There are plenty of traditional casino games that have been translated into a video version over the past decade. In fact, there are some jurisdictions that won’t allow table games but will allow elaborate video simulations of the same games. Live keno is one of the oldest casino games and not surprisingly was one of the first to be replicated in video form. In many ways, it was a natural and video keno eliminated a lot of the headaches associated with live keno. For one thing, the game is much faster–up to 50 times faster.
Another interesting element of video keno relative to the live game is that the odds are significantly better. Live keno ranks among the worst odds you can find in a casino. Depending on where you play and the specific rules they use the house edge ranges from 20% to 35% or even higher. Outside of the competitive Las Vegas market you might find games with a house edge of close to 50%. Video keno has a house edge ranging from 5% to 15%. In Las Vegas, it’s hard to find a game with a house edge of more than 10%.
Video keno has more in common with slot machines or even video poker than it does with it’s live action ancestor. At the heart of the machine is a random number generator (RNG). In fact, you’ll find the RNG at the heart of any gambling device including newer variations such as ‘Instant Racing’ found at many horse tracks. The RNG has only one function–to generate random numbers and convey them to the machine’s central processor where they can be extrapolated into the results. This is why superstitions surrounding slot machines being ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ are silly–one part of the process (the random number generation) has no influence or even correlation with the other part of the process (the determination of a bet’s outcome).
The way a RNG works within the context of video keno or similar gambling device is very interesting and comes as a surprise to many bettors. The conventional wisdom is that when a game requires a randomized decision–the draw of a card or number–the RNG spits out a random number based on that request. In actuality, a RNG is always generating random numbers at the speed of several randomized integers per second. When the game ‘needs’ a randomized number it gets whichever one is the ‘current’ one in the RNG’s 24/7/365 sequence of generation.
Casino gamblers have long had any number of ‘conspiracy theories’ as it relates to slot machines, video poker machines and video keno. For example, some misguided superstitions include thinking that the games are ‘fixed’, that using the slot club card lets a casino know how much you’ve already won, the machine was ‘hot’, the coins were ‘cold’, someone in the back office ‘flipped a switch’, so on and so forth. Nor should any gambler believe that they are ‘due’ to have a winning hand or winning session. It’s all randomized.
Superstitions aside, video keno is still a significantly better game than it’s live action counterpart. When managing a bankroll it’s important to keep in mind the significantly greater speed of the game but even with that considered the more reasonable house edge will keep you playing longer.