There are several good keno calculators available online. I like the keno calculators at the excellent website wizardofodds.com written by UNLV professor and gaming expert Michael Shackleford. He really knows his games of chance and was one of my professors in grad school.
If you go to keno and then scroll down to calculators it is there and easy to use. The only effort is, if the ticket being evaluated is not a dollar ticket, you have to pro-rate the entries up or down when entering the pays for the various number of spots you hit.
Keep in mind that while knowing the percentages is useful, often you just care about what you can win, especially when the progressive is high and you want to hit it before someone else does and the possible win drops substantially.
As of late last week, there are some 10 progressives that continue to rise until hit. Xpertx, the owner of the system for MegaKeno, puts 12 percent of the money played in to the progressives. Very generous indeed! Currently the 10-spot is approaching $2.5 million. The 9-spot is at $52,268 and the 8 is at $96,564, (The 8-spot is higher than the 9 as it was hit, then hit again five games later, thus the main meter and the backup that became the main were hit.) The 7-spot is at $21,344, the 6 at $3,485, and the 5 at $1,390. Current amounts of the progressives are available at MegaKeno.com.
To figure the odds we take 2/3 of the pays for each hit as the ticket costs $1.50. Two-thirds of $1.50 is $1. Thus, we get a return of about 54 percent. This may seem like a poor return but keep in mind if you do not hit it someone else will and it will reset at $1 million. Of course, play only with money you can afford to lose.
Now since the 8 is paying almost twice as much as the 9, for a good ticket on the 8 until the progressive gets up there, play the 65-cent rate at El Cortez where a solid 9 pays $50,000. The 8 calculation comes to a return of 77 percent, a really good play especially if you figure in comps and casino offers. Recall that in previous columns playing strategies are discussed to hit and play more than one progressive on the same ticket.
The 7-spot comes in at a current return of 72 percent. Using the same methodology, you can calculate the 6 and 5-spots but it would be highly unlikely these will not be hit before Tuesday. Shackleford discusses all about keno games, even mentioning the new U1 that are out at El Cortez.
Good luck. You could be the one who hits 10 of 10 or at least 8 of 8. OK, 7 of 7 and that’s my suggestion!