The History of Keno: From Ancient China to Modern Casinos
Keno, a popular lottery-style game, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Originating in ancient China, Keno has evolved over time and is now a staple in modern casinos around the world.
The origins of Keno can be traced back to the Han Dynasty in China, around 200 BCE. It is believed that the game was created as a way to fund the construction of the Great Wall of China. The game was initially played with Chinese characters, and players would select characters from a set of 120. These characters were then drawn from a large jar, similar to how the game is played today.
Keno was introduced to the United States in the mid-19th century by Chinese immigrants who came to work on the railroads. Initially, the game was played with Chinese characters, but as it gained popularity among non-Chinese players, the characters were replaced with numbers to make it more accessible.
In the early days of Keno in the US, the game was often referred to as the “Chinese Lottery” or the “White Pigeon Game.” It was played in underground gambling establishments and was a favorite pastime among gamblers. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that Keno became legal and regulated in many states.
With the legalization of gambling in Nevada in 1931, Keno found its way into the casinos of Las Vegas. The game quickly gained popularity among locals and tourists alike, and it became a mainstay in the casino industry. Today, Keno can be found in casinos all over the world, from Las Vegas to Macau.
The rules of Keno have remained relatively unchanged throughout its history. Players are given a ticket with numbers ranging from 1 to 80. They then select a certain number of numbers, usually between 1 and 20, and place their bets. The game’s outcome is determined by a random number generator or by drawing numbered balls from a machine.
One of the reasons for Keno’s enduring popularity is its simplicity. Unlike other casino games that require skill or strategy, Keno is purely a game of chance. This makes it accessible to players of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced gamblers.
In addition to its simplicity, Keno also offers the potential for big winnings. The game features a progressive jackpot, which means that the prize pool increases with each game until someone wins. This can result in life-changing payouts for lucky players.
Whether you’re a history buff or a casual gambler, the history of Keno is fascinating. From its origins in ancient China to its place in modern casinos, Keno has stood the test of time. So the next time you visit a casino, why not try your luck at Keno? You never know, you might just hit the motivational jackpot.