Downtown Vegas keno offers lots of fun for a low price

July 01, 2014 3:09 AM


Downtown best for 40- to 80-cent rates

Four of the five downtown casinos that offer keno have a 40-cent or 80-cent rate that divides perfectly for all kinds of fun “way” tickets at very low cost. It is called (From north to south) “Island” rate at California, “Pop 80” rate at Fremont, “Deano” rate at The D and 40-cent rate at El Cortez.

You can play 80-cent, 40-cent, and even 20-cent ways, if you play enough ways or ticket minimum per the individual hotel.

For those looking for large, high-end payouts, even at 20 cents a way, try this: Group a $6 ticket as 2-2-2-1-1-1-1. Play for 7s and up. You have one 10, four 9s, nine 8s and sixteen 7s, 30 ways in total. At 20 cents per way your ticket will cost $6.

You will miss the $500 for a SOLID 6 and the $200 for a SOLID 5, but if you are patient you might win $3,500 for a SOLID 7, $4,000 for a SOLID 8, $4,500 for a SOLID 9 or $12,500 for a SOLID 10 per each way that hits SOLID.

But the power of this ticket is, if you catch most of your numbers, you will have more than one large SOLID hit. For example, say you catch 2-2-2-0-1-1-0. Not only do you have a SOLID 8, but two SOLID 7s as well.

Playing kings (groups of one) and deuces (groups of two) give you a very powerful ticket. You also have a plethora of smaller pays such as 8-of-10, two 8-of-9, four 7-of-8 and more. You may have long periods of hitting just 4, 5 or 6 numbers but when you hit 7 or 8 the right way (hitting the numbers in such a way as to have a SOLID hit) you will be ecstatic.

Even if you hit the numbers the “wrong” way you are far from going home broke. Let’s say you hit your eight numbers 2-1-1-1-1-1-1. You still have your 8-of-10 ($250), four 7-of-9 (wow, a Borg Invasion!), paying $50 each, two 7-of-8 ($300 each) and loads of smaller pays.

While playing all of these games check out the 99 percent-plus return (with proper play) video poker that all four of these casinos offer on some of their machines. The food at all these places is excellent, as well.

The whole beauty of a 40- or 80-cent rate that can be played at 20 cents a way and still bring in very attractive payoffs is something rarely found outside of downtown Las Vegas. Even if you are staying on the Strip you have the excellent CAT bus system via The Deuce or the SDX to get you downtown. Once downtown you can easily walk from one casino to another, no need worry about parking or valet. As far as I’m concerned, Vegas keno is at its best downtown

By the way, if you hit a big one, feel free to scan and email me a copy of the winning ticket to the address at the end of the column. Let me know if you do or do not want your name mentioned in a column as a big winner. Also, please include the pays appropriate to the rate you played on your winning ticket.

Let me know how the above ticket works out for you, and may you be in the keno lounge PLAYING when your numbers 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

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