The Cal's Carolyn can guide us to great keno

The Cal's Carolyn can guide us to great keno

May 24, 2018 10:19 AM


The Mega10 Megakeno 10-spot progressive is approaching $2.4 million. The Megakeno 9-spot progressive is approaching $305,000.

Wager $1.50 to win at casinos offering the Megakeno Progressive. The three in Las Vegas that have the better Megakeno paytables are the Excalibur (Strip), Plaza (downtown), and El Cortez (downtown).

For those of us who like lower level play let’s head down to The California, which runs a 24/7 game under the exceptional guidance of Carolyn Bankston. 

The Cal and Fremont have an excellent regular rate with high-end payouts and a good rate of return as well, averaging around 75%.

Playing at a quarter a way you only need to play 10 ways, thus the lower level player is well accommodated at The Cal. They also have the Island Rate with an excellent return for 80 cents a game and ways of 40 cents generally permitted. For our column we will use the regular rate and build way tickets for fun and a good chance to walk away a winner.

For those of you looking for frequent winners and willing to wait another day for the huge win, try a ticket grouped as 2-2-1-1, playing the four 3s, the three 4s, the two 5s, and the single 6. Thus, for spending $2.50 a game you have 10 ways working for you.

On catch three or more numbers and you will have a return on your “investment,” sometimes part of your wager, sometimes more. If you get the 3 by catching a deuce (group of two), and a king (group of one) you will have a solid 3 paying $11 and a few smaller pays. Get 4 solid by catching 2-2 or even 2-1-1 at $50 and you will also have caught two solid 3s at $11 each adding another $22 to your win.

Of course, you will have some smaller wins. If you get five numbers solid, 2-2-1-0 for example, you will also have caught a solid 4 as well as two solid 3s for a win of $20 (5/6), a win of $50 (4/4), two wins of $11 (3/3) totaling $92, plus a bunch of smaller pays. Hit everything and you have a solid 6 paying $500, two solid 5s paying $250 each, three solid 4s paying $50 each, and four solid 3s paying $11 each for a total of $1,194. Not bad at 25 cents a way for a $2.50 ticket.

If you want to go for the big money try playing eight kings for $1 and the eight 7s for 50 cents each for a total ticket price of $5. You will be paid on hits of 4 out of 8 or more. If you hit 5 out of 8 you will win $6 for the 5 out of 8 (played at $1 for this way), and $7.50 each for the three  5 out of 7s for a grand total of $28.50. 

The beauty of all king tickets is it makes no difference which numbers you hit, just how many. There is no wrong way to hit the numbers.

Hit 6 of the 8 numbers to win $60 for the 6 out of 8, $100 for each of the two 6 out of 7s, and $3 each for the remaining six 5 out of 8s for a total of $278.

Now for the first of two large wins. Hit 7 out of 8 (I did this in 2004 with this exact type of ticket, No. 59 was the coward who no-showed) and you win $1,500 for the 7 out of 8, $8,000 for the solid 7, and $100 each for the seven 6 out of 7s for a total of $10,200. It was a great day for me, hitting $16K all told. 

I didn’t even see the game as I was at the excellent Main Street Station buffet having lunch when the ticket ran.

Now if No. 59 had come up I would have had a solid 8 for $30,000 and 8 solid 7s at $8,000 each (8 at $1, sevens at 50 cents a way) totaling $94,000. As you can see, one number made a difference of $83,800!

Go for it downtown.