The California’s keno a great downtown Las Vegas venue

February 16, 2016 3:08 AM


The California’s keno game, another good downtown venue. They have four tournaments a year for regular players with four comped nights, meal coupon books, a small gift and $10,000 in prizes.This week’s column will be based on The California’s keno game, another good downtown venue with probably the best keno manager in town, Carolyn Bankston.

The distinguishing feature of The Cal’s pay book is that even their regular rate has a decent return. There 7 out of 7 pays $16,000 on their regular rate. They offer the Island Rate at 80 cents as well. You can play ways for 10 cents with 100 ways or more, 25 cents with 10 ways or more, and 50 cents on a straight ticket, thus low level players are quite welcome.

They have four tournaments a year for regular players with four comped nights, meal coupon books, a small gift and $10,000 in prizes. The writers are helpful and their keno knowledge is a lot more than just the ability to enter ticket info into a computer. They are generous with comps for regular players as well.

The Cal is easy to reach with six bus routes going close to the hotel. They have a weather-free bridge to the Main Street Station’s excellent buffet and 7-7-7 Brewpub as well. Thus if want to go to the buffet while playing you can cross that bridge when you come to it. I crossed that bridge in 2004 and came back $16K richer during a tourney that summer. Now that we have arrived let’s play!

A Starter Fun Ticket is $2.50 a game. Group your ticket 2-2-1-1 and play the 3’s through 6’s, giving you a 6, two 5s, three 4s, and four 3s at 25 cents a way for a total of $2.50. Play 21 games for $52.50 and enjoy yourself for an hour or two while your numbers come up.

Go for something bigger with a ticket marked 2-2-1-1-1-1, a real powerhouse playing 5s and up. You have twelve 5s, eight 6s, four 7s and an 8. They will usually allow you to play this ticket at 20 cents a way at The Island Rate for $5. Played at a quarter a way at the regular rate it will cost you $6.25. Many games you will get something back with an excellent chance for a moderate or better hit with all the numbers and ways you have in action.

If you get that moderate win you can go for an all king ticket of 8 kings at $1 and the 8 sevens at 50 cents way for a total cost of $5.

If you lose go back to the 2-2-1-1-1-1 ticket and try again to work your way up with a moderate win. If you win, I am sure you will not need my help anymore.

The above method of trying at first for smaller wins and working your way up will not change the odds in any way. It just conserves your playing time by not betting above a level you cannot afford. With this level of play a few hours a day you should qualify for some comps to enjoy the many fine restaurants at The Cal and Main Street.

The keno lounge is very close to the East Tower elevators and you can watch the results of the games on the TV in your room. I refer to this as The Keno Tower.

While there ask about the tourneys as they are a terrific value, perhaps the best in Vegas. The $500 buy-in gets you four free nights, meal coupon books, a prize fund (if you win) in addition to your ticket wins, and a small gift. Have fun!

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: