online casinos also offer Progressive Jackpot Keno games where the rewards reach truly eye-watering totals. Why not try your luck on one of these when they have reached particularly extraordinary heights? They are overdue for a win, after all!

Payouts in Online Keno Games

When you buy Keno tickets at an online casino NZ, you may be wondering how wins in Keno are determined. You already know, of course, that the more matching numbers you have, the higher your winnings will be. However, choosing Keno games with a higher amount of spots may also help to increase the size of the payouts you have a chance of winning. When you choose a larger number of spots, there could even be cash on offer for correctly choosing zero balls and other lower numbers.

The payouts involved here can vary greatly, but below is a sample payout chart for a keno game that offers 10 spots and costs $1 to enter:

  • If 5 spots are matched: $2
  • 6 matching spots: $25
  • 7 matching spots: $150
  • 8 matching spots: $1,200
  • 9 matching spots: $10,000
  • 10 matching spots: $100,000

This is just an example of a pay table that you might find at an online casino. The actual prizes on offer vary widely between sites, so it’s up to you to find the best online casinos to play real money Keno at!

Using Strategy in Online Keno

The first thing to remember about playing real money Keno and lotto New Zealand games online is that they are based almost entirely on luck. There are no systems and strategies in place that can predict the Keno balls and combinations that will appear in future draws – you simply need to pick the numbers that look promising to you and hope for the best.

The Keno pay table mentioned above offers an expected RTP of only about 86.6%, and many online Keno games actually offer much higher RTPs than this. If you want to win big in online Keno, the trick is therefore to find games with good pay tables and high RTP percentages. New Zealand online casinos tend to offer far better chances of landing a win than land-based Keno games do, with RTPs of 95% or more online compared to an average of between 70% and 80% in land based games. It’s not uncommon for the best online casinos to offer real money keno games with RTPs of over 95%, which makes the chances of you landing a big jackpot much more likely!

It is also very beneficial to you to compare Keno pay tables at different online casinos before you start to play. Our top-rated NZ casinos here at offer minimal house edges and great winning potential, so get playing today and stand a chance to score your own big wins in this classic lottery game! The house edge for Keno is pretty high, between 20% and 40%, which is why placing bets on numbers is so cheap and why it is such a thrill when you win!

Where to Play Online Keno

Although this game has such a long and proud heritage, it works especially well in modern online casinos, particularly on smartphones and tablets. The bright, simple graphics look great on the smaller screens, and since the action is so fast it's the perfect game when you only have time to play a few rounds.

Whether you're using a touchscreen or a mouse and cursor, the responsive software and clever design will make you feel like you're playing a land-based game as you select your numbers and work the other controls. On both desktops and mobile devices, you can also use it to take a break between longer games such as Blackjack, or play a long session of Keno and enjoy it in its own right. Whatever your playing style, Keno will fit in and make your time at online casinos even more enjoyable.

Almost all the sites we recommend here offer high-quality variations of the game, and you have the peace of mind of knowing that the results are totally random, and that you are playing in a completely safe and fair environment. If you're not sure where to start we'd suggest, where you can play for free and practice before spending any of your own funds, along with Gaming Club, CasinoLand, Spin Palace and LuckLand. Jackpot City NZ is another fantastic option, with its eCOGRA Seal of Approval, epic games, and 24/7 customer support. Register at any of these sites now, make your first deposit, claim your Welcome Bonus and start enjoying the instant wins of Keno in whichever way suits you best!


How many numbers do you need to win Keno?

You can get paid out for matching just 2 numbers and certain sites offer consolation prizes to players who have not matched a single number. Rewards usually start at about NZ$2 but it depends on how many numbers you play and will vary according to what online casinos NZ you are playing at.

How long does a Keno ticket last?

When you’ve purchased your Keno ticket at one of our recommended Keno online casino sites, you’ll indicate how many games you want to apply it to.

Is Keno truly random?

Keno uses Random Number Generator software to identify which numbers will be drawn. This means that there is nothing you or the casino operator can do to impact the outcome.

Is Keno better than Lotto?

It depends on your preferences! One of the big differences between Keno and the Lottery is how much money you’re asked to bet. Keno is a lot friendlier on the pocket.

What can I win playing Keno?

The size of your prize will vary according to your luck, how many numbers you bet on, and what the house is offering, but it’s all still real money!

Are Lottery Wheels the same as Keno?

No, Lottery Wheels are like wheels of fortune and form part of the NZ Lottery offering. Lucky players spin a colourful wheel to land a prize.

When should I play a longshot number?

When a number has not been drawn in 30+ games, we recommend you play it because probability is on your side. A longshot number is one that has not featured in 10+ games, while in Lotto, it’s one that’s been out of the game at least 17 times.