# A Better ‘Way’ To Mark Keno Tickets

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by Keno Lil |

I often receive questions about the pros and cons of marking “way” keno tickets, which are tickets that combine multiple groups of numbers.

The obvious advantage is you’re increasing the number of possible winning combinations; of course, you pay for each of those combinations, so it’s important to mark the tickets in a manner that doesn’t deplete your bankroll rapidly.

Q. What is the best way to play a way ticket?

A. In general, on tickets that combine to make an even number, it is best to play groups ½ the size of the way. For example, a way 10-spot is best played using groups of five. For odd number ways, pick the two numbers on each side of the mean, in other words a way 11 is best played using groups of five and six.

Q. A 10-way-6 can be played using either 5 groups of 3 [3-3-3-3-3] or 5 groups of two [2-2-2-2-2]. How do I know which ticket is best to play?

A. In general, choose the ticket that has the most groups indicated in the question above.

Q. I play a goofy 15-way-15, and I know two ways to mark it: One with 17 total numbers and one with 20 total numbers. Which is better to play?

A. In general, the ticket with the most numbers on it is better, provided that does not conflict with the answers above.

Q. I know two ways to mark a 4-way-9, using four threes [3-3-3-3] or a field of six and three threes [6-3-3-3]. Which is better to play?

A. In general, the field ticket is better to play; as long as it follows the constraints above.

Q. I love to play a 190-way-8. Some people are telling me it’s a house ticket. Are they right?

A. No, at least if you are playing for a dime per way. Though you are playing 190 eights, the most solid eights you can hit are 10, and at a dime per way, this will not exceed the maximum limit at normal pay rates. If you are playing for more than 25¢ per way or so, you may be cheating yourself on the high end payouts.

Q. I like playing a 20-way-6 marked [2-2-2-2-2-2] because I enjoy how all the deuces combine to make the sixes. Is this a good ticket?

A. Certainly, if you enjoy it! There is nothing bad about this ticket. It will produce larger winners than some other 20-way-5s, but it does so at the expense of a lower winning frequency.

Q. I play four deuces, and I play the eight, the four sixes, the six fours and the four twos for a buck a way, for a \$15 ticket. Should I play it this way?

A. You are a kid on Christmas morning. You want everything, bright and beautiful! You need to focus on the now. Do you want to hit an 8-spot? Then play as many eights as you can afford. Ditto the sixes. Don’t play the 4-spots and the deuces, unless you are very drunk and having fun.

Q. I’m still going to play my ticket, no matter what. Someone told me I should play more on the big ways and less on the small ways, while someone else told me I should play more on the small ways, and less on the big ways. Am I confused?

A. No, you’re just having fun. You need to focus, Grasshopper. Is your goal really to hit a \$3 2-spot? Or a 50¢ 2-spot on a \$20 ticket? Stick to the sixes and eights.

Q. I don’t like playing way tickets; I just mark a bunch of straight tickets. Am I missing something?

A. You are the enlightened gambler! In general, the highest possible win frequency is produced by playing each of the 80 numbers once and only once. Thus it follows that straight tickets, played without overlapping numbers, produce tickets with the highest win frequency.

On a scale of one to five spikes, with five being the highest, Keno Lil rates multiple straight tickets: 4½

If you have a keno question that you would like answered, please write to me care of this paper, or contact me on the web via email at [email protected]. Well, that’s it for now. Good luck! I’ll see you in line!