The Orleans and some of the other Coast Casinos have what is called “keno exacta.” This is an add-on, at very low house edge for the cost, to your regular keno ticket. Call it a side bet if you wish.
For an exacta to be possible you have to play two or more consecutive games. The exacta means you hit the same amount of numbers for two games in a row on the same ticket or way. For example, if you play a five-game exacta for a 4-spot, you pay $5 for the five games and $1 (25 cents per game for games 2 through 5) for the exacta, making a total ticket cost of $6.
They draw the five games. First game: one number, no pay. Second game: three numbers. Third game: three numbers. Fourth game: two numbers. Fifth game: two numbers.
In the first game you didn’t hit at least two numbers, thus no pays and no exacta. You can’t have the same amount of numbers come up twice, until you have played twice (two games).
Second game you hit 3-of-4 for a regular pay of $2. If you can hit the same amount of numbers in your next game you will hit the exacta. In our sample you hit three out of four again. The regular ticket pays you the same $2, but since you have gotten 3-of-4 twice in a row, you also win $56 for your exacta.
In the fourth game you hit two numbers for a pay of $1 for the regular game and nothing for the exacta because this time you hit two numbers, while in the previous game you hit three numbers.
In the fifth game, the last game on your ticket, you hit two numbers and get the regular pay of $1. Since you now have hit two numbers twice in a row you also get the exacta payout of $1.
Thus, for the five-game series your $6 wager gets $6 in regular pays and $57 in exacta pays for a total of $63. Obviously, your luck may not be this good, but most of us play keno for that long shot big hit win.
For example, if your luck is really, really, good and you hit 4-of-4 twice in a row, you get paid $160 for each 4-of-4 and $9,680 for the exacta. So for $2.25 (two-game series) where you hit 4-of-4 back to back you get ($160 x 2) + $968 = $10,000! It does happen. I was there when a 5-spot back to back hit.
By the way, this 5-of-5 winner received $750 for each 5-of-5 hit and $48,500 for the exacta. Yes, the total win for just those two games was 50 BIG ONES – $50,000!
You can play way ticket exactas as well. Each way is considered separately for the exacta. For example, a 9-spot consisting of three groups of 3, playing 1/9, 3/6, 3/3 (1/9 means one 9-spot group, all numbers in this case) consisting of the following: Group One, numbers 1, 2, 3; Group 2, numbers 38, 39, 40; Group 3, numbers 71, 72, 73.
These are your “ways,” lettered for simplicity: A) 1, 2, 3, 38, 39, 40, 71, 72, 73 (the one 9-spot); B) 1, 2, 3, 38, 39, 40 (one of three 6-spots); C) 1, 2, 3, 71, 72, 73 (one of three 6-spots); D) 38, 39, 40, 71, 72, 73 (one of three 6-spots); E) 1, 2, 3 (one of three 3-spots); F) 38, 39, 40 (one of three 3-spots); and G) 71, 72, 73 (one of three 3-spots).
Let’s say you play these numbers for nine games. The regular games must be played at $1 per way so you have seven ways per game costing $7 and nine games for a total of $63. You pay for the exacta starting with Game 2 and you have seven ways, thus seven exactas at 25 cents each or $1.75 per game for games 2 through 9. That’s 8 x $1.75 = $14. Your total ticket cost is $63 + $14 = $77.
Let’s say in Game 1 the following numbers come up: 1, 2, 3, 73; in Game 2 numbers drawn are 2, 39, 71, 72, 73; Game 3: 39, 71; Game 4: 2, 39, 40, 71; Game 5: 1, 3, 38, 71; Game 6: 71, 72, 73; Game 7: 3, 71, 72, 73; Game 8: no numbers hit; Game 9: 1, 2, 38, 40, 72, 73. Try to figure out the hits. Here we go:
Game 1: regular pays for a 4-of-6 and 3-of-6, totaling $3, and a SOLID 3 paying $45. Game 2: regular pays for a 5-of-9 paying $5, two 4-of-6’s paying $4 and a SOLID 3 paying $45.
Yes, you hit 3-of-3 twice in a row but since it was not the same “way” there is no exacta pay here. Starting to see how it works?
Game 3: No pays. Game 4: two 3-of-6’s paying $2. Game 5: two 3-of-6’s paying $2. Game 6: two 3-of-6’s paying $2, a SOLID 3 paying $45. Game 7: a 4-of-6 paying $2, a 3-of-6 paying $1, a SOLID 3 paying $45 and an EXACTA paying $910. Since the same “way” was hit twice in a row, you get the exacta pay.
Game 8: No pay. Game 9: one 6-of-9 paying $30, three 4-of-6’s paying $6 and three 2-of-3’s paying $3. Thus for your $77 investment you get $1,150, a net profit of $1,073.
If you play a few of these tickets a night you should qualify for some kind of comp as well. Good 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].