Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno tops in keno progressives

December 17, 2013 3:00 AM


Atlantis Casino Reno has a More to the Meter Progressive Jackpot Keno Las Vegas Casino Games Betting TipsMany casinos have progressives for some of their keno. The jackpot goes up until it is hit. But rarely is the amount of play that goes in to the progressive disclosed although it can usually be calculated if you have a good idea of how many tickets are being purchased for the game, and if the casino is making a contribution regardless of the play.

But one casino stands out. It has the fastest rising progressive with the increase amount out in the open for the public to see. In the “More to the Meter” progressive at The Atlantis in Reno 50 cents of each ticket purchased goes in to the progressive pot.

In order to play this progressive you play $2 for the 4- and 5-spots, and $1.50 for the 6- through 9-spots.

There are several figures of importance when playing it. First is the reset amount, which is where the progressive will be after it was just hit. The house percentage (PC) will be highest at this point, but you need not really be too concerned as if one progressive is near reset you probably have another one or more at a much higher value beyond the reset amount.

Please keep in mind that even if the progressive was hit The Atlantis has a lot of other good keno tickets to play until your desired game is at the level where you would like to give it a try.

The second figure is the amount where the progressive is likely to hit. This is merely the average amount for which it will be hit based on the average number of plays (based on the odds to one) of hitting that progressive’s number of spots SOLID (hitting all the numbers).

This does NOT mean that progressive is “due” to hit at one amount or another amount. The odds remain the same.

If the 7-spot is at $60,000, it will still be an average of 40,979 plays (the odds to 1) until it is hit, though it may not hit until it gets to $170,000 (it actually got that high a few weeks ago). Or it may hit three times in the next 24 hours. The odds remain the same; however, knowing the average hit will let you know if the progressive is “high” or “low.”

Lastly, there is a figure called the “break even” amount. This is where the house has no edge. When the progressive is lower than this amount the house has the edge, when it is above this amount the player has the edge.

Let’s use an example to clarify this point. The 4-spot progressive starts at $400. At this reset point the return to the player is 61.27%. The odds of a 4-of-4 are 323-to-1, thus on the average after 323 plays the progressive hits. With 50 cents of each play going in to the progressive we have 323/2 or a likely increase of $162.50, meaning an average hit at $400 + $162.50 = $562.50.

Since you are spending $2 per game, break even would be 323 plays (average number of plays to hit) costing and average of $646. Thus to get $646 from $400 would take $246/$.50 = 492 plays.

Since on the average it will take 323 plays to hit it, and 492 being less than twice that number, from time to time the progressive will rise above the break even point. At this time the player is the favorite. If he/she only plays when the progressive is above break even, in the long run a profit will be made.

But as anyone who has studied the Poison distribution will know, an event that happens once every 323 plays can often happen two or three times in that number of plays or not even at all in twice the number of plays.

So, if the progressive is NOT hit for twice the usual cycle (646 plays), it will now be at $400 + $646/2 = $723.

This is where over the long run if you play a progressive 4-spot here you will break even if it is at $653. Of course as it goes higher the amount favors the player. But keep in mind, the higher jackpot will attract more players, so if you wait until it gets super high you might miss out.

Keep in mind that if you use your slot card when playing you get double points for keno, meaning you get comps that much faster. The comps are not dependent on your luck, just on the amount of your play.

At The Atlantis 4-spot starts at $400, the 5-spot starts at $1,700 and the 6-spot starts at $3,500. The 7-spot starts at $15,000, the 8-spot starts at $48,000 and the 9-spot starts at $90,000.

The casino lets you see where your favorite progressive is at all times online by going to, clicking on casino, and then “keno.”

At 11:12 a.m. on Dec. 3, when I wrote this column, I checked the website and this is what I found: The 4-spot was at $400 (thus it was hit just the game before I looked it up), the 5-spot was at $2,073; the 6-spot, $4,719; the 7-spot, $16,286; the 8-spot, $77,450; and the 9-spot, $322,295.

An interesting thing about progressives is that as they start rising from play, they rise even faster as people start playing them more and more until they hit. When the progressive starts to run wild, as the 7-spot did a few weeks ago when it got to about $170,000, it is not uncommon for it to rise $100 or more per game as you might have 200 tickets or more written on a single game. By the way, break even on the 7-spot is $48,120, an incredible 299% return.

Here is an important note. When the progressive gets very high the keno writers have to work very hard, standing on their feet, serving one player after another, often with multiple tickets. If while in line you see one of them leave their station, please remember even keno writers have calls of nature.

Sue Chan at The Atlantis does an excellent job staffing her keno, but remember, some of the progressives, especially those with fewer spots, can rise to break even very quickly, and before you know it the staff can be overwhelmed. But be patient while in line. They will not start the next game until all tickets are purchased.

You can also play from their excellent buffet or Purple Parrot coffee shop through their keno runners. If you do hit a big payoff, please remember to tip the runners or keno writers as usually tips are the bulk of their earnings. If you have a decent win a tip is also in order.

Have proof of your social security number with you and hope you will have to show it, because if you do you have won at least $1,500. And keep a record of your wins and losses to give to your tax professional each year.

The beauty of keno is you need not be in the lounge to play. I enjoy playing very much while in their buffet or Purple Parrot restaurant. You can drop off your tickets, watch the boards in the casino to see how you are doing, the TV in your hotel room or online at Just make sure to mark your ticket “PRO” so it is paid at the progressive rate.

Keep in mind that all the progressives, except the 4-spot, pay for some of the lesser hits as well, which is money to keep you going until you hit the big one. You won’t find a better keno opportunity than “More to the Meter” progressive at The Atlantis. Best of luck to you!


Pesach Kremen is a former UNLV Masters Gaming student, has won and placed in multiple local keno tournaments, and has written several academic papers on Keno. You can reach him at

Like GamingToday on Facebook GamingToday on Facebook      and        Follow GamingToday on Twitter GamingToday on Twitter