Keno, in its modern form, is like a lottery or bingo in that it is a numbers game. Unlike bingo, the keno player picks the numbers for his or her ticket(s). Keno cards have 80 numbers; the keno player can pick as many (or as few) numbers as desired. This is done by circling or otherwise marking them with a pencil. Once the player has picked his or her numbers, he must bring his or her card back to the clerk at the keno booth. The clerk will then issue a receipt after recording the player’s numbers.
After picking numbers and recording them at the keno booth, the player will then watch either a “big board” in which winning keno numbers will light up or on a video monitor showing the selected numbers. As the winning numbers light up, the player usually marks them on his or her card with a bright-colored marker. The amount of numbers the player originally picked that match winning numbers of a particular drawing will determine if any money is won and, if so, how much. The winning ticket needs to be taken to the keno booth immediately if it is an individual game ticket, as drawings usually take place every five minutes. If the player tries to redeem a winning ticket when the next drawing starts, it is void and no money is paid out.
To avoid having a void ticket, a keno player can purchase a “multi-race” ticket with the same picked numbers on anywhere from 2 to 20 tickets. When the maximum number of games (matching the number of tickets) is finished, the player can then redeem any winnings and avoid the peril of a void ticket. Another option is the “stray and play” ticket, which is usually a number of games greater than 30. Unlike standard keno tickets, the “stray and play” doesn’t have to be redeemed immediately and is often good for up to a year after purchase.
Lottery versions of Keno are now used in many National Lotteries or state licensed Lotteries around the world. The games have different formulas depending on the wanted price structure and whether the game is slow (daily or weekly), or if it is a fast game with just minutes between the draws. The drawn numbers are typically published on TV for the slow games and on monitors at the point of sale for the fast games.
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