Keno strategies to select betting numbers

April 10, 2012 3:00 AM

There is an old saying in keno that there are only two strategies to select your numbers.

According to some traditions the Chinese immigrants, who were brought to the Americas to help build the transcontinental railroads in the 1860s and 70s, referred to the two strategies as "Chasing the Dragon" and "Letting the Dragon Chase You." I believe there is reference to this in Wayne McClure’s book, Keno Winning Ways.

Now let us be clear, these are two approaches to selecting which numbers to play, and there are other parameters of your play that may actually be as important like money management for example. However, the pleasure of the game involves the numbers not the mechanics so these strategies are relevant to our enjoyment of the game.

"Chasing the Dragon" means utilizing the strategy of changing your numbers every game, or at least very often. This may be done on a random or semi-random basis, for instance by playing a quik pik every game at the extreme, or by playing the last 20 numbers drawn every game.

It might mean changing your numbers every five games or so based upon number frequencies of the previous 5, 10, 100, etc., previous games. Or maybe you use some kind of number rotation.

"Letting the Dragon Chase You" is the strategy of always playing the same numbers. Many players are in this camp, probably the majority, because they are playing numbers that have some meaning to them usually. Or perhaps they are just revisiting a ticket that gave them a substantial win in the past.

 For these people, in addition to the pleasure playing the game gives them, they also receive some oracular reinforcement of themselves when they win or lose. When their important numbers come up, it is validation.

Although in theory, if all the ball selection equipment is working perfectly and on the up and up, neither strategy will confer you an advantage or disadvantage, since the old adage "the balls have no memory" is no doubt true on its face.

Each of the two strategies has some disadvantages though. Selecting new numbers every game is sometimes hard to do under time pressure, unless you are willing to quik pik. Playing random numbers also makes it a bit harder to check your tickets for winners.

On the other hand, if you always play the same numbers and you are familiar with them, then one day you will walk into a Keno lounge and see all your numbers up, before you have played. A tragedy!

It is for this psychological reason I mostly "Chase the Dragon." Your choice is up to you, have fun!

Well that’s it for now, Good Luck, see you in line at