Keno has advantages as a unique casino game

March 01, 2016 3:00 AM


Keno BettingMany people get disappointed with keno because it takes them too long to win, or so they think. They claim in other games they win faster.

What they do not realize is keno moves very slow. You can play 1,000 hands of video poker in an hour and win  three or four big hands. But in keno you play 10 games in that hour, thus it takes about 100 hours of play to get the same number of chances as one hour of video poker.

Patience is a must, but isn’t it nice you are not spending $1.25 every six seconds so your money lasts longer due the slow and relaxing game speed. Another person cannot play “faster” and have a better chance at a progressive as the game is called only every 6 to 10 minutes, giving everyone an equal opportunity to win.

With the above in mind let’s play some leisurely keno such as the 4-3-2-1, very valuable for playing all possible number of spots on a way ticket. The 4-3-2-1 gives you a 10 spot, the 4-3-2 gives you a 9, the 4-3-1 an 8. There are two possible 7 spots, a 4-3 and a 4-2-1.

There are also two possible 6 spots, the 4-2, and the 3-2-1. Likewise with the 5 spots you have 4-1, and 3-2. You have two possible 4 spots, the group of 4 itself and the 3-1. For the 3 spots you have the group of 3 and the 2-1. For 2 spots just the deuce itself, and for the one spot, the King, you have just his majesty, Keno the First.

This gives you 15 total ways, which is all the possible ones – you can play a grouping of 4-3-2-1 as 2 to the 4th - 1 = 15. (To calculate number of total ways take 2 to the power of the number of groups and subtract one from the total.)

The above is similar to roulette in that you are trying to get at a number(s) all possible ways. Roulette has its straight up, 2 number bets, 3, 4, streets, etc. Keno has its groups to make way tickets.

The above is also a good way to go for multi-progressives at once. In MegaKeno you have progressives from 5 through 10 spots. Play the 4-3-2-1 for Mega 10, the 4-3-2 for the 9 spot progressive, the 4-3-1 for the 8, the two possible 7s for the 7 spot (4-3 and 4-2-1), the two possible 6s (4-2 and 3-2-1) to chase the 6 spot and finally the two possible 5s (4-1 and 3-2) to chase the 5 spot.

The cost is $13.50 as Mega10 and MegaKeno require $1.50 per ticket (per way in this case, actually the same thing in reality, as remember a way ticket is just playing multiple straight tickets on the same ticket).

As info, the two best pay tables for Mega10 and Megakeno in Las Vegas are found at the El Cortez and Excalibur respectively. Think of them as the E-ticket casinos since they start with the letter E.

Go directly to your nearest favorite ticket counter, pass go, collect the $200 and wager on keno tickets to the level you can afford to lose. Playing for keno winnings is better than quatloos (Do you know who bet on quatloos? Hint, go to Triskelion to find out.)

Remember, you can play keno all over Nevada and other legal gaming destinations and in many state lotteries. Hopefully, Quark will also open a keno game on DS-9 in addition to his Dabo game. Best of luck to 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. Email: