A few weeks ago we touted the new IGT keno game, Multi-Card Keno, which is also called 20-card keno because it allows players to bet up to 20 different keno cards on the same game.
Note the operative words are "up to." Despite what some uninformed floor creatures have told their video keno-playing patrons, you do not have to play all 20 cards. You can play one card, if you like. Don’t get suckered into betting all the cards.
At the time, only a handful of casinos in Las Vegas had the new game. But since then, the game’s popularity has spread, as well as its availability in other casinos.
Last week, I received a note asking for a simple playing strategy that might help new players get the most out of playing the exciting new game.
Okay, here are a few tips.
First, avoid the temptation to bet all 20 cards, or even to bet a majority of the cards.
I’ve found that when you’re playing 7-, 8-, 9- or 10-spot cards, you will only hit it big on one, two or maybe three of your cards.
That’s because ”” and I point this out repeatedly in my Cluster Keno book ”” keno numbers seem to fall in clusters, rather than spread themselves evenly across the keno board.
So, if you’re marking 20 cards and only cashing on two or three of them at a time, you will be losing at a fast rate, one that you might not be able to maintain for very long. Unless, of course, you have an unlimited bankroll!
So, I suggest playing no more than eight (8) cards. This way, you can feel comfortable covering a certain "zone" with your specific patterns.
Secondly, make an effort to "re-set" the numbers as much as possible. As anyone who’s followed this column knows, I have always stressed that winning seems to come with changing your numbers, even after three or four games.
As I’ve pointed out before, you don’t have to change your numbers, just clear them, re-bet and then re-mark the numbers. Since virtually all of the new Multi-Card Keno games are found on ticket-in, ticket-out machines, you can accomplish the same thing by cashing out, then immediately re-inserting the ticket and starting over.
Finally, try some of the cluster patterns that have worked well in the past. Only this time, instead of marking those patterns on a four-card game, put them on eight cards.
But, and I think this is key, put those eight patterns on the same zone as I might have used on four-card keno.
Some examples may help. I’ll use the 9-spot clusters, since this one seem to fare very well.
Like I had previously done, I used two overlapping 9-spots on two rows that piggyback each other, such as the 40s and 50s row (see illustration.)
These patterns would account for four cards. For the other four cards, I also marked two 9-spots on each row, using the first five numbers with the last four, and the first four with the last five (see the illustration).
This seemed to work very effectively. I found that you seldom caught a 6-of-9 without catching two or three of them at once ”¦ ditto for the 7-of-9.
And, like I noted before, when you catch 8-of-9, it’s very likely you’ll catch a second one, plus at least two 7-of-9s as well.
(L.J. Zahm is the author of "Cluster Keno: Using the Zone Method to Win at Video Poker." For a copy, send $19.95 to Cluster Keno, P.O. Box 46303, Las Vegas, NV 89114)