Hey, you're missing out not playing in keno tournaments

June 24, 2014 3:09 AM


Hey, you're missing out! There have been many good recent keno opportunities, some to even play with an advantage such as the recent tournaments, which makes one wonder why the turnout was poor in some of these events. Those who were there had a chance to enjoy themselves and play with little risk while others missed an opportunity that may not be repeated due lack of interest.

One cannot expect the casinos to give the players the advantage because if the casino does not make a profit from a game your favorite game will disappear. Instead, one has to shop around for the best opportunities and seize them when they are available.

I played at the recent El Cortez tourney, which had a grand total of 11 participants, taking third and only missing second by about $4 in winnings. After adding the winnings, the free room, the exquisite banquet (dinner at the Flame from appetizer to dessert) and hotel facilities better than most (more TV channels, including free Showtime), single deck 3-to-2 blackjack, 10X odds on craps, it was a great time. Those of you who passed this opportunity by missed a good game as the El Cortez has tickets that return up to nearly 88%.

One thing is certain, if a game is not patronized it will fail and you will have to play at a game with a higher percentage against you. There are those who insist on having the best of it with every bet. Las Vegas was not designed to be a source of income to the visitor but a trade off in entertainment for the player in return for profits by the casino and employment for the workers providing you with the gaming and other entertainment. The best way to show you appreciate the better games is to play the better ones and avoid the poorer ones.

Now for some further opportunities: Check out MegaKeno and when it gets high enough to your liking head over to the Excalibur on the Strip or the El Cortez downtown to get the best pay tables. There are progressives for 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10-spots at $1.50 per ticket. Play a 4-3-2-1 and cover them all for $13.50, playing one 10, one 9, one 8, two 7’s, two 6’s and two 5’s, and you have covered all the progressives.

For added fun try the 95-cent Catch All at the Fremont, a 5-spot that starts at $1,000 and increases $25 a day until hit. For regular play, try the Island rate 5-spot at the California (82% return), the Pop 80 rate at Fremont (82% return for the 5-spot), the Truly Special rate at The D (86% return) or the $1.15 5-spot at El Cortez (87%-plus return).

Show the casinos you like their liberal pay tables and you will have low cost fun for years to come. Enter the tourneys and get the best of it.

Play way tickets for the most fun. The use of kings and deuces (groups of one and two) can give you all kinds of ways to win. Today’s suggestion: play a 3-3-1-1-1 at 40 cents a way (Pop 80 rate, Island rate, 40-cent rate, depending on casino). You will have one 9, three 8’s and three 7’s to go after the big money, plus you can play the possible 5s and 6s if you are looking for intermediate payoffs. As information there are three 6’s and six 5’s.

Play your way tickets for all kinds of fun, including the thrill of watching your numbers come up. For added fun play an all king ticket such as 8 kings (1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1), playing the 7’s and 8’s. Even if you do not hit all eight, hitting 7 you have a great payday with a SOLID 7, a 7-of-8 and seven 6-of-7’s.

When you play at a casino that offers a lot of rates and good services let management know you like their game. The wonderful thing about keno is you can enjoy yourself in the restaurant while you are playing, or even watch from the TV in your hotel room in most casinos with keno. Some even have online links for you to watch the game.

But most important – have a good attitude. The casino is there to provide you with a good time in return for a reasonable profit. Enjoy the rooms, the food and the games, knowing in many cases you are getting a great vacation value.

Have a ticket you want analyzed or advice on? Write me at the email at the end of this column. Until then go out and play with a winning attitude, and may fortune shine upon you, or as they say in a galaxy far, far, away, “May the Force be with 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 PesachKremen@GamingToday.com.

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