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Comps for Keno

12 September 2020

By John Marchel

Most of us know that keno is a game of chance. The fact is most of the games in today’s casino are also pure chance with the exception of blackjack, poker, video poker, sports betting and horse racing.

Still playing the other games like slots or baccarat / mini-baccarat you can get comps in a casino. You can even get comps playing keno.

Casinos have been known to give you back about 10-40% of your expected loss in the form of comps. Remember, comps are based on your theoretical loss, not your actual playing loss.

Next time you’re in a casino and you would like to try your luck at keno, be sure to show your rewards card to the keno runner. Your identity will be entered into the casino’s computers, just like in other games.

Every time you play keno put your account number on your ticket and you will get tracked automatically. This will allow you to qualify for casino comps every time you play the game. Remember, every little bit helps.


• In 1957, based on an idea from Gene Diullo, keno manager in Reno, Lee Jellison and Fred Howell (both employed by Harrah’s) designed and constructed the first keno ball blower (known as a goose). This device is still in use today by many casinos around the country.

• The keno history dates back to187 BC in China, where the game was developed by the head of state, Cheung Heung of the Han Dynasty. During that time carrier pigeons were used to inform surrounding towns and villages of the winning numbers. The game soon became known as the White Pigeon game.

• Before bingo was developed in the late 1920s, and before Chinese keno was revised in the late 1930s, Keno was introduced to the U.S. by Irish immigrants in the early 1800s. It became popular with Union soldiers in the Civil War. Players brought a slip of paper printed with three rows of numbers. Numbered balls were drawn and the first player to cover five numbers in a row was the winner. The game is similar in format to the way Bingo is played in the U.K. today.

• In keno, after the balls are mixed, the "caller" will operate a lever to allow a single ball to be forced up through a narrow neck (or "goose"), the section that the ball lands in is called the "rabbit ear."

• The odds of hitting 15 out of 15 numbers at keno are 428,010,179,098 to 1.

• Each winning keno ticket must be turned in before the next game begins or the ticket becomes invalid.

• There is a story about Nick “The Greek” Dandolos explaining the game of keno. He said a man might stick his head in a gas oven and get stuck by lighting before he was asphyxiated. The odds of that happing are about the same as hitting 14 out of 20 numbers while playing the game.

• April 26, 1936 The Palace Club in Reno, Nevada is the first casino to offer Race Horse Keno, later changed to just Keno. The game was played once a day at 12 noon.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

Comps for Keno is republished from CasinoCityTimes.com
John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine. Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

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