In my last article I described the game of Caveman Keno, which is one of the most popular “bonus multiplier” versions of keno on the market today.
The game randomly marks three spots when the player starts each game (identified with a dinosaur egg) and it applies a multiplier to the payout of any winning combinations if either two or three of the “egg” spots happen to be drawn, identified by the egg hatching into a cute little baby dinosaur.
The random number generator (RNG) in the machine is responsible for both the choosing of the bonus multiplier spots at the beginning of the game and the drawing of the 20 numbers each game.
This means your chances of hitting one, two or all three of these spots during a game is the exact same as hitting one, two or three out of three on an ordinary keno game where you choose three spots.
Caveman Keno does not predetermine how many eggs get hatched each game as some people might believe. Rather each game is independent, random, and has the exact same chances of having a multiplier awarded as does the previously played game.
Since we know how many spots will be randomly marked at the beginning of the game (three) and we know 20 random numbers out of 80 will be drawn, we can figure out the odds of getting a multiplier on Caveman Keno. The math isn’t particularly easy, but knowing the actual odds is far more important than knowing how they’re derived anyway.
The Caveman Keno player will hit either zero or one egg spot and receive no multiplier nearly 85% of the time. Hatching two out of the three eggs for the lower 3X multiplier will happen slightly less than 14% of the time, leaving just over 1% (1.39%) of the games getting all three eggs hatched and receiving either an 8X or a 10X multiplier, depending on which Caveman Keno program is being used by the casino.
So with about 15% of the games qualifying for a multiplier of some sort, players have a real opportunity to cash in big on Caveman Keno if everything comes together in one good draw, and one good draw is all keno players need to cash out huge. Fortunately, Caveman Keno is found on just about every multi-game program IGT has made since the late 90’s, so it’s easy enough to find for players who like the game.
Another keno variation players might enjoy, which isn’t so easy to find, is a little-known game called Triple Diamond Keno. Also made by IGT, Triple Diamond Keno never really made it off the ground.
The game is only available on a very limited number of multi-game programs in use today because IGT basically gave up on it. Still, the game can be found in a handful of local bars, taverns and even a few small casinos using older game programs.
Triple Diamond Keno reveals between zero and three diamonds during the draw of each keno game. Nothing special happens unless all three diamonds appear, but when all three of them do appear in one game the player is awarded three times their original bet plus three free games, during which all payouts are tripled.
Note the wording here – three times the original bet is not the same as three times the payout on a winning combination. You don’t get triple the payout unless you hit a winning combination in one of the three bonus games, all of which use the same numbers as the initiating game.
Also, unlike Caveman Keno, the three diamond spots in Triple Diamond Keno are not randomly marked and then randomly uncovered during the keno draw. The diamonds are predetermined, and the game is set to award three diamonds only about 2% of the time.
The standard payouts in Triple Diamond Keno are a bit bigger than they are on Caveman Keno, up to 3,500-1 for seven out of seven or better. The maximum multiplier is smaller though, and the number of times you’ll find yourself getting a multiplier are fewer and further between.
Still, when you do get three diamonds, it’s a bit more exciting than Caveman Keno. Three free games at triple the payout definitely builds anticipation, particularly because the mid-level, mini-jackpot awards like five-out-of-five and six-out-of-six pay nearly the same as traditional keno does even before the multiplier. That can make for a real good payday when tripled.
Triple Diamond Keno is a strange game, providing players with more volatility than Caveman Keno while still offering substantial awards for non-multiplied jackpots. As a result, it provides a good change of pace for both the traditional keno player and the bonus-seeker.
No matter which type of keno player you are, Triple Diamond Keno is a game that deserves a play…if you’re lucky enough to find it somewhere.