A $64,000 keno binge!

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One of the most frequently asked questions from players is how much money
they can win playing video keno. Of course, that’s like asking how much money
you can make selling Mary Kay cosmetics: it depends on how much people are
willing to buy.

There’s no way anyone – unless
they’re totally irresponsible – can predict you will win any specific amount
of money gambling. If they do, start walking the other way because they have a
scam up their sleeves.

What you can win is totally dependent
upon how much money you are willing to risk, how dedicated you are to playing
within sound betting strategy, and, of course, how lucky you are!

But if I were forced to answer the
$64,000 Question, then I would say without hesitation the amount would be

The amount, $64,000, is not a
frivolous one: That’s the amount of W-2 jackpots that I accumulated in the
course of one year, exactly 365 days. To be completely precise, the figure is

Actually, the amount won would be
higher because of all the non W-2 jackpots that were earned, such as $1,000 for
hitting 8-of-10, $335 for 7-of-9 and $400 for 6-of-7 spots (all quarter machines
with four coins bet). But because they are verifiable, I chose to simply include
the W-2 jackpots in the count.

In my book, “Cluster Keno,” I
chronicle, day by day, what those jackpots were and how they were won playing
video keno. I think this can be helpful information to players, so they can
actually see the process that led to the awards. Some so-called experts, when
they describe their “winning strategy,” cite computer models and
statistics or probability theory. But my contention is that all those things
don’t compare to the actual experience of winning.

(Note: my aforementioned book,
“Cluster Keno,” was delayed for a couple of weeks at the printer, but
shipments will take place this week, within plenty of time for Christmas!)

Listed in the accompanying chart are
the video keno jackpot amounts and the dates on which they were won.

A brief explanation of several
selected jackpots will follow, noting the kind of machine and method of play
that seemingly led to the award. It is hoped that this would be helpful for
other video keno players.


Oct. 21:   

Oct. 28: $  

Nov. 18:   

Feb. 12:   

Mar. 11:   

Mar. 23:   

Mar. 25:   

April 3:   

April 15:   



April 24:  

May 1:    $3,304

May 7:    $4,000

June 11:  

June 26:  

Aug. 10:  

Sept. 20:  


Oct. 21 — $6416.45: This was my first big jackpot, and it
occurred on a 5-cent progressive keno machine at a downtown casino. The payoff
was for hitting a solid 8-spot (there were also progressives for 9-spot and
10-spot keno). The method of play was simple: I made it a point to play the same
machine daily, and I always bet a solid column of eight numbers.

Oct. 28 — $7000: Exactly a
week after the nickel progressive, I hit this 7-of-7 jackpot on a 25-cent, IGT
Fortune machine, one of the old timers that I came to love. It’s notable that
I hit this jackpot trying out a theory of mine, that is, that it’s possible to
hit multiple jackpots on the same machine if you’re dropping down in the
number of spots picked.

Briefly, I had hit 7-of-9 twice on the
machine ($335 each time) and was accumulating a couple of buckets of quarters.
So I dropped down to a 7-spot, and it didn’t take long, perhaps 15 minutes,
before the machine hit the solid 7-spot.

Nov. 18 — $1652: This
represents the most common payoff, 7-of-8 on a 25-cent keno machine. Most of
these awards were hit playing the eight numbers in a column. A few occurred
while playing a solid two-by-four number box, either above or below the midline
(but never straddling it).

Mar. 11 — $7953. 95: This is
significant because this is another nickel progressive at the same downtown
casino. Since I won the first nickel progressive, I had been playing other
machines, mostly quarter machines. But I returned to the nickel machines when I
saw how high the progressive jackpot had soared (it started at $5,000).

Once again, I hit the solid 8-spot
playing an entire column of numbers.

Mar. 25 — $4700: This was the
first time I hit 8-of-9. It occurred on the older IGT Fortune machine, the
upright model with two screens, top and bottom. I hit several over the course of
the year, most of them being 9-spots composed of nine numbers of the 10-number

April 15 — $4,700, $1,340, $4000:
Obviously, this was quite a morning! It started off with an 8-of-9 jackpot on an
IGT Fortune keno machine. I then moved my play to a Bally GameMaker machine and
hit 7-of-9 playing $1 keno for the $1,340.

After a break from the machine, say,
about a half hour playing other games, I returned to the GameMaker and hit
8-of-10 for the $4,000 payoff.

Not a bad day, especially since it
fell on the IRS tax filing day!

(L.J. Zahm is the author of Cluster Keno: Using the Zone System to Win at Video Keno. For information write to Cluster Keno, P.O. Box 46303, Las Vegas NV 89114.)

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