Keno History- Evolution of Online Keno

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Updated on: June 21st, 2021

Keno is a lottery-style game that originated from the Chinese people. although the name Keno has French and Latin roots which allude to the meaning of 5 numbers or five each. this name is most likely influenced by the fact that in Keno you have to have 5 numbers to win the whole jackpot. The lottery-style game has a rich history and legends associated with it. It is popular at state lotteries across America.

It is a common legend that Keno is what was used to fund the building of the Great Wall of China. The game was not always legal in its country of origin and at some point, tickets would have to be transported using birds or white does. This resulted in its being called baak-gap-piu in China which gave birth to the word we know as pakapoo. Has it changed over the years in how it was played or has it stayed the same? Find out as we give you a brief but in-depth history of this lottery game. If you would like to actually indulge in the game of Keno to win some real money, we have listed some of the best online keno sites that accept US players.

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History of the Keno Game

The reason why keno is often played with 80 balls is that originally the Chinese would use the first 80 characters from the Thousand-character classic and pick the winning characters from there. it is thought that the game of keno was first introduced to the west when Chinese immigrants came to find work as transcontinental railroad builders in the 19th century. that is also when the name baak-gap-piu, evolved to pakapoo. In the mid-1800s the game was already wildly popular in Texas and was played under the name Keno.

Now that we have online keno people from all over the United States can enjoy a Keno game and everyone can see the results in real-time. how did the ancient Chinese people relay keno results to the population? tickets of winning results would be transported by white Dove pigeons. this is what gave the game its Chinese name which translates to “white Dove tickets”.

The History of Keno

US Keno History

Keno in USA has come a long way from when we first made contact with the Chinese immigrants in the 19th century. As early as 1902 there were keno halls in Ohio where a version of Keno was played with cards. Players would continually remove a card from one another’s deck until no cards are left in hand.

It is one of the few forms of gambling legal in almost all the states that allow gambling. most states with lotteries have keno as part of the games they offer. States like North Carolina haves used keno and lotteries to generate revenue to fund education and salaries for school staff in the state. The gambling game found its way to the heart of the USA, making a home for itself in each state it touched. For instance, around 1866 Keno was in Chicago. Although gambling laws were strict at that time keno was not regarded as a gambling game because of the regularity of its payouts.


Keno is a simple game where you predict what numbers will be selected in a draw. You can choose up to 20 numbers between 1 to 80. Because the range of numbers to choose from is limited it has better odds than a traditional lottery. Play keno online for real money at the casinos we recommend.

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