# Horse Race pick 10 base for 71-way card

May 9, 2011 6:40 PM

In the beginning, there was the 10-spot.

The 10-spot ticket was the only ticket played in the traditional Chinese games, and for years this practice held in the Caucasian games as well. When keno came to Nevada, and assumed the guise of Horse Race Keno (a ploy to distinguish it from lotteries that were illegal at the time), a typical pay table might have looked like this:

Pick 10 Horses

• If 5 of your horses are chosen, pays 2 for 1

• If 6 of your horses are chosen, pays 18 for 1

• If 7 of your horses are chosen, pays 142 for 1

• If 8 of your horses are chosen, pays 800 for 1

• If 9 of your horses are chosen, pays 1600 for 1

• If 10 of your horses are chosen, pays 10,000 for 1

These pay rates seem meager by modern standards, but it must be remembered that a new car could be purchased for \$500 to \$600 in the 1930’s and 1940’s when these tables were current.

The early operators of the keno games were not mathematical sophisticates; they did not know the actual odds against each particular catch on the 10-spot, but they did know the traditional odds produced a profit for the game.

They did not possess computers, nor have access to university mathematics departments, nor did they even have the pocket electronic calculators so common today. They were however, clever and resourceful.

Given a 10-spot pay table that was known to produce a profit, the idea arose that other tickets might be produced using the 10-spot rates as a base.

The 9-spot ticket was first conceived as a 71-way 10-spot, with the nine numbers constituting a field. The remaining 71 numbers were considered to be kings.

Thus, the possible hits on this ticket were:

Field of 9 71 Kings Catch

9 11 11 10/10, 60 9/10

8 12 12 9/10, 59 8/10

7 13 13 8/10, 58 7/10

6 14 14 7/10, 57 6/10

5 15 15 6/10, 56 5/10

4 16 16 5/10, 55 4/10

3 17 17 4/10, 54 3/10

2 18 18 3/10, 53 2/10

1 19 19 2/10, 52 1/10

0 20 20 1/10, 51 0/10

Thus was born one of the most popular tickets of all time, the 40¢ nine. Note that by prorating the 10-spot, this produces a catch of 16 five-out-of-10’s on a catch of four-out-of-nine. At a penny per way on a 71-way-10, this is a pay of 32¢.

When prorated to a 40¢ nine, the payout becomes a little over 18¢, which the operators rounded to 20¢. Similar prorated figures were carried out to produce the other payouts on the 40¢ 9-spot, which are printed below:

CATCH PAYS

4/9 \$0.20

5/9 \$2.00

6/9 \$18.00

7/9 \$112.00

8/9 \$1,100.00

9/9 \$7,500.00

Well, that’s it for this week! Good luck, I’ll see you on the net at [email protected]