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Look to Oregon for top keno lottery deals

Feb 18, 2014 3:00 AM

The people and visitors to the State of Oregon, hence, Oregonians (not to be confused with Organians, bonus honorable mention to those who know the difference between an Oregonian and an Organian) have great lottery keno with returns up to 65%-plus, excellent for a state lottery and comparable to most Las Vegas Strip returns.

They have two main keno pay tables – the Regular and the Special. The Special keno pay table pays more for high-end solid hits and less for minimal hits.

As with most state lottery keno, there are no way tickets so if you want to play “ways” you need write a separate ticket (play slip) for each way. The ticket prices are $1 per game, $2 per game if you take the multiplier option. It is a random number game.

The state also takes 3.1% of ticket revenues from all tickets (not including the extra dollar for the multiplier option) and distributes this as an additional pay for 6-of-6, 7-of-7, and 8-of-8. Look at it as a progressive. If more than one person hits the 6-of-6, 7-of-7, or 8-of-8 in a particular draw, the bonus money is split evenly on a proportional basis to their ticket price.

Oregon offers tickets for $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $10, $20. Thus, if player Alpha hits a 6-of-6 and bets $1, and player Bravo also hits a 6-of-6 but he or she has a $2 ticket, then player Bravo would get 2/3 of the bonus payout for a 6-of-6, with player Alpha getting the other third.

The most interesting option is the multiplier option. For an extra $1 per ticket per $1 played he buys in to a multiplier of his winnings. As the multiplier is based on a RNG (random number generator) the multiplier is set up to have probabilities as follows:

Multiplier of 1 averages 45%, multiplier of 2 averages 28.3%, multiplier of 3 averages 16.0%, multiplier of 5 averages 9.7%, and multiplier of 10 averages 1.0%.

If you do a weighted average you will find the multiplier is even better than the odds at craps as for every $200 played you get back $208.10. You should always play with the multiplier. This, in effect, lowers the overall “house” edge significantly.

If you go to the website you can download a PDF that explains everything about their game.

They offer tickets of one to ten spots. Maximum total ticket price, including the multiplier, is $100. Minimum ticket price is $1 (single game, no multiplier purchased).

I would play the 6, 7, or 8-spot with the multiplier for the greatest returns due to the bonus jackpot features with the 6, 7 and 8-spot tickets.

As an example of their 6, 7, 8-spot tickets here are the pays before figuring in the multiplier or jackpot bonus. (Being that we usually like the bigger hits, we will show the special rate payouts here.)

For the 6-spot 4-of-6 pays $2, then 5-of-6 pays $90, and 6-of-6 pays $2,500 plus the bonus. For the 7-spot 4-of-7 pays $1 and they pay $20 for 5-of-7, $330 for 6-of-7 and $7,500 plus the bonus for 7-of-7.

For the 8-spot special rate 5-of-8 pays $5, 6-of-8 pays $75, 7-of-8 pays $1,750 and a SOLID 8 pays $25,000 plus the bonus.

Those of you who want to play “way” tickets need to realize a separate ticket (play slip) is required for each way at the $1 minimum before adding the multiplier for each way (suggested due to the favorable multiplier return).

Tickets to consider that give you a good chance with 6, 7 and 8-spots could be grouped 2-2-2-1-1, giving you seven total play slips at $2 each (with multiplier option selected). You will have four 6’s, two 7’s and one 8. Total cost would be $14.

Since tickets are being played all over the state you have to wait until the game is drawn to determine how many winners you would share the bonus with, but 3.1% of all tickets sold (excluding amount paid for multiplier) is a very generous progressive, dividing out to about 1% of sales for the 6, 7 and 8-spots respectively.

Check out Oregon Keno next time you are in the area. Your numbers might just come up!

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 [email protected].

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