Basic Glossary of Terms Keno - Beginner's Guide

 Glossary of Terms Keno

Keno is a very popular, simple gambling game. Play it like you can in real casinos and online casinos. During the existence of Keno, it formed a certain slang that is widely used in this game. To make it easier to play and understand the actions in the game, you should become familiar with this slang.


All Or Nothing: This bet signifies that all your numbers need to come up in order to win. If they all do not come up, you will not win anything.


Ball Game: A keno game using plastic balls to represent the numbers and which is the most common form of keno today.

Balls: Keno balls, same size as bingo balls, numbered 1-80.

Bank: The money of real or online casino for keno play.

Blank: An unused keno ticket.

Blower: This is a machine that mixes all the numbered balls in the bubble they are held. A stream of air blows through them in order to mix the balls randomly.

Booth: This is where the draw takes place.

Bowl: Part of the ball machine that collects the balls when the blower is turned off.

Bubble: This is the glass enclosure that holds all of the 80 balls.

Buy-In Tournament: A keno tournament requiring player to pay a participation fee whereby they play a certain number of games / tickets and keep any winnings.


Cage: A wire cage used to hold keno balls.

Caller: This person is in charge of the draw. They need to press a button in order to get every ball.

Catch: A number marked on a keno ticket is a catch if called during the game.

Catch All: A keno game requiring a player to catch all the numbers marked on their ticket.

Catch Zero: A keno game requiring a player to catch none of the numbers marked on their ticket.

Close: The time period when no more keno tickets will be written by the house, usually around the time of the draw.

Combination Keno: This is when a player picks up a combo of numbers that they want to play. For instance, they can choose numbers from 1 to 5 and play all five of them, but then they can also bet on every number individually.

Combination Ticket: A single ticket with a number of different keno wagers on it.

Computer Ticket: A computer-generated keno ticket.


Deuce: Two keno spots grouped together.

Draw: The group of 20 numbers drawn for a keno game is called the draw.

Draw Sheet: A sheet handed out at the keno counter which indicates the number drawn from the previous game. The numbers are shown with punched holes so that tickets can be checked.


Edge Ticket: A ticket with 32 numbers marked around the outer edge of the ticket.

Enhanced Payoff: When a bigger payoff can be received from playing a combination of games on a single ticket. Pays more than if the games had been played on an individual ticket.

Exacta: A ticket played for two games and which offers special payouts.


Field: A group of marked spots that is uncircled.

Flashboard: An electronic display board showing the numbers in the keno draw.

Fractional Rate Ticket: A ticket played for a fraction of the regular rate, generally used on a way ticket.

Free Play: A keno win that pays no money but allows the player to bet again.


Group: Spots that are circled or separated from the other marked spots on the keno tickets.


Handle: The total of all money taken in for a specific period.

High End Ticket: A ticket which pays more for catching a high number of spots, but pays less for catching few spots.

High Roller Ticket: A ticket that has a high minimum ticket price.

Hit: This is when the caller happens to draw a number that the player selects.

Hold: The gross after paying out all the winning tickets. (Handle – payoff)

House Edge: It means how much the odds favor the hosting real money casino.


Inside Ticket: A completed keno ticket handed back to the real casino.


Jackpot Meter: An electronic display indicating the current jackpot amount.


Keno Board: An electronic display board showing the numbers in the keno draw.

Keno Balls: Plastic balls numbered 1-80.

Keno Computer: Used by casinos to enter wagers, determine the winners, print tickets etc.

Keno Counter: Where players place their wagers and collect their winnings.

Keno Lounge: An area where keno players can sit and mark their tickets.

Keno Punch: The machine that punches holes in the draw sheet.

Keno Writer: A person who takes a player’s bet, produces the tickets and pays the winners.

King: A single circled number. In conjunction with other numbers it works to make a bet or a way.

King Ticket: A way ticket that has one or more kings.

Left-Right Ticket: A ticket with a vertical line down the center, with which a player has to catch only number on one half of the ticket and not the other.


Manual Pick: A manual pick is when you choose exactly what set of numbers you want to play. These can be a combo of your lucky numbers, date and year of birth etc.

Mark: A mark made on a keno ticket number by hand or by the keno computer.

Multi Game Keno Ticket: A ticket used for multiple keno games.


Open: When the counter is open for accepting wagers.

Outside Ticket: The official game ticket handed back to the player in place of his hand marked ticket and the wager.


Pattern: The shape made by specific marks on a keno ticket.

Pay Any Catch Ticket: A keno ticket that pays something, irrespective of how many spots are caught.

Payoff: The amount paid to a player for his played ticket.

Paytable: This is often a list of all the payouts that are set by the casino for the keno game they offer. This can vary from one casino to the next so it would be a good idea to check the paytable prior to playing.

Punch Outs: A sheet handed out at the keno counter which indicates the number drawn from the previous game. The numbers are shown with punched holes so that tickets can be checked.

Push: A win which matches the amount wagered.


Quick Pick: This is when you choose a computer to randomly generate the keno numbers for you.

Quit Race: To cash in a multi game ticket before the end of play.


Rabbit Ears: This is a term used for a ‘V’ shaped tube that all the balls pass through. There are 10 on one end and 10 on the other.

Race: A single keno game.

Rate: The price of a ticket or a way.

Rate Card: A card provided by the casino indicating payoffs for various bets.

Regular Ticket: A standard ticket.

Replayed Ticket: Giving a played ticket to the counter to replay the numbers.

Runner: This is a person who goes around usually from player to player taking wagers. They also take the slips over the keno booth, bet on them and return the ticket to the player. So, this means that players can go on gambling casino without having to leave their seats.


Sleeper: A winning ticket not presented for payoff.

Split Ticket: Two or more groups of numbers played separately on the same ticket.

Spot(s): Every individual number on the Keno card that is marked off by the player is called a spot.

Straight Ticket: Standard keno ticket.

Stud: A variation of the keno game where the top prize increases until it is won.


Ticket: This is a slip that has the player’s number printed on it and can be used to claim their winnings.

Top-Bottom Ticket: A ticket split in two by a horizontal line in the center with which the player needs to catch only numbers on one half of the ticket and not the other.


Verifier: This is an employee of the casino and works with the caller in order to check all the 20 numbers that were drawn to ensure there aren’t any errors.

Video Keno: Keno played on computerized systems and which is similar to video poker.


Way: A separate bet on a ticket with more than one bet.

Way Ticket: A ticket with two or more bets.

Winning Numbers: The 20 numbers drawn in the keno game.