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Way tickets are constructed by adding groups of numbers to get the desired number of spots.

For example, if you have three groups of 3 numbers you can take each group by itself for a 3-spot, thus you would have three 3-spots. You can also take two of the groups – there are three ways to do this – and create three 6-spots. Finally, you can combine the three groups for one 9-spot. Thus, with three groups of 3 you have one 9, three 6s and three 3s for seven total ways.

This particular type ticket is available on some video keno machines where it is called 3-6-9 keno. Is it a good ticket? It can be if it pays on 4-of-9 and you have a high percentage return such as the “Deano” rate at The D or the $1.15 rate at the El Cortez. Both of these special rates have pays starting from 4-of-9.

Have you chosen all the possible tickets when you have three groups of 3? Yes, in this case you have. There is a simple formula for figuring out how many tickets are possible once you decide how many groups to play.

Take 2 to the nth power and subtract 1, n being the number of groups. Thus we have 2 to the third power (2x2x2) = 8 – 1 = 7, which is exactly what we have with our three 3s, three 6s and one 9.

Let’s say you hit 3-2-1 of the 3-3-3 ticket. You obviously have 6-of-9 for your 9-spot. For first six you have a 5-of-6, a 3-of-6, and a 4-of-6. For the 3-spots you have one SOLID 3-of-3 as well as a 2-of-3 and a non-paying 1-of-3.

This can be a lot of fun in both live and video keno as SOLID 3s are not too hard to hit (71-to-1 odds) and even a scatter pay will get you some cash.

Let’s say you have four groups of 3. How many possible ways are there? Use the formula: 2 to the fourth power minus 1 = (2x2x2x2) – 1 = 15 possible ways. We could actually play four 3s, six 6s, four 9s, and one 12, which equals 15 ways.

This formula will help you determine if you have figured out all the possible ways available. Always figure out all the possibilities using the formula so you are sure you don’t miss anything. You don’t have to play all the ways available, but it is good to know what they are so you have the option to use them if you want.

See how easy it is to become an expert in keno by using this formula. Yes, once you know how to figure and write ways you have become an expert keno player. This will also help you figure your tickets for tournament play as well.

I welcome feedback on any tickets my readers suggest. Write me c/o GamingToday at the email address at the end of this column.

Until then, may fortune shine down upon you from the keno goose in front of you as you have now become a keno expert. Welcome to the club!

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