Chasing a keno progressive is not easy

June 23, 2015 3:00 AM


Chasing a keno progressive is not easyChasing a progressive is not easy. Let’s say you are at The Atlantis and the 7-spot progressive is unusually high. (This actually happened not too long ago where it was approaching $200,000.)

You feel their progressives are really high enough, want to concentrate on the 7-spot and funnel all your efforts toward that end.

It is a relatively simple way ticket problem. Since 7 is an odd number you will need an odd number of spots in at least one of the groups.

A popular example is playing groups of 4 and 3. For example you play a ticket of 4-4-3-3 at $1.50 a way (required for the progressive). This would give you four possible 7-spot tickets by combining a group of 4 and a group of 3. The total ticket cost is $6.

Adding another 3-spot group to the mix gives you a ticket of 4-4-3-3-3 and now you have six possible 7-spots for a total ticket cost of $9. Also add a 4, giving you a 4-4-4-3-3-3 ticket and you have nine 7-spots for a total cost of $13.50.

Of course, there is the king ticket method discussed in earlier columns where you play 8 kings off the 7-spots. The ticket is grouped simply 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 and you would have eight 7s for a cost of $12. This way, instead of bucking 41,000:1 odds of hitting a 7, it’s about 6,600:1 on 7-of-8. There is no free lunch (unless you get a comp) as you have to pay for each way, which increases your chances.

If afraid you may hit another part of the ticket solid (ex: 6 on 4-4-3-3) but you just don’t want to spend another $1.50 because the 6-spot is not high enough, play 6 at the lowest rate the casino will allow. At least it’s a nice pay if you happen to hit the two groups of 3.

You will not get the 6-spot progressive this way, but if it is near the reset value the regular ticket may be a better buy while playing the 7 at the required progressive rate.

Perhaps the 6-spot is the progressive that is high. The same ideas work. Three groups of 3 make three 6-spots. Four groups of 3 make 6 and 5 make 10. Once you learn how way tickets work you will be an informed player and can have your best shot at the progressive.

If you don’t know how to calculate how many, you can ask the keno writers. It is simple combination math. If you have 5 groups of 3 and want 6 numbers (2 groups) you have 5C2 (The 5 and 2 are often sub-scripted for clarity) and to calculate you have 5, 2, 3 = 10 .The expression can be simplified to (5X4)/(2X1) = 10.

One nice thing about keno is you can play it with any weather outside. Whether the weather is good or bad it can be a hot game if your numbers come in. Good luck!

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