Keno is a game that’s known in China as the original lottery game. The game is actually also a rhyme that’s taught in the children’s schools. The gambling part was kept to the adults, of course. The rhyme’s purpose was to instruct 1000 Chinese characters to kids. The poem is known as the TCC or the Thousand Character Classic and it’s a very interesting set of 1000 rhymes that do not repeat.
Keno: China vs. America
The starting 120 characters in the children’s rhyme became a trend for adults for a betting system that’s very intricate. The rhyme is written on a huge canvas or a board and then people would mark characters with ink and a brush. If players mark the right characters on the board, then they would win.
The rules of a game of Keno in China
The lottery game of keno, as played by the Chinese, tasks players to choose a set of characters from 120 that’s placed on a betting board. The 120 characters were divided into 8 separate categories. Even the emperor was known to play a game of keno. If a player doesn’t get lucky on his chosen character in a particular category, they would lose three additional bets. But if they win a particular category, they could have the chance to win other bets that are up to 10. The game was coined as the White Pigeon Game because in ancient China, the results of the game were carried by white doves across the land in order to let the populace know.
In present-day China, keno is known as TCC and is played two times every day. Players have the opportunity to choose 80 characters from 1000, which are separated by categories, as well. Ten chosen characters would represent a division. They can risk more money by improving their bets or choosing more categories and divisions.
Keno in the United States
Keno wasn’t known in America even during the 19th century. Immigrants from the land of China have only just brought the game to American shores, particularly in California. The Gold Rush enticed many immigrants to show up to find their fortunes in such a foreign land and they have brought with them their culture and their own set of games. Now, people are actually enjoying keno and the game is used in many popular casinos. Keno was actually the base term for the game bingo. In Nevada, gamblers have coined in the ‘Horse Racing Keno’.