What looks like a fun, fresh and new game from Microgaming actually has quite an interesting history. The word keno actually has Latin and French roots meaning “five each” or “five winning numbers” respectively. Despite this, it is generally well accepted that the game actually comes from China. Interestingly, the game was supposedly used to raise funds in order to pay for the construction of the Great Wall of China. Though using lotteries to fund public works was not really accepted until the late eighteen hundreds, it’s still fun to imagine that gambling saved China from invasion!
The first time a lottery was documented in China was the mid eighteen hundreds. It is said that these lottery games, keno included, were so popular that the larger cities would actually use carrier pigeons to send the results of the drawing to outlying settlements. This is where the Chinese name for keno, literally translating into white dove ticket, came from. With all of humanities collective knowledge now accessible from a device that fits into your hand, it’s hard to imagine relying on animals to transport information, but carrier birds were used even up until World War One for carrying important information quickly over long distances.
Gameplay for Keno is quite simple. A player picks from a list of eighty numbers and places a bet on those numbers. There is a table that shows the payouts for players based on how many numbers they hit and how much they initially bet. Normally, the more numbers that the player picks and the more of those numbers that actually hit, the larger the payout will be, but this depends on the game and who is operating it. Lucky for us, we don’t have to match all twenty numbers in order to win!
Monkey Keno Gameplay
Monkey Keno is a stock standard version of a normal keno game and is played with eighty numbers on an eight by ten grid. First, the player must choose between three and fifteen different numbers. They can do this by either selecting them with a mouse or by using the quick pick option. The quick pick option is enabled by pressing the green button in the bottom right corner.
Once that is finished, the player hits the bright red and yellow play button in order to start the game. At this point, the monkey that has been happily perched to the left side of the keno board will start to fling twenty coconuts at the grid. At this point, the player is crossing their fingers and hoping that as many of their numbers as possible gets covered up by the falling coconuts.
The biggest prize, because everyone wants to win the biggest prize, is awarded if the player does a max bet of fifteen numbers and manages to get every one of those numbers covered by coconuts. If the player is lucky enough, they will walk away with a grand prize of ten thousand times their initial stake. If the player doesn’t land all of their bets, they can simply look to the right of the keno board to see what the payouts are on individual numbers.
While playing keno on a little slip of white paper can be interesting, we find that playing this brand new game on a tropical island and having a monkey as a companion makes the experience infinitely more enjoyable.
Smooth animations and crisp graphics make this fun spin on a classic lottery game. So put on your shades, pick your lucky numbers and cross those fingers. Who knows where the coconuts will fall?