The word "Keno" has French or Latin roots
(Fr. quine five winning numbers, L. quini five each), but by all accounts the game originated in China over 2000 years ago.
Legend has it that the invention of the game saved an ancient city in time of war, and its widespread popularity helped raise
funds to build the Great Wall. According to one source, results of Keno games in great cities were sent to outlying villages
and hamlets by carrier pigeon. Eventually, Chinese immigrants introduced Keno to the West when they sailed across the Pacific
to help build the American trans-continental railroad in the 19th century.
Keno is similar to lotto games, in
that players have a card or ticket with numbers that are selected in hopes of matching
the numbered balls that are drawn during play. Early Keno games looked for a match of
five numbers to win. Some Keno dealers used a large jar with a long, thin neck to tumble
the balls. The neck was just wide enough to permit only one ball at time to flow, thus eliminating any argument
about which number was drawn. For obvious reasons, this jar was called the "Keno goose".
First, players must purchase a Castle Keno ticket. To buy a ticket, place
a $1 chip in the circle marked “Place Bets” on the Betting Board. None
of the betting options can become active until a ticket is purchased.
Next, players try
to predict which numbers will be drawn by marking from 1 to 15 of the numbered blocks (“Spots”) on the wall. To
mark a block simply mouse over the block and click it. The block will change color to indicate it has been marked. As you
mark each block, the Spots counter at the bottom of the screen will increment. (Note
that it is possible to mark more than 15 Spots, but the numbers can’t be drawn
until the number of Spots is reduced to 15 or less). To remove a mark, just click on
the block and it will change back to the original color (and decrement the Spots counter).
There are five
betting options in Castle Keno. Each option requires a certain number of Spots to be marked
before it becomes active. As you mark Spots, the buttons for the options will light
up when you have satisfied their minimum and maximum Spots requirements (see Betting
When you are satisfied with the arrangement of your Spots, click the desired betting
option on the Betting Board to start the game. Twenty rocks will be hurled toward the Castle,
striking different numbered blocks at random. As each rock smashes a block in the wall,
a flag will unfurl to display the corresponding number. When a number you marked on
the wall is struck by one of the rocks, that’s called a “hit”.
After the final
rock has found its target, the player will be paid according to how many of the rocks hit marked
blocks based on the payout table for the chosen betting option.
Our Keno game is played with a traditional 80-numbered ticket and
a draw of 20 numbers whose function is similar to a standard lottery. The ticket is sectioned into a two halves,
with numbers 1-40 on the top and 41-80 on the bottom. We've added a fun twist to the game
by presenting the ticket as a Castle wall, with the 80 numbers painted on granite blocks
that make up the wall. Instead of drawing balls to announce winning combinations, we
use a rock thrown from a catapult to hit the block corresponding to each number drawn. Will the rock smash the blocks you
selected? It’s fun to watch the wall crumble as you find out!
five different ways to bet on a Castle Keno ticket are:
TOP OR BOTTOM
Click on one of the links above
to see a betting option’s description and payout table. After each game players may choose to stay with the same
spots they played in the last game (by clicking on RE-BET button), or mark new spots
on the ticket. Different betting options are enabled as you place your marks, however
you may not mark more than 15 spots on any one game.
The BET option
is enabled once you mark at least one spot on the Keno ticket. (When you click BET, the game starts – so don’t
click it until you are finished marking your numbers.) You can mark up to 15 of the
80 possible numbers, but no more than 15. You are paid if one or more of the numbers
you marked is smashed by a rock from the catapult. When a number you marked on the wall
is struck by one of the rocks, that’s called a “hit”.
Let’s say you mark 7 numbers.
If any 4 of those 7 numbers get hit, you are paid $5. If any 5 of those 7 numbers are
hit, your payoff is $20. If 6 of the 7 numbers get hit, it jumps to $250, and if you
hit all 7 numbers, you win $2000!
BET AGAINST is
enabled once you have marked at least 8 Spots on the ticket. With this option you are betting that none of the numbers
you mark will be hit by any of the rocks thrown. You are paid only if none of the marked
numbers get hit.
The HIT ALL option can be played with
2 to 7 Spots marked on the ticket. You are betting that all the numbers you mark will be
hit. You will be paid only if all the numbers you marked are among the 20 hits on the wall.
The HIGH ROLLER option is enabled once you mark at least one Spot on the Castle
Keno ticket. HIGH ROLLER is played almost like the normal BET option, but the Payout
is on a different schedule where you have to Hit more Spots in order to get paid, but
when you do Hit them the Payout is greater.
TOP OR BOTTOM
TOP OR BOTTOM is the only option that is
enabled before you mark the ticket. You only need to place your bet to be able to use
this option. You are betting that the top or bottom half of the ticket will have significantly
fewer hits than the opposite half. You don’t mark any spots, and you don’t
need to choose the Top or the Bottom. You’re just betting that there will be a large difference between
the hits each half gets.
The greater the difference, the bigger the payout.