Keno, a variation of Lotto and the forerunner of Bingo, was a popular banking game in saloons and gambling dens from the early 1850's. Keno was a game fancied by the Ladies once they were allowed
into the gambling parlors.
The center of any Keno game was the beautiful wooden " Hopper", known as the " Goose". From the Goose the wooden or ivory balls would be mixed and released. Each player had a ticket with three rows of 5 numbers. When a player covered all 5 numbers in a particular row he won all the money in the pot minus the dealers take. Hitting bonuses this way is particularly enjoyed by Ladies, but Gentlemen loved to mingle as well.
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.
Like all games in the Old West this game could be and was rigged. Many dealers were not satisfied with their "rake" so schemes were devised to insure the entire "pot" was retained. The easiest method to insure a dealer got all he felt he was entitled to was to employ a partner who purchased a ticket destined to win. The dealer would simply "holdout" the necessary balls to fill his partners line of five numbers. Preformed properly, this gaff would be used successfully night after night.
Not much has changed over the years. Keno of today is played much like Keno back in-the-day, you can sit back and check some of the hit online casino games with Keno. The biggest change has been the amount of numbers used in the game. In the beginning as few as 70 numbers were utilized. With the passage of time that number has increased to 80, 90 and currently in Vegas the number is 120. The game was not designed for you to win. Come to think of it, there never was a game of chance designed that favored the player.
As mentioned above, Bingo is the modern-day version of Keno. In all games of chance it's important to know your odds. So how do you figure the odds in Bingo? Good question! Read on to learn how the winners do it.
Bingo and Its Odds:
Many people love playing bingo, but what are the odds of winning in a bingo hall? You can calculate your odds of winning very easily. All you have to do is take the number of cards that you are playing and divide it by the number of bingo cards that are being played. For instance, if there are 200 cards in play, and you have 6 cards your odds of winning are 6 in 200 or 3 percent.
The challenge to determining your odds is knowing how many cards are in play during any given game. One-way to determine this is by doing a head count and multiplying that number by the average number of cards you believe each person has. For example, if your head count is 50 and you believe that the average number of cards per player is 4 you would take 50 x 4, which gives you 200. There are an estimated 200 cards in play. Now, take the number of cards you are playing and divide it by the 200 cards in play. The answer is your odds of winning. The reality is that every bingo card in play has the same chance of winning.
It is important to note that these odds will not apply to a progressive jackpot game. In this kind of game, there is no guarantee that someone will win. This means that the odds of winning depends more on how difficult it is to cover the pattern in the number of calls that will be made. Because the odds are very steep in some of these games, it could be weeks or months before there is a winner.
Tips for Winning:
You can try to use mathematical balance in your favor. Use the following tips to increase your chances of winning bingo:
- Play More than One Card
Avid bingo players know that increasing your chances of winning means buying as many cards as you keep track of at once, that is without going broke.
- Stay Away from the Crowds
As mentioned earlier, since your odds depend on the number of cards being played, a game with few players definitely increases your chances of winning. A bingo hall is required by law to award advertised prizes no matter how many players are there.
- Bad Weather and a Small Jackpot May Increase Your Odds.
If you head out to play bingo when the weather is bad, chances are crowds will be thin.
A smaller jackpot could also mean fewer players.
- Play the Quieter Sessions.
Pick the quiet sessions; these sessions are usually in mid-afternoon, midweek, late at night and on holidays.
- Make Sure Your Cards are Different
Do not choose duplicate cards. Because each card will not have duplicate numbers, they all have the same odds of winning the game.
- Stay Positive
For some reason, staying positive seems to bring good things your way. Some people believe that they can actually will an event to happen if they imagine it frequently enough. Whether this is true or not is for you to decide. However, if nothing else, by staying positive, you will enjoy your bingo game that much more.