All major online gaming software providers have keno in their portfolio of games. Though identical in essence these online keno games differ in detail. They cater to players with different objectives and temperaments. Therefore players should know how to choose the online keno game that is most suited to them. At the outset it is important to understand that any keno game has a very high house edge. Therefore playing online keno for long periods of time or for high stakes is avoidable.
Most online keno games allow players to mark up to 15 spots. However Cryptologic allows players to mark only up to 10 spots. This does not affect the payout ratio in any manner. It is purely a personal preference whether to go for 10 spots or 15 spots. The keno game with maximum 15 spots has an advantage in that the player can always stop at 10 spots.
The most important parameter is the pay table. Online keno games do not have a single pay table. The pay table changes with the number of spots marked. A player who has marked 8 spots will face a different pay table than a player who has marked 13 spots in the keno game of the same software provider. Hence when comparing pay tables of different software providers it is important that the tables are for the same number of spots. One of the critical factors when evaluating pay tables is the minimum number of hits required for a payout. For example in Microgaming keno for 15 spots marked there should be at least three hits for a payout. In Real Time Gaming keno for 15 spots marked there should be at least seven hits or a payout. From only this point of view it would appear not worthwhile to play Real Time Gaming keno. However the payouts for 3 to 6 hits in Microgaming keno in the above example range from 0.5:1 to 2:1. Hence the advantage, though it exists, is not very substantial.
Now the second critical factor needs to be compared. This is the payout offered for the middle to higher number of hits. In Microgaming keno for 15 spots marked the payout for 7 hits is 100:1; for 10 hits is 1800:1; for 13 hits is 6000:1 and for 15 hits is 10,000:1. The corresponding payouts in Real Time Gaming keno are 10:1, 300:1; 50,000:1 and 100,000:1. Hence it can be seen that for the middle range Microgaming keno provides better payouts and for the higher range Real Time Gaming keno provides better payouts. It must be kept in mind that the chance of scoring the higher hits is very low. Therefore in the final analysis Microgaming keno will be more suited for conservative players who are satisfied with smaller winnings. On the other hand Real Time Gaming keno is more suited for risk-taking players who prefer large winnings and do not mind losing their bankroll in the process. Small winnings do not have any value for such players.
One final issue must be kept in mind while playing online keno games that offer large payouts like that of Real Time Gaming. Such games put a cap on the payout. For example Real Time Gaming keno caps the payout is at 250,000. So even if the payout purely on the basis of the payout ratio is higher, the player will get only 250,000.