It is always a good idea to get familiar with the game origins before attempting to understand it. Knowledge has the power to award us with game background as well as the logic behind the game. People around the world play keno for a long time now, although the game was not always on the peak of popularity. However, popularity problems did not interfere with the richest history of keno.
According to an ancient scroll, the history of keno developed in China over two thousand years ago. Chinese military leader Cheung Leung invented this game of chance in attempt to save his city. The city was in danger because the residents refused to give any financial support towards the war fund, what has left the army out of supplies. Leung was able to save his city by the means of keno game. Keno has produced enough profits to supply the soldiers with all needed appliances. In the following years, the game spread vastly throughout China and raised enough money to fund the building of the Great Wall, which has become a world-renowned wonder. Original keno game carried the name White Pigeon because pigeons have communicated winning results from the greater cities to the small villages in the country.
Original version of the game differed slightly from the one we know and enjoy nowadays. Instead of using the numbers 1 through 80 on the ticket, each field had a character from the famous poem "The Thousand Character Classic". Many years ago, the poem has trained Chinese children reading and writing skills. Since the characters rhymed, the poem was easier to remember. To sum up, originally, the game was played with a 120-character set containing Chinese symbols and only after it was brought to North America; it got the familiar shape of one through 80-character set.
The history of keno in North America started with the Chinese immigrants who worked on the railroads. As part of their customs and individuality, they brought the game over to keep themselves entertained and to carry on some of their Chinese traditions. At first, "Chinese Lottery" was illegal because of the anti-gambling laws; still, it was very popular among the Chinese immigrants. When the country legalized most types of gambling in 1931, though lotteries were not included in legalization, the name "Chinese Lottery" shifted to "Horse Race Keno", suggesting that the numbers were horses and you were betting on the one that would come in. Few years later, the American government decided to tax off-track betting, so the name was changed to Keno once again to offer a better profit. Now you know how Keno history saved a city from economical failure in a war and how it has became one of biggest games at the casino today.