OK to settle for lesser keno progressives

January 26, 2016 3:00 AM


I strongly suggest, unless you have a very large bankroll, that you settle for the lesser progressives such as the lower number of spots on MegaKeno or the Station Casinos $1 Jumbo progressive for 6 through 9 spots.Many of you want the big progressive hits, but rarely have the bankroll to make a legitimate try to catch the progressive as usually the odds are very high and your bankroll will run out before it is caught.


I strongly suggest, unless you have a very large bankroll, that you settle for the lesser progressives such as the lower number of spots on MegaKeno or the Station Casinos $1 Jumbo progressive for 6 through 9 spots. If the progressive has small pays as well this can keep you going until you hit the big one. Both MegaKeno and Station Casinos Jumbo Progressive offer 6 to 9 spots in their progressive selections, thus the strategy shown here will work on either game.

If you can handle $10-$15 a game you have a reasonable shot at trying to tackle the progressive. For simplicity we will use the Station Casinos progressive as their progressive is $1 per ticket. If playing MegaKeno multiply the ticket cost by 1.5 as their progressive is $1.50 per ticket. One is not necessarily better than the other, the best strategy is to play the one with the highest return at the time. You can play all of them at once as we have discussed in prior columns concerning progressive tickets.

While we have discussed a ticket of 6-2-1 for $4 that would cover the 6-, 7-, 8-, and 9-spot progressive, you would have to hit a solid 6 by hitting the group of 6 to catch the 6-spot progressive, the 6 group and the king to hit the 7, the 6 group and the deuce to catch the 8, and everything to catch the 9. The nice thing about this arrangement is you only pay $4 per ticket, making your bankroll last longer.

In addition, even if you don’t hit the numbers in the right way (such as hitting 6 but not all in the 6 group) you still have a partial pay to keep you going such as 6-out-of-9, 6-out-of-8, etc. Should you hit 7 you might hit both a solid 6 and a solid 7. If you play the 6 group and and the king or scatter your seven numbers you still have a 7-out-of-9 and some other small pays as well.

Of course we all want to make it easier but, as we all know, increased ways means increased ticket costs. If you play a 2-2-2-1-1-1 you have a 9, three 8s, six 7s, and ten 6s, but now your ticket costs $20 a game.

Well, you say, you can handle more than $4 but not $20; try grouping 3-3-1-1-1, giving you one 9, three 8s, three 7s, and three 6s for $10 per ticket.

Just remember to keep within your bankroll to last until you get that big hit, although do remember the odds of hitting the progressive do not change based on what has happened in the past. The only thing that changes is the amount of the progressive, which continues to rise until it is hit, hopefully by you.

If you are playing the above kind of action you should be easily able to qualify for good comps, thus make sure to give in your slot card or tracking number with every ticket purchase and make sure this number shows on the tickets you play.

If someone else hits the progressive, it is not the end of the world, the world will still circle the sun once every 365.25 days. Take some time off, relax, have a good meal (very easy to do in almost all casinos) and if you still want to be in on the action look for some of their good regular or other non-progressive special rate tickets that offer a return you like.

You do not have to play all the ways mentioned above either. Let’s say the 6-spot progressive was just hit and you do not feel the reset value is worth your money, thus play just the 7s, 8s, and 9s.

You may hit the solid 6 and not get the progressive reset pay, but you would still have 6-of-7, 8, or 9 depending on how you hit the 6 thus you still win, just not as much, but you are not risking as much either on your tickets.

The 2-2-2-1-1-1 played at $1 a way for 7s and up now only costs $10.

The video keno machines have progressives as well but play slowly as you can lose a lot due to the games being every few seconds as opposed to every few minutes in live keno.

Take your time, watch the numbers come up, and relax, it is not a speed contest with the player next to you unless the progressive is abnormally high and everyone is rushing to hit it.

Look at keno play as an enjoyable recreation that can be fun and profitable at times but never as a substitute for your day job or night job (some of us work nights). It is fun, never make it a chore!

Please feel to write in to the email address at the bottom of this column with any requests as what you might like covered in a future column.

Meanwhile, enjoy your keno game, do not spill your drinks on your ticket (the keno writers to not like wet tickets, believe me), show courtesy to the writers and refrain from smoking in their presence and in the presence of others in the keno lounge.

Usually they are quite courteous so return the favor and show appreciation in the form of a tip if you have a decent winner. Keno is fun, let’s keep it that way. Go out and hit a big winner. It is fun, believe me!

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. Email: PesachKremen@GamingToday.com