While the 8-spot is quite popular, there are many places that pay for 7 out of 7 compatibly to 8 out of 8.
This is especially true in downtown Las Vegas. The California pays $16,000 for a 7-of-7 on their regular rate and $14,000 for their 80-cent Island Rate. Fremont also pays $16,000 for a 7-of-7 at their regular rate and $14,000 for their 80-cent pop 80 rate.
The D pays $7,000 on their 40-cent Deano Rate and $17,500 on another special $1 rate. The Golden Nugget pays $15,000 on their $1.25 special rate and has comfy chairs and a nonsmoking game. Finally, the El Cortez pays $7,000 on their 40-cent rate, and at times MegaKeno can have very attractive 7-spot payouts, especially if the progressive has not been hit for a while.
Though an 8-spot pays more, rarely is it in proportion to the odds of hitting an 8-of-8. A 7-of-7 is 6 times as easy to hit as an 8-out-of-8. The high end payouts discussed here are possible because on all these pay tables you give up getting paid for 3-out-of-7 with your money returned on 4-of-7.
Of course you can get paid on a 3-of-7 and still have a decent amount for a solid hit by using the El Cortez $1.15 special rate, which gives you your money back for 3-of-7, $3 for 4-of-7 and $10,000 for a SOLID 7.
Use way tickets to make hitting the 7-spot easier.
The powerful 8 kings ticket where you mark 8 kings (8 groups of one) and play the 8 sevens was discussed in a prior column. If you hit 7-of-8 you have hit a SOLID 7 and seven 6-of-7’s. If you also play the 8, getting paid for 7-out-of-8 is nice as well.
Another example is play 2-3-2-3 at the El Cortez, playing the 10 at Mega 10, paying over $1M. (That is a 1 followed by 6 zeroes. Remember “Every Which Way but Loose” where the Mafia bookies mention their boss is a man who bets with 6 zeroes rather than 5 zeroes after the 1? Same here.)
Thus you play the 10-spot at Mega10, the two 8’s at the 40-cent rate, the two 7’s, the 6, and finally the two 5’s all at the 40-cent rate for a total ticket cost of $5.10. Add the 4 at the 40-cent rate and the total ticket cost is $5.50. Play only 6’s and higher and the total ticket cost is just $3.50.
If regular MegaKeno (5 through 9 spots) is high, play that number of spots at $1.50 to be eligible for the progressive jackpot.
Playing different rates on a way ticket is quite common; it is called a combination ticket. Make sure your ticket is properly marked with the rate desired to get proper payouts when you win. Mega10 and MegaKeno are available only at the El Cortez downtown. The best MegaKeno and Mega10 pays on the Strip are at Excalibur.
If you just want to be in the game while you are doing other things at the casino and do not want to spend a lot, play a multi-game 7-spot at the 40-cent rate. Play 21 games ($8.40 ticket cost) and you have a year to collect in most places.
Best of luck!
Pesach Kremen is a former UNLV Masters Gaming student, has won and placed in multiple local keno tournaments, and has written several academic papers on Keno. You can reach him at [email protected].