Five-spot is easiest path to decent pot
Over the last few years I’ve implored you to resist playing any tickets with less than 5-spots. This includes the time honored practice of playing deuces on your tickets. DON’T DO IT! In my opinion, (and I think I’ve adequately proved my case) you are just burning your money if you do so. That being said and understood, what should you play? Five-spots, of course!
Five-spots are my favorite keno ticket to play. That being said, I also have to say that I have no problem with playing any ticket of 5-spots or more, all the way up to a 20-spot. Keno-wise, there’s nothing wrong with any of these tickets, and I do play any or all of them sometimes myself. It’s just that I prefer to play fives, for the reasons enumerated below.
As I have said before, keno is a long odds game, and the 5-spot is the smallest number ticket that really pays enough to make it worthwhile to play. (Fours, threes, twos and ones just don’t pay enough to overcome the house vig.) More, when you hit a 5-spot, it can really make a small difference in your life. True, it won’t buy a new car, but it might make a down payment. It might buy you that new stereo you’ve been wanting, or buy a few airline tickets towards your next vacation. In contrast, if you hit a 3-spot, it’ll pay for a few drinks for the night. Or, if you hit a 4-spot, it might pay for dinner and drinks. Which is fine, but not enough to make an impact.
When you step up a spot in keno, for instance by changing from a 4-spot to a 5-spot, or from a 5-spot to a 6-spot, it is as a rough rule of thumb, five or six times as hard to hit your new ticket as it was your old one. But take a look at the pay tables. A 5-spot pays 7 times what a 4-spot does, while a 6-spot pays less than double what a 5-spot does. This means in real terms that a 5-spot gives you a lot more bang for your buck.
This is the real charm of a 5-spot. As far as regular keno pay rates, the 5-spot pays back a much higher percentage of its total payback on the solid hit than any other ticket. For this reason, when you play 5-spots you are much more likely to walk out of the casino a winner than when playing any other ticket. (The 5-spot is generally a great ticket to play in keno tournaments also, but that’s a topic for the future.)
If all this is true, why aren’t 5-spots more popular? It’s just a fact that even number tickets are by far more popular. Fours, sixes, eights and tens make up the vast majority of tickets played. This is probably because a lot of players like to put deuces on their tickets, or play ways, and even number tickets are easier to split up for these purposes.
Of course, there is a downside to playing 5-spots. Because most of the money is paid back on the top end, smaller winners and pushes are few and far between. Therefore, playing a 5-pot is riskier for the keno player. Although you have more chance of walking out of the casino a winner, you also have a higher chance of going broke. With the 5-spot, there’s not much in between.
But I play keno to win, and win big. That’s the way the game is designed, so I play 5-spots most often.
That’s it for this week, Good Luck!, I’ll see you in line!
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