Keno Rabbit Ears
Have you ever wondered what they call the tube and system that’s used to pick numbers for your favorite lottery game, like Keno? First to understand the keno rabbit ears you have to understand the game’s origin. It’s clouded in legend, some of it matched up with what the history books tell us and some does not. For instance, legend says that the game got its roots in china during a particularly long and brutal war. The ruler at the time was taxing his people as much as possible and they were beginning to rebel because of it. He came up with the game of keno, molding after another chinese game. As a way to make more money to fund his war while simultaneously giving the people a chance to enjoy themselves. We know that the game of Keno was used in building the Great Wall of China but China did not have its gambling license until the 1800’s. Another curious point is that the word ‘keno’ has Latin roots, not Chinese.
When Keno was brought to the United States, it was brought by Chinese immigrants heading for San Francisco, where the game has its American roots. At that time though gambling was legal but the lottery was not. Therefore, keno was considered an illegal game. To get around this law the proprietors of gaming institutions would call their Keno games ‘racehorse Keno’. They would tie each number on the Keno card to a racehorse and call the drawings a race. Of course when the lottery became legal many owners turned the name back to simply ‘keno’ but in some live casinos you can still play the game of ‘racehorse keno’. While the keno rabbit ears have gone the way of the ‘racehorse keno’, ultimately the heart of the game lives on.
Moving on from its rough beginning, keno has become a popular game across the United States and even Europe. During a drawing for a live game of Keno, a circular glass ball that contains 80 balls (much like ping pong balls), each with their own number, is turned on and air begins to circulate through it. When the air forces out the balls, one-by-one into the ‘V’ shaped tube, your witnessing the keno rabbit ears at its finest. The keno rabbit ears are the ‘V’ shaped tube that the balls come to rest in before the caller starts calling out the winning numbers. In its day, this system was revolutionary. However, with modern technology the keno rabbit ears are starting to become obsolete. This is largely in part because of the popularity of online gaming and a better system for generating the numbers.
Today, online gaming and even most casinos are utilizing a machine called a random number generator. It has become popular over the keno rabbit ears because it requires very little maintenance, the randomization is much better and it offers virtually no way for the ‘house’ to pick its own numbers. People who play online keno and even gamble at a casino like this method better because it does not favor the house. There was often uproars over how the keno rabbit ears could be ‘rigged’ by using weighted balls. Of course Keno has always been a game of luck though. I’m sure most of the uproars were caused by those on the losing end of the keno card.
Keno rabbit ears started their downfall when online gaming became popular. Without the need for people to watch the drawing and with the help of the RMG patrons are able to bet on Keno games non-stop from their home or at a casino without the wait of watching numbers being pulled through the keno rabbit ears. Its very much instant gratification but it does leave some people wondering if this system too can be compromised. Especially patrons of online casinos wonder, how random are the numbers really? Any time you gamble, your doing just that, gambling. You should always look for casinos and online betting forums that are accredited and don’t have an abundance of negative reviews. You can still see the keno rabbit ears being used by certain states in their lottery drawings on live TV. If nothing more, they still offer an aesthetic value and a rush of excitement when you watch the balls shoot up the rabbit ear.