Keno switch

September 28, 2010 7:05 AM


The game might even cooperate

We received a nice note from a reader in Las Vegas, who has some interesting observations and experiences playing video keno. But first, I have a few comments about the five-spot clusters we discussed last week while playing 20-card keno.

If you missed the article, I noted that I have had moderate success using a pattern submitted by a keno player, who marks six 5-spots under the outside six numbers of the top row (1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10).

I noted that nearly every time I played the pattern, I would catch at least one and sometimes two 5-spot awards, but had never had all six numbers fill in, which would produce six solid 5-spots.

Well, this past weekend, I used that pattern in conjunction with another pattern that a player here in Las Vegas won with several weeks ago.

In fact, I caught a picture of that cluster, which featured 10 5-spots, six 6-spots and four 7-spots – all marked under the eight numbers of a column. The reason I took the picture was the machine dropped all eight numbers into the column, giving the player a maximum payout on every pattern.

What I did was mark the first pattern (six 5-spots) within the second pattern (a column of eight numbers) and lo and behold, the machine filled in six numbers – all into the first pattern, resulting in six 5-spot awards plus, one solid 6-spot, a couple of 6-of-7 awards plus several other minor awards.

In the few times I’ve tried that cluster again, the machine has dropped six numbers into the column, resulting in several 5-spot and 6-spot awards.

This result was somewhat surprising to me because it’s been my experience that marking all 20-cards in an 8-number pattern seems to cause the machine to stop dropping numbers into the pattern.

Of course, up to now, most of the patterns have included marking eight 7-spots in a column, so maybe the machine is more "forgiving" when you’re marking 5- and 6-spot patterns. I’d be interested to hear of similar experiences with other players.

Now, here’s the note from Lou in Las Vegas, who frequently plays video keno at the lovely Red Rock Casino.

"I have mixed feelings concerning the frequency of keno hits on video keno. I have noticed the RNG (Random Number Generator) will vary from day to day as far as hitting or filling patterns. I was very skeptical on using clusters but recently hit 8-of-8 two weeks in a row. The pattern I used was one you recommended. Card A had the 1, 11, 21, 31 and 2, 12, 22 and 32. A mirror image was marked on Card B using the bottom eight numbers. Card C had 1, 11, 21, 31 and 42, 52, 62, 72 with the opposite eight numbers marked on Card D. I pick seven numbers on both cards E and F. What surprised me is that the same eight numbers came up (column C) on both hits.

"When you think about it, you are selecting two columns of numbers or 16 numbers out of 80. If the RNG is truly random, there are 64 numbers outside your cluster that are available. To have eight or even seven numbers hit your cluster is difficult to achieve.

"Something else I have noticed is a machine may have a tendency to populate a certain area of the card. I make it a habit to observe the hits and if they tend to be scattered over the entire 80 numbers, I will try another machine.

"The two hits I was fortunate to get I noticed the RNG was giving me frequent 6-of-8 and 6-of-7 hits prior to the 8-of-8. As I always tell my wife, timing is everything … playing the right cluster/numbers at the right time on the right machine. As frustrating as it can be, we still enjoy the challenge."

Yes, Lou, we certainly enjoy the challenge.

I especially agree with your observation about the numbers coming and going in waves. And that’s what playing patterns requires.

And it usually happens a few times over the course of a session – all of a sudden a whole boatload of numbers will land in and around you.

Hopefully, they cooperate and fall into the ones you’ve marked.