I just received a very nice note from an avid video keno player in Las Vegas. It’s always interesting to hear from someone who has had a history of playing keno in Nevada.
The reader’s name is Debbie, and she says she plays at the Tuscany Casino, as well as Station and Boyd casinos on the east side of Las Vegas.
In her note, Debbie made a few requests and posed a few questions. Because other readers might benefit from the answers, I’ll address them here, in this column.
Debbie would like to know:
1. Where and what kind of machine was played?
2. How many minutes or hours are played on a machine?
3. How much money I put through the machine?
4. What "clusters" I used, and how many times I changed clusters?
5. Make sure that I advise readers that clusters appear through luck.
6. How many times I go out and gamble without having a winning session.
I think these are very good questions, and hope my answers will be helpful. In the meantime, here are some answers to Debbie’s questions:
1. The kind of machine I play is usually a Game King from IGT, which features a nice mix of keno games – regular keno, Four Card Keno, and 20-card keno, as well as other, lower-paying "bonus" keno games like Cleopatra Keno and Extra Ball Keno.
I usually play at the "locals" casinos, such as Station, Arizona Charlie’s, Coast, Palms and M Resort.
2. I play about an hour or two on a machine. It depends on how the machine responds; that is, whether it is offering small jackpots to get things going.
3. I won’t say exactly how much money I spend gambling. But I play nickel denominations on Multi Card Keno, quarters and dimes on regular keno and Four Card Keno.
4. I think I’ve been pretty specific in identifying my patterns or clusters. For instance, a few weeks ago I used a "stair stepper" pattern that has done well. Check some previous columns and you’ll find a good mix of what I generally play.
5. Of course, it’s "luck" whenever you win. But is it possible to be "more lucky" with one pattern over another? It seems like it’s possible. Especially as you evaluate your results with your patterns.
6. I have losing sessions. But it’s rare when I can’t catch some kind of consolation prize to lessen the pain. For instance, if I’m playing 9-spots, catching 8-of-9 is rare (with payouts of 4,700-for-one), but I can usually hit 7-of-9 (at about 300-for-one) to keep my interest up.
Well, I hope that answers a few questions. I would just like to add, about the reference to money spent, you have to be able to play within your means. If you only have a $20 bill, you can play nickel keno, or even 2¢ Multi Card Keno. If you have $100, you can play Four Card Keno in the nickel and dime denominations, or regular quarter keno (one card keno).
Money management is always the key to gambling, and I’ll try to explore this issue further in a future column.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: LJ Zahm
Watch every Tuesday for a brand new Cluster Keno article.