The Full Keno Glossary: Commonly Used Terms and Slang

The Full Keno Glossary

The game of Keno is not hard to play, there are not many rules, but there are a lot of fun slang phrases that Keno players use. Let’s learn them!

The List of Keno Terms and Phrases

Before we get to the list of terms and the whole talk about Keno slang, let’s learn some fun facts about the origin of this game. The popular casino game Keno that is now enjoyed by many gamblers around the globe owns its fame to the ancient Chinese.

The legends say that the game was invented by the ancient Chinese for funding purposes. One of these was allegedly the building of the Great Wall. Although people don’t use Keno to fund monumental structures nowadays, they have a lot of fun playing it in both land-based and online casinos.

Even though Keno is considered to be one of the easiest gambling games in the world, it’s still hard to enjoy it if all of the terms and slang are not clear. So this is why we decided to write this Keno glossary and clear up all of the terms for you. We are going to cover all of the game’s slang, from A to Z, so that everything that is left for you to do is to have fun, and hopefully, score some big wins.

We will start all talk about Keno terms and Keno slang by first getting familiar with the ones about the apparatus. Afterward, we will learn about terms about bets, tickets, land-based casinos, online casinos, and the rules of the game. At the end of our list, there will be some bonus terms waiting for you. So let’s start with the basis!

The Terms About the Apparatus

  • Balls and Ball Game — In the game of Keno, 80 balls are used, and they are marked with numbers from 1 to 80.
  • Bowl and Blower — The “bowl” is a large bowl that is used to hold the balls with numbers on them. The balls are then drawn from the “bowl.” A Blower is a machine that draws the balls in the game of Keno.
  • Cage — This part of the apparatus is the one that holds Keno balls.
  • Gooseneck — This term stands for the tube that takes the drawn balls out of the bowl.
  • Rack — The term “rack” stands for the tray that holds the balls before the game begins.
  • Flashboard — The electronic sign that displays the drawn numbers.
  • Jackpot Meter — The “Jackpot Meter” displays the current jackpot — the amount of money that a player can win at that moment for a particular wager.
  • Keno Board — During the game, certain numbers get drawn, and there is a display that shows them. That electronic board is called “Keno Board.”
  • Rate and Rate Card — “Rate Card” is a “Pay Book.” It’s the card that is given to you by the casino and that has info about the amount of money that you’ve wagered. The amount of money that you have wagered is called a “Rate.”

The Terms About the Money and the Bets

  • Aggregate Limit — This term defines the maximum amount of money that the casino can pay to the winner or winners.
  • Bank and Bankroll — Both of these terms refer to the available funds, but the first one refers to the casino’s funds and the second one to the player’s funds. So the “bank” defines the amount of money that the casino has at their disposal for a game of Keno. On the other hand, the term “bankroll” defines the amount of money that a player is willing to place as a wager.
  • Enhanced Payoff — We’ve talked about this before. So if you decide to play more games on a single ticket, you go for a bigger win. This bigger win is called “Enhanced Payoff.”
  • Free Play — You can play Keno without betting your money on numbers. Many casinos allow this. This type of play is called “Free Play.”
  • Handle — This term stands for the amount of money that the casino makes from Keno.
  • Hold — This is similar to the term “handle.” The “hold” is the amount of money that the casino makes in one game of Keno.
  • Progressive Jackpot — If a player decides to bet on the most numbers possible, then they play for a large sum of money that is called the “Progressive Jackpot.”
  • Push — If you win the same amount that you have wagered, your winnings are called a push.
  • Stud — This is a special type of Keno game in which the ultimate price increases until somebody wins.

The Terms About the Casino

  • Call and Caller — When a certain number (ball) is drawn, it gets said out loud. This action is “call,” and the person doing it is the “caller.”
  • Conditioning — Terms and rules that are set by a casino are usually called “Conditioning” by the players.
  • House Edge — The house edge in Keno is around 25%. Just as you may assume, this term stands for the advantage that the casino has over the players.
  • Keno Counter — This term stands for the place in the casino where you place your wagers, or collect your winnings if you are lucky.
  • Keno Lounge — Land-based casinos have a special place where players can sit and mark their numbers. This term stands for that casino area.
  • Keno Writer and Shift Boss — Keno Writer works at a counter and takes wagers. The person who is a supervisor during a particular shift is referred to as a Shift Boss. These terms stand for casino employees.
  • Live Keno — This is another way to say “a game of Keno at a casino.”
  • Odds — Just as in gambling in general, this term stands for the probability that a player has to win the game.
  • Paytable or Book — Each win has a different payout. You can get informed about the payouts at the “Paytable” or the “Book.”
  • PC — This a synonym for “House edge.” It’s short for “percentage casino.”
  • Runner — This is the person that goes around the casino to collect tickets or to give the winnings to the players.
  • Video Keno — Keno doesn’t have to be live. You can play it on an electronic machine. In that case, the game is called “Video Keno.”

The Terms About the Tickets

  • Combination Ticket — When you play Keno, you will determine certain wagers on the numbers that you are betting on. The ticket with these wagers is called a “Combination Ticket.”
  • Computer Ticket — Many people nowadays play Keno on computers. This term stands for a ticket that is generated by a computer.
  • Edge Ticket — This is a kind of Keno ticket that has 32 numbers marked around the edge of it.
  • Exacta — This term stands for a ticket that is played over two rounds. This ticket offers a special payoff if the numbers selected on it are drawn in both rounds.
  • Fractional Rate Ticket — This type of ticket is usually used on a way ticket. The ticket is named this way because it is usually played for a fraction of a certain rate.
  • Blank — This term stands for a ticket that hasn’t been played yet.
  • High-End Ticket — In Keno, you can bet on catching more numbers. However, in this case, if you catch fewer of them, you will get a smaller win. The ticket that is used for this kind of bet is called a “High-End Ticket.”
  • High-Roller Ticket — If a casino places a high minimum ticket price that players need to pay in order to place their wagers, this kind of Keno ticket is called a “High-Roller Ticket.”
  • Inside Ticket — When you mark the numbers on your ticket you give to the casino writer. This is the “Inside Ticket.”
  • King Ticket — This is a special type of a way ticket. It has to have at least two Kings on it.
  • Left-Right Ticket — If a player wants to try to catch the numbers that are only on one side of the ticket, they then mark the ticket vertically down to the center. “Left-Right Ticket” stands for this type of ticket.
  • Multi-Race Ticket — We’ve already mentioned that Keno is sometimes referred to as a race. So this type of ticket is the one that is used for multiple games/races.
  • Outside Ticket — When a player selects their numbers, they give their ticket to the Keno writer. Then, the player places their wager and gets their “Outside Ticket” from the casino. Getting this ticket means that you are officially participating in a game of Keno.
  • Pay-Any-Catch Ticket — If you get a payout for any numbers hit, then it means that you have been playing with “Pay-Any-Catch Ticket.”
  • Replayed Ticket — Just as the name says, this is the ticket that’s been played again with the same numbers selected.
  • Regular Ticket — Straight Ticket or a Regular Ticket is a Keno Ticket. All of these terms are synonymous.
  • Sleeper — If a player doesn’t claim their winnings, then their ticket is called a “Sleeper.”
  • Split Ticket — You can mark different groups of numbers on your ticket. If you choose to do this, then your ticket is called “Split Ticket.”
  • Straight ticket — As we’ve said before, this a regular Keno ticket used for the games of Keno.
  • Ticket — A regular or a straight ticket that has 80 numbers on it.
  • Top-Bottom Ticket — If you mark the numbers on your ticket horizontally to the center and hope to catch the numbers only in this part of your Keno ticket, then it means that you’re playing a “Top-Bottom Ticket.”
  • Keno Punch — We’ve mentioned before that numbers on a Keno tickets get punched out. The machine in land-based casinos that does this is called “Keno Punch.”
  • King — When you mark the numbers on your regular ticket, you also need to choose one special number to be the “King.”
  • Way Ticket — We have already mentioned this term, and now it’s the time to explain it. If you mark two separate groups of numbers on the ticket in order to play two separate bets, then you are playing the “Way Ticket.”
  • Way — One of the separate bets on a ticket that has multiple bets. This is where the term “Way Ticket” comes from.

The Terms About Selection of Numbers

  • Deuce — When you mark two numbers that are right next to each other, they form a “Deuce.”
  • Draw — This term stands for the 20 numbers that are drawn in a single Keno game.
  • Draw Sheet — From a Keno counter, you can get a list of drawn numbers. This is called “Draw Sheet.”
  • Field — Unmarked spots on a regular ticket form a “Field.”
  • Group — Now, unlike the “Field,” the term “Group” stands for the marked spots on the ticket.
  • Pattern — All Keno players have their own approach to the game. If they like to mark the numbers in some particular order or arrangement, then their ticket has a “pattern.” Some players do this out of superstition.
  • Punch Outs — The numbers that get drawn in a game of Keno get punched out of the Keno ticket. This is what this term stands for.
  • Spots — This term describes the numbers selected by the player that they mark on the regular ticket.

The Terms About Online Keno

  • Mark — If you play Keno online, then the number on the ticket that you click on by your mouse is called a “mark.”
  • “Play 1” — This term is used for an online Keno game. The player can click on “Play 1,” thus selecting to play one game with their selection of the numbers.
  • “Play 5” — If a player decides to play 5 games in an online Keno game with their current selection of numbers, then they click on “Play 5.”
  • Quick Pick — In an online Keno game, you have an option of letting the computer pick the random numbers for you. This random selection made by a machine is called “Quick Pick.”
  • Random Number Generator — RNG stands for the random selection of the numbers generated by a Keno machine. It is something that almost all of the fair online casinos utilize.

Other Terms About Keno

  • All-or-nothing — This term refers to two particular situations in which a player wins only if they hit all of their selected numbers or none of them.
  • Boc Hop Bu and Bingo — These two terms are both historical names for Keno. Besides these, the term “Racehorse Keno” was also used in the past, and this is why a Keno game is often called a race. Casino owners in Nevada used this term because the lottery was illegal in their state, but horse racing and sports betting weren’t.
  • Buy-In Tournament — This term is probably clear, as it is not used exclusively by Keno players. The phrase stands for the type of tournament that requires a participation fee by players.
  • Catch Zero — This slang term stands for a particular old-school type of Keno game in which players are not required to guess any numbers.
  • Close — This term is used to describe a short time between when the draw starts and when the casino stops taking wagers.
  • Entry Fee Tournament — Just as it’s the case with many other tournaments and competitions, participants of a Keno tournament usually pay some fee to enter it.
  • Race and Quit Race — As we’ve said before, the term “Race” refers to a game of Keno because this game was called Racehorse Keno in the past. You can cash in your Multi Game Ticket before the game ends. “Quit Race” is a term that stands for this action.
  • Tournament — Just as it’s the case with other gambling games, there are tournaments in Keno.
  • Winning Numbers — As you can probably guess, these are the 20 numbers that get drawn.

Final Words

Now that we have covered all the relevant terms, you can confidently try your luck in a game of Keno. Your knowledge of Keno slang is now the one of a pro, so you are ready to enjoy yourself at a local casino or an online one from the comfort of your home.

Just as Keno is pretty easy to follow, so are its terms once you get acquainted with them. When it comes to the game itself, learning about these terms is the hardest part. After all, this game is designed for pure fun, and no knowledge about strategies or rules is needed. So now that you know the lingo, all you need to think about is fun!

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