Keno shocker

October 05, 2010 7:06 AM


In recent years, we’ve seen our 20-card keno pay tables cut back – for no other reason than apparent greed on the part of the casinos.

But, we’ve been able to live with the cutbacks, for the simple reason that, for the most part, they left our most attainable jackpots intact.

Read more Cluster Keno articles here.

For instance, with a 7-spot card, most machines have dropped the 6-of-7 award from 400-1 to 335-1, but you will still get 7000-1 for catching a solid 7-spot.

The same could be said for the 9-spots, which saw its 7-of-9 payoffs cut from 335-1 to 300-1, but the very attainable 8-of-8 jackpot remains at a cool 4700-1.

As I noted, these cutbacks – while unpleasant – aren’t enough to deter playing Multi-Card Keno.

But, last week, I saw a 20-card keno table that takes casino greed to new depths.

This table – which was found on a machine in a popular locals casino (not named Station) – actually resembled one of those "bonus keno" pay tables, such as Cleopatra Keno and Power Ball Keno, in which all the payoff amounts are cut back severely.

Supposedly, if you hit something in a bonus round, they can make up for the drop-off in the pay tables, but I’ve never been able to make it up.

In any case these 20-card pay tables came as a real shock, especially since this casino is one in which I hit something like 12 or 14 big jackpots over the course of a month – all of which included 7-out-of-7 jackpots with nickels. That was years ago, but I can’t image why they decided to sink this low.

I’ve included a photo of the paytable, so you can see for yourself how bad the payoffs are. For instance, not only did they further cut the 6-of-7 award to 275-1, they butchered the 7-of-7 jackpot to 2500-1.

If you like to play 8-spots, this pay table will make you nauseous. The 6-of-8 award, which you need to keep your credits up, has been cut by more than half, from 98 credits to 40 credits.

And the real prize, 7-of-8, has had its payoff eviscerated from about 1500-1 to a meager 500-1.

Please note that the only way this casino can get a pay table like this approved by regulators is by making up the drop-offs in other areas.

And, if you take a look at the accompanying pay table, you’ll notice that each configuration has added one credit for hitting zero.

This was enough to ensure that the machine met gaming regulations. But barely.

Besides, what a pathetic maneuver for a casino operator like this one. I can just imaging a pin-headed, geek accountant all smiles because he came up with the notion of giving one credit for hitting zero numbers, which is enough to ensure the machines return the statewide minimum of 75 percent.

Nonetheless, this pay table isn’t playable, and it needs to be replaced with something realistic. These casinos might find they will make more money if they put out a fair product, rather than a clever rip-off like this one.