What is a Blank?
In Keno, a blank (often ‘Keno blank’) is an unused ticket. Players have issued ‘blanks’ or tickets for the game, and they mark those tickets with their selections. Once a ticket is filled, it can be handed to the cashier who files the bet and gives the player a duplicate copy back. Blanks also have space for the bet amount, and players can indicate different ways they want their bet to be split.
Keno is a popular number matching game similar to bingo and lotteries. Players select numbers, usually from the range 1 to 80, and make bets on those numbers being called by the game. A random number generator (or a physical machine, in older games) selects 20 numbers, and players match their ticket against those selections. The more numbers that are ‘caught’ or matched by the player, the greater the payout they will receive.
If a player refers to a ‘blank’, they mean an unmarked ticket, or a piece of paper which has not yet been marked with bets. To bet in Keno, players mark their selected numbers and write the amount of the bet on the ticket. Numbers can also be grouped together on the ticket by circling them, and players can mark up their each way bets, king bets and other choices. The completed blank, now a filled Keno ticket, is handed to the cashier who makes a duplicate for the player and files the bet. To collect on a winning bet, players hand over their duplicate and receive their payout from the cashier.
The term ‘blank’ also appears in some bingo games, describing a free space with no number which helps the player achieve a complete line or card more quickly. Blanks in this sense are treated as numbers which have already been crossed off. They are more common in European forms of bingo, and usually appear on the middle line of a ticket.