What’s Better – Keno or Bingo?

  • Keno and bingo are two lotto-based games that have a lot in common
  • But which one gives you the best odds and the most fun?

Keno and Bingo might appear similar at first glance, but there are quite a few significant differences between them.

Both are extremely old games that have been played since ancient times, and both use cards or tickets with numbers on them. Both of them pay out for your numbers coming up.

Which one, then, is more worth your while?

Can’t go wrong with tradition

Keno enjoys the title of being one of the oldest casino games in human history, first being played in the Han dynasty of China over 3,000 years ago.

A basic online electronic Keno board.
A basic online electronic Keno board.

The fact that it’s still being played today means that it’s still good fun. With keno, you’re allowed to pick up to twenty numbers of your own choice out of eighty, which will make it somewhat recognisable to anyone who has picked up a lottery ticket before.

Unlike the lottery, however, you can make your own bet and will receive the results more or less right away, depending on whether you’re playing video or live keno.

The call of the bingo hall

Bingo, on the other hand, doesn’t allow you to choose your own numbers. Bingo’s origins come from 16th century Italy, and the main recommendation by most bingo players involves purchasing as many bingo cards as possible to increase the possibility of winning the jackpot. Some enjoy the social aspect of visiting a bingo hall whereas others prefer to play at home, where the computer can keep track of the winning numbers for them.

Online bingo is the simplest of games that also often relies on the social side to add fun.
Online bingo is the simplest of games that also often relies on the social side to add fun.

With bingo, you will find some more variety than with keno, as there are different patterns that bingo callers look for (some are looking for one straight line, some require the whole card to be filled up). Bingo odds vary widely depending on the number of players, so like keno, it becomes very difficult to calculate odds as there are a lot of variables to consider.

And the winner is…

When it comes to strategy, there’s not much to be said for either keno or bingo. Both games operate using randomly selected numbers. Video keno can have an RTP of anywhere between 80 to 95%, but it requires the punter to be more aware of their betting patterns.

If you play just one number, you have a 1 in 4 chance of winning; of course, it’s tempting to play the full 20 numbers, though the odds of winning all 20 numbers in a round of keno is nearly impossible, and you’ll be placing a higher bet to do so.

Because in bingo you pay the same amount for each card, rather than each number, it is much easier to keep track of how much money you’re investing in the game compared to keno, which has different betting options depending on how many numbers you would like to play.

However, in one bingo game there will be only one winner, and buying a ton of cards won’t win you any consolation prizes, whereas in Keno, even if you play just one number, you have a 1 in 4 chance of winning, since twenty numbers are drawn out of eighty; of course, it’s tempting to play the full 20 numbers, though the odds of winning all 20 numbers in a round of keno is nearly impossible, and you’ll be placing a higher bet to do so.

Both bingo and keno involve putting your favourite lucky numbers to the test. Which one is ‘better’ really comes down to your pace of play.

If you crave something that moves quickly and want to have more control over the numbers you bet, video keno might be the right game for you.

If you would rather relax and focus your eye on one big prize, then bingo might be more your style, especially if you enjoy the social element that often comes with bingo.

Where to play

Online casinos don’t always offer keno, and most don’t offer bingo.

Our top online casino recommendations for keno are Casumo, Betway and Mr Green.

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