Can You Mathematically Predict Keno Numbers And Outcomes?

Keno ImageOriginating in China back before the Great Wall of China was even built, keno is a very popular game that's played at a wide range of casinos today, both on-location and online. The idea of keno is simplistic enough to grasp, even if you have never heard about it. You will have a board featuring numbers, typically 1-80, and you will select a variety of numbers, and then balls are drawn from a machine with individual numbers on them. Typically is the case that 20 balls are drawn in a keno game, and you will win for every number you correctly select. Like we said, the game is easy to understand. You can probably read this simple description of the game and understand perfectly how to play keno. But things get a lot more complex on the colloquial level when speaking about keno.

Unfortunately, there are many eBooks, discs, and other programs and literature out there making the claim that they can teach you how to predict keno numbers. Is this true? Let's put it this way: Do you remember Jay Leno's "Headlines" segment from the Tonight Show? The one headline he looked for every week, but never found in decades, was "Psychic wins lottery." While hordes of people will tell you that they're able to predict the outcomes of lotteries and lotto-style games like keno, they themselves never seem to get rich from their craft and retire. They make their money by swindling you. In other words, no! These people and programs cannot predict keno numbers. If they could, they would be in Vegas winnings tens of millions of dollars, not trying to sell you web-based snake oil for $49.99. To any extent you believed that keno numbers could be mathematically predicted, we're sorry to shatter that illusion, but it is unequivocally false. Keno numbers are random and each draw is completely independent from the next. No one has psychic abilities.

How Keno is Played

To play keno, you're going to see a board with 80 numbers on it. At the bottom, typically is the case that you're going to find three betting amounts that vary in range. They may be $1, $5, $10. The idea is to select 10 numbers on the keno board, and each number will cost you the amount you bet. E.g. if you select the $1 bet, then you're playing for $10 a round. Also at the bottom you will see the option to play one game, five games, or ten rounds of keno. (This may vary from site to site.) So, if you're picking the play 10, with $10 per round, that's $100 you're spending on keno. To win, you're most likely going to have to match at least 5 balls for a payout in any one round ($50). With 20 balls being selected per round, this isn't that hard to do. However, you would need to do this twice in 10 rounds just to break even. This is why many avid keno players go to keno games where you can get paid per the pay tables differently, not having to rely on so much luck. Check out our list of legal online keno sites for US players to find casinos that offer such variations on the paytables.

Keno will be played differently depending on the table you visit and the style of the game, but the above description is pretty much the baseline. This is what you can expect to find with most keno games, while there will be paytable variation and variations in the bet amounts and round amounts you can make, and perhaps even the number of balls you can play (which changes the number you need to hit to reach a payout).

Is Keno Really a Lottery?

In basically every sense of the word, keno is definitely a lottery. On a real machine, you're looking at all the balls held in a container, as they're randomly mixed up and pushed up through a tube with air. This is the exact same principle that lotteries use for their pick-3, pick-5 and even the Powerball drawings. So it's not so much that keno is similar to an online lottery game or is a lottery-styled game; it's that keno is a lottery, in every factual sense of the word.

We bring up this point to make it clear to you that keno numbers cannot be accurately predicted. No matter how many people talk about systems and board coverage and recognizing patterns, the numbers are truly random, and thus there is no mathematical way to pin down which numbers are going to come up. There is no such thing as a "due" number, nor will you be able to recognize any pattern coming for any particular number. Many people love claiming that they have these things figured out, but rather than believing them, demand that they show you proof. Where is their bank account filled with millions from keno winnings? Where is the video evidence of them winning big with the strategy? Do not be fooled by these charlatans. Keno is a lottery and cannot be mathematically predicted.

Why Predictions Are Mathematical Impossibilities

Do you want to know why you cannot predict random numbers mathematically? Well, it's all about the numbers being random. Here's a challenge: Take any coin you have of any denomination and set it in front of you. Now, using your online Notepad or a piece of paper, write down your prediction for 12 flips, either heads or tails. You're 50/50 on every single flip, but predicting accurately the outcome of 12 consecutive flips gives you a probability of about 0.5%. Don't believe it? Test it and see how well you do. In 99.5% of cases, you'll miss one. Now, imagine that you're dealing with 80 independent numbers. Already, before attaching any more math to it, you're barely better than 1% to hit any of them accurately on a random draw. Now imagine that you have to hit five or better, with only 20 balls drawn. Your odds become increasingly worse, and you're just not going to be able to predict numbers on that level. Even to the extent you get one correct (a number or a coin flip), it is completely a blind guess and not a prediction. Don't believe it? Do it a dozen times, then call it a prediction. You cannot. The coin flip scenario is simply improbable; once you add in 80 numbers, orders of magnitude more than 2 sides, it becomes an outright impossibility.

Online Predictions: Highly Improbable, Though Not Necessarily Impossible (And Why)

Now, don't take this word "impossible" the wrong way. There are two different types of keno in the world: Keno that's played on location, and keno that's played online. When dealing with on-location keno, it is virtually impossible to hack that system (at least without someone noticing) and so you're reliant upon pure guessing, and you will never be able to guess accurately all 10 numbers that you select. The randomness of a lottery just makes this impossible.

When dealing with Internet keno, however, you're looking at something that's just highly improbable. What's the difference? Well, some casinos and keno sites use shoddy random number generator software (RNG) and it can actually be hacked into. This is highly improbable, but not outright impossible. About ten years ago, it was a big thing with poker sites that hackers developed RNG trackers that would absorb a few dozen hand values and then predict with frightening accuracy the next cards to be dealt. Of course, these were old generation RNGs and many improvements have been made in the algorithms. Today's RNG software packages such as those used by the legal US online casinos we recommend compute trillions of variables in microseconds and product random results that cannot be predicted. Of course, there is always a chance, however slight, that it can be hacked into somehow and that some ultra hacker somewhere can crack the code. But very, very unlikely. And the reason it's even more unlikely for live keno is that the machines are physical and any testing done, even rudimentary, is going to reveal tampering (ball weight, suction levels, etc).


The lesson to be learned here is very simple, and we won't patronize you about it or keep going on about it at length. There exists a niche in the gambling genre of people who want cheat codes for their favorites games so they can win money. This is the demand. Now, enter the supply: Charlatans who lie and claim that, if you follow their formula, you can win at keno and accurately predict the numbers!

Just know, without exception or equivocation, that every single one of these programs is an outright lie. You cannot mathematically predict the random numbers of keno or any lottery, and any system whereby an online keno drawing can be predicted means that some super hacker cracked into the system, and this person/program will be caught, will be punished, and the next incarnation of the RNG will be a trillion-times tougher per its algorithms. You may have had high hopes for some winning keno strategy, but the unfortunate fact is that you cannot predict these numbers. They are simply random. Full stop.