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The History of Keno

The History of KenoAs you walk down the casino halls of Las Vegas, you can hear people yelling “keno” loudly in joy because their numbers have been drawn. Later you see them enjoying their money with a nice coffee or whisky in the lounge bars enjoying their money won on Keno, while countless of other players have fun playing the slots, poker tables, blackjack or shooting craps and spinning the roulette wheel for their share of a glamorous Las Vegas day.

Keno today is a common lounge game played at casinos and hotels used to entertain guests that like to play games that are more based on their luck rather than skill. It’s a decent relaxing game where the only task is to select 10 numbers and just wait for the system to spit the numbered balls out of the chute and hope for a win.

In the Beginning

The story of the origin of Keno begins with China where the game was creatively used for the emperors to collect money for their wars. The thing was that taxes were beginning to demoralize the people and in order to unburden them from additional ones, the Chinese invented Keno. People could pay in order to play for the draw, while the Emperor could get his extra funds. This was happening in the second century BC during the Han Dynasty.

Considering the purpose for which Keno was used in Ancient China, and its public character with the common people able to play for the big win, experts have concluded that Keno is actually the first national lottery project. Then the game wasn’t actually called Keno. Instead it was called “White Pigeon” because pigeons were used to announce the results across the country.

Contribution to One of the Wonders of the World

The historical significance of Keno extends even to the Great Wall of China. It is said that the simple lottery concept of the game was used to fund the creation of the Wall, which lasted 5 centuries, so you can imagine what a tradition this game must have been in China. The Wall is one of the most important architectural features today, one that in the past protected the Chinese nation from invading countries and tribes.

Keno in the 19th Century

As with any casino game, the global spreading of Keno begins with 19th century USA. This was a time when people all around the world flocked to the New Continent of North America, and so inevitably they all brought their culture with them even in the form of gambling games. The French brought baccarat, the Italian brought Roulette, and the Chinese brought Keno among several other.

Largely the game was played among the Chinese only, especially across the countryside at railroad construction sites. Although the game was widely played, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century when “white” people got to know the game in a true manner. Later the game got accepted at casinos as a more relaxing and “lightweight” game that could be played for little money. But, until that happened, lottery games were actually illegal, and Keno was considered as such. Nevertheless, it all later turned out for the best.

Modern Day Keno

It’s amazing how such an old game survived all of those years, from a tool for the authorities to a pastime for the elderly. Even today it remains as a fun game to play, one that can be played even at online casinos. You will surely find Keno tournaments where you can compete for even more cash and experience this communal game.

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