Reader offers help

October 12, 2010 7:04 AM


Over the last few weeks I’ve been playing the 5-spot cluster on the 20-card keno machine, suggested by a reader a few weeks ago.

I went back into my e-mails so I could properly acknowledge the reader, Bob, who sent in the pattern and accompanying strategy.

I must confess, I was never a 5-spot player, simply because it never offered the lottery-like payoffs like the 7-, 8- and 9-spot tickets.

But "Bob’s Pattern" has certainly worked out. I think I’ve always hit at least one solid 5-spot every time I’ve played the pattern, sometimes catching it twice.

But I’ve never been able to hit the "Big One," that is, catching all six 5-spots in the 6-number pattern.

Here are Bob’s original comments on how to play this pattern.

"I believe the casinos have tightened up their machines and/or reduced the payoffs," Bob said. "We play 20-card Keno most all the time; lately, some machines pay 800-for-1 on a 5-spot while a similar machine in the next bank of machines will pay 750-1.

"I usually play six 5-spots on the top row using 1,2,3 with 8,9,10 (I’ve referred to these at ‘outside’ numbers in previous articles); I’ve hit all six 5-spots at least once a week for the last six weeks; I usually add one or two 7-spots with the 5-spots but they rarely hit.

"I doubt that ‘re-setting’ the machine has any effect at all; if you really pay attention, you’ll notice the number of ‘hits’ you get will usually give you 3, 4, 5 or 6, hits for about five times, then go into a mode where you’ll get 8, 9, 10 or more hits the next time; use your money wisely, play maximum coins only when the machine is ready to give you the higher number of hits, and back off when it goes into the ‘lull’ … it works."

Thank you, Bob, and I’ll continue to play the pattern; hopefully I can catch all six numbers, resulting in six solid 5-spots.

Maybe my problem has been the other two or three tickets I place on top of the six 5-spots. Often times I will place a 6-spot "on top" of the six 5-spots, or I’ll overlap a couple of 7-spots (the best I’ve gotten is 5-of-6 and 6-of-7 on the latter).

Something that has worked for me is placing two other 5-spots using the numbers 2, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 2, 3, 7, 8, 9.

As you can see, these partially overlap the original six numbers. A couple of times, when I catch five of the original six numbers, the machine also hits one of the two "added" 5-spots, resulting in two solid 5-spots.

Sometimes, after I’ve hit one or two 5-spots, I will re-mark the outside eight numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10) with eight 7-spots. Shortly thereafter, the machine will fill in six of the numbers, resulting in two 6-of-7 jackpots, though I’ve yet to get seven or all eight numbers into the pattern.

Finally, the best result I’ve had to date with this pattern occurred a couple of weeks ago while playing at the El Cortez. I marked the six 5-spots, along with a couple of 6-spots and a couple of 7-spots on the top row, then marked eight 7-spots using the "outside" eight numbers on the row beneath it.

Within a very short time, the machine hit a solid 5-spot on the top row, then a few plays later it filled in all eight numbers on the second row, resulting in eight solid 7-spots and a rare W-2G payoff!

Who knows whether the payoffs were connected; it’s just nice to get a hand-paid jackpot!