# Do video keno patterns actually pay off?

January 12, 2010 5:04 PM
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In recent columns we’ve discussed playing patterns and whether they’re viable with today’s video keno machines.

I’ve always played patterns, mostly because I’ve observed the machine, at some time, fill in numbers according to these patterns.

For instance, some of my earliest wins came while playing the old "Fortune" video keno machines, the ones that had the two screens, one for the pay table and one for the keno game.

I hit a couple of progressives at the El Cortez, which required catching a solid 8-spot. My winning pattern, in both cases, was simply marking all eight numbers in a given column.

Now, the math (probability and statistics) says you’re only going to get, on average, two numbers in a column for any given keno game (20 numbers divided by 10 columns). But I observed that numbers seem to come in waves and fall in patterns or clusters.

And I had seen on many occasions that the numbers would often fill six, seven or even all eight numbers in a column (the trick is picking which column!).

Obviously, filling these patterns isn’t common, but if you play long enough, you’ll notice that they do occur.

I also noticed that the numbers also fell into other distinct patterns. For instance, if you took the eight numbers included in a box, two columns wide by four rows deep, numbers would also eventually fall into that pattern.

The same thing would occur with the eight numbers in a cross-over or "stair-stepper" pattern, which includes the first four numbers in one column, coupled with the last four numbers in an adjoining column (see illustration).

When Four Card Keno was introduced, I was able to overlap these patterns, which often resulted in multiple jackpots.

I still use these patterns, confined mostly to the first two columns on the keno board. Of course, I’ve added a variation – I’ve added one number or "orphan" outside the pattern to create a nine spot instead of an eight spot, because I’ve found that when seven of eight fill the original pattern, catching that extra spot increases your win from 1652-for-1 (seven of eight) to 4,700-for-1 (eight of nine).

In fact, a few weeks ago I ran a picture of an 8-of-9 award that used one of these patterns in the first two columns.

If you try these patterns on a standard keno machine (as opposed to Four Card Keno or 20 Card Keno), I’m sure you’ll notice a couple of things. First, if you mark an 8-spot or a 9-spot card on the numbers above the center line, the machine will start to fill in the same pattern below the line.

The same thing seems to happen when you mark the entire column or one of the crossover patterns – the machine will begin to fill in the "mirror" image pattern.

The only thing you can do is to continue to mark patterns within the area, while re-setting the machine by cashing out and starting again.

I’ve tried to stay on one pattern in hopes the numbers would eventually find my pattern, but that doesn’t seem to occur. That’s an old adage from live keno players – wait for the numbers to come to you – but the keno machines today seem to be too sophisticated for that to occur.

I use these patterns, and a few others, simply because they’re easy to mark and easy to remember. You can probably find, or create, any other pattern you want and get similar results.

For instance, you can mark a 3-by3 box of nine numbers, or a pyramid or triangular pattern or whatever piques your fancy – the numbers should eventually fall into anything you mark, simply because probability dictates that, at some point, a large group of numbers will land there.

Try out some of these patterns and let me know how you do. Also, if you have some patterns that have worked, please share them with us.

We’re always willing to try a new, winning pattern.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: LJ Zahm